Escondido is a popular place to visit in California. At just 30 minutes from San Diego and 20 from the beach you’ll have plenty to do with a more relaxed atmosphere than what downtown San Diego can offer. When it comes to swimming there are plenty of options. We’ve put together this list of our favorite beaches near Escondido, CA for your convenience.
We’ve only included beaches that are easily accessible and public. There are quite a few closed communities around here so it can be a bit hard to navigate the coastline. Worry not, our list has everything from secluded spots to classic beaches.
So without further ado, let’s jump into the best beaches near Escondido, California!
1. Torrey Pines State Beach
Distance: 22 miles – 30 mins
Torrey Pines State Beach boasts impressive features that make it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an unparalleled beach experience. It’s one of the easiest to access among the beaches near Escondido, Ca.
This sandy shore is watched over by vigilant lifeguards and provides convenient facilities like restrooms and showers for visitors’ comfort. The beach is flanked by majestic cliffs and a flourishing pine forest reserve, resulting in a breathtaking landscape that never fails to leave visitors happy.
The beach’s sunset view is simply awe-inspiring, creating a serene atmosphere that is perfect for peaceful walks along the shoreline.
While access to the beach is via a steep slope with stairs, the sunset walk is an experience that is well worth the effort. The beach’s waves provide optimal conditions for surfing and boogie boarding, and at low tide, the expansive beachfront is perfect for joggers, walkers, fishermen, and families to enjoy a day by the sea.
The beach is clean and well-maintained, although parking during peak hours may be a challenge. We advise you to plan ahead if you want a free spot. Otherwise, you may park for a small fee in the state park itself.
2. Carlsbad State Beach
Distance: 20 miles – 35 minutes
Carlsbad State Beach, also known as Tamarack Beach, is a popular beach destination located in Carlsbad, California. This picturesque strip of sand is known for its paved pedestrian path, volleyball nets, and frequent dolphin sightings.
Visitors can enjoy a range of activities including surfing, swimming, and sunbathing. The beach’s location right off the boardwalk and close to local amenities make it a convenient spot for a day of fun.
One of the highlights of Carlsbad State Beach is its stunning views. The beach offers breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean, with waves crashing against the shore and the sun setting in the distance. The beach is well-maintained and clean, making it a great place to relax and take in the ocean breeze.
It’s easy to reach and fun to visit. We can wholeheartedly recommend this beach near Escondido, CA.
3. Leucadia State Beach
Distance: 18 miles – 35 minutes
Leucadia State Beach, commonly referred to as Beacon’s Beach, boasts a pristine and compact shoreline that is perfect for surfers, families, and nature enthusiasts alike.
While accessing this beach requires descending a steep stairway, the breathtaking views of the ocean at sunrise or sunset make the effort well worth it. From watching surfers ride the waves to hiking the cliffs, there is no shortage of adventure to be had here.
Unlike some of the larger beaches, Leucadia State Beach has a laidback So Cal vibe that is perfect for those seeking a quieter atmosphere. However, it’s important to note that those with mobility impairments may have difficulty accessing the area.
Additionally, visitors should be aware of the high tide, as it may limit the amount of available beach area (sometimes to none at all!). Overall, Leucadia State Beach is a magical destination that offers an unforgettable coastal experience.
4. San Elijo State Beach
Distance: 18 miles – 35 mins
San Elijo State Beach is a picturesque coastal location that spans over two miles of sandy shoreline, boasting a range of activities that cater to all interests.
The beach is a popular destination for camping, swimming, surfing, and snorkeling, and is a great spot for picnics with family and friends. During low tides, visitors can take long walks and enjoy the beautiful sunset.
Surfers are particularly drawn to this beach for its convenient stairway access and paid public parking. The beach is also known for its clear waters, which make it ideal for wading in the water with children.
With a variety of nearby restaurants, San Elijo State Beach is the perfect place to unwind after a busy day. Its popularity among visitors of all ages and backgrounds is a testament to its beauty and allure.
5. Cardiff Beach
Distance: 18 miles – 35 mins
You’ll find Cardiff Beach right next to San Elijo State Beach. Cardiff State Beach offers a picturesque and pristine environment to enjoy a family day out. While a parking fee applies, the stunning scenery and exciting activities available make it a worthwhile investment.
The beach is ideal for leisurely strolls along the shore, while the waves provide a thrilling surfing experience for water sports enthusiasts. Popular with both surfers and beach-goers, Cardiff State Beach is a family-friendly destination.
During low tide, the water becomes calm, shallow, and firm, making it an excellent playground for children. Peak season weather is typically ideal, with the inviting water temperature adding to the overall appeal of this breathtaking beach. It’s a solid choice among the beaches near Escondido, California.
6. Grandview Surf Beach
Distance: 18 miles – 35 mins
Grandview Surf Beach is a stunning white sandy beach located beneath beautiful cliff bluffs, and it is well-known for its surfing break.
Clifftop parking is available, making it easy to access. Once you come to the top of the stairs, you will be blown away by the incredible view. Before you go, make sure to check the tide schedule.
During high tides, the beach won’t be accessible for a walk. This beach is more low-key, and it is definitely a local’s surf spot.
As the name implies, Grandview Surf Beach has a grand view that you won’t want to miss. Aside from surfing, the beach is also great for running.
7. La Jolla Shores Beach
Distance: 30 miles – 30 mins
Nestled along the coastline of La Jolla, California, lies the stunning La Jolla Shores Beach. This picturesque 1-mile stretch of sand boasts permanent lifeguard stations, ensuring that visitors can enjoy the gentle waves and panoramic ocean views safely. Due to its popularity, finding a parking spot can sometimes be a challenge as it has a high volume of visitors.
Families with children will appreciate the beach’s ideal waves for activities such as boogie boarding and wave jumping. Surfing enthusiasts will also find La Jolla Shores Beach to be a great spot. Those interested in exploring the ocean can take scuba classes or rent kayaks for a tour of the nearby caves.
As the day comes to an end, the beach offers a prime location to watch the sunset. A nearby village filled with shops and restaurants provides ample opportunities for shopping and dining. Children can also enjoy the playground while adults relax on the sand.
8. Pacific Beach
Distance: 35 miles – 45 mins
Pacific Beach is a picturesque beach that boasts breathtaking views and impressive waves, making it a sought-after destination for both locals and visitors. The pier provides an ideal setting to bask in the peaceful oceanic surroundings and admire the stunning sunsets.
There is an abundance of restaurants and bars in the vicinity, catering to a diverse range of culinary preferences. The beach offers endless fun for kids, who can frolic in the sand, while the more adventurous can take up surfing lessons.
The area is also a haven for surfers and marine life enthusiasts, providing an opportunity to witness aquatic creatures up close. The beach exudes a lively and vibrant atmosphere during the day, attracting a diverse and attractive crowd.