Life's a Beach! 1

What’s your Beach Style?

Featuring over seventy miles of coastline, San Diego County is truly a beach-lovers paradise, and for lucky Carlsbad residents, many of the best beaches are in North County.
Not all beaches are the same. Sure, every beach is “…a pebbly or sandy shore, adjacent to a seashore…” but what if you’d rather surf than sunbathe, or maybe your grandchildren are visiting for the day so you’re looking for a “kid-friendly” beach with restrooms close-by and maybe even a playground? 
In North County you can choose a beach depending on what activity you’ve planned?
We spoke with local Carlsbad residents who shared their “best beaches for…” with Carlsbad Lifestyle.

-Best Beach for Walking/Jogging/Running: South Ponto

Located at Carlsbad Boulevard, north of La Costa Boulevard and south of the Batiquitos Lagoon, South Ponto is one of the widest beaches in the county, and is easy to reach from the Pacific Coast Highway, where there’s limited free parking or via the parking lot at the far south end of South Carlsbad State Beach. Open daily from 6 AM to 10 PM, South Ponto is also one of the few undeveloped beaches in the county. It’s the ideal beach for folks who want to get in their daily exercise on a wide stretch of sand that has both public restrooms and showers. Parking is $8 per vehicle in the pay lot.

-Best Beach for Families/Kids: Moonlight Beach

Managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Moonlight State Beach is located on Encinitas Boulevard at B Street in Encinitas. (Because it’s operated by the city of Encinitas, California State Parks Annual Day Use Passes are not accepted at Moonlight) The wide, sandy beach offers something for everyone in the family; there are even volleyball and tennis courts. Parents find it easy to keep their children occupied with fun activities all day long here with the picnic area, concession stand, playground, equipment rentals and fire rings. Moonlight Beach has year-round lifeguard services and is ADA accessible. The beach is open daily from 4 AM to 2 AM. Street parking is free. Lot parking fees depend on the season.

-Best Beach for Surfing: Trestles

Trestles is actually five surf spots located at San Onofre State Beach: Uppers, Lowers, Middles, Barb-Wires and Cottons. The beach, which got its name from the train trestle that surfers and beachgoers walk under to reach the shoreline, is located off of the 5 Freeway at Basilone Road. Access to the beach isn’t easy: the shortest route, which takes fifteen minutes, is from the trailhead at Cristianitos Road, where the road crosses over the freeway, and where there’s a pay parking lot. But for surf fanatics, the walk’s worth it. The site of numerous surfing competitions over the years (in April, May and September) Trestles is known for having a range of swell directions, and waves that vary depending on the tides and sand flow. Surfers also appreciate the fact that the beach is secluded (at one time this stretch of San Onofre State Beach was part of the Camp Pendleton Marine Base), so there aren’t any houses nearby.

-Best Beach for Out-of-Town Visitors: Tamarack State Beach

Located at the intersection of Carlsbad Boulevard and Tamarack Avenue, Tamarack State Beach is the quintessential Southern California beach: wide stretches of sand, a four-mile
seawall walking/jogging/running path, even jetties where your out-of-town visitors can watch people fishing. Out-of-towners and locals alike appreciate the beautiful sunsets. Every evening people gather at the far north end of the beach to watch the sun sink into the ocean, and then stroll into the village for dinner. There’s a pay parking lot at Tamarack (fees vary) but most people park for free along Carlsbad Boulevard and the surrounding neighborhood surface streets. Restrooms are available near the parking lot, as are spigots for washing off sand. There are five picnic tables and lifeguards are on-site during the summer. The beach is open from 5 AM to 10 PM every day.

-Best “Dog-Friendly” Beach

This was an easy choice: North Beach in Del Mar, also known as Dog Beach, is the only beach in the area that allows dogs. The beach is north of 29 TH Street, stretching almost a half-mile to the border of Del Mar and Solana Beach. During the summer (June 16th through Labor Day) dogs must be leashed, otherwise they’re allowed to roam freely as long as they obey their owners’ voice commands. 
Even if you have other favorites, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: we’re lucky to live close to so many incredible beaches. So, pack up your flip-flops, sunscreen and beach towel, and “let’s go to the beach!”