No visit to San Diego is complete without taking the time to get your feet wet in the beautiful Pacific Ocean. San Diego County offers a rugged and beautiful coastline that runs from the Mexican border to Orange County. Along this stretch of ocean, you will find some of the best beaches in the world each with its own distinct personality.
One of the most legendary modern beaches in San Diego is Swami's in Encinitas. This beach is a popular surf spot and is located in a very modern beach town. However, there is limited parking at this beach so be prepared to hike a ways to get your feet wet. Although the hike is well worth the exercise for this beautiful beach spot. Another excellent beach to visit if you want to watch surfing is the Seacliff Roadside Park. Under the right conditions, you can expect to see some huge waves at this popular surf spot.
If you continue to travel south, you will find the beaches of Torrey Pines and La Jolla. The Torrey Pines beach gets its name from the rare Torrey Pine Tree, which is unique only to this stretch of coastline. This beach is a wild and beautiful location to enjoy the Pacific Ocean. Above the sandstone cliffs that line the beach, you will find the Torrey Pines State Reserve, which features over 2000 acres of beautiful bluffs and eight miles of scenic hiking trails. This beach is the ideal picnic spot.
If you continue heading south along the cliff side at Torrey Pines then you will arrived at Black's Beach, which is the only "clothing optional" beach in San Diego. This beach is also located directly below a popular hang glider bluff. However, nudity is very carefully monitored here and you should make sure you are doing it within the proper boundaries. While there is a staircase leading down to Black's Beach it is a better idea to access it through Torrey Pines Beach.
If you want to truly experience the beauty of the Pacific Ocean then you need to rent a kayak and head out of La Jolla Cove. This allows you to take in the amazing sight of the underwater ecological preserve of the La Jolla Ecological Preserve. Here you will find smooth water and beautiful forests of sea kelp below. Among the sights you will see include sea lions and many types of California state fish. There is no clearer water in southern California than this area and it is very popular with snorkelers and scuba divers.
For the typical San Diego beach experience, you want to head over to Mission Beach. Here you will get the complete California beach experience. There is a boardwalk full of bike riders, skaters, pedestrians, joggers and people from all walks of life. When you are done on the beach, the boardwalk gives you plenty of restaurant and bar options. There is even an amusement center with a trademark wooden roller coaster.
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