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5 Kid-friendly beaches in San Diego

Traveling to San Diego beaches with the kids is a fun family activity, but before you pack up the car — and the kids — for some fun in the sun, sand and water, make sure you’re heading to a kid-friendly beach.

Coronado Beach, Coronado

These five kid-friendly beaches in San Diego offer convenient restrooms, plenty of activities and options, the safety of lifeguards and much more.

Coronado Beach, Coronado

Coronado beach is located behind the world famous Hotel Del Coronado and near the prestigious neighborhood of downtown Coronado. While in Coronado, enjoy spectacular views of the city, airplanes in the distance and the beautiful coastline or walk, bike or blade the bike path. Access nearly everything you could need or want from Coronado beach with shops, restaurants and hotels nearby.

  • Free parking
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Alcohol and glass containers are not permitted
  • Year-round lifeguards
  • Dogs allowed at North Coronado beach

Powerhouse Park, Del Mar

Located at the end of 15th Street in Del Mar, Powerhouse Park is beautiful and family friendly. With a picturesque lookout point, trains passing by, a fenced-in playground, large grassy picnic area and a ramp that leads to the beach, this beach location is ideal for both visitors and locals. Walk to oceanfront restaurants, like the popular Jake’s Del Mar, or to downtown Del Mar to experience resort-like hotels and one-of-a-kind shopping.

  • Parking lot and street parking for a fee, some free street parking farther from the beach
  • Smoking is not allowed
  • Alcohol and glass containers are not permitted
  • Restroom and showers
  • Lifeguard towers

Moonlight Beach, Encinitas

Moonlight Beach in Encinitas has it all. With a children’s playground just steps from the sand, a snack shop, picnic areas and restrooms, children of all ages can comfortably enjoy the beach and their surroundings. Moonlight Beach is within walking distance to restaurants, shopping and the eclectic sights and sounds of downtown Encinitas.

  • ADA accessible beach with ADA accessible parking lot
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Fire rings, tennis courts and volleyball courts
  • Playground and picnic area
  • Alcohol and glass containers are not permitted
  • Snack shop
  • Lifeguard towers

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La Jolla Shores, La Jolla

With ample parking and long, flat strands of beach, La Jolla Shores is a family favorite for all ages. After a long day in the sun enjoying the amazing views, rest and play in the grass at Kellogg Park or walk to town to enjoy La Jolla fun, food and shopping. Just down the road is the famous La Jolla Cove. This small beach is a family fun spot during low tide with its tide pools and rocky cave.

  • Parking lot closes at 10 p.m.
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Alcohol and glass containers are not permitted
  • Lifeguard towers

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Ponto Beach, Carlsbad

One of San Diego’s best-kept secrets is Ponto Beach in Carlsbad. This small, beautiful beach is a favorite among locals for good surfing and quality family time. The street parking is far enough from the shore, so there’s less of a worry about the kids near the road and the flat shoreline makes it easy to keep an eye on the kids while they play in the sand. This family beach is great for jogging, a beach picnic, impromptu beach afternoons, sandcastle building and learning to surf.

  • Free street parking
  • Alcohol and glass containers are not permitted
  • Portable restrooms
  • Lifeguard patrols during peak seasons

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