May 28, 2024

The Best Beach for Kids in San Diego

Visiting San Diego this summer, and wondering what’s the best beach for kids?

San Diego has some great beaches to choose from, but each has it’s own vibe, and not every beach will be the right “fit” for families.

As a long time resident and a family photographer in San Diego, I’ve frequented lots of our beaches.

And in my estimation, the best beach for kids in San Diego is…

A family of four stands on a Coronado Beach sand dune during a family photoshoot in San Diego.
The sand dunes are one of Coronado Beach’s most unique features.

Coronado Beach!


1) It’s beautiful and unique

Endless stretches of unbelieveably silky white sand flanked by gently rolling sand dunes. Views of gracious mansions and expansive Cape Cod – style coastal homes. The iconic Hotel Del Coronado (the 2nd largest wooden structure in the United States) as a backdrop, its bright red roofs a striking contrast against the white sand.

It’s on an island, that you have to cross a huge bridge (free) to get to, a crossing which rewards you with impressive views of the San Diego Bay, downtown, massive military ships in dock, Coronado Island itself, and the massive blue Pacific beyond.

And Coronado Island itself is a destination, a sort of Martha’s Vineyard on the West Coast. Block after block of stately homes on wide tree lined streets, intersected by Orange Avenue, with it’s restaurants, galleries, and playhouses.

And have I mentioned all the neat military planes that zoom over you just before landing at North Island Naval Station?

A man hugs his wife while she looks off to the side during a Coronado Beach family photoshoot in San Diego.


2) It’s huge

At almost two miles long and hundreds of yards wide, there’s plenty of silky white sand to spread out on. This makes it feel less crowded than other San Diego beaches, even on busy holidays.

Part of that width is taken up by soft, rolling sand dunes, one of this beach’s unique features. They’re perfect for kids to play on, or to sit on while enjoying one of San Diego’s most beautiful sunsets.

A woman in a blue dress lays down on a patterned blanket and embraces her young son and daughter, her eyes closed.
There’s plenty of room to lay down and stretch out together on Coronado Beach.

3) The parking situation

Parking is much, much easier here than at other San Diego beaches. Since the beach is so long, and bordered by so many residential streets, there always seems to be plenty of street parking. No circling around a crowded parking lot, praying someone backs out so you can pay too much for a spot.

Once you’re done with the beach, don’t forget to enjoy the rest of the island, too:

  1. Rent bikes or a family-sized surrey at nearby Wheel Fun Rentals.
  2. Enjoy some of San Diego’s best handcrafted ice cream at MooTime Creamery.
  3. Head up to dog beach on the north end of the beach and enjoy the fun and frolic of dogs doing what they do best.
  4. Climb aboard the Coronado Ferry for one of the finest ways to experience San Diego: with a cruise across San Diego Bay. You’ll get a fantastic view of the massive bay, the Coronado Bay Bridge, the downtown skyline, the massive military ships and aircraft carriers in port, our waterfront with its birds and harbors, and even Mexico off to the south. The best of America’s Finest City, all for the cost of a few lattes!

A blond boy and his little sister cuddle up together in a blanket while sitting on a Coronado Beach sand dune.
Coronado Beach’s sand dunes are a perfect place to sit and cuddle up – the sand is so soft and silky.



For more info, visit the City of Coronado’s official beach page here. A map and directions can be found here.

While you’re here, you may be wondering about where to eat. I’ve got a list of the locals’ top recommendations, right here.

Finally, remember your visit for years to come with warm & connected images that preserve these memories beautifully, taken right on Coronado Beach. See my very best work, and explore what I offer families like you, here.

Have fun!



  1. […] There’s A LOT of room to spread out. On Coronado, the sparkling expanse of silky white sand is our canvas. Even on busy beach days, it’s easy to find plenty of open space on which to photograph (see my additional posts about this beach here and here). […]