Experience state parks year round.

Carlsbad State Beach

For some great surf, head to Tamarack, the Warm Water Jetty or the Terramar, near the lagoon. Beautiful sea walls and a myriad of facilities offer swimming, surfing, scuba diving, fishing and beach-combing.

Photo Credit: Donna Pagakis

Carlsbad State Beach

Getting There

Carlsbad State Beach is located on the San Diego Coast. This small beach is located at the foot of coastal bluffs, south of the town on Carlsbad, on Carlsbad Boulevard, Highway S21 at Tamarack. There is terrific state park parking right on the beach, a lifeguard station and easy access (no bluffs), which is great for families with kids or people with mobility issues. This is almost like a two-for-one deal, as South Carlsbad State Beach is just down the road!

Things to Do

Best things to do in August:

  • Swimming
  • Surfing
    Don't know how? Take surf lessons! So Cal Surf operates at two convenient locations in Carlsbad during the months of May through August providing surf lessons to the public. For more information visit the So Cal Surf website or call (760) 672-2770.
  • Scuba diving
  • Fishing
  • Beachcombing

Trip Tips/Things to See

What the locals know:

  • Keep your eyes peeled for the low flying squadrons of pelicans.
  • Bikers have plenty of room on coast highway.
  • South Carlsbad State Beach stretches from La Costa Avenue to Palomar Airport Road and includes a popular 220 site camping area and two day-use areas. There's a lifeguard station, easy access to restrooms, outdoor showers and the beach, lots of parking and wonderful views all the way up the coast from the terrace up the stairs above the state park.
  • RVer's love to search for unique spots. At South Carlsbad State Beach RV park you can pull up to the edge of the bluff. Enjoy your coffee, looking out the front window, watching the dolphins (or human paddleboarders) frolic 100 yards in front of you. No hookups, but it's a wonderful spot. Book way in advance the spots fill up fast.
  • South of the campground toward South Carlsbad at Ponto, the cliffs disappear, and the beach opens up to Coast Hwy 101. This section of beach is unusually wide and sandy. The surrounding area is undeveloped, making this one of the nicest beaches in the county.
  • There are lots of cool attractions nearby to check out while you're there.
    Carlsbad Village (located downtown, it has lots of shops and restaurants).
    LEGOLAND and Sea Life Aquarium
    Leo Carrillo Ranch Historical Park
    GIA Museum (gems)
    Aviara & Rancho Carlsbad Golf Courses
    Museum of Making Music
    The Coaster Train (2 stations in Carlsbad)

Nearby State Parks

Some state parks close to Carlsbad include:

  • South Carlsbad State Beach
  • Leucadia State Beach
  • Moonlight State Beach
  • San Elijo State Beach
  • Cardiff State Beach
  • Torrey Pines State Beach
  • Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

More Resources

Department of Parks and Recreation: Official Park Webpage

More Fun Ideas at: Weekend Sherpa



California State Parks Foundation

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