Best Beaches in San Diego CheapOair Staff September 8, 2011 Beach Vacations, Interests Sunset Cliffs For most of the country, the passing of Labor Day weekend signifies the end of summer and the onset of cooler temperatures. Thankfully, San Diego is not like the rest of the country. September and October are amongst the best times of year to enjoy this city’s beaches, which are amongst the top in the country. If you are looking to extend your summer on one of San Diego’s beaches but don’t know which beach is best, here are five great spots to enjoy the surf, sand, and scenery. Best beach to see and be seen – Pacific Beach: Surfers hanging ten, girls in bikinis, and quirky characters hanging out by the boardwalk all make this the beach for people watching in San Diego. Whether you bike, roller blade, or stroll, be sure to take time to fully explore the boardwalk and grab a fish taco from one of the many local taco stands. The best people watching usually involves crowds so be prepared for them during warm weekends. Best beach to enjoy with your four-legged friends – Coronado Dog Beach: A visit to the Coronado Dog Beach is sure to make any canine delirious with salt water soaked happiness. The setting is picture perfect, with the iconic Hotel Del Coronado serving as the backdrop and dolphins frequently scenes jumping in the distant waves. Bonus – doggy-doodie bags and a hose puppy showers are provided. Parking is free but can be a challenge on busy summer weekends. Best beach for tide pools and ends of the earth views – Cabrillo National Monument: Cabrillo National Monument boasts two strikingly different sides. On one side of Point Loma, views are dominated by the downtown skyline and bustling San Diego Harbor. On the ocean side of the point, the views are wild. Waves crash into the cliffs, the horizon feels more like the end of the Earth, and the tide pools are filled with life. Be sure to visit the pools during low tide, when rocky outcroppings normally covered with water are exposed to reveal limpets, sea stars, hermit crabs, anemones and more. Best beach for a romantic sunset and a bit of adventure – Sunset Cliffs: Getting down to the beach at Sunset Cliffs can be a little tricky at high tide. It involves some sure footedness and a rope. But if you come at low tide, you can simply walk down the stairs to the sand below. After your adventure down below, climb back up and have a picnic on the grassy cliffs while watching the sun drop into the water from atop some of the most stunning cliffs in California. Best beach for building a sandcastle – Imperial Beach: Every year, tens of thousands of people converge on a strip of sand within sight of the US/Mexico border to listen to music, eat some street food, and watch the largest sandcastle competition in the US take shape. If you happen to stumble upon Imperial Beach during this special midsummer weekend, prepare to be amazed. If you decide to book a flight to San Diego and visit Imperial Beach, go for a stroll on the pier and then take advantage of the primo castle-building sand by creating a supreme sculpture of your very own.