Pickleball is having a major moment, especially in places like San Diego where the sun shines year-round (we’re just gonna pretend that La Niña didn’t happen). Now that we’re finally seeing some typical spring weather days, it’s the perfect time to try a new outdoor hobby. And you can play it indoors too, so if it does rain again, you don’t need to worry (*knock on wood*). Pickleball is like if tennis, badminton and ping-pong had a baby–don’t ask the logistics of that though. The courts are small, the paddles are square and the rules are kinda like tennis. There’s tons of great courts and fun leagues to join in San Diego, and we’re here to tell you all about them.
Pacific Beach Rec Center
Smack dab in the middle of PB, these courts are right in the action for post-pickleball fun. The outdoor courts can get pretty full on weekends, so you may want to get there early. More skilled players will gravitate toward certain courts, so pay attention (unless you want to get your booty kicked). If you’re looking to play regularly, Volo Sports, San Diego’s premier recreational sports league, hosts a Party Pickleball league that meets here on Sundays for 2v2. Afterwards, players head to a local bar for picklebacks and flip cup. It’s a great way to make friends, and all skill levels are welcome!
Barnes Tennis Center
Right next to the dog park in Point Loma is Barnes Tennis Center with open-play pickleball for just $5 per person. For those who plan ahead, you can also reserve courts two days in advance for up to two hours. Volo Sports offers both Party and Traditional Pickleball leagues here. But if you like to prep ahead of time to avoid making a fool of yourself, check out Volo’s 2v2 beginner pickleball lessons! Six weeks of structured classes with San Diego’s finest pickleballers will have you ramped up and ready to join a league in no time. It’s literally fool-proof.
North Park Rec Center
Located in the heart of North Park within the community park, the North Park Rec Center is a super fun spot to play. Whether you want to visit an artsy coffee shop, bookstore, fancy brunch spot or dive bar after you play, North Park’s got it all. Volo Sports has 2v2 leagues here as well, each meeting different days of the week. Join a league to get deals at 619 Spirits down the street like $20 pitchers, $8 burgers and more! Sign up for the league or just pop in to play a pick-up game for as low as $10!6/26
La Jolla Rec Center
La Jolla: the land of seals, sunshine and gorgeous beaches. Oh, and pickleball courts (sorry, got distracted). You’re gonna want to bring your bathing suits for this one because there’s nothing like a dip in the ocean after a sweaty game of pickleball. Alternatively, head to Black’s Beach and go in your birthday suit–we don’t judge! Volo Sports has both traditional and party pickleball league options at this location, so whether you’re in it for the booze or good with green juice, there’s something for everyone.
Balboa Park Activity Center
For the rainy days or if you’re looking to avoid a sunburn, Balboa Park Activity Center has five indoor wooden courts. It’s free to play, and they have nets available (great perk if you ask us). This one’s right in the middle of beautiful Balboa Park, so you can visit some museums, take a walk around the gardens or bring a picnic to enjoy under a shady tree. Their monthly schedule is posted on their website, so be sure to check it out before you head over!7/7
La Mesita Park
Inside the Junior Seau Sports Complex, La Mesita Park is a great place to play pickleball for all you East County-ers. They’ve got four lighted pickleball courts open daily from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. and are free to use. They also offer both group and private lessons to get newbies started. If you skate, you can hit up the La Mesa Skatepark right next door once you’re done tearing up the courts! A little ambitious? Maybe. A lot of fun? Definitely.
Cypress Canyon Park
Want to avoid the party pickleballers and enjoy your game in peace? Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, Cypress Canyon Park is the perfect family-friendly park for all kinds of outdoor recreational activities. There’s a baseball field, basketball courts, cricket cages, a playground for kiddos and even public bathrooms. It’s free to play pickleball at one of their three courts—you just have to bring your own net. Bonus: you’ll see lots of people walking their dogs! (We can’t be the only ones who get excited about that.)