9 private beaches in San Diego to avoid the summer crowds

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Looking to ditch the crowds this summer?

Luckily for you, there are some private beaches in San Diego that you can visit without the crowds.

Though technically speaking by “private” we do mean a bit more on the quieter end.

Although, in summer expect crowds to be busier than usual.

These are on the quieter end and have a bit more room and space to spread out than your usual busy beach. 

If you’re looking for a place to relax without battling those crazy summer crowds then be sure to keep reading as we break down the best places to go. 


Whether you’re bringing your dog, family, friends, or heck even yourself then be sure to plan ahead with the most important things to bring with you to the beach.

Check out our blog of the 30 Must Things You Shouldn’t Forget to Bring to the Beach this Summer. 

The Less Crowded Beaches Of SD

Now if you want to know where to find the quietest beaches then be sure to check the ones out below. 

Just remember that some of these beaches may not have the amenities you look for when traveling.

But some do. 

Even though it may be quieter than most beaches, you won’t find the typical kayaking and touristy events.

Just keep in mind the location of nearby bathrooms because a couple of beaches do have them a bit far off and there may or may not be lifeguards. 

These private beaches offer serenity and peacefulness.

Usually, these beaches are as busy, but summer can help them become a wee bit busier than usual. 

The nice thing about this beach is that it beats the summer crowds and you do not have to worry about fighting for a spot in the sand.

Here are my top choices in no particular order. 

San Onofre State Beach

South of San Clemente, this beach also offers a much quieter beach.

Located just south of San Clemente, this beach is known for its surfing, bodyboarding, and fishing.

There are also three distinct areas to this beach: the surf area, the Bluffs area, and San Onofre Creek.

The surf area is where most of the action takes place, with a wide variety of waves that are perfect for both beginners and experienced surfers.

The Bluffs area is a great place to relax and take in the scenery, and it also has some hiking trails.

And finally, San Onofre Creek is a popular spot for kayaking and fishing.

Swamis Beach

Nestled in Encinitas Beach, this beach is much quieter than Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

You can find picnic tables and benches here. You will be able to spot many surfers.

Parking is limited and you can find it along the street. 

Swamis Beach in Encinitas is one of the most popular surf spots in San Diego.

Located just north of La Jolla, this beach is known for its long, gentle waves that are perfect for beginners and families.

There are also a few small reefs offshore that provide good wave action for more experienced surfers.

Swamis Beach is also a great place to relax and enjoy the incredible views.

There are a few things to keep in mind when surfing at Swamis Beach.

First, the waves can get pretty big during high tide, so it’s important to be aware of your abilities and surf only when conditions are safe.

Secondly, there is a lot of kelp offshore, so be sure to avoid it when paddling out.

Lastly, the beach can get pretty crowded during the summer months, so it’s always a good idea to arrive early to get a good spot.

Beacon Beach

Beacon Beach is a hidden gem nestled between Leucadia and Encinitas in San Diego.

This small, secluded beach offers a peaceful escape from the crowds.

With its golden sand, picturesque cliffs, and mesmerizing sunset views, Beacon Beach is a tranquil haven for those seeking a serene coastal experience.

Blacks Beach

The only clothing-optional beach in San Diego County.

It’s no wonder this beach is quieter. You can definitely find space to spread your beach towel since the crowds are a lot smaller.

It is more difficult to get to this beach since you would do some hiking from the Torrey Pines.

All kinds of people come to this beach to check it out.

North Ponto Beach

Many people will pull over to catch the sunset.

Though you can probably get better views by parking and walking all the way around.

Most people won’t.

You have to park near South Carlsbad State Beach and walk your way up to North Ponto Beach.

Parking is along the road too. 

Grandview Beach

Very popular with surfers.

There are bathrooms here and you can definitely sunbathe and watch the surfers.

Perfect place for locals and tourists. Beautiful.

Sometimes there is a high tide.

Do not go if there is. 

WARNING: DO NOT set up at the base of the cliffs. The high bluffs are caused by erosion and can break off unexpectantly. If there is high tide, then it is not recommended to go.

Stone steps Beach

Another beach on the quieter end, though parking is limited, is perfect to have a beach day. 

These offer a great view atop the bluffs. The stairway leads straight to the beach from here.

Again, it is recommended that you set up away from the bluffs for your safety.

If you plan to catch the sunset or just watch the view then this is the perfect beach to see just that.

Torrey Pines (certain parts of it)

Though Torrey State Pines itself is very busy, keep in mind most people come to do the hiking trail, and the beach itself could be quiet.

There are certain areas where the beach is quieter.

San Diego’s Best Beaches

It’s no surprise that San Diego has some of the best beaches of all time.

Who can ever compete with the sun, sand, and waves here?

Let’s not forget the delicious cuisines of many local restaurants sprawled near the coastlines.

If this is your first time here and or plan on visiting soon then do not forget to our blog with the top beaches to visit

Not ranking in any particular order here is the top beaches that make the list of must-see beaches in San Diego

Dog Beaches

Pier Beaches

If you’re looking for a beach with a gorgeous pier, then be sure you check any of these out.

  • Ocean Beach (OB)
  • Oceanside Beach
  • Imperial Beach
  • Pacific Beach

North County Beaches

Here are the North County Beaches in San Diego.

Some of the most gorgeous beaches are found in North County. These are my go-to beaches:

Seaweed found in Cocoa Beach, Florida
Seaweed found in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

The Busy beaches of San Diego

San Diego is very popular and it is almost always crowded!

With endless amounts of entertainment and sightseeing, some of the most popular beaches have become so popular. 

Now, these beaches are gorgeous and have definitely become more popular with tourists.

It’s no wonder why so many people flock to these every summer.

(If you do have time to check these out during your vacation then do so. Otherwise, look elsewhere to avoid the summer crowds).

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How do you avoid the crowds at the beach?

There are a few things you can do to avoid the crowds at the beach.

First, try going during the week instead of on the weekends.

Second, get there early in the morning before everyone else arrives.

Third, find a less famous beach nearby that isn’t as crowded.

Are there any private beaches in San Diego?

There are no “private” beaches in San Diego as most are state-owned.

You can, however, find a bit less crowded beaches such as blacks beach.

Most beaches do get crowded in summer, but if you usually go early in the morning or during the weekdays you have a better chance of seeing fewer crowds!

What is the least crowded beach in San Diego?

The least crowded beach in San Diego is usually Blacks Beach.

It is located north of Scripps Pier in La Jolla.

You can get there by taking the stairs down from the glider port or by hiking down the trail from Torrey Pines State Reserve.

There are no lifeguards on this beach, so use caution when swimming.

What’s the nicest beach in San Diego?

There are a lot of great beaches in San Diego, but it really depends on what you’re looking for.

If you want a beach that’s less crowded, you might try La Jolla Shores or Coronado Beach.

If you’re looking for a nice sandy beach, you might try Pacific Beach or Mission Beach.

And if you’re looking for a beach with great surf, you might try Windansea Beach.


Like most beaches in California, almost all are crowded and increasing in popularity.

With summer literally right around the corner, the vacation booking and frantic beach getaways are practically here. 

But of course, not all beaches are made the same!

Each beach is unique in its own way.

If you’re looking for a nice quiet getaway then do not forget to check out a private beach. 

It has its perks. 


Some of the beaches are a little bit further walking distance to say the main area of the beach, but of course, you will find fewer crowds and more space. 

Other beaches are very very popular in the summer.

Such beaches include Mission Bay where Belmont Park and Seaworld are situated.

And something like La Jolla Cove where everyone goes to check out because of the sea lions!

Don’t get me wrong.

These beaches are gorgeous and definitely a must-see this summer.

But if you’re looking for more quieter and private beaches then do not the private beaches.

If you have time then you can definitely check out both kinds of beaches since they are perfect to ride out. 

What is your favorite beach and why? Let me know in the comments below!

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Jess & Jeanette

Jess and Jeanette, two sisters who founded Unseen Beaches, were inspired by their family’s beach vacations while growing up.

Their passion lies in guiding you toward the most remarkable beach destinations across the U.S., while also protecting and preserving these beautiful coastal treasures! 🌊❤️

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