Among the many beaches that run along the coastline of San Diego is the top-notch Windansea Beach in La Jolla. This is a small and narrow beach that has a rocky landscape where jutting rocks create powerful waves. Windansea is a secluded beach that offers picturesque scenery and is a prime location for photography enthusiasts. One of the most well-known features of this beach is the Windansea Shack constructed in the mid-1940s by Fred Kenyon, Don Okey, and Woody Ekstrom. The San Diego Historical Resources Board named it a historical landmark in 1998. Windansea Beach has a long reputation for being a renowned surf break, and many notable surfers like Butch van Artsdalen and Mickey Munoz have called this their home break. It continues to be a surfers’ beach today, however, you’ll still see a few sunbathers and others enjoying the view.
The Windansea Beach consistently has amazing surf breaks that are created by underwater reefs causing waves to typically reach six to eight feet. These well-known surf breaks and moderate to very harsh shore breaks make this a predominately surfers’ beach; it is not a beach destination for families. Its long history as a major surfing destination that many of the original great surfers called home, draws today’s young surfers trying to get their taste of the same waves.
What began as a popular surfing and partying destination in the 1950s continues to be a well-respected piece of San Diego culture by the locals. Windansea maintains a low profile within the upscale neighborhood of La Jolla, but for those coming to San Diego for great surf, this beach is the one on your quest for epic waves.
Swimming is allowed at the beach, but it is recommended that only experienced swimmers challenge these waters. Windansea is more suited for the adult crowd and experienced surfers. Sunbathers can enjoy the secluded nature of the beach, and couples can enjoy the rich colors of the sunset creating the perfect setting for a romantic night for two.
Tip: Be extremely careful when entering and exiting the water due to the rocks and pounding surf; it can be dangerous, and you could risk being severely injured if you are not cautious. This is especially important for those who are just swimming at this beach.
Near to the Beach
There are a ton of restaurants and hotels in the immediate area of Windansea Beach. Among some of the favorites are several ultra-casual taco shops to grab quick bites of delicious Mexican cuisine. The Windan Sea Cafe is a relaxed place just a few blocks away from the beach where you can enjoy a nice cup of soup, a crisp salad, or a warm and delicious Panini. It’s the perfect refuel food after an epic surf session. To unwind and have a laid back time after a day at the beach head to The Shack, a popular local spot for delicious beach bar eats and daily specials. Looking for some eclectic eats and amazing craft beer selections? The Promiscuous Fork should be on your radar.
A good choice for hotel accommodations just blocks from Windansea Beach is the La Jolla Beach Travelodge. It is a top choice for many, because it is relatively inexpensive for the area and offers an amazing free breakfast every morning. The La Jolla Beach Travelodge also has a pool and hot tub, the perfect place to relax your muscles at the end of a surf day. Since Windansea Beach caters primarily to surfing, those who are looking for other water activities may want to check out the other beaches in La Jolla like La Jolla Shores, La Jolla Cove, Black’s Beach, and the Children’s Pool (Seal Beach).
Windansea Beach Essentials
Lifeguards are on this beach daily during summer and on weekends the rest of the year. They start at 9 a.m. and leave at dusk. It is recommended that families with small children, unsupervised teenagers, and those with poor swimming skills, not use this beach. The parking here is very minimal. There is only one small lot that holds roughly 15 vehicles, but there is also street parking available. The parking lot is located at the end of Nautilus Street. You can also take public transportation to this beach if you want to avoid parking all together.
Windansea Beach has pretty strict rules including no alcohol, no glass containers, no littering, no disturbing noise, no camping, and no dogs. There are no restrooms or public showers located anywhere on this beach. Windansea has a singular focus on surfing the waves, and does not really serve those who want to lounge on the beach for hours.
Windansea Beach – It’s a Wrap
The majority of San Diego’s beaches are large and cater to the masses; they tend to have multiple sections for specific interests and almost constant action. Windansea Beach started off as a small, local surf spot that has seen some of history’s best surfers, and it continues its legacy with surfers of today. This is a beach that caters to the lifestyle that San Diego is most known for, the beach crowd who surfs all day and parties all night. This is the perfect destination for those who love ripping it in the water, and those who love a good sunset with a picturesque view.