If you’re looking for a day at the beach without all the hassles of trying to park in Mission Beach or Pacific Beach, you may want to try Silver Strand State Beach located just south of Coronado and about 25-minutes from downtown San Diego. True, there aren’t any of the bars, restaurants, and shops that you’ll find in MB or PB, but there is an expansive beach for your enjoyment.
Silver Strand State Beach spans across the entire isthmus, with facilities on the harbor side of the strand as well. In fact, I was surprised to learn about the Crown Cove Aquatic Center—a facility of Southwestern College—that offers a variety of programs and courses (see more below).
On the ocean side of the park, you can certainly swim, surf, fish, kiteboard, and stroll knee-deep in the surf. On the harbor side, you can stand-up paddleboard, swim, sail, and kayak. There are picnic areas located throughout both sides of the park. Pedestrian tunnels under CA 75 make it easy to walk from one side of the park to the other (no driving allowed).
If you’re into birdwatching, the park is home to Brandt’s cormorants, gulls, terns, sanderlings, and loons. South of the park is the Silver Strand Natural Preserve. It’s where the endangered Western Snowy Plovers nest.
Bring your bicycle and you can ride some or all of the Bayshore Bikeway, a 24-mile route that goes from the Coronado Ferry Landing, down the Strand, all the way around the bay to the Broadway Street Pier in downtown San Diego.
Crown Cove Aquatic Center
Southwestern College in Chula Vista offers a variety of courses and programs at the Crown Cove Aquatic Center located within the park. Courses and activities available include:
- College Activity Courses where you can earn credit for Stand-Up Paddleboard, volleyball, sailing, surfing, and sea kayaking.
- Recreational Paddling, Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga, private lessons, and team building.
- Youth Camps for kids 7-18 with programs like Spring Sailing Academy, Aquatic Adventure Camp, Camp Scallywag, and Leader in Training. Unfortunately, these programs are suspended because of the pandemic.
- Community CPR and First Aid Program.
CLICK HERE to learn more about each.
Camping at the Beach
If you want to be lulled to sleep by the surf hitting the shore, you can bring your camper or motorhome (up to 40-feet) and camp along the beach (sorry, no tents). Campers must be self-contained and be able to hold gray and black water, but there is a dump station available. According to the park brochure, “all RV campsites have water and electric hookups.”
CLICK HERE to make your camping reservations online.
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What You Need to Know
|Location:||5000 Highway 75|
Coronado, CA 92118
|Transit:||MTS Bus 901 stops near the park entrance.|
|Hours:||Open 7 a.m. year-round|
Close 7 p.m. November 1 – February 28
Close 8 p.m. March 1 – Thursday before Memorial Day AND Tuesday after Labor Day – October 31
Close 9 p.m. Friday before Memorial Day – Labor Day
|Cost:||Day Use Fee: $10 Monday – Friday; $12 Saturday and Sunday|
Camping Fees: $65 Beachfront; $50 Inland
|Tips:||Once the gates are closed and locked in the evening, campers staying at the beach are not permitted entry or exit to the park.|
There technically is a concession stand at the park, but it was closed when I was there. It wasn’t apparent if that was a seasonal closure or a permanent closure.
Except for service animals, dogs are allowed only in the parking lot on a 6-foot leash and not on the beach.
Silver Strand State Beach has been closed on occasion for water quality issues (typically after a heavy rain and there’s excessive flow from the Tijuana River). You can check the current water quality status here: http://www.sdbeachinfo.com/#
|Date Visited:||Saturday, 5 February 2022|
Click to enlarge image.