La Jolla Shores, San Diego
La Jolla Shores is a mile-long beach within the city limits of San Diego, so it's near a residential area. The water is for the most part warm and the waves gentle, but when swimming in one of the areas designated for that purpose be aware that rip tides are prevalent so you probably want to stay near a life guard station.
It's a great place for water sports. Besides the swimming, there's also an area set aside for surfing, and there are many beginner scuba classes held here because the waves are gentle. You can picnic in grassy Kellogg Park, which is separated from the beach sand by a concrete boardwalk. There's also a boat launch you can drive to along the sand (best if you have a four-wheel drive vehicle) at a very slow five miles per hour. If you want to take a side trip, visit the Stephen Birch Aquarium about a half mile away.
Photo by Lee Sie on flickr
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