Ocean Beach is one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Diego. It’s where our family typically goes for beach trips and I recommend it as a great place to visit for all our friends and family from out of town. Recently I rediscovered a great pocket beach in Ocean Beach at the foot of Santa Cruz Street, dubbed “Santa Cruz Cove”. Officially, the beach is known as Santa Cruz Avenue Beach but I like the Cove version better.
The beach is a great spot to take our young children due to the wide variety of natural elements present. There are two separate sand beach areas with waves that are mostly gentle and the ocean floor has a gradual slope so you can swim out and remain in mostly shallow water. Tide pools are present with a variety of anemones, crabs, snails, and other small wildlife. There are rocks to climb (and jump off of) and you can adventure north or south along the coast for more exploring. If you enjoy the sound of waves crashing it’s a great place since the cliffs rise quickly behind the beaches, amplifying the sound.
There are typically not many people at Santa Cruz Cove so it’s also a good place for sunbathing, reading, or taking a nap.
The main negatives are that there is not a public restroom near (the closest is the lifeguard tower north of the pier) and there can be trash issues at times.
To reach Santa Cruz Cove walk south a few blocks along the ocean from the Ocean Beach Pier or descend the steps at the terminus of Santa Cruz Avenue. (You can use 5098 Santa Cruz Avenue, San Diego, CA 92107 as your search address if using GPS or a mapping app.)
Have a great day and I hope you enjoy your visit to a great beach in San Diego!