PHOTO: Dreamstime

The 10 Best Beach Hotels in San Diego

AnnaMaria Stephens | April 18, 2018

San Diego is famous for three things in particular: sun, sand, and surf. With 70 miles of scenic coastline, visitors have their pick of beach experiences, whether it's catching some rays, building castles with the kids, or paddling out for a prime spot in the lineup. As far as beachfront lodging goes, you'll find everything from a budget crashpad right on the boardwalk to an exquisite luxury hotel perched above the shore. Some hotels will even set up a chair and an umbrella for you. All you really need is swimwear, sunscreen, and a sturdy pair of flip-flops to enjoy San Diego's legendary beach culture.

Related Ultimate Guide: 12 Ultimate Things to Do in San Diego


Surfer Beach Hotel

Why it made the list

Casual, cheap, and right on the boardwalk, the Surfer Beach Hotel is a boon for budget travelers. You’ll get the real-deal SoCal beach experience in Pacific Beach, a laid-back neighborhood with a happening boardwalk and lots of restaurants and bars. The hotel is on the barebones side, but the rooms are comfy and some have ocean views.

Casual, relatively cheap, and right on the boardwalk, the Su Read More


Crystal Pier Hotel and Cottages

Why it made the list

A lot of San Diego hotels are close to the ocean, but not like the Crystal Pier Hotel. Built in 1930 on the wooden Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, the historic hotel features two long rows of charming cottages that extend along the pier over the beach and breaking waves. It’s an extremely popular vacation destination so book early!

Sleep above the sea in a charming cottage on a pier at this Read More


Scripps Inn

Why it made the list

Spacious guestrooms at this lovely boutique inn are beautifully decorated, with sophisticated coastal-chic style, private balconies or lanais, and panoramic ocean views. From the hotel, it’s a 5-minute stroll to La Jolla’s Children’s Pool Beach -- ironically home to a growing colony of harbor seals -- and a short walk to La Jolla’s restaurants and bars.

Set on La Jolla’s Whale Watch Point, this 14-room boutique h Read More


Pier South Resort

Why it made the list

If you want to experience an authentic San Diego beach town -- think surfers, taco shops, palm trees, flip-flops, and chill attitudes -- without breaking the bank, Pier South offers chic style and upscale amenities for a lot less than most of the beachfront resorts further north. Right on the water, Pier South features modern suites and 180-degree ocean views.

Eco-friendly and right on the beach, Pier South has spacious Read More


La Jolla Shores Hotel

Why it made the list

Just steps from one of the best beaches in Southern California, the large La Jolla Shores Hotel has been a popular vacation destination for decades. There are tons of activities at La Jolla Shores Beach, including surfing and snorkeling in 600-acre underwater eco-reserve just yards off the beach. You can even arrange a private beach BBQ cookout.

Just steps from one of SoCal's best beaches, the large La Jo Read More


Ocean Park Inn

Why it made the list

You won’t have to walk far to sink your feet into the sand at Ocean Park Inn. The laid-back contemporary hotel is right on the boardwalk in San Diego’s Pacific Beach (aka “PB”) neighborhood, a short stroll from Crystal Pier and close to shops, restaurants, and bars. The U-shaped hotel has a pool and hot tub in the courtyard, plus views from many rooms.

You won’t have to walk far to sink your feet into the sand a Read More



Why it made the list

As locations go, Tower23 Hotel is hard to beat. Set on a bluff, steps from a wooden staircase that leads down to the beach, the sleek hotel is named for a nearby lifeguard tower. Laid-back Pacific Beach, a neighborhood popular with surfers and sun lovers, has a classic SoCal beach vibe, with a busy boardwalk and lots of cool, casual restaurants and bars.

Location, location, location: The hip contemporary Tower23 H Read More


Inn at Sunset Cliffs

Why it made the list

Perched on one of Ocean Beach’s famous sandstone cliffs, the retro blue-and-white Inn at Sunset Cliffs sits just above the roiling sea, making for truly spectacular views, especially at sunset. The scenic stretch of coast features dramatic cliff formations and caves, pocket beaches, and unique intertidal areas.

At this beachfront property, you really do hear the sound of Read More


Pacific Terrace Hotel

Why it made the list

Stairs lead down to a long, sandy beach from the Pacific Terrace Hotel, set above the shore in laid-back Pacific Beach. When you've had enough of frolicking on the seashore, you can take it all in from the hotel’s brick-lined pool area, where palm trees wrapped in rope lights frame views of the boardwalk and ocean.

Set on a blufftop in laid-back Pacific Beach, Pacific Terrac Read More


Hotel Del Coronado

Why it made the list

Built in 1888, "The Del" is a National Historic Landmark and one of the few remaining all-wooden Victorian coastal resorts in America. The Hotel del Coronado, which boasts a stretch of private beach, sets out complimentary chairs, towels, and umbrellas for guests, and offers rentals like bikes, boogie boards, volleyballs, wetsuits, and surfboards.

With its signature red turrets and idyllic oceanfront locati Read More

Check Rates for Hotels
on the List