This post may contain affiliate links for which we would earn a small commission at no cost to you. If you want to read more about it, check out our disclaimer.
Of all the neighborhoods in San Diego, Windansea Beach, located in La Jolla, has to be my favorite. Andrew and I had the opportunity to live a few blocks from Windansea Beach for a few months, and we so enjoyed exploring this quiet and calm neighborhood. We quickly found out there were many things to do in this beautiful sea-side neighborhood.
From breakfasts at Cafe Vahik to listening to the waves crash at night, we loved every minute of our time here. While there are many things to do in La Jolla, we found Windansea to be the perfect neighborhood for us. Now, if only we could afford one of these homes!
Keep reading to find out more about our favorite things to do in Windansea Beach!
Where to Stay at Windansea
We (including Samson!) stayed at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites La Jolla. This hotel was great, and we utilized their pool and fitness center several times. While we explored San Diego during the day, we always enjoyed coming back to the Holiday Inn. Because we stayed there for so long, we got to know some of the staff too, and they were so kind. If you’re looking for a quiet, affordable hotel in La Jolla, this is certainly your best bet and with only a few blocks to the beach!
Across from the Holiday Inn is The Shoal La Jolla Beach Hotel which is a bit more boutiquey (but still very affordable!). They were under construction when we lived in La Jolla, but the rooms on their website look beautiful. The reviews appear to be in favor of the hotel as well.
With either of these accommodations, just know you are only a few blocks from the beach!
Our Top 5 Things To Do In Windansea
1. Swim or Surf at Windansea Beach
When visiting San Diego and looking for a day in the sun, you have quite a few beaches to choose from. Most popular are Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, then you have La Jolla Shores, Ocean Beach and so on. But, in our opinion, the most beautiful beach in San Diego is Windansea Beach.
Located at 6600 Neptune Place between Westbourne St and Palomar Ave, Windansea Beach is a long and narrow piece of shoreline frequented by surfers. Several underwater reefs at Windansea makes the beach perfect for surfing. Keep in mind surfing at Windansea Beach is *not* for newbies. This is an expert spot.
Due to the reef, there is moderate shore break which does not make it the most ideal place for swimming. However, we’ve always seen swimmers there, and there are certainly lifeguards there to keep you safe!
What makes Windansea Beach unique is the raised bits of sandstone you can sunbathe on. We’ve also seen people take professional photos on and in between the sandstone, especially at sunset. It is quite picturesque!
If you’re considering visiting Windansea Beach (which I hope you are!), check out the high and low tide for the day. During high tide, there won’t be any places besides the top of rocks for you to lay.
For any of our readers who love photography, this is a great place to do it at! You can fly your drone above the surfers or take shots of the Surf Shack from the sandstone.
2. Visit the Surf Shack
When visiting Windansea Beach, you’ll be sure to see the famous Surf Shack built by three surfers in 1947. Several times since then, the Surf Shack has been destroyed but always rebuilt back to its original glory. The hut itself was designated a historical landmark by the San Diego Historical Resources Board in 1998.
3. Stroll down Camino De La Costa to admire the luxury homes
Because our fluffy pal, Samson, was often cooped up in a hotel room, we often took long walks around the Windansea neighborhoods. Our favorite street to stroll along was Camino De La Costa, located just south of Windansea Beach. This street was lined with the most incredible homes with luxury cars in every driveway. Andrew and I often joked, “Which one are we going to buy?” while strolling down the street. Once you reach the end of this street, you’re in Bird Rock which is another great neighborhood to explore.
Another option is to walk north through the neighborhoods to La Jolla Cove from Windansea. It’s about a 30 minute walk (1.7 miles from Windansea beach). We’ve done this as well, and there are still very beautiful homes and scenery to gawk over.
4. Find Hidden Beaches
Along Camino De La Costa are several “hidden beaches” or beautiful vantage points of the ocean that we were excited to find.
Before Winamar Street, there is a walkway to the southernmost point of Windansea Beach if you want to check out. Keep walking south down Camino De La Costa, and you’ll find several more secluded pull offs. A few are just spots to sit and admire the ocean, but there is also one you can climb down. We were there when the tide was low and let Samson swim (probably not allowed, but again, you’re secluded). We always turned around once we reached Bird Rock.
Oftentimes, we were the only ones in these secluded spots which made it all the better!
5. Enjoy breakfast at Cafe Vahik and lunch/dinner at Promiscuous Fork
One of our go-to weekend breakfast spots while staying in La Jolla was Cafe Vahik. After we got tired of the free Holiday Inn breakfast, we walked right across the street to this gem of a breakfast place. With seating inside and outside, this cafe served up delicious coffee with super satisfying breakfast plates. Our favorite thing about Cafe Vahik was their incredible fresh sourdough bread! Service was always speedy, and the staff was always friendly.
Another place we often frequented for dinner was Promiscuous Fork. We always ordered take out from here because we found the restaurant to be too tiny and too busy for our liking. The tacos and burgers did not disappoint!
We feel so fortunate to be able to have stayed in this beautiful neighborhood for 3 months. We were quickly embraced as locals and enjoyed everything the Windansea neighborhood has to offer.
Looking for more things to do in La Jolla, check out the Top 20 Things To Do In La Jolla, California . If you’re wondering what else there is to do in San Diego, be sure to read The 25 Things You Can’t Miss in San Diego, California and 3 Epic Experiences For Adrenaline Junkies in San Diego.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are dogs allowed on Windansea Beach?
Yes and no. Dogs are not allowed on the beach between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. from November 1 through March 31, as well between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from April 1 through October 31.
We have taken Samson to play on the beach before 9 AM, and he loved it!
Can you have a bonfire at Windansea Beach?
No. There are no fire pits available at Windansea Beach. But head on over to La Jolla Shores, Tourmaline, Ocean Beach and Moonlight Beach if you want to chill around a fire.
Is Windansea Beach kid-friendly?
Yes. Keep a close eye on your kiddos if they want to go swimming due to the moderate shore break. Also, the rocks get super slippery when wet. Just be careful and watchful.
Is there parking at Windansea Beach?
Yes and it’s free! But there are only about 18 spots. You can find other parking on the side streets. Try Camino De La Costa and Avenida Cresta.