handicap beach access

Image source: Coastal.ca.gov

We love to see the public out enjoying San Diego’s beautiful beaches, but know that access can often be difficult. Below you’ll find a list of beaches with manual or powered wheelchairs available for your use. If you have questions regarding availability, you can reach the lifeguard towers or information centers directly with the numbers provided. 

A couple of things to be aware of: 

  • Powered beach wheelchairs must remain 5 feet away from the water to prevent motor damage, and they generally have a one to two hour limit. Some also come with a weight limit.
  • Beach access mats are available from May to September at many beaches, and make it much easier for wheelchairs to navigate the sand. However, they can’t be used the remainder of the year due to tidal action, high surf, and blowing sand. 


North San Diego County

San Onofre State Beach

(949) 366-8592

A beach wheelchair is available for use free of charge. During the peak season (June 1 through September 15,) call the lifeguard tower at the number listed above any day to reserve. In the off season, you can call on weekends.

Oceanside Harbor Beach

(760) 435-4018

Two manual chairs available between 8am to 5pm (first-come, first served). Pick up at lifeguard headquarters below the pier.

Oceanside Pier View South Beach

(760) 467-4565

Two manual chairs available between 8am to 5pm (first-come, first-served). 

Moonlight Beach

(760) 633-2740

Manual and powered chairs available. Two floating beach chairs are available daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on a first-come, first-served basis at no charge. 

Cardiff State Beach

(760) 753-5091

Manual and powered chairs available. You may check out a wheelchair with photo identification at the San Elijo State Beach Campground entrance for no charge on a first-come, first-served basis.

City of San Diego

La Jolla Shores beach

(619) 221-8899

Manual chairs available at lifeguard towers.

Pacific Beach

(619) 525-8247

Manual chairs available at lifeguard towers.

Mission Beach

(619) 980-1876

Manual and powered chairs available at the main lifeguard station.

Hours of operation for powered beach chairs:

May through October
Monday – Friday 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM (Closed Tuesday)
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM

November through April (Closed January and February)
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Ocean Beach

(619) 221-8899

Manual chairs available. 

Coronado Beach

(619) 522-7346, ext. 3

Manual and powered chairs available with photo identification at the main lifeguard tower located at Central beach (920 Ocean Blvd., Coronado.) First-come, first-served basis with no reservations available.

Silver Strand State Beach

(619) 435-0126

Manual chairs available.

Imperial Beach

(619) 685-7972

Manual and powered chairs available at the Dempsey Holder Safety Center. Each chair has a maximum weight capacity of 250 lbs and you must bring your own bottom and back cushions.


More information

For additional information on wheelchair accessibility, please contact:

  • City of San Diego Beach Wheelchair Line (Mission Bay, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, La Jolla Shores) (619) 525-8247

>> Map of beach wheelchair access locations in coastal California.