Pacific Beach is one of the most crowded areas of San Diego. This is an action-packed beach zone with a boardwalk and many bars and restaurants. However, a short way up the boardwalk from Crystal Pier the crowds thin out. The North Pacific Beach area around Law Street is one of our favorite beach spots in the city of San Diego.
Location: Law Street and Ocean Blvd
Beach Type: Nice quiet sandy beach near action at Pacific Beach
Access: walk down ramp at Law Street or stairs several blocks away
Parking: free street parking
Facilities: Restrooms/changing facilities
Good For: Swimming, Surfing, Family Day at the Beach, Scenery, Nearby Boardwalk
Not Good For: N/A
The intersection of Law Street and Ocean Blvd has a nice green area (Palisades Park) on a bluff overlooking the ocean. You will find a full restroom and changing facility and fairly easy access to the beach via a ramp.
Unlike central Pacific Beach free parking here is usually fairly easy to find on the side streets. This is a residential area, which also has some of the main beachfront hotels in the area. If you have to park a few blocks south, there is a public bathroom and staircase access at Diamond St. To the north there is even more parking at the separate Tourmaline Surf Park.
The restaurants and bars of Pacific Beach are a few blocks south near the Crystal Pier area. Often we will stop at one of the many casual eating areas to get something to eat. If you don’t want to get sand in your food, the grassy park above the beach is perfect for a picnic.
The waves at North Pacific Beach are relatively mild. This is a great sport for both body boarding or learning how to surf. Many surf camps are based in this area. There is a yellow and black checkered flag seperating surfing areas from swimming areas.
Overall North Pacific Beach is a quieter, easier to access section of Pacific Beach. You will not find the party scene you find on the stretch of 2-mile boardwalk from Crystal Pier to Mission Beach, but otherwise the beach is pretty similar. It is also where the land starts to rise towards La Jolla and Mt. Soledad so the scenery is also better.
Once you get better at surfing you may want to head up a few blocks to Tourmaline Surfing Park. Check out our guides to Tourmaline Surfing Park and the South Pacific Beach area for more information on this area.