Fishing license required to take fish; check fishing zones and updates rules and regulations at wildlife.ca.gov
Lifeguards are on duty from 9 AM until dusk everyday during summer and on weekends the rest of the year
Dogs allowed from 6 PM - 9 AM from April 1st - October 31st and from 4 PM until 9 AM from November 1st - March 31st
Surfing, Scuba Diving, Sunbathing
Free to visit
Free parking in lot nearby
Bolsa Chica State Beach
El Matador Beach
Windansea Beach is a slice of paradise in La Jolla, California. While most of San Diego's beaches cater to tourists, this one is considered a local hidden gem. Although it's a simple beach with no public facilities, it's a surfing mecca and a lovely beach destination.
At first glance, the rocky shoreline and large surf may not seem enticing, but that's precisely what locals and surfers are looking for. The rocky shoreline is a great place to relax, watch the views, and enjoy a picnic. Meanwhile, the strong shore break is excellent for skilled surfers.
Windansea Beach offers various experiences depending on what time of year you go. Most locals favor it during the summer, and the beach can actually get quite busy. Regardless, it's stunning year-round.
Let's learn more about this beautiful seaside destination!
History of Windansea Beach
Windansea Beach was initially called Neptune Beach. However, this changed in the 1920s when it was named after a popular hotel nearby.
In the 1940s, the beach was popular with military personnel who enjoyed surfing and used it to blow off steam from World War II. They wanted to bring some aloha to their favorite surf beach. They also built the Windansea Surf Shack, a humble structure of eucalyptus wood and palm fronds.
The Surf Shack has been named a historic landmark by the San Diego Historical Resources Board and has a rich history. It's remained standing for nearly 80 years and holds a sacred place in the hearts of surfers and locals alike. The shack was even recently rebuilt after extensive swells destroyed it.
The Windansea Surf Club was formed in the 1940s but didn't last very long. Then in 1963, it was brought back by a few iconic surfers – Mike Hynson, Chuck Hasley, and Thor Svenson. Their goal was to win an iconic surf content, the Malibu Invitational Surf Competition. The club still exists today and is a local surfers' favorite.
Bob Simmons, an influential figure in the invention of the modern surfboard, died in the break that now bears his name. Surfers quickly realized they needed to be cautious at Windansea Beach and that it's not an ideal spot for beginners.
Fun fact: If you've ever seen San Diego Surf with Andy Warhol, you've seen Windansea on the big screen!
Today, Windansea Beach is a hotspot for many notable surfers. It's not necessarily a family-friendly spot or one for those who want to visit a sandy beach.
How to Get to Windansea Beach
Windansea beach directions are fairly simple. You'll head to La Jolla Boulevard and turn on any of the westwards streets that head towards the ocean. You'll look for parking around Neptune Place (street) and The Surf Shack.
The parking lot is on Neptune Place between Nautilus and Bonair Streets. There's also some street parking in the area. Best of all, parking is free!
Where to Stay
Since Windansea Beach is primarily a locals' spot, there aren't many accommodations right there. However, there are plenty of places to stay near Windansea, including various hotels and vacation rentals. If you're looking to stay next to the ocean, you'll need to head a little further south to Pacific Beach. Some visitors also like to stay nearby in San Diego, CA.
Things to Do at Windansea Beach
While the beach isn't filled with tons of activities, it's an amazing place to spend the day.
Surf and Scuba Dive
Surfing is Windansea's top activity. The rough waters make it difficult for swimming and other water activities. With that said, some visitors also enjoy scuba diving because the steep drop-off and underwater reefs are fun to explore.
Visit the Surf Shack
The Windansea Surf Shack is a must-see. In fact, it's the oldest historical landmark in San Diego. As mentioned, this palm-covered hut was built in the 40s and has been destroyed and rebuilt. It's an awesome place to watch the sunset! When you arrive at the beach, you can't miss it.
Explore Sandstone Rocks
One of the most unique features of the beach is the sandstone rocks. The rocky coast is fun for climbing and checking out the ocean views. Some beachgoers enjoy grabbing a spot on a big rock to sunbathe, read, or have a picnic. The best part about the rocks is that they help you avoid getting sand all over you and your things.
Check out La Jolla
La Jolla is the coastal town where Windansea is situated. One of its most appreciated attractions is the Historic Coast Walk Trail. There are also several shops, parks, restaurants, and events worth checking out. We recommend visiting the Valley Farm Market and Windasea Cafe for a bite to eat.