By Chloe Mulliner, on August 22, 2019

Ultimate Guide to Black’s Beach San Diego

One of the many reasons that San Diego is often called “America’s Finest City” is the weather, which is beautiful year-round. So it makes sense that many of its locals and visitors love to fine-tune their tans…without those pesky tan lines. Their secret? Visiting Black’s Beach San Diego, the first public nude beach in California and still one of the largest.

What You Need to Know

Surfers exiting water at Black's Beach San Diego.
Attribution: Via Sebastien Burel/
Originally a clothing-optional beach, these days Black’s Beach only permits this dress code (or lack thereof) on its southern portion. The precise location for Black’s Beach begins about 100 yards south of the Torrey Pines Gliderport Trailhead, up through the steel buoy south of Flatrock Point. One of the best ways to get to the ultimate nude beach in San Diego is to enjoy a scenic Torrey Pines hike to get there.


Is Black’s Beach a Good Place to Surf?

Black’s Beach is also one of the best surf breaks in Southern California. It isn’t for the faint of heart, so if you are a beginner, you may want to consider observing the experienced surfers from a safe distance. If you’re an experienced California surfer, you are probably already aware of the benefits of a wetsuit. Nude beach or not, Black’s Beach surf is no exception, and we recommend throwing on the neoprene for this part of your day; you’ll thank us later.


What to Bring

Keep in mind there is no boardwalk packed with restaurants, bars, and markets, so if you plan to spend the day surfing and enjoying your freedom from tan lines, consider packing a lunch and plenty of water. Make sure you bring sun block to protect those areas that don’t see daylight very often. If you are one of those travelers who can’t sit still for long without doing something, this beach is for you! Typically pretty wide open, this is a great opportunity to bring whatever beach games you have been itching to break out.


When to Go

San Diego weather is extremely moderate year-round, so there aren’t really any bad times to plan your trip. However, something to keep in mind is “May Gray” and “June Gloom.” During May and June, the thick marine layer on the coast tends to block the sun for the morning and a portion of the early afternoon. So if you are here during that time and wake up to overcast, don’t stress it too much as it will likely burn off later in the day.


Closest Airport and Transportation

Looking into flights to San Diego? Black’s Beach is located less than 20 miles north of the airport, so you have some options. Rent a car and continue exploring the rest of the county, or easily catch a cab or rideshare right outside the terminal.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of hotels in San Diego, but here are three neighborhoods you could consider for your trip:

  • Black’s Beach is located in La Jolla, CA, so staying in downtown La Jolla would be the closest option for your beach getaway.
  • The UTC neighborhood also has plenty of shopping and entertainment to keep you busy after your day in the sun.
  • A few beaches south is the popular and lively town of Pacific Beach, where you will find no shortage of bars, restaurants, and people watching.

What Else to Do in San Diego

Aerial photo of downtown La Jolla, one of the top places to stay when visiting Black's Beach.
Via Kyle Sprague/

Visiting here isn’t all about the beaches, there are plenty of other activities to satisfy your dry-land needs while in town. Look into other low-cost things to do in San Diego:

  • Closer to the airport is the world famous San Diego Zoo where you can meet its nearly 4,000 animals, as well as enjoy beautiful green space.
  • Want to check out the salt water without getting sandy? Hop on a Harbor Cruise and see all there is to see in the San Diego Bay.
  • Explore above and beneath the waves of La Jolla by taking a guided kayak and snorkel tour.

Black’s Beach San Diego will certainly provide lifelong memories, but there is also so much more to see and do. Tell us about your favorite way to enjoy San Diego on a budget.

Header image: Via Kyle Sprague/