Headed to the San Diego beach? There are many to choose from, so where do you go? Depends on what you want to do. Rather than tell you my thoughts on all the beaches, I'll just go over pros and cons on a beach by beach review.
LA JOLLA SHORES (north of, actually)
Great access to the water. I actually go a bit north and go right near the La Jolla pier. Parking is free and plentiful on La Jolla Shores drive north of El Paseo Grande. For those coming late at night or early in the morning, you can park for free in the UCSD lots, including the small one on Naga way from 11 PM to 7 AM.
Not very crowded in this area, if you are like me and avoid crowds. If you want the bar-hopping frat boys from SDSU (the "bros") and want to find drunk party-girls, this is not the right beach for you. Mostly full of UCSD folks, older people, and families.
Direct access to the beach near the pier is available by walking down Naga Way.
There is a free outdoor shower/foot wash available at Discovery Way and Kennel Way.
There is no access to the pier, but using the shadows from the pilings make for some great late afternoon shots. If there is sunlight to be found, this time of day will have it.
If you find yourself on the beach during low tide, stroll 600 yards North of the pier to Dike Rock. There is a large volcanic rock that runs perpendicular to the beach. This is located at a point in the shoreline. We went at a minus 2.5 ft low tide and saw an amazing array of creatures and sea life.
If you go another 25 yards or so to the actual point, you get a great view of an elitist’s personal tram and “bonus” room (“bonus” doesn’t even come close to doing it justice). The resident has a private tram that drops from home on top of the cliffs roughly 300 feet to the beach, where they have a room built. Quite a feat, I’d say. That is, a feat to the building plans permitted. I don’t think it would be approved today.
Note: Dogs are not permitted on the beach until AFTER 6 PM.
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