10 Beaches Near San Diego You Can Reach Without a Car

Reach the best beaches near San Diego by Bus

You don't need an expensive rental car to explore the best beaches in and around San Diego. With five bus stops in the San Diego area, FlixBus is the best choice for exploring this stunning part of California. In under 60 minutes from our bus stops you can easily reach a wide range of beaches. Whether you want to party, go camping, surfing, or simply relax in the sun - there's a beach just for you. We'll take a look at ten of the best beaches that you can visit by taking a FlixBus to San Diego:

  1. Mission Beach
  2. Ocean Beach
  3. Pacific Beach
  4. Imperial Beach
  5. La Jolla Beach
  6. La Jolla Cove Beach
  7. Black's Beach
  8. Solana Beach
  9. San Elijo State Beach
  10. Coronado Beach

What is the closest beach to downtown San Diego?

Coronado Beach and Pacific Beach are the nearest beaches to downtown San Diego, each offering unique experiences and attractions for beach lovers.

Coronado Beach

Ocean Blvd, Coronado, CA 92118 

Coronado Beach, just 6 miles from downtown San Diego, is a slice of paradise with its vast golden sands and idyllic setting. Perfect for families and those seeking a relaxed beach day, the beach is well-known for its scenic views. Facilities include restrooms, picnic areas, and volleyball courts, ensuring a comfortable visit. 

How to get there: FlixBus stops conveniently in San Diego. From there, public transportation such as the MTS bus can be taken to reach Coronado Beach, promising a short and scenic journey to this beautiful destination.

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA 

About a 15-minute drive from downtown San Diego, Pacific Beach vibrates with youthful energy and a sociable atmosphere. Renowned for its lively boardwalk, beach volleyball, and surfing opportunities, it's a haven for those seeking a more active beach experience. The area is replete with dining and shopping options, making it a hub for both leisure and entertainment. 

How to get there: Accessible via the San Diego FlixBus stops, Pacific Beach can be reached using local MTS bus services. This journey offers a quick way to dive into the exciting beach life that Pacific Beach is celebrated for.

Both Coronado Beach and Pacific Beach showcase the diverse beach experiences that San Diego has to offer. Whether you're looking for relaxation or adventure, these beaches are a must-visit and are just a short journey from downtown San Diego. They are both equally accessible for those staying in the old town San Diego area too

Mission Beach

From the San Diego Old Town FlixBus stop, Mission Beach is just a 20-minute ride away on the number 8 bus. Mission Boulevard runs alongside the beach and almost two miles of boardwalk, ideal for walking or renting a bike. The beach is a hive of activity both day and night. 

Bars along Mission Beach offer a place to unwind and dine. Sandbar Sportsbar & Grill is a great example of casual dining with a menu of breakfasts, burgers, and award-winning tacos. Live DJs on the Skydeck bring the place to life at night.

The top things to do in Mission Beach include the giant dipper rollercoaster at the Belmont Park amusement park, which is a restored 1925 original. Beach volleyball, fishing, and designated swimming areas add to the many activities on offer at Mission Beach.

Ocean Beach

Take the number 35 bus from Rosecrans and Moore Street near the FlixBus stop in San Diego Old Town to get to Ocean Beach in just 20 minutes

Wondering what to do in Ocean Beach? With its laid-back vibe, Ocean Beach is ideal for surfing and hanging out around a fire pit. Explore the antique shops, go fishing on the half-mile long pier, or go swimming in a lifeguard supervised area - the choice is yours. 

At the north end of Ocean Beach, Dog Beach is a haven for furry friends. Classic VW surf vans match the 70s feel of the area. Grab a famous burger at Hodad's or visit a brewery, and then just chill out in one of the many bars. 

Pacific Beach

Join the non-stop party at Pacific Beach, or simply P.B., from the FlixBus stop in San Diego Old Town. The number 30 bus from the Old Town Transit Center takes around 25 minutes to get to Ocean Boulevard in Pacific Beach.

There are things to do in Pacific Beach for everyone. Tourmaline Surfing Park is a surf-only part of the beach that has waves suitable for beginners. Families enjoy the north part of the beach and everyone loves the three-mile long boardwalk. Bars and restaurants along the boardwalk, bonfires on the beach, and nearby nightclubs take Pacific Beach from relaxing during the day to electric at night.

Imperial Beach

Imperial Beach is around 30 minutes from the FlixBus stop at Sant Ysidro and 60 minutes from the FlixBus stop at the Santa Fe Depot Station. Located just five miles north of Mexico, Imperial Beach is a sleepy beach town with a more relaxed atmosphere than other beaches in the San Diego area. 

Bonfires on the beach are permitted within the designated fire rings. The Imperial Beach Pier is a great spot for fishing, enjoying views of Los Coronados Islands and beautiful sunsets. A gentle stroll along the boardwalk or a quiet day on the sand are among the most popular things to do in Imperial Beach.

La Jolla Beach

The FlixBus stop in La Jolla connects to local buses to the beach, which take under 45 minutes.

La Jolla Shores beach is around a mile long and has gentle waves making it popular with families and others looking for a relaxing day at the beach. At La Jolla Shores, Scripps Pier and Kellogg Park are popular places for hanging out and enjoying the scenery.

Harmless leopard sharks gather at La Jolla in the summer months, so you may spot some during a swim. The La Jolla Underwater Park is a 6000-acre area of reef, kelp beds, sand flats, and a 500-foot deep canyon. Diving or snorkeling in the deep water gives you a whole new perspective on La Jolla, with a range of colorful fish, squid, seals, and more waiting to be spotted.

La Jolla Cove Beach

For those heading to La Jolla Cove Beach, the FlixBus La Jolla stop is less than 40 minutes away. Take the number 30 bus from La Jolla Village Drive and Genesee Avenue. 

La Jolla Cove is a small bay to the south of La Jolla Beach off Torrey Pines Road accessed via stairs. With a small beach and calm waters, it is a popular destination for snorkeling. Explore beneath the waves to see the local marine life, including the orange garibaldi fish. Sea caves at either side of the cove can be reached by kayak or on foot at low tide.

Among the top things to do in La Jolla Cove is watching the seals and sea lions that populate the area. Listen out for the barks and you may see them lounging on the sand or nearby rocks.

Black's Beach

Located around 45 minutes from the FlixBus stop at La Jolla, Black’s Beach is another easy-to-reach San Diego beach. This secluded beach is around two miles long and is accessed via a long, steep trail from the Gliderport, where hang gliders and paragliders take off from. 

Black's Beach was named after the family who once owned a farm at the top of the cliffs. The beach is now known for great surfing and for its nudist sunbathers. There are no amenities available at the beach, but there are restaurants on the clifftop above. The beach is safe for swimming and is patrolled by lifeguards. 

Solana Beach

The closest FlixBus stop to Solana Beach is at La Jolla. Public buses takes around 45 minutes to drive up the coast to Dahlia Drive on Highway 101.

Solana Beach comprises of Tide Beach Park with its tide pools and large reef, Fletcher Cove for swimming, Seascape Surf for watersports, and the sandy Del Mar Shores. Most parts of the beach have lifeguards on duty.

Solana is a friendly beach town with a relaxed atmosphere. With art galleries, museums, and urban wineries, the town offers plenty of things to do and see. Authentic Mexican food, gourmet sushi, and local seafood are among the dining options available.

San Elijo State Beach

San Elijo State Beach is located on the South Coast Highway 101 at Cardiff-by-the-Sea in Encinitas. Around 45 minutes from the FlixBus La Jolla stop using public transport, this beach is ideal for those who love to camp.

The San Elijo Beach Campground is positioned above the beach offering panoramic views and easy access via rustic wooden steps. The beach is more rugged than others, more quiet, and perfect for nature lovers. A popular destination for surfers, however, the strong waves and riptides can be dangerous for swimmers. There is a Mexican restaurant that is open all year and a store for rental equipment and sundry items which is only open between March and October.

Coronado Beach

Ideally located for access from the FlixBus stops in Old Town San Diego or San Ysidro Coronado Beach is easy to get to. Take the 901 bus all the way to the beach or the Coronado Island Ferry, both take under an hour in total to reach the beach.

Coronado Beach is located on Coronado Island just off the San Diego coast. With shimmering sands containing mica, popular things to do are sunbathing, water sports, and gentle strolls. Surfing is permitted in certain areas and the area is great for swimming. Here, there are beach volleyball courts and fire rings. North Beach is a dog-friendly place on the island.