San Diego boasts 70 miles of coastline and some of the finest and most varied beaches you’ll find anywhere.
- Looking for a family-friendly beach? Yup – we’ve got that.
- Looking for a beach where you can let your dog run free? We’ve got that too.
- Looking for a beach that offers fantastic views? Well, they all do that, so you can check this box more than once.
Going to the beach not only exposes your skin to the sun’s harmful UV rays, but also your eyes. It’s essential that everyone—adults and children—wear proper eye protection while outside.
According to the American Optometric Association, exposure of your eyes to excessive UV radiation over the short term can lead to photokeratitis (similar to sun-burning your eyes), which is usually temporary but can be very painful; while long-term exposure puts you at greater the risk for developing cataracts or macular degeneration later in life. Don’t let this happen to you or a family member!
While it’s not clear how much exposure to solar radiation causes eye damage, wearing quality sunglasses that offer UV protection and a hat or cap with a wide brim is highly recommended whenever you are outdoors—and especially at the beach.
Always buy sunglasses marked with a sticker or tag indicating 100 percent UV protection, or ask your eye care provider to ensure they offer verified UV protection. And remember, darker lenses don’t necessarily offer more protection. As long as the lenses are properly coated for UV protection, lens shade and color relate more to style than anything else.
Unique Area Beaches
Stretching from the border of Mexico north to Orange County, San Diego County is home to more than 100 named beaches. Too numerous to describe them all here, we picked a few to highlight for their unique qualities.
- Del Mar City Beach—Located on the shores of the affluent community of Del Mar, this beach is ideal for people-watching and gazing at the sunset, but it can be busy! The sand is soft and the sun is usually plentiful, offering great views up and down from Powerhouse Park in the south to San Dieguito River at its north end.
- Del Mar Dog Beach—Also known as Del Mar North Beach, this is the only beach in Del Mar City where dogs can roam freely. The beach also features volleyball courts and surfers. If you visit, you may also want to check out the trail to nearby James Scripps Bluff Preserve, which offers some spectacular views.
- Encinitas Beach—This beach is a great if you are looking for some privacy because you can only access it by foot from either Beacon’s Beach in the north or Stone Steps Beach to the south. You’ll want to visit at low tide because the beach is narrow and much of it is submerged at high tide. But time your visit just right and it’s an enjoyable walk with great views.
- Stone Steps Beach—Named for the large concrete and stone stairway that descends a steep bluff to the beach below, this out-of-the-way beach is typically frequented by area residents. The beach is narrow and prone to inundation at high tide, but worth a visit for some great walking and to watch surfers catching waves.
- La Jolla Shores Beach—Long and wide (over a mile in length), this beach stands out for its size and popularity with kayakers, swimmers, surfers, sunbathers, picnickers, beach walker, and for general beachside frolicking. Great for families.
- North Beach—Located at Torrey Pines State Beach on the north side of the lagoon entrance at Los Penasquitos Marsh Natural Preserve, this beach offers easy access and well-kept facilities. It’s great for swimming and playing in the water, as well as serious surfers (all depending on the tides and currents, of course). If you want to extend your day, there are numerous trails and lookouts in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, which lies on the hill just above the beach.
- Calumet Park Beach—This is a beach made for hiking and exploring, not sunbathing. The beach is rocky and accessible by dirt trail. It offers great views of the surrounding bluffs and hillsides dotted with homes, especially at low tide.
- Huntington Beach—if you’re a serious surfer, volleyball player, biker, or swimmer this is the beach for you! This beach is also home to the U.S. Open of Surfing, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball, and the 1850-foot Huntington Beach pier. If your one of its 11 million visitors a year, you’ll find no shortage of places to eat, drink or shop here or in the surrounding community.
- Coronado Beach—Home to the Hotel del Coronado, this beach regularly makes Beach’s annual list of best beaches in the nation. Popular with swimmers, surfers, sunbathers and beachcombers, it features an expansive, 1.5-mile-long white-sand beach, warm water, and spectacular views.
Shades for Sun & Sand
Getting a pair of sunglasses that protect well and that look good on your face is easy when you have Sunglass and Optical Warehouse right in your backyard. We’ve been serving the people of San Diego County for more than 30 years with an inventory of men’s and women’s sunglasses that’s one of the largest in the world. So whether you are looking for prescription or non-prescription lenses, we can set you up with some shades that are just right for you and your active lifestyle.
Check out these sunglass brand recommendations for your time on and by the water:
Armani, Bolle, Calvin Klein, Carrera, Cazal, Chistian Dior, Costa, Dillion, Dolce Gababana, Dragon, FatHeadz, Filtrate, Gucci, Hobie, Hoven, Initium, Kaenon, Lacoste, Maui Jim, Nike, Oakley, Otis, Persol, Ray-Ban, Rudy Project, Spy, Suncloud, Vonzipper, Wiley X, Zeal
Let Us Help You Find Shades that Are Right for You
- Our skilled team of optometrists, opticians, and other eye care professionals can help you explore our collections to help you find a look and a style that’s right for you.
- Opticians are on-site at all Sunglass & Optical locations, including our Sports Arena Boutique (Hancock Street).
Optometrists practice on-site at our Sports Arena Warehouse (Kurtz Street) and Kearny Mesa (Convoy Street) locations. While walk-ins are often available, calling ahead to schedule an appointment with them is highly recommended.