La Jolla is a beautiful part of the San Diego shoreline. However, this rocky coast is not always the best for traditional beach goers. Marine Street Beach is a fairly small beach, but it is one of the few sandy places in central La Jolla where people have plenty of room to layout.
Beach Type: Small, Scenic, Sandy beach
Access: Short staircase
Parking: Free street parking
Good For: Laying out in the Sun, Surfing, Swimming, Tidepools, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving
Not Good For: People needing facilities and ease of access, inexperienced swimmers/surfers
Marine Street Beach is south of central La Jolla Village, at the end of Marine Street. This is a residential area, but it is close to the many restaurants along Pearl St and La Jolla Boulevard. Being somewhat off the beaten track, it is more of local’s beach. Free parking can usually be found along the streets.
Parking is usually not too much of an issue, assuming you are willing to walk several blocks. Of course, on busy summer days it can become quite crowded. The main attraction is the wide sandy beach area, a rarity in this part of La Jolla.
The shore to the north and south of Marine Street Beach is quite rocky. During low tides, it can be fun to go out on the rocks and check out the tide pools. Like much of La Jolla, the surf can be rough. It is fine for little kids to play in the sand by the water, but only experienced swimmers should venture out.
When it comes to surfing, Marine Street Beach is similar to places like Windansea Beach where locals are extremely protective of their turf. Once again, I recommend the Don Winslow novel The Gentlemen’s Hour that features surfers fighting turf wars in this general area.
Of course, many people like the rougher waves for both bodyboarding and surfing. Overall, Marine Street Beach is more moderate than Windansea about a mile to the south. However, families with children looking for a beach in La Jolla are probably better served a few miles up the road at La Jolla Shores.
One of the fun things to do at Marine Street Beach is walk to the rocks just north at an area called Nicholson Point/Whispering Sands beach. This is a great area for climbing on rocks and exploring tide pools. However, the name is somewhat misleading. If you want sand go to Marine Street Beach, not Whispering Sands.
Marine Street Beach makes a great quick stop before or after a meal in the area. Two of our favorite pizza places, Carino’s and Pizza on Pearl are within a couple of blocks. The Taco Stand is one of the best casual Mexican places in San Diego and El Pescador Fish Market is a legendary fish place.
If you go on our walk through central La Jolla, it starts near Marine Street Beach and heads up the coast towards La Jolla Cove.