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home | San Diego Beaches | Kid Friendly Beaches in San Diego

La Jolla Shores
La Jolla Shores

Kid Friendly Beaches in San Diego

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San Diego has over 70 long miles of beaches and plenty of great beaches for kids.

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La Jolla Shores

The Shores is, hand's down, the best beach for little and big kids to swim in the surf, make sand castles, scuba/skin dive, body surf, surf, kayak and boogie board. The best thing about La Jolla Shores is that it is a long beach with clear water and no scary drop-off. Its waves are usually small and the water is a warmer temperature than La Jolla Cove. La Jolla Shores is bounded by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography's Pier to the north and the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club to the south.

Swimmers are asked to stay south of the checkered flag and surfers are asked to stay north of the checkered flag. Families should try to locate themselves either in front of the main lifeguard tower or south of the secondary lifeguard towers. Positioning yourself where the lifeguards can see you will make their job easier and your life safer. The lifeguards are very active during the summer and do their best to provide first-aid, locate lost children, and rescue swimmers in distress.

The Shores has 2 public restrooms with showers; 2 playgrounds; picnic areas on grass; and bonfire pits on the beach. Free parking is available in the main lots and also on the street. A convenience store and some inexpensive burger and taco shops are located within walking distance. A kayak/boat launch is available for the public's use just north of the Beach & Tennis Club. This area also marks the spot were scuba divers enter and exit the water.

A word about the Beach & Tennis Club: It is an exclusive member's only beach club. While the public is welcome to enter their beach area, they ask that members of the public stay on the west of the fence.

The Children's Pool

Although it is called The Children's Pool (850 Coast Boulevard), it is no longer a 'pool' for children. The beach now belongs to the seals. Seals are not friendly creatures and do not take kindly to people trying to pet them. This is not a kid-friendly beach even though the name of the beach indicates that it is. We don'want you to be fooled by the name!
Children's Pool-La Jolla Cove
Children's Pool-La Jolla Cove

The Children's Pool was originally developed for children to have a safe place to swim, thus the seawall. The seawall provides visitors with a relatively safe place to get a closer look at the ocean. The seals' new living quarters provide visitors with a free zoo-like experience. It is a very popular destination for locals and visitors to watch the seals and enjoy the beauty of this beach.

La Jolla Cove

The Cove (1100 Coast Boulevard) is a very small beach located in the heart of the village of La Jolla. It is one of San Diego's most beautiful and intimate beaches because of its scenic location and clear waters. The waters off this beach are reserved for swimming and diving. The beach has a drop-off, but if children just stick to the shore, they should be fine. During the summer, lifeguards are usually on duty from, generally, 9:00 a.m.-dusk.
La Jolla Cove Beach
La Jolla Cove Beach

If the kids get tired of the little beach, take them to Scripps Park which is immediately adjacent to the beach and is an excellent area for picnicking. Another plus for children and their parents is that a public restroom with showers can be found in Scripps Park. Although there is no parking lot, there are a good number of free on-street parking spaces located right nearby. However, make sure you check the signs to see how long (usually a maximum of 3 hours) you can park. Parking enforcement is never too far behind. La Jolla does not have meters but it has an inordinate number of parking enforcement officers who issue hundreds of tickets because people park too long.

South Mission Beach

South Mission is better for older kids who know how to swim and want to ride stronger waves than La Jolla Shores. This long stretch of beach is bordered on the south by the Mission Bay Channel which has one of the widest beaches in the City. South Mission has separate water areas reserved for swimming and surfing. Lifeguards are, generally, on duty from 9:00 a.m.-dusk.
Mission Beach Boardwalk
Mission Beach Boardwalk

Public restrooms and showers are located at the foot of San Diego Place, near the parking lot. Free public parking is available in the lot immediately adjacent to this beach.

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