. TWhen you think of San Diego, the first things that come to mind are the sun, perfect weather, and, of course, the ocean. San Diego’s immaculate beaches offer some of the best spots to kick back, relax, and enjoy the bluebird skies, clear blue waters, and ideal temperatures. But, while every beach in San Diego will surely provide smiles and sun, the neighborhoods around them can often have differing vibes. As you sit down to plan your next San Diego vacation, consider staying in a vacation rental condo or home near one of these popular coastal neighborhoods.
North County Coastal Vacation Rentals
North County is home to picturesque seaside villages with a distinct California surf vibe. Coastal North County comprises several cities, including Del Mar, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside, and Solana Beach. Here, you’ll find incredible surfing and lots of dining and shopping choices. There are several upscale malls and local boutiques, along with the famous Cedros Avenue Design District and the Carlsbad Premium Outlets. There’s everything from authentic Mexican restaurants to craft brew taprooms, wineries, and friendly taverns for eats.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed getaway with fewer crowds and you’re allowed to do your own thing, then Coastal North County might be right for you. There are outdoor adventures at every turn, including biking along the coast, fishing in the ocean, whale watching, surfing, hiking, horseback riding, and stand-up paddleboarding. Golfers will love the coastal and inland regions of North County and its more than 40 golf clubs, including top courses like Park Hyatt Aviara and Fairmont Grand Del Mar.
Coastal North County is also where you want to be if you seek family-friendly attractions like Legoland, Legoland Water Park, Del Mar Fairgrounds and Racetrack, San Diego Botanic Garden, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. You are also less than an hour from Disneyland in Anaheim and not far from downtown San Diego’s numerous attractions.
La Jolla Vacation Rentals
When you pick a vacation rental in La Jolla, you’ll be near a bunch of outdoor adventures and several beautiful sights to investigate. First and foremost, La Jolla is one of the top beaches in the world. It’s an excellent place for surfing – there are gentle, warm waters – along with swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and hang-gliding. La Jolla is also a terrific spot for whale watching. Golfers will enjoy the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course, which has hosted the U.S. Open on more than one occasion.
La Jolla has an upscale village vibe, and there are plenty of fantastic restaurants, eateries, coffee and tea shops, and another boutique retails to explore. This area is often referred to as “the jewel of San Diego,” and there are several upscale condos and private homes to rent for a vacation. Among its popular and beautiful spots are Mount Soledad and Scripps Park. The park is ideal for a picnic, evening concert, or catching the Fourth of July fireworks display. La Jolla is home to Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography and many cultural attractions like the La Jolla Playhouse and the Museum of Contemporary Art near The Village.
Vacation Rentals on Mission Bay
Mission Bay presents a little bit of everything for your San Diego vacation. There are beaches, boardwalks, and beautiful cliffs to enjoy, along with fantastic restaurants and points of interest around the bay. Mission Bay Park is the area’s signature draw. The 4,600-square-foot water park is the world’s largest aquatic playground. On top of that, it’s surrounded by more than 27 miles of shoreline, inlets, and islets where you can soak up the sun from early in the morning until late in the evening.
Plan your days around sailing, surfing, kite flying, jet skiing, wakeboarding, and stand-up paddleboarding at Mission Bay. Just off the coast are outstanding sport fishing and whale watching. On land, you can bike, hike, picnic, and barbecue. Here, you’ll find plenty of bonfires on the beach. The bay is also home to big attractions like SeaWorld. A private home vacation rental in this area is perfect for a family getaway to see all the sights.
Vacation Rentals in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are lovely gathering places for the city’s 20-something crowd. There are more than three miles of boardwalk lined with boutiques, surf shops, beach bars, and eateries. Enjoy intriguing sites like Belmont Park, the area has a fun, Spring Break vibe that lasts all year. Nearby Ocean Beach has its own distinct vibe, and unique condos and homes, with a quirky assortment of vintage stores and antique shops, artist studios, and bars along Newport Avenue and the surrounding streets.
Point Loma Peninsula Vacation Rentals
Between Ocean Beach and Point Loma is Sunset Cliffs along the Point Loma peninsula’s western shoreline. Water access is limited here, but the picturesque sunsets from the cliffs can’t be beaten. Vacation rentals in Point Loma, Harbor Island, and Shelter Island put you near great restaurants and spectacular views of the San Diego skyline. At Point Loma, you can explore the Cabrillo National Monument and enjoy panoramic views of the bay and downtown San Diego. Go to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and locate some of the best tide pooling in San Diego. It’s when low tide uncovers flowery anemones, crabs, mollusks, and a multitude of sea creatures that inhabit the reef.
A vacation rental (condo or home) near Liberty Station makes for a fun San Diego excursion. Liberty Station in Point Loma has restaurants, breweries, and the Liberty Public Market, with foods, beer, wine, pastries, and crafts stalls. There are nearly 50 museums, galleries, and studios at Liberty Station. Or tee up at the Loma Club Golf Course, a nine-hole course leftover from the old naval training facility.
Nearby Harbor Island presents a shoreline path with a steady ocean breeze for walkers, joggers, skaters, and bikers. The island is ideal for enjoying the city lights by night, the fireworks display on Independence Day, the annual boat Parade of Lights in December, and various sailing races throughout the year. Shelter Island is one of San Diego’s principal boating centers. Several short- and long-range sportfishing trips depart from here. They are vying for Yellowtail, Albacore, Halibut, Dorado, Calico Bass, and various rockfish in the ocean waters.
Vacation Rentals in Coronado
According to many sources, Coronado is consistently voted the best beach in the United States. The sandy beach has a gentle surf that’s perfect for a family vacation or romantic getaway. Aside from the beach, there are also fantastic gardens, mansions, and retail shops to discover. From your Coronado vacation rental, you can spend the day relaxing on the beach. You can go golfing at Coronado’s noted public course, or touring the island along the boardwalk.
Orange Avenue is Coronado’s main street. There are several shops and fabulous restaurants that are worthy of a closer look. Enjoy galleries, theaters, boutique shopping, tasty restaurants with fantastic seafood and local cuisines, superb views, and fun ferry rides. No trip to Coronado would be complete without a visit to the Hotel del Coronado, an inspiration for the Emerald City in “Wizard of Oz.”
South Bay Vacation Rentals
Between downtown San Diego and the Mexico border is South Bay. South Bay is home to several exciting attractions and terrific surfing. Try sport fishing, biking, bird watching, and horseback riding and beach volleyball along the coast. The Bayshore Bikeway is perfect for a family ride, and there are fabulous camping spots at Silver Strand State Beach. Bird lovers can see all types of endangered and migrating birds at the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge.
Vacation rentals in South Bay provide easy access to Imperial Beach and the Tijuana Estuary. Also, the biggest saltwater marsh in Southern California. The Living Coast Discovery Center, Aquatica SeaWorld’s Waterpark, and the Sleep Train Amphitheater all offer exhibits and performances.
Private homes and condo vacation rentals in South Bay are great for individuals, couples or families. Anyone that wants to experience a rich culture that exemplifies the best of the U.S. and Mexico. The Barrio Logan neighborhood is home to Chicano Park, a national landmark. It has the largest concentration of Chicano Murals in the world, with over 80 paintings.