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Secret Beaches in San Diego California Without Crowds

San Diego is known for many things, but its wonderful 70 miles coastline is perhaps what draws the most people to the area. You will find some of the best surfing, sunbathing, and explorable beaches in the state here. However, if you are interested in a more quiet time by the ocean, you will want to visit these secluded beaches in San Diego.

Anett Victoria - Author of SeaSpiration

Written by Anett Victoria

When it comes to a beach vacation, Anett is the person who certainly has tips on where to go and what to do no matter it is a luxury tropical holiday, a romantic seaside getaway, or a fun family trip to the ocean. As a world traveler with years of experience in exploring tropical countries and a water sports fan, she creates this inspiring site where she writes travel guides, reviews and recommends beach gear, and gives travel tips to make planning your trip quicker and easier! Are you curious about where She wanders now? Follow her adventures on IG too!

Black’s Beach

Black’s Beach, located about a mile away from La Jolla Shores, hidden by the Torrey Pines bluffs got its name after the Black family who had a horse farm here in the past.

The northern portion of this wide, 2-miles long stretch of sand is managed by the state and the southern half by the city of San Diego. Why is this important? Because the northern half of the beach is clothing optional waiting for those who wish to enjoy the sun and sea au naturel.

Surfers at blacks beach San Diego

Black’s Beach is often sought out by very experienced surfers because of the fast breaks in the area. The underwater canyon here makes swimming in the area risky, and sunbathers are advised not to set up their towels too close to the bluffs because of potential landslides.

However, the water is warm, and the area is quiet, making it one of the top hidden beaches in Southern California everyone can enjoy.

Tamarack Beach

Tamarack is a beautiful small beach that is part of Carlsbad State Beach. The entrance is located at the cross area of Tamarack Avenue and Carlsbad Boulevard.

There is only one public parking lot to enter the beach, and if you want to park there for free, you will need to arrive early since the available parking fills quickly, but maybe this is the reason why Tamarack remains one of the top secret beaches in San Diego.

Man paddleboarding at tamarack beach

This wide sandy beach is a perfect place to sunbathe and enjoy the views. Surfers like this place to practice, and you can enjoy the warm waters without much worry about hard waves. There is a nice paved walkway between Tamarack and Frazee Beach, making it a great place to get some exercise.

SeaSpiration Tip: Going a little more north? Check out hidden beaches in Orange County, less crowded beaches in Los Angeles and Quiet beaches in Santa Barbara!

Gator Beach

Gator Beach is perhaps one of the most secluded beaches in San Diego because it is located at Coronado Naval Amphibious Base and is restricted to military personnel and their guests. If you are lucky enough to be invited, you will certainly love the area.

Gator beach - Coronado

The beach is very nice and golden sandy, and the water is always the perfect temperature. There are clean facilities to use, as well as picnic tables and volleyball areas for you to enjoy. If you are a surfer, you will also enjoy visiting Gator Beach.

Cardiff State Beach – Encinitas

If you look for hidden places on your beach trip in California, Cardiff State Beach is one of the best San Diego hidden beaches you need to head to. It lies just a few miles away from the classic California beach town, Encinitas with easy parking next to Highway 101, directly along the coast.

Cardiff state beach

It is nice and clean sandy stretch so you can enjoy sunbathing and some water sports while you are there. The water occasionally has a strong undertow, but there is a lifeguard on duty, and it will be posted if the undertow is too strong to swim.

There are picnic tables and BBQ areas, and the best is that dogs on leash are allowed so feel free to bring your four-legged friend too!

Swami Beach

Another Encinitas beach, Swami is one of those California beaches that is well-known among surfers but very few other people. Swami has a famous right point break, making it popular with experienced surfers from around the world. During the winter months, when the swells are at their best, the area is filled with surfers.

Boy standing near the water at swami beach

After you descend a long staircase to the beach area, visitors can enjoy the many tide pools that occur during low tide. Some areas completely disappear when the tide is high, so you have to be careful where you set your stuff when you are on the beach.

Most people enjoy the park area on the bluffs and watch the surfers from there. However, when the tide is out you can walk all along the beach to the north up to Boneyard.

Ocean Beach Tide Pools

If you are looking for secluded beaches in San Diego, you definitely need to visit Ocean Beach. It is known for its amazing pier that is almost 2,000 feet long and extends out at the end in both directions for almost another 400 feet. It is the longest pier on the west coast and has been a popular place to fish for over 50 years.

The most amazing part of Ocean Beach, however, is the tide pools under the pier Arrive at low tide and explore the tide pools for a day of fun. They are filled with life that you may never see outside of an aquarium.

Although during the summer, this may not be one of the most secret beaches in San Diego, but outside the season is not very crowded.

Law Street Beach

If you are tired of the crowds at Pacific Beach, head a little north where you find one of the less crowded beaches in San Diego, Law Street Beach. Thanks to the large sandy and lot of grassy areas as well as calm waters, Law Street is the perfect place to go for all types of beachgoers who wish to calm down and unwind a bit.

At one end of the beach is a pier that juts out over 600 feet that is perfect for fishing. If you like walking, the boardwalk area starts at the end of the beach and extends to the next beach access area.

Law street beach San Diego

In the evening, visitors can enjoy the famous California sunsets and set up their own fire pit. Beach bonfires were always popular here, especially in the 60s, but are now limited to nighttime only. Anyway, it is an excellent activity that can turn your beach trip into a romantic experience if you come here with your partner or into a fun pastime if it’s a family outing.

Stan’s Beach (Shipwreck Beach)

Stan’s Beach is a wide area with beautiful white sand. It is a great place to sunbathe and people watch Named after a late surfer who frequented this area, Stan’s Beach is famous among surfers of all levels of experience.

However, the most unusual thing here is the shipwreck making this place one of the most interesting secluded beaches in San Diego. You can see the outline of the SS Monte Carlo during low tide, a 1930s gambling ship that sank here.

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Secret beaches in San Diego