South Cardiff State Beach

“South Cardiff State Beach is somewhat sheltered by the sandstone bluffs that end abruptly here.   ‘Seaside’ is a popular surf break featuring an outer reef called Table Tops. At low tide, there’s good tide pool viewing at Tide Beach to the south, IF I don’t get there first…” Sandbag C. Gull

South Cardiff State Beach Slideshow


  • Lifeguard services → if any ← varies by season, day, hours, even weather!
  • A large →Paid← parking lot is available, but fills up fast May-September
  • Handicapped parking spots located in the paid lot
  • Beach access is at street level, but hindered by rocky terrain and stones
  • Street parking (tight) along South Coast Highway 101
  • Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach
  • Public bathrooms & showers available


Take Interstate 5 to Cardiff-by-the-Sea: Exit at Birmingham & head west toward ocean.  Turn left at San Elijo then right at Chesterfield, head south on Coast Hwy 101.