free beach wheelchairs at San Diego beaches

Photo courtesy Accessible San Diego –

Who doesn’t love a walk on the beach? The warm sand, relaxing waves and wide expanse of sea just seems to pull your worries away.  The beach is definitely my happy place.  I just wish it wasn’t such a challenge for my special needs daughter to enjoy it; all that deep, soft sand makes pushing a wheelchair just about impossible.  Many coastal communities have beach-accessible wheelchairs available to rent or borrow, including San Diego, our family’s next destination.

According to Accessible San Diego, there are seven San Diego beaches provide free beach wheelchairs: Coronado, Imperial Beach, Ocean Beach, Oceanside, La Jolla Shores, Mission Beach and Silver Strands.  These beaches have manual and/or powered beach wheelchairs to use for an hour at a time at no charge.  Yes free, my favorite price.  When you visit one of the above listed beaches just go to the lifeguard station and ask to use a beach chair.  They are fist-come first-serve, so the lifeguard will check one out to you or put you on the waiting list if none are available at that time. What an excuse to talk to some cute lifeguards!   I spoke to the Coronado Beach lifeguard station and was told that often times there is no waiting list, so you may be able to use the beach chair longer as long as you check in every hour.

Accessible San Diego is an amazing organization.  Their Access in San Diego Guide 2011 contains 44 pages of accessible lodging, restaurants, transportation, and more that can help you plan your next trip with confidence.  It’s definitely worth the price of $3 for the download or $5 for the booklet.  Stayed tuned, more San Diego travel tips are coming soon.