San Diego Central Beaches

Surf, swim, jet ski, paddle board, and much more at the San Diego Central Beaches! This stretch of coastline just west of Downtown is a great vacation spot.
San Diego Central Beaches
Overview
Bundle & Save
The Neighborhood
Famous For
Beaches
Surfing
Paddle Boarding
Boardwalk
Sidewalk Cafés
Nightlife
Belmont Park
Stay Nearby

Enjoy a Fun-Filled Beach Day in Central San Diego

The Central region of San Diego lies on the Pacific Coast near California’s southern border. It’s just south of the North County Coastal area. This section of San Diego is divided into its seaside area and the Central Inland area.

The coastal part of San Diego Central is full of beach neighborhoods like Point Loma and Ocean Beach in the south, and La Jolla and Pacific Beach further north. It also encompasses Mission Beach, Mission Bay Park, and Sunset Cliffs.

As a coastal area, the Central region gets plenty of sun and warm weather, which lends itself well to a picturesque beach day atmosphere. The winds from the bay can bring a slight dip in temperature with them, especially once the sun goes down, as there is little to break the wind up along the wide, sandy beaches.

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30 Minute Flyboarding Lesson
If you an adventure seeker, Flyboarding is the thing for you. Grab your Go Pass, strap on a jetpack, and fly across the water while enjoying the views of San Diego. Flyboarding is tons of fun for you and your friends and easy to learn.
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Local Tips
What is a Go San Diego Pass?

The Go San Diego Pass allows visitors to experience more attractions while simultaneously saving money.

With the pass, you can visit San Diego’s top attractions like the San Diego Zoo or LEGOLAND, all while saving up to 55% off on admissions. Plus, the pass gives you the ability to skip the line when visiting select attractions.

The San Diego Central Area

Central San Diego is fairly close to San Diego International Airport, with its nearest beaches less than a 10-minute drive west of the airport. Driving to La Jolla might take you a bit longer, as it’s about 15 miles to the northwest, but you can still complete the trip in around 20 minutes.

The area is also right near Downtown, with beach neighborhoods like Sunset Cliffs and Point Loma just on the other side of the San Diego Bay. You can easily do a combined day trip and hit fun attractions in both areas without spending too much time driving or on a shuttle.

Since surfing is such a big draw in the area thanks to San Diego’s proud surfing history, you can easily rent a surfboard and head to the beach, or take surfing lessons if you’ve never tried it before.

Save on the rental costs of surfboards and other gear like paddle boards and kayaks with the Go San Diego pass, which also lets you bundle discounted admission prices for many local attractions. With our exclusive partnership with Go San Diego you can save even more when you purchase the pass via our website.

You’ll have a blast staying overnight at the waterfront Ocean Villa Hotel in Ocean Beach, which is a convenient central location for the area. This hotel has great amenities like continental breakfast, pet-friendly rooms, pool and beach access, parking, WiFi, and in-room coffee makers.

Looking to stay further up or down the coast? Check out our selections for the Best Hotels on the Beach in San Diego.

Famous Attractions and Locations in San Diego Central

Basketball Courts
Basketball Courts
Beach Fire Pits
Beach Fire Pits
Beach Volleyball
Beach Volleyball
Belmont Park
Belmont Park
Biking
Biking
Boat Launch
Boat Launch
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Fishing
Fishing
Jetskiing
Jetskiing
Kayaking
Kayaking
Kiteboarding
Kiteboarding
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Picnic Tables
Picnic Tables
Sailing
Sailing
SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego
Skateboarding
Skateboarding
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Surfing
Surfing
Swimming
Swimming
Windsurfing
Windsurfing

San Diego central is best known for its beaches and boardwalk town feel, offering fun seaside events and attractions like whale watching, surfing, and watching the sunset. It’s also home to Belmont Park, the Cabrillo National Monument, and a popular nightlife scene.

Beaches

The San Diego Central beaches are the best place to spend a sunny SoCal day. Hit the water for swimming and surfing, lounge on a beach chair under an umbrella, or work on your tan while playing beach volleyball. Many beaches include amenities like lifeguards and fire pits as well.

Sunny Day at Windansea Beach
Explore the Jewel City - La Jolla, San Diego. Visit the beaches for high-quality surfing, kayaking, snorkeling and paddle boarding. Take a walk to the scenic parks, beaches, museums and shopping. End the day watching the sunset from a charming sidewalk café. Take a family trip you’ll never forget!
Boardwalk and Volleyball Mission Beach
Spend a day with family in Mission Beach! Visit Belmont Park for roller coasters and rides, or ride the waves at the beach surfing, paddle boarding, and kiteboarding. Visit SeaWorld, go for a bike ride, enjoy the local cafés, visit unique shopping boutiques or catch the sunset on the boardwalk.
OB Pier Looking Towards Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach features a great boardwalk, nightlife and sunsets. Walk everywhere from the shops, sidewalk cafés, parks, and the beautiful beaches. Enjoy the California sun while surfing, skateboarding, swimming, or playing a game of beach volleyball, basketball, or simply sunbathing. This is the perfect spot for a remarkable family vacation.
Stairs from Law Street Park to Beach
Bring your loved ones on a trip for the laid back feel of Pacific Beach. Make memories at the flat, sandy beaches surfing, kiteboarding, playing volleyball, roasting smores, or having a family picnic. Visit SeaWorld San Diego, stroll the boardwalk, go shopping and walk to lunch at a local café.

Surfing

What would San Diego beaches be without surfing? The surf at the Central beaches varies in intensity, from calm beginner waves to bigger breaks where the shore is rockier. La Jolla is an especially notable surfing spot, with over a dozen beaches and the famous surf shack at Windansea Beach.

Sunny Day at Windansea Beach
Explore the Jewel City - La Jolla, San Diego. Visit the beaches for high-quality surfing, kayaking, snorkeling and paddle boarding. Take a walk to the scenic parks, beaches, museums and shopping. End the day watching the sunset from a charming sidewalk café. Take a family trip you’ll never forget!
Boardwalk and Volleyball Mission Beach
Spend a day with family in Mission Beach! Visit Belmont Park for roller coasters and rides, or ride the waves at the beach surfing, paddle boarding, and kiteboarding. Visit SeaWorld, go for a bike ride, enjoy the local cafés, visit unique shopping boutiques or catch the sunset on the boardwalk.
OB Pier Looking Towards Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach features a great boardwalk, nightlife and sunsets. Walk everywhere from the shops, sidewalk cafés, parks, and the beautiful beaches. Enjoy the California sun while surfing, skateboarding, swimming, or playing a game of beach volleyball, basketball, or simply sunbathing. This is the perfect spot for a remarkable family vacation.
Stairs from Law Street Park to Beach
Bring your loved ones on a trip for the laid back feel of Pacific Beach. Make memories at the flat, sandy beaches surfing, kiteboarding, playing volleyball, roasting smores, or having a family picnic. Visit SeaWorld San Diego, stroll the boardwalk, go shopping and walk to lunch at a local café.
The Beautiful Cliffs at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
Sunset Cliffs features sea caves, beautiful beaches, amazing surfing and some of the most picturesque views in San Diego. Spend the day outdoors hiking, swimming, birdwatching or looking for dolphins! Visit the Cabrillo National Monument and end the day with a beautiful sunset while listening to sounds of the ocean.

Paddle Boarding

If you’re not quite up to surfing, give paddle boarding a shot! Enjoy both regular and stand up paddle boarding in the clear, gorgeous waters of San Diego Central’s beaches. You can rent a paddle board or take lessons, so people of all skill levels can have a great time.

Boat Coming into Mission Bay
Bring the family on a retreat to Mission Bay Park! Sail in the bay or visit SeaWorld San Diego. Spend a day on the bay kayaking, windsurfing, kiteboarding and paddle boarding or an evening strolling the boardwalk for an amazing sunset. Don’t forget the boat launch for fishing and sailing.
Boardwalk Around Harbor Island in Point Loma
Bring the whole family on a whale watching tour or enjoy the ocean in other electrifying ways such as fishing, kayaking, sailing, surfing or watching the sunset while lying in the sand. Don’t forget to visit the Cabrillo National Monument and try the local cuisine at a magical sidewalk café.

Boardwalk

San Diego Central includes the 3.5-mile Mission Beach Boardwalk, which is lined with booths, stores, restaurants, and arcades. The concrete walkway is a popular spot for cyclists, but it’s equally beloved by families looking for a fun-filled afternoon. Belmont Park is at the southern end of the boardwalk.

Boat Coming into Mission Bay
Bring the family on a retreat to Mission Bay Park! Sail in the bay or visit SeaWorld San Diego. Spend a day on the bay kayaking, windsurfing, kiteboarding and paddle boarding or an evening strolling the boardwalk for an amazing sunset. Don’t forget the boat launch for fishing and sailing.
Boardwalk and Volleyball Mission Beach
Spend a day with family in Mission Beach! Visit Belmont Park for roller coasters and rides, or ride the waves at the beach surfing, paddle boarding, and kiteboarding. Visit SeaWorld, go for a bike ride, enjoy the local cafés, visit unique shopping boutiques or catch the sunset on the boardwalk.
Stairs from Law Street Park to Beach
Bring your loved ones on a trip for the laid back feel of Pacific Beach. Make memories at the flat, sandy beaches surfing, kiteboarding, playing volleyball, roasting smores, or having a family picnic. Visit SeaWorld San Diego, stroll the boardwalk, go shopping and walk to lunch at a local café.

Sidewalk Cafés

Fun in the sun doesn’t have to end when you leave the beach! Check out the local sidewalk cafés, which are the perfect spot for midday meals. With great food and even better atmosphere, sidewalk cafés are much more than just an excuse to enjoy the sun a little longer.

Sunny Day at Windansea Beach
Explore the Jewel City - La Jolla, San Diego. Visit the beaches for high-quality surfing, kayaking, snorkeling and paddle boarding. Take a walk to the scenic parks, beaches, museums and shopping. End the day watching the sunset from a charming sidewalk café. Take a family trip you’ll never forget!
Boardwalk Around Harbor Island in Point Loma
Bring the whole family on a whale watching tour or enjoy the ocean in other electrifying ways such as fishing, kayaking, sailing, surfing or watching the sunset while lying in the sand. Don’t forget to visit the Cabrillo National Monument and try the local cuisine at a magical sidewalk café.

Nightlife

Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Many of the beaches in the Central area host live events like musical performances, couples’ retreats, roaring bonfires, and campouts at night. If you head inland, you’ll find clubs, dance floors, cocktail lounges, and tiki bars galore.

OB Pier Looking Towards Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach features a great boardwalk, nightlife and sunsets. Walk everywhere from the shops, sidewalk cafés, parks, and the beautiful beaches. Enjoy the California sun while surfing, skateboarding, swimming, or playing a game of beach volleyball, basketball, or simply sunbathing. This is the perfect spot for a remarkable family vacation.
Stairs from Law Street Park to Beach
Bring your loved ones on a trip for the laid back feel of Pacific Beach. Make memories at the flat, sandy beaches surfing, kiteboarding, playing volleyball, roasting smores, or having a family picnic. Visit SeaWorld San Diego, stroll the boardwalk, go shopping and walk to lunch at a local café.

Belmont Park

Belmont Park is an amusement park right on the beach. It’s a family-friendly attraction full of carnival games, food stalls, and rides including roller coasters, a carousel, bumper cars, and many more. Best of all, admission is free, and you only need to pay for the rides and games themselves.

Boardwalk and Volleyball Mission Beach
Spend a day with family in Mission Beach! Visit Belmont Park for roller coasters and rides, or ride the waves at the beach surfing, paddle boarding, and kiteboarding. Visit SeaWorld, go for a bike ride, enjoy the local cafés, visit unique shopping boutiques or catch the sunset on the boardwalk.

Featured Activity

Adrenaline filled ride on the Roller Coaster at Belmont Park
Belmont Park Ride and Play Pass
Spend a family-friendly day at one of San Diego’s best amusement parks. Roller coasters, bumper cars, a carousel and the largest heated pool in SoCal, Belmont Park is guaranteed fun for kids of all ages!
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San Diego Central Beaches
are Known For:
Beaches
Beaches
Boardwalk
Boardwalk
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Cabrillo Nat. Monument
Nightlife
Nightlife
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Sunsets
Sunsets
Surfing
Surfing
Whale Watching
Whale Watching
This Month's Forecast
63℉ / 73℉
Partly Cloudy in June
Jul
67℉ / 77℉
Sunny in July
Aug
69℉ / 79℉
Sunny in August
Sep
67℉ / 79℉
Sunny in September

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