Mira Mesa is wildly considered one of the best places to live in the San Diego area. It’s a nice community with superb weather. It is, however, not directly on the coast. So what if you wanted to spend some time on the beach? Today, we’ll cover just that. We are taking a look at the best beaches near Mira Mesa.
We’ve got a great beach for any type of beachgoer. Whether you are after scenic beauty or a busy atmosphere we’ve got you. Luckily there is no shortage of beaches from Mira Mesa. All are within quick reach by car.
We really wanted to select beaches that are close so you’ll be happy to hear that the most driving you have to do is around 30 minutes. That is in good traffic. As we all know this area can get congested so your mileage may vary when it comes to actual travel times.
So, without further ado, let’s see what are your best options when it comes to the beaches near Mira Mesa, CA!
1. Torrey Pines State Beach
Distance: 10 miles – 17 mins
Torrey Pines State Beach is one of the easiest beaches to reach from Mira Mesa. With only 10 miles of road to cover it’s our number one recommendation.
It’s a popular scenic beach. People come here to swim, surf, and enjoy the great CA weather. You can easily spend the whole day at the beach just relaxing and taking it slow.
The beach itself is a typical sandy beach. There are lifeguards during the summer months and plenty of restrooms along with showers to rinse off after swimming.
However, as this is a pretty rural beach you won’t find restaurants and bars nearby. It’s a scenic experience but if you are looking for a city beach then you need to look further.
We suggest parking at the ‘North Beach Lot’. This parking lot provides easy access to the beach and it’s $15 for a day.
2. Powerhouse Beach
Distance: 12 miles – 20 mins
Powerhouse Beach is just down the coast from Torrey Pines. It offers the same sandy beach experience but the scenic hills are traded for an urban environment.
There are houses lining the coast along with some restaurants and bars where you can grab a bit or a drink. It’s an excellent choice if you are looking for a beach near Mira Mesa that has a busy atmosphere.
Of course, as you would expect, there are lifeguards, showers, and bathrooms available. This is a fully equipped beach that gets pretty popular with the locals during good weather.
Now, when it comes to parking, the situation is a bit weird. There is a dedicated parking lot but it costs $25/2 hours. That’s some expensive parking! On the other hand, you can park on the street where it’s metered parking and the cost is just $2.5/hour. Needless to say, we recommend street parking.
3. Cardiff State Beach
Distance: 17 miles – 22 mins
Cardiff State Beach is a great choice if you are looking for a beach that’s not as popular as the others in the area.
The beach area is quite big and as this place sees fewer visitors than others you’ll usually find plenty of space for everyone. Especially great for couples if they want to spend some romantic moments on the beach.
Now this is a rural area as well, but if you walk up north you’ll reach a section with restaurants and bars lining the coast. This is a great place to grab a bite and indulge yourself in some quality seafood.
The only downside of this beach is that it’s a pretty wild one. Waves can get high which is great for surfers but not so great for people trying to enjoy swimming. There are also plenty of pebbles in the sand so we can’t call this one a 100% sandy beach.
Parking is $15 for the day and there is a dedicated parking lot. Not the most expensive around but there are better spots if you are only looking to spend a couple of hours and don’t want to pay for a full day of parking.
4. Torrey Pines City Beach
Distance: 11 miles – 22 mins
Torrey Pines City Beach’s name might suggest that it’s a nice urban beach, however, this is quite far from reality. In fact, it’s one of the most rural beaches around La Jolla.
It’s another one of those beaches that manage to avoid big crowds. How you might ask? Well, it’s a small hike to get here from the parking lot. However, if you are looking for a secluded experience then the hike is most definitely worth it.
At the bottom of the trail, you’ll end up on a vast sandy beach with cliff walls on one side and the ocean on the other. It’s truly amazing scenery.
Sit down in the sand and marvel at the surfers who ride the waves or get into the water yourself to cool down from the CA summer heat. Torrey Pines City Beach is one of the best secluded beaches near Mira Mesa.
5. La Jolla Beach
Distance: 16 miles – 20 mins
La Jolla Beach is the official city beach of La Jolla. As such it offers a pretty classic beach experience. There are permanent lifeguards, bathrooms, and plenty of showers for every visitor.
The waves here are gentle and it’s one of the best in the area for actual swimming. It’s a sandy beach that stretches approximately one mile.
Although the beach area is spacious it’s a popular place and it will get crowded during summer. The parking lot is quite big but it still fills up quickly. If you plan to visit you should come early in the day to make sure you get a spot. However, parking is actually free.
During the high season, you’ll find tons of food options on this beach. The vendors will be happy to serve the summer crowds with excellent choices.
It may not be the cleanest or the most relaxed beach around, however, La Jolla Beach offers a great opportunity to experience a classic CA beach. Plenty of people, a great atmosphere, good amenities, and free parking. It gets the seal of approval from us.
6. La Jolla Cove
Distance: 16 miles – 20 mins
Do you want to visit the La Jolla area but looking for a quieter beach? La Jolla Cove might just be the one you are looking for. It’s a secluded beach that’s actually most popular with divers but it will accommodate other beachgoers as well.
There are lifeguards on duty here and a nice sandy beach area. It’s a great place to relax and spend the day and there are usually fewer visitors than on the main beach.
Do note that this beach is also smaller so in case of crowds it fills up more quickly but it’s usually not an issue. Still, it may happen so we wanted to mention it.
The beach is also known for the possibility to meet sea lions. Yep, they are visiting this beach every now and again and it’s not unusual to have an encounter with these animals.
Parking is via metered street parking so it’s sometimes tough to find a great spot.
7. Moonlight State Beach
Distance: 18 miles – 25 mins
Moonlight State Beach is a great choice as it’s a mix of an urban and a rural beach. On one side you get the town and on the other, you’ll see impressive cliff walls towering over the beach area.
It’s a pretty well equipped place with beautiful sand, lifeguards, bathrooms, and showers. There is plenty of space to accommodate the visitors and it does get plenty of attention during the hot days.
Apart from relaxing and swimming, you can also find other attractions here like a playground for the smaller ones and beach volleyball courts for some sporting fun.
Overall Moonlight State Beach is a superb place to visit from Mira Mesa. There is a dedicated parking lot and usually, you can even find free on-street parking nearby.
8. Black’s Beach
Attention: This is a clothing-optional beach!
Distance: 10 miles – 17 mins
Finally, we have an interesting choice. Black’s Beach is nestled between Torrey Pines State Beach and Torrey Pines City Beach and it’s a clothing-optional place.
Definitely not the kid-friendly option that families are looking for. However, if this is something you want to try then you must know there is Black’s Beach and it’s super close to Mira Mesa.
It’s a secluded place that has quite a nice scenery. The beach area itself is beautiful and has plenty of space for all the visitors that choose to come here.
Beaches near Mira Mesa – FAQ
Torrey Pines State Beach is our favorite pick when it comes to scenic environments near Mira Mesa.
La Jolla Beach is probably the best pick if you are looking for a great urban beach.