Sights & Attractions in San Diego
- Places to Explore
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- Fodor's Choice
San Diego Sights
California's entire coastline enchants, but the state's southernmost region stands apart when it comes to sand, surf, and sea. Step out of the car and onto the beach to immediately savor its allure: smell the fresh salty air, feel the plush sand at your feet, hear waves breaking enticingly from the shore, and take in the breathtaking vistas.
San Diego's sandstone bluffs offer spectacular views of the Pacific as a palette of blues and greens: there are distant indigo depths, emerald coves closer to shore, and finally, the mint-green swirls of the foamy surf. On land, the beach is silvery brown, etched with wisps of darker, charcoal-color sand and flecked with fool's gold.
San Diego's beaches have a different vibe from their northern counterparts in neighboring Orange County and glitzy Los Angeles farther up the coast. San Diego is more laid-back and less of a scene. Cyclists on cruiser bikes whiz by as surfers saunter toward the waves and sunbathers bronze under the sun, be it July or November.
Whether you're seeking a safe place to take the kids or a hot spot to work on your tan, you'll find a beach that's just right for you. La Jolla Shores and Mission Bay both have gentle waves and shallow waters that provide safer swimming for kids; whereas the high swells at Black's and Tourmaline attract surfers worldwide. If you're looking for dramatic ocean views, Torrey Pines State Beach and Sunset Cliffs provide a desertlike chaparral backdrop, with craggy cliffs overlooking the ocean below. Beaches farther south in Coronado and Silver Strand have longer stretches of sand that are perfect for a contemplative stroll or a brisk jog. Then there are those secluded, sandy enclaves that you may happen upon on a scenic drive down Highway 101.
Browse San Diego Sights
- Amusement Parks
- Architectural Sites
- Arts / Performance Venues
- Bridges / Tunnels
- Educational Institutions
- Gardens / Arboretums
- Historic Districts / Sites
- Houses / Mansions
- Marinas / Piers
- Markets / Bazaars
- Museums / Galleries
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