How to Find the Closest Beaches near Downtown San Diego

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After exploring the jewel city, you know that your next stop is to visit the beaches near downtown San Diego.

It isn’t a matter of if, but when! If you are a first-time vacationer in San Diego then kudos for making it out here. 

San Diego has a lot to offer including its gorgeous beaches, endless entertainment, and unforgettable foods!

Let’s not forget how close San Diego is to Mexico bringing remarkable cuisines and cultures. 

And yes, there are plenty of beaches near downtown San Diego to choose from. If you can…visit all of them. 

But even if you can’t make all the beaches of San Diego then even visiting just one of them is enough to help you grasp the beautiful lifestyle. 

Ok so you made it to San Diego, that’s one step, the next is to make it to the San Diego beaches.

Follow along as we’ll breakdown the closest beaches to visit near the downtown area.

San Diego Beaches Location on Map

Here is a quick google map showing the location of all the beaches near San Diego. Each of these are unique and gorgeous.

So after exploring the city be sure you check out one of these nice beaches located within distance. 

San Diego Beaches to Visit for a Day

There are a couple of beaches that are within distance to the downtown area and you should definitely be going to these first. Here they are in no particular order.

Ocean Beach San Diego

This is probably one of the most popular because of how close it is to downtown.

You can probably walk there or drive there. Of course, driving will be much quicker. 

Photo by Derek Story

Another thing you can do is rent a bicycle from the city and cruise your way to Ocean Beach. 

If you travel with you dog, per say, then Ocean Beach is your number one place to go.

It has a complete dog beach area for your pet to run, play, and chase! 

Read more on how Ocean Beach dog beach is the place your pup wants to go to this summer.

It’s a free place where your pup can run loose. 

Mission Beach San Diego

This beach has become one of the most popular beaches out there in almost all of San Diego.

With Belmont Park being around the corner, it is definitely a more upbeat and crowded beach that many young people love.

Mission Beach is also perfect beach for families who love exploring the Belmont Park side of it and the beach camping side.

Even though the camp is located in the bay area, it is still a perfect place to book a night for some ideal camping.

Read more about camping at the beach in San Diego here.

Pacific Beach San Diego

Probably one of the most popular beaches among college students exist here.

You can find a beach bar in almost any corner of this beach.

Photo by Claude Piché

And let’s not talk about those party beach clubs that are found in nearly every street. If that is your scene, then definitely go for it!

It really depends what your here to see and experience.

La Jolla Beach

Amazing views and gorgeous scenery lies in La Jolla Beach!

Plus, there are lots of activities here such as kayaking and snorkeling.

Although it is a bit further than the other nearby beaches we must give credit to this beach as well.

This beach is probably one of the most popular among families. Read more here why families choose La Jolla beach all the time!

Coronado Beach

Alas, another beach within distance to San Diego.

Keep in mind that you may have to take an Uber or Lyft to make your way across Coronado Bridge!

It is amazing and definitely a place to see. There is so much to explore in Coronado Beach.

Read our blog to learn more of this gorgeous Coronado Beach here.

Some things you can do in San Diego after visiting the beaches

Of course no vacation is complete without checking out the amazing downtown city and what it offers.

Lucky for you San Diego has plenty of things for you to do solo or with friends and family.

Here we breakdown the top things for you to check out while visiting. 

Photo by big.tiny.belly

1.Little Italy- This little piece of downtown has a taste of Italy all over it. You can find Italian food and ice cream anywhere along these streets. You can either walk or drive. Just keep in mind that there is metered parking in the streets. 

2. Walk around Petco Park- The Padres (baseball team of San Diego) may or may not be playing, but it’s really neat to just check out the area and walk around it. If there’s a game going on then you can definitely buy tickets. 

3. San Diego Parks- If you really enjoy amusement parks then don’t disregard the San Diego Zoo. It’s perfect to plan a day and walk around. Seaworld is not too far either and you can definitely spend a day there too. 

4. San Diego Bay- The best way to check out the city is to rent a bike and explore it. Make your way around downtown and all the way up the San Diego Bay!

5. Balboa Park- The perfect place to walk. Don’t forget to cross over the balboa bridge or check out the museums nearby. 

6. The plenty of museums- You can pretty much find a museum anywhere in San Diego, especially Balboa Park. The San Diego Fleet Museum, the Japanese Friendship Garden, the San Diego Air and Space Museum, and more!

7. Try out some food- There are plenty of restaurants from all over! It’s amazing how diverse San Diego is. My favorite is Mexican restaurants found almost everywhere. San Diego is literally on the border of Mexico! Experience authentic food!


There are plenty of beaches near downtown San Diego. After all, the city of San Diego isn’t named the jewel city of San Diego for nothing.

These aren’t the only beaches in San Diego, but they are definitely the closest ones to downtown! If you really want to see the beaches near the downtown area then I highly recommend these.

You will not only have fun but get the perfect balance between relaxation and unforgettable fun. 

Photo by Alex Perez

If you travel with your dog then definitely check out the dog beach in Ocean Beach. It is indeed the closest one to the downtown area of San Diego.

However, it is not the only one, if you find yourself venturing out past Ocean Beach then be sure to check out these other dog beaches in San Diego as well.

Jess and Jeanette are two sisters who were inspired by their family beach vacations while growing up. Their passion lies in guiding you toward the most remarkable beach destinations across the United States! Cheers! ❤️

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