Best San Diego Beaches for Running

Lace up your shoes and get some exercise on one of San Diego’s best beaches for running! The combination of great weather and beautiful coastline sets the perfect backdrop for a beach run.

By running at the beach, you are exposed to fresh air, vitamin D, and beautiful scenery, all of which you miss at the gym. Change of scenery and change of pace are exactly what you need when your day-to-day activities start feeling stale. With 70 miles of coastline, San Diego is the perfect place to get outside and go for a run at the beach!

Here are our 5 favorite beaches for running:

1. La Jolla

While La Jolla is a popular spot for kayaking, snorkeling, and paddle boarding, it’s also a great spot to for beach running. You can start at La Jolla Shores and run north towards Torrey Pines State Reserve. There are many shops and restaurants in the area if you want to stop for a post-run treat.

2. Ocean Beach

While this path isn’t directly on the beach, the views make the run worth it. Start at Ocean Beach and follow Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. We recommend running here during golden hour, as the views of the sun setting against the golden cliffs is the perfect way to end your run.

3. Mission Beach to Pacific Beach

You can either run on the paved path from North Pacific Beach to South Mission Beach or get sandy by running directly on the beach. The activities and attractions along the way are endless and provide great people watching as you run. From the Belmont Park amusement park to boutique shops, you’ll see a lot of local scenery.

4. Coronado Beach

Start at the Coronado Dog Beach and make your way to the historic Hotel del Coronado. If you prefer to run on a paved path, there’s one right off the beach. Whichever you choose, you’ll have an excellent view of the ocean and may even get to witness the Navy Seals training if you are out there at the right time!

5. Mission Bay

Although this spot isn’t on the beach, it still provides the experience of a beach run. There are many paved paths through Mission Bay Park that will give you great views of the bay and ocean.

Beach running tips:

  • Run on flat, wet sand if possible to avoid injuries.
  • Sand creates resistance, requiring more effort to run. If it’s your first time running at the beach, listen to your body and don’t overdo it.
  • Go for a run either early in the morning or later in the evening when the crowd dies down and the sun isn’t at its highest point in the sky.
  • Wear shoes to avoid getting cut by sharp objects laying in the sand.
  • Apply and reapply sunscreen. It’s recommended that you apply sunscreen 15 minutes before heading outside.

With miles of beautiful beaches for running, San Diego is the perfect place for outdoor exercise! Before heading out, don’t forget to pack plenty of water and sunscreen.


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