Tourmaline Surf Park is a small, fairly secluded beach area at the edge of La Jolla and Pacific Beach. While this is mainly a surfing spot, it is considered suitable for beginners. Also it is a short walk down to the main Pacific Beach area where swimming is allowed.
Location: Tourmaline St on border of La Jolla and Pacific Beach
Beach Type: Small beach on the edge of bluffs, specifically for surfing
Access: Small stairs from the parking lot
Parking: free parking lot
Facilities: Restrooms/changing facilities
Good For: Surfing, scenery, sunbathing
Not Good For: swimming, families with young children
Many of the streets in Pacific Beach are named after gemstones such as Diamond, Emerald, Opal, Beryl and others. Tourmaline is one of the last such streets before Pacific Beach ends a few blocks up at Turquoise St. Past Turquoise you enter La Jolla.
A major advantage of Tourmaline Surf Park is that there is a free parking that is usually not crowded. The parking lot is down a hill from the intersection of La Jolla Blvd and Tourmaline St. There is a full bathroom and changing facility at the edge of the parking lot right by the beach.
Tourmaline Surf Park is where the sandy beaches of Pacific Beach start to give way to the rocky bluffs of La Jolla. The area to the north towards Bird Rock has limited beach access and no sand. It is mainly an area to explore tide pools.
Tourmaline Surf Park was opened in 1963. The idea was to set aside an area where locals and visitors alike are welcome. This is in contrast to the more exclusive atmosphere found up the road in places like Windansea Beach. In 2008, the Tourmaline Surfer Memorial was dedicated. There is a website devoted to the memorial and Tourmaline Surf Park.
Of course, Tourmaline Surf Park is for surfers only, no swimming. However, it is a great place for both beginning surfers and those who just want to watch and soak up the sun. It also has the advantage of being near the restaurants of both La Jolla’s Bird Rock neighborhood and Pacific Beach.