Fletcher Cove Beach

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Fletcher Cove Beach is located at the west end of Lomas Santa Fe Dr at S Sierra Ave. There is a small parking lot just next the park.
Fletcher Cove Beach, or Pillbox, is a San Diego hidden gem. This secluded Solana Beach is a favorite for surfing beach breaks, bodyboarding and swimming.
Why you'll love this beach
Why you'll love this beach
Surf, Bodyboard or Swim at the Local Favorite Known as Pillbox Beach
Fletcher Cove Beach
Overview
Save on Gear
Things to Do
Popular Activities
Get There & Parking
Featured Activity
Know Before You Go
Stay Nearby
Similar Beaches

Highlights

Things to Do
Tips
How to get there
Parking
Things to Do
Tips
How to get there
Parking

Overview

Fletcher Cove Beach a Nice Place for KidsSurfer with Child at Fletcher Cove Beach

If you’re taking a trip along California’s iconic Highway 101, you can’t miss family-friendly Solana Beach. Along with the famous art galleries and artisan shops at Cedros Design District, the city of Solana Beach is home to beautiful Fletcher Cove. The locals know Fletcher Cove Beach as Pillbox, named after a WWII gun emplacement on the cliffs.

This secluded beach is protected on both sides by high bluffs, and it offers amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. There is a small park overlooking the beach with picnic tables. You can eat lunch as a family with the deep blue waves of the ocean in the background.

At medium tide, locals grab their beach gear, enjoying smooth swells that aren’t too intense. Even 3-ft waves offer a nice curl at Pillbox. Visitors can hop on a surfboard or bodyboard and have some fun.

As the tide rises, the beach starts to disappear, but the cliff-side views get even more breathtaking. If you happen upon sunset near high tide, you’re in for a real treat as intense reds reflect off the cliffs and swells along the shoreline.

Save on Paddle Boarding!

2-Hour Stand Up Paddleboard Rental
Stand Up Paddle Board Rental
Using your Go Pass, head out for a 2-Hour Stand Up Paddle board Rental. Paddle around Harbor Island and keep an eye out for dolphins and other local wildlife. No matter your skill level, you will enjoy a beautiful day out on the water.
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Local Tips
What activities does the Go Pass include?

There’s a variety of activities included with the Go San Diego Pass such as: The San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, Hiking Tours, Whale Watching, Snorkel Rentals, Museum Tours, Speed Boat Adventures and more!

For the most popular attractions and water-sport rentals as well as the biggest discounts, consider the All-Inclusive Pass.

Things to Do

Kayaking
Kayaking
Running
Running
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Surfing
Surfing
Swimming
Swimming
Tide Pooling
Tide Pooling

Things to See and Do at Fletcher Cove

Not surprisingly, life at Pillbox tends to revolve around the water. Here are some must-try experiences at Fletcher Cove Beach:

Surfing

For years, Pillbox was one of the best-kept secrets for laid-back surfing. These days, the beach has a small but loyal following that keeps tabs on the morning weather forecast. As a beach break, Pillbox has constantly shifting swells that go from barely noticeable to satisfyingly huge.

One thing that’s great about the beach is the excellent crest profile even at minimal wave height. Hollow waves are a regular sight, and swells can reach as much as 10 feet. Patience can pay off big time with great waves.

Bodyboarding

Few things are as incredible as bodyboarding on the Pacific Ocean, and Fletcher Cove gives you a gorgeous backdrop for it. Waves break a short distance from shore, so you don’t have to paddle much to reach them. Pros can pull off tricks and enthusiasts can slither on the crashing surf.

Local Tips
Come with the Family
Fletcher Cove Beach not only is a pretty beach but it has a grassy area above the beach with a playground, basketball court & bathrooms.

Kayaking

The easy road access at Fletcher Cove makes this one of the best places to park a vehicle and launch your kayak. From Pillbox, you can paddle north to explore magnificent bluffs, reefs and the San Elijo Lagoon. A short trip south takes you to the river mouth of the San Dieguito River and San Dieguito Lagoon, or you can kayak about 5 miles to see Torrey Pines State Reserve like never before.

Relaxation

At high tide, Fletcher Cove has a small stretch of sand where you can spread out a beach towel and listen to the crashing waves. Close your eyes, soak in the sun’s rays or read a book.

Tide Beach Park

When the tide is low, head a short distance north from Pillbox to Tide Beach Park. Observe neon sea anemones, barnacles, starfish, purple urchins, crabs and other sea creatures in the small pools. This area has a large reef to explore as well.

Summertime Events

Fiesta del Sol is a two-day annual music festival that brings Fletcher Cove to life with hip music, tasty food and colorful crafts. Dance in the summer sun with rock and reggae, or vote for your favorite sounds during an awesome battle of the bands.

Fletcher Cove is also the starting and finishing leg of the Solana Beach Triathlon, Duathlon & Aquabike. If you want to show off your fantastic body, and experience Highway 101 from a unique perspective, plan to be at Fletcher Cove Beach near the end of July.

How to Get There & Parking

Free Parking
Free Parking
Lot Parking
Lot Parking
Street Parking
Street Parking

Getting to Fletcher Cove / Pillbox

Getting to Pillbox is a breeze, since it’s located a few blocks from Highway 101. If you’re driving on Highway 101, you’ll find the city of Solana Beach with Fletcher Cove approximately 5 miles north of Torrey Pines State Reserve. Surfers looking for some tranquil waves can find Pillbox 3.5 miles south of beloved surf-haven Encinitas.

As you ride into Solana Beach on Highway 101, look for Plaza Street. Go two blocks west on Plaza Street and you’ll see Fletcher Cove Beach Park directly ahead.

To reach Fletcher Cove from Interstate 5, take exit 37 onto Lomas Santa Fe Drive going west. This road turns into Plaza Street and takes you straight to Fletcher Cove.

Fletcher Cove Beach is easy to get to from Solana Beach, with an attractive walkway and stairs leading down to the sand. It’s accessible from the center of town, so finding parking isn’t a problem.

Parking at Fletcher Cove

A small parking lot offers free parking for visitors, though it can fill up quickly during summer weekends. In that case, you can generally find nearby parking on one of Solana Beach’s cross streets. Pacific Avenue, North Sierra Avenue and North Acacia Avenue are good places to park, and they’re only a few blocks from Fletcher Cove.

Featured Activity

Gray Whale during Whale Watching Tour in San Diego
Half Day Whale Watching Tour
Enjoy a 4-hour expert led tour departing from beautiful San Diego Bay on a two-story whale watching yacht. Take in the views, enjoy the marine life & marvel at the majestic gray whales as they migrate along the coast.
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Know Before You Go & Tips

Lifeguards
Lifeguards
No Alcohol
No Alcohol
No Camping
No Camping
No Glass Containers
No Glass Containers
No Motorized Vehicles
No Motorized Vehicles
No Smoking
No Smoking
Picnic Tables
Picnic Tables
Playground
Playground
Public Transportation
Public Transportation
Restrooms
Restrooms
Shade
Shade
Trash Cans Available
Trash Cans Available

Inside Tips

Great for Kids

Fletcher Cove Beach Park is a great spot for kids, especially when mid or low tides let them make sandcastles and run around the beach. A playground on top of the bluffs has slides and swings, and a grassy area gives you room to toss a Frisbee as a family. There’s always a lifeguard on duty at the beach during park hours.

Surfing at Pillbox

For surfers interested in visiting Pillbox, the best time to go is during summer. That’s when the ideal east winds usually show up. To catch the best waves, you want a mixture of ground swells from the southwest, strong winds from the east and a falling mid tide.

Watch out for Rocks

For swimming, bodyboarding and surfing, you should know that the beach gets rocky in places. This can make wipeouts punishing for beginners, though you don't have to worry about coral.

Fletcher Cove Beach
is Known For:
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Know This:
Lifeguards
Lifeguards
Outdoor Showers
Outdoor Showers
Restrooms Available
Restrooms Available
This Month's Forecast
67℉ / 79℉
Sunny in September
Oct
63℉ / 78℉
Sunny in October
Nov
56℉ / 73℉
Sunny in November
Dec
51℉ / 68℉
Sunny in December

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