Tourmaline Surfing Park is one of San Diego's most essential coastal destinations. Situated in the laidback neighbourhood of La Jolla, this famous beachfront is surrounded by steep cliffs that rise to 65 ft above the ground. With enthusiastic local surfers, kitesurfers, and sailboarders visiting Tourmaline Surfing Park most days, the place often flies under the radar for people travelling to San Diego.

This is because swimming is not allowed, and most hotels are located closer to beaches further down the coast. However, don’t let this stop you if you want to sunbathe on the pristine sand and watch as surfers carve up the sizeable waves that barrel their way towards the shoreline. With Tourmaline Surfing Park also offering picnic tables, barbecues, and accessible restrooms, it’s a lovely place to spend the day whether you’re a surfing fanatic or not.

Tourmaline Surfing Park in San Diego - one of the highlights of 10 Best Things to Do in San Diego for Couples (Read all about San Diego here)

What are the highlights of Tourmaline Surfing Park?

Naturally, the main attraction at Tourmaline Surfing Park is the incredible waves that can be found here throughout the year. If you decide to bring along your board and hit the water, you’ll quickly discover that Tourmaline’s waves tend to be slow-rolling with gentle breaks, making them better to ride with a larger board. However, there are numerous breaks along the beach that offer their own unique challenge.

If you prefer to rest on the beach and soak up the atmosphere, you’re not going to be disappointed. Outside of the hottest time of the year, Tourmaline Surfing Park doesn’t often get overrun with huge crowds, so you can enjoy the day in peace and quiet. Don’t forget to pack a lunch bag to ensure you make the most of the facilities here. With several barbecues and fire pits ready to be lit, you can cook up a storm to go with the scenery.

photo by Invertzoo (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

Where to eat, drink and shop near Tourmaline Surfing Park?

La Jolla is renowned for its diverse dining options, with Tourmaline Surfing Park situated just a short walk from some great restaurants and cafes. Oscar’s Mexican Seafood is the closest spot to visit, featuring freshly grilled fish, various types of ceviche and some of the best tacos in the area. You also can’t go wrong with an expertly made coffee and bagel from the nearby Java Earth Coffee, while Second Nature features delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes.

If you feel like wandering the shops once you’ve caught enough sun for the day, your best option is heading east to Pacific Beach. This popular neighbourhood gets considerably busier than La Jolla, with its vast range of shopping outlets and bars. You’ll find popular surfing brands like Ripcurl and Billabong spread along the bustling promenade. Meanwhile, there are many great places to get a refreshing drink, including PB Shore Club and Baja Beach Cafe.

photo by Dirk DBQ (CC BY 2.0) modified

Good to know about Tourmaline Surfing Park

Tourmaline Surfing Park is a special place to visit because it offers great amenities even though it’s located further along the coast than many visitors would consider exploring. There is ample space for parking. Well-equipped showers and restrooms are available on the beach. Plus, lifeguards are on duty throughout daytime hours to keep an eye out for dangerous situations.

If you’re planning on securing yourself a fire pit for the day, it’s a good idea to head to Tourmaline Surfing Park early as these are in hot demand. For those who manage to get one, be sure to pay close attention to your fire so it doesn’t get out of control. Although it is possible to visit this beach with your dog, be aware that they aren’t allowed between 9 am and 6 pm.

Tourmaline Surfing Park in San Diego

Location: 600 Tourmaline St, San Diego, CA 92109, USA

Hudson Brown | Contributing Writer