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South Carlsbad Surf Spot


Carlsbad has many miles of coastline within it's city limits so here is our attempt to cover all of them and provide as much information as possible about each and every surf spot and beach in Carlsbad.

Carlsbad is a very beautiful community with many awesome surf spots and some even better beaches. There are many options from Tamarack to the warm water jetties to the Campgrounds. Here is a look at the Campgrounds and surrounding breaks.


Location:

Carlsbad is located South of Oceanside and North of the Encinitas area and covers a long stretch of coastline with some awesome views and great surf. There are many different ways to access the beach in Carlsbad but one thing to remember is that Old Highway 101 is split into two separate roads as it enters Carlsbad and while you are heading North on 101, it can be somewhat of a challenge to reach the beach.

As my Directions will indicate, I find it much easier to access this portion of Carlsbad from the North so that you don't have to deal with U-Turns and crossing across side streets to get to where you want to be.

Because there are several parking lots and ways to reach the beach, I will be referring to them as the North and South parking lot. Both of these lots lead to the South Carlsbad beach but these definitions will help clarify.
 

Click Here for Directions
 

The Parking Scenario:

There are many options for parking in the Carlsbad Campground area and each area provides easy and great beach access. The first parking area that is easy to find is the parking area North of the Campgrounds. It is located right off the Old Highway 101 Southbound and has many parking spots.

The Southern parking lot which is right next to the Campgrounds.

The great thing about Carlsbad is that there are so many ways to get onto the beach. Not only is there the above parking lot which is awesome and very nice but there is a smaller parking lot located right off of the Palomar Airport Exit off the 5 Freeway. This lot is also located on the Southbound side of the Old Highway 101 an is smaller in size but can still accommodate around 20 or so vehicles.

The North parking lot right at Palomar Airport Road

You can in fact see the larger parking lot in the far distance in the above picture to give you an idea of their proximity to each other.

Beach Accessibility and Conveniences:

In the South Carlsbad beaches, most of the beach access is limited to small cliffs or dirt walkways. In the Northern portion of this section of beach, the access is actually quite difficult and can be very dangerous. There is no set walkway, just a series of trails that other surfers have carved into the cliff over time. I recommend that you take extreme caution if you decide to scale these cliffs.

The Cliffs at South Carlsbad beach

The South parking lot for Carlsbad has much easier beach access and is definitely more welcoming to the common beach goer that doesn't feel like hiking down to the beach. Once you've parked your car in the South parking lot, simply walk down the hill heading North and the fencing will open up to a small walkway down onto the beach.

 Beach access in the Southern Carlsbad parking lot

There are restrooms located at the Southern parking lot but not at the Northern lot. The restroom is fairly new and looks to be well maintained by the city.

The restroom at the Southern parking lot

Lifeguard:

There is no lifeguard tower or station located at the Northern parking lot but there is at the Southern parking lot. It is located right by the beach entrance. The lifeguard is usually only on duty during the Summer season so please take notice to check if there is somebody on duty before you paddle out or go swimming.

The lifeguard tower at the Southern parking lot

Continue on to the Surf

 

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