La Playa Beach – Point Loma’s Wonderful Hidden Beach

by on September 12, 2013 · 4 comments

in Culture, Environment, Ocean Beach

La Playa Beach- Google MapsTucked away behind Shelter Island the La Playa bayfront beach is a gem for families and relaxing

By John P. Anderson

The following is an excerpt of the original post at San Diego Free Press.

  1. Address: La Playa beach (McCall Street at San Antonio Avenue, Point Loma) Google Maps link
  2. Best For: Watching boats and swimmers, reading in the sun, building sand castles

As a stay-at-home father I’m constantly looking for outdoor activities to do with my kids. We frequent playgrounds, the San Diego Zoo, beaches, and spend a lot of time walking around North Park.

Recently a friend from Point Loma mentioned that the La Playa beach is a great place for playing in the sand. The name was completely foreign to me and the location (all the way south on Rosecrans until you’re about to enter Fort Rosecrans) didn’t sound like a winner but I decided to check it out.

La Playa Beach 1I was very glad I did – the beach is wonderful for toddlers and small children. Behind the south-west end of Shelter Island the water is very calm and the sand is good, if not great. Houses on San Antonio Avenue back up to the beach so there is even some shade from trees which is very rare on San Diego beaches and very convenient with a baby to keep out of direct sun.

There is not a view of Downtown, it’s blocked by Shelter Island, but to the south you can see out into the Pacific Ocean and watch ships large and small coming and going.

There are a wide variety of activities going on in this corner of San Diego Bay. Yachts and sailboats cruise by, paddle boarders are present as well as kayakers, children float on boogie boards, people walk their dogs (or their spouses) – a very active aquatic scene. I recently saw a woman towing her dog on a boogie board back and forth in the water which was really fun to watch.

La Playa Beach 4There are a couple of drawbacks to La Playa – there is little parking (on-street only, no lot) and no restrooms. Parking has been very easy on my visits but the lack of restrooms has been an issue with a toddler in potty-training mode.

Overall La Playa is a great place to visit in the late afternoon when the shade is most plentiful and you can savor the close of another wonderful day in our great city.

It offers a wholly different beach experience from most of the sandy spots in San Diego since it’s so quiet and calm. If you’re looking for a new place to spend a few hours with or without children, I highly recommend it.

For more photos of La Playa beach, go here to San Diego Free Press.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Wireless Mike September 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm

When I was a toddler, my mom used to take us kids to this beach to play. It was quiet, empty and no rowdy people, perfect for families with small children. A little known jewel in Point Loma.


John September 12, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Toward the end of bringing small children you might have mentioned the obvious: It’s sheltered from waves found on the western beaches that might wash the little cherub faced frolickers into Davey Jones’ locker if you looked away.
Leaving the not so obvious: How’s the water in the bay these days? While it’s close to the mouth of the bay, there was a not too distant past time when you’d be nuts to eat fish caught from the bay or swim in it. Decades of environmental reform legislature has surely helped end the wholesale dumping, but I’m not so sure there isn’t still a lot of sneaky dumping going on- not just industrial but private boat owners too. Then there’s the Navy…
Maybe best to keep them out of the water when the tide is moving out. While that’s probably a whole topic best left on its own, is anyone even testing it? Or is it like the water near the old Mission Bay landfill, the worst kept secret around that nobody wants to talk about?


gailpowell September 13, 2013 at 10:33 pm

This is a very nice article on the beach, which is also known as “Mother’s Beach” and “Kellogg Beach” among long time locals.
I would hasten to add that all is not idyllic down there, particularly near the Yacht Club area. Some shady types hang out drinking alcohol and running large dogs off leash.. There has been issues with graffiti a few years back. Please enjoy my CNN iReport on the decline of the La Playa beach:


Frank Gormlie September 14, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Wireless, John and gailpowell – and John Anderson:

Yes, it was or is called “Kellogg’s Beach” as members of my family have gone there since the early Sixties, especially with small kids. But I also have to echo John’s concerns – it would be good to be reassured by somebody that the water in that area and off that beach is safe.

But then again, much of San Diego’s inland coastal waters are suspect. As John hints, the waters in eastern Mission Bay are not too pleasant, but you see kids and people in and around that area all the time, especially this time of year.

John Anderson – congrats, this article is very popular. I wonder if the locals will now despise you.

Thanks gail – for the link; interesting hit on what else is going on in and around that beach.


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