City of San Diego Beach Rules and Regulations
Lifeguards are staffed year around at the permanent lifeguard stations (Ocean Beach, South Mission Beach, Mission Beach, North Pacific Beach, Pacific Beach, Children’s Pool, La Jolla Cove, La Jolla Shores). In summer, additional lifeguards are staffed in seasonal lifeguard towers. Lifeguards are generally on duty from 9:00 a.m. to dusk; check with lifeguards for specific staff hours. It is a misdemeanor to fail to follow the lawful order of a lifeguard or to provide false information to a lifeguard. Any person who intentionally injures a lifeguard in California may be convicted of felony battery.
Never swim alone. Always swim near a lifeguard. Water areas off the major beaches are divided into swimming and surfing zones. A black and yellow checkered flag will normally be posted between zones. Check signs or ask a lifeguard for the proper zone for your activity.
Water areas off the major beaches are divided into swimming and surfing zones to separate these users. A black and yellow checker flag will normally be posted between zones. Check signs or ask a lifeguard for the proper zone for your activity. Regardless of the area of use, it is unlawful to use any water recreational device (surfboard, boat, etc.) in a manner which endangers others.
If you’re planning to dive, telephone the lifeguard beach information line (619-221-8824) for surf information before coming to the beach and always check with lifeguards before diving.
Where fire pits are provided during the summer months, they are available on a first come, first served basis. The burning of rubbish is prohibited. Only wood, charcoal or paper products may be used as fuel. Fuel for the fire may not exceed a height of more than twelve inches above the upper edge of the fire container. The fire must be extinguished before leaving the beach. Fires are not allowed between midnight and 5 a.m. Coals must be removed or deposited in hot coal containers. Open beach fires outside containers are prohibited at all San Diego beaches.
Where fishing is permitted from the pier, a fishing license is not required, but catch regulations are enforced.
La Jolla Shores has the only beachfront boat launch within City limits. Small vessels can be launched directly into the surf at the foot of Avenida de la Playa, approximately 300 yards south of the lifeguard station. This is an unimproved boat launch and vehicles are allowed to drive on the sand in a very limited area at five miles per hour or less. Four wheel drive is highly recommended.
A limited number of wide-tire beach wheelchairs are available from the lifeguards.
No Alcoholic Beverages
Alcoholic beverages are NOT allowed on the beach, cliffs, walkways, park areas and adjacent parking lots.
No Glass Containers
Glass containers are NOT allowed on the beach, cliffs, walkways, park areas or adjacent parking lots.
Smoking is NOT allowed on the beach, cliffs, walkways, park areas or adjacent parking lots.
Littering is NOT allowed on the beach, cliffs, walkways, park areas or adjacent parking lots.
No Disturbing Noise
Disturbing noise is NOT allowed on the beach, cliffs, walkways, park areas or adjacent parking lots.
No Overnight Camping
Overnight camping, sleeping, or parking is NOT allowed on the beach, cliffs, walkways, park areas or adjacent parking lots.
From November 1 through March 31, dogs are NOT allowed on the beach between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. From April 1 through October 31, dogs are NOT allowed on the beach between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. At all other hours, dogs must be leashed. Owners are expected to pick up after their dog. Dogs are prohibited at other hours of the day, except at Dog Beach (adjacent to Ocean Beach) and Fiesta Island (in Mission Bay).
The basic rule of thumb is that any gathering of more than 50 people requires a permit from the Park and Recreation Department. A permit is also required for a wedding, water event, athletic event, voice and/or music amplification, or use of special setup equipment (such as an inflatable party jump, dunk tank, canopy, etc.) For permit information call Regional Parks at (619) 235-1169.
Boardwalk Speed Regulations
On the Mission Beach/Pacific Beach boardwalk, the maximum speed limit is 8 mph (13 kph).