Silver Strand State Beach: The Perfect Place to PLAY
Sunrise, Sand, Surf, Swim, Sunset, Silver Strand… SUMMER! We had the pleasure recently of staying at one of our favorite beach destinations, Silver Strand State Beach in Southern California. We have been fortunate enough to stay here almost annually for the past several years. This beach is an ideal getaway for enjoying everyone’s favorite season (although, I am more of a winter guy). With the pristine beach, friendly campground, recreation opportunities, and nearby amenities, it is incredibly hard to beat a relaxing trip to Silver Strand State Beach.
Probably the most important point to start with, this beach is by far one of the cleanest in all of Southern California, and definitely in San Diego. Although much of the cleanliness can be attributed to the day use fee needed to visit, it’s more than worth it to avoid the craziness of some nearby beaches.
Not only are the beaches more enjoyable because they are cleaner, but the traffic is significantly reduced from the other massively overcrowded (lack of visible nature half the time) alternatives in the area. Especially on those perfect summer days, no one likes stepping on more beach towels than sand on their way down to the water. Silver Strand offers a peaceful escape from it and you can drift off to sleep listening to the serene sound of rhythmic waves rushing up the shoreline (more about that in a second).
Speaking of waves, this spot is a favorite among the more down-to-earth surf crowd as it’s known for having a lot of space to work with. Some surfers have told us they enjoy the welcoming atmosphere many of the local riders provide. In other areas, surfing can easily become very territorial!
RV Camping at Silver Strand State Beach
The best way to enjoy Silver Strand is to turn it into a full multi-day vacation. What better way to enjoy it than to stay at their beachfront campground? I have yet to find a more relaxing experience than waking up (nice and early) and walking out of the camper right onto the soft white sand. Even if there is a marine layer, it is still just as magical. Sipping coffee or cocoa (or tea if you are my wife) and walking out onto the beach bundled up first thing? Ahh. Perfect.
Our little man sure found it to be very relaxing as he crawled into the hammock and went to sleep for the first time ever on his own! Our son is not the greatest sleeper, and therefore usually needs some snuggling to go down for a nap. However, the beach life got to him and he went to sleep in a hammock of all places 100% on his own! So for that, we’d like to give an additional shout out to the relaxing vibes of Silver Strand. Meanwhile, the campgrounds have pretty much anything you might need in terms of amenities, so adults can find their inner zen as well.
The campsites have full hookups and there is even a restroom facility with a tank dump for your RV (and sometimes a “honey pot” service for you RV veterans). Now you may think with these facilities and a prime location that such a campground would cost an arm and a leg, but you’d be gladly mistaken! The rates vary between the Beachfront spots and the cheaper Inland sites (don’t worry, you’re still only a 30-second walk from the beach), but the nightly rates are cheaper than even most motel rooms in the area.
What’s the catch? This place books up fast. I mean, VERY fast. However, with a little bit of persistence, you can still occasionally find spots within a few weeks. We typically book out six months in advance, and would recommend visiting during “shoulder season.” I mean this is San Diego after all, there isn’t much of one anyway (more like an extended summer).
One final note on camping:
With wildfire being so prevalent in the area, contained fire pits are only allowed within your campsite boundary. But for those who really want to enjoy a full bonfire on the beach, there are a few beach fire rings available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For those looking for some calmer waters, a pedestrian tunnel walk takes you to the other side of the Silver Strand isthmus to the San Diego Bay. The more still water on this side allows for some excellent swimming, just be careful not to go out of the designated area. Pair these waters with the excellent wind conditions and you’ve also got an amazing area to let out your inner swashbuckler and go sailing (can I get an argghh, matey?).
All corny jokes aside, the Crown Cove Aquatic Center run by Southwestern College is conveniently located right at the end of the tunnel and offers kayaking and Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boarding equipment for use. The latter I am definitely not good at, so be sure to follow our stories to find out more about my experience at Lake Chelan, Washington. I am sure one day soon I won’t be too embarrassed to share it 😉
If you’re visiting during the colder months, do not worry. There are still plenty of great trails along both sides for taking a stroll or even a relaxing bike ride through the protected habitats lining the highway. Wheel Fun Rentals in Coronado is the go-to for renting all sorts of bicycles, tag-a-longs, kid trailers, surreys and tandems to stroll down the Bayshore Bikeway.
Coronado & Imperial Beach
Since we’re on the subject, I will mention that you can’t find EVERYTHING you need on the isthmus. However, a short drive south will take you to Imperial Beach to find grocery stores and some quick bites, and north will lead you to beautiful Coronado Island. There are so many things to mention about Coronado, it requires an entire article or two all for itself. More to come. 🙂
For now, I will just say that no visit to the area is complete without stopping by the world-famous Hotel del Coronado, a gorgeous beach resort in the wooden Victorian style. This is a fairly rare architectural style and, as such, has been considered a National Historic Landmark since the late 1970’s. And since it was once considered the largest resort hotel in the world, there is plenty to see when you take a tour of the amazing grounds.
Beaches, boards, bikeways, and bonfires are only some of the amazing things you’ll experience when you make Silver Strand State Beach your summer getaway! Find more information on their website here. If you liked this article, be sure to check out our tips on where to visit in San Diego with kids!
Ever had the pleasure of visiting Silver Strand or Coronado Island? Planning a relaxing summer vacation to another awesome spot? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to follow us using the social media buttons below for more travel tips and adventure tales!