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28 Best Beaches in California In 2023

28 Best Beaches in California In 2023


California’s Pacific Coast boasts 840 miles of shoreline making it the proper place for a highway journey to take pleasure in its limitless stretches of sand. While many individuals can title a number of of its extra well-known seashores like Venice Beach, San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, or San Diego’s Coronado Beach, a number of the finest seashores in California usually are not actually recognized and due to this fact much less busy.

So, to introduce you to some locations you might not know, here’s a round-up of one of the best California Beaches that you simply already know and love, and a few lesser-known gems across the state.

Best California Beaches

Beaches in California are nature’s unspoiled treasures and so they supply nice alternatives for solitude, wildlife watching, and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. We’ve lived in California for a yr, so we had sufficient time to find not solely the well-known touristy locations however some hidden gems, too. (This put up was initially written by Csaba & Bea of Our Wanders and has been up to date by The Planet D group for 2023.)

1. Venice Beach – Los Angeles

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Venice Beach is situated in Los Angeles County and is a kind of locations that’s recognized extra for its bohemian really feel than for the seaside itself.

Most individuals who go to Venice Beach stroll alongside the Venice Beach Boardwalk, taking in the road performers, watching the bodybuilders raise weights, and witnessing the numerous artists plying their commerce alongside this well-known stretch.

Venice Beach itself is attractive so it’s no surprise it’s a favourite among the many locals in the world. A number of of the issues that make it one in all our favourite California seashores are the cool little retailers, nice cafes, and a number of the hippest espresso locations in L.A.

2. Manhattan Beach – Los Angeles

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There is a cause that Manhattan Beach is likely one of the most costly locations to dwell in Los Angeles. Situated completely on the Pacific Ocean, the huge sandy seaside is tender and dotted with lovely homes, upscale eating places, fashionable boutiques, and a few very costly inns.

Weekends convey out crowds of individuals together with some fairly good seaside volleyball gamers. Manhattan Beach looks as if an odd title for a seaside in California, nevertheless it was named after actual property developer Stewart Merrill who was from Manhattan New York.

It’s becoming that it’s named after a developer as a result of the true property alongside Manhattan Beach is spectacular with house promoting for as much as $36 million {dollars}

Being situated so near downtown LA it’s a nice add-on to your day of visiting Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, or the Sunset Strip. Manhattan Beach is certainly one in all our favourite southern California seashores. Read extra: 37 Best Things To Do In Los Angeles In 2023 – By A Local

3. Malibu

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Zuma Beach

Malibu has a number of the most lovely seashores in California. Most folks will likely be conversant in Zuma Beach, with its huge sandy seaside that stretches for two miles. Dotted with seaside volleyball nets, lifeguard stands, and plenty of amenities it’s no surprise this seaside is so standard.

Other seashores in the world like Paradise Beach, Point Dume State Beach, and Puerco Beach are smaller and supply a extra household environment than Zuma Beach.

If you’re up for one thing distinctive, be sure to take a look at the Malibu Beach Inn which supplies you the prospect to spend a night on the “Billionaires Beach” stretch of the coast. It is probably not low-cost nevertheless it offers you a glimpse into how the opposite half lives. Read extra about Malibu: 20 Best Things To Do In Malibu In 2023 By A Local

4. Huntington Beach – Orange County

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Huntington State Beach has change into fairly the vacation spot currently and for good cause. Located in town of Huntington Beach (nicknamed Surf City) it boasts a good looking 2-mile-long sandy seaside that stretches from Beach Boulevard to the Santa Ana River Channel.

This seaside has some nice breaks for surfers. The Huntington Beach Pier is a good place for leisurely stroll in addition to to attempt your hand at fishing.

Make certain to get to the tip and take a look at Ruby’s Surf City Diner for some nice views and good meals.

Make certain to go to downtown which has an amazing collection of bars, fabulous eating places, ice cream retailers, and boutiques. Huntington Beach is a kind of locations that was made for a trip.

5. Newport Beach – Orange County

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With a whopping 10 miles of shoreline, Newport Beach is situated in the well-known playground of the wealthy and exquisite, Orange Country.

This southern California seaside group boasts 5 miles of golden sand reaching out from the Newport Pier.

Not solely do you may have the lengthy sandy stretch of Newport Beach, however there are additionally loads of sights for the entire household together with Balboa Fun Zone amusement park, Lido Marina Village purchasing middle, and nice browsing.

6. Santa Monica Beach

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Santa Monica Beach is a spot for enjoyable in the solar. With the well-known Santa Monica Pier, Pacific Park amusement park and its Ferris wheel, and historic carousel, that is a kind of seashores in California that’s enjoyable for the entire household.

This California seaside group is house to the wealthy and well-known.

Head out to the Beach to benefit from the sand and solar, but additionally to discover the Santa Monica State Beach Park, mountain climbing trails, purchasing alongside the Third Beach Preomenad, or biking alongside Marvin Braude Beach Trail.

Santa Monica Beach can be house to wonderful browsing identical to so many seashores in California.

7. Santa Barbara

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Sailing in Santa Barbara – East Beach

We by no means thought we’d have the chance to go to Santa Barbara however whereas working with California tourism on their advisory board, we had the prospect to spend a few days exploring the world.

Located on the Pacific Coast, there are many seashores to discover in Santa Barbara however it’s East Beach situated proper in city that makes it particular.

Santa Barbara has many seashores. Known as The American Riviera, you’ll really feel like a millionaire strolling alongside its sandy shores as palm bushes sway in the Pacific wind.

Visit Summerland Beach for horseback driving, take a crusing journey, take pleasure in some kayaking alongside its shores or take in the gorgeous sundown at Hendry’s Beach.

8. Pfeiffer Beach – Big Sur

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Located alongside the Pacific Coast Highway, Pfeiffer Beach is likely one of the most lovely settings in California.

Famous for its keyhole arch situated offshore in the Pacific Ocean, Pfeiffer Beach is a good looking lengthy sandy seaside recognized for its purple sand.

It’s just a little off the crushed path making it one of the vital secluded seashores in California. To get to Pfeiffer Beach, from Highway 1, take the second flip one mile south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. It shouldn’t be part of the State Park. drive down

There are tide swimming pools to be explored at low tide, excessive lookouts to view the limitless ocean, and rocks and bluffs. Read extra in regards to the Pacific Coast Highway at Big Sur Road Trip – The Best Viewpoints

9. Coronado Beach – San Diego

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Coronado Beach homes the Silver Strand with seven miles of glowing sandy seaside. It is situated simply throughout the bay from downtown San Diego and makes the checklist as one of many high seashores in California.

The iconic Hotel Del Coronado on the beachfront of San Diego Coronado Island was the setting for the film Some Like It Hot. It’s an amazing place to cease for lunch if you’re not able to splurge on an evening.

This seaside is a hub for tide swimming pools the place you’ll have the ability to see ocean life corresponding to starfish, crabs, and barnacles.

Swing by Del’s beachside café for fish tacos or head as much as the swank outside bar for sundown cocktails with a view. For extra on San Diego learn: A Local’s Guide to the Best Things to Do in San Diego

10. La Jolla Shores Beach – San Diego

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La Jolla Shores Beach San Diego

La Jolla Shores is situated in lovely San Diego. This seaside is superb for exploring tide swimming pools and basking in the solar. It can be one of many wildest stretches of the Southern California coast housing the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

If you like seashores, you’re going to additionally love La Jolla Cove the place sea lions bask in the solar. La Jolla Cove can be a superb place for kayaking to La Jolla Sea Caves to discover the coastal formations.

11. Main Beach – Santa Cruz

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Santa Cruz Main Beach

Hit up Main Beach of Santa Cruz to take pleasure in this California seaside that is only one hour from San Francisco. Take a stroll alongside the mile-long Santa Cruz seaside boardwalk or go to the historic amusement park.

Santa Cruz Park is the oldest surviving amusement park in California. There are loads of seaside actions together with seaside volleyball courts, browsing, and kayaking. You’ll see sea lions, sea otters, dolphins, and even whales offshore.

12. Natural Bridges State Beach – Santa Cruz

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Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz is one other must-visit seaside in California. The stone formation is one thing you’ll anticipate to see off the coast of Portugal.

Natural Bridges State Beach is called for precisely what you assume it’s, the pure bridge that’s situated offshore. There are mountain climbing trails, and tide swimming pools to discover at low tide.

Plus there’s a boardwalk and it is a vital sanctuary for Monarch Butterflies migrating by way of the world from October to January. The panorama alone makes this among the best seashores in California.

13. Pismo Beach – San Luis Obispo

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I’ll always remember watching Clueless in the Nineties and questioning the place Pismo Beach was. Cher donated her ski gear to the Pismo Beach Disaster. I had all the time needed to go there ever since.

We had our probability when exploring the wine area of Santa Maria. Located midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the Pacific Coast Highway, it is a lovely sandy seaside.

There are loads of issues to do round this small seaside city and whereas it is likely one of the finest seashores for browsing, we hit the sand dunes for a critical dune buggy journey.

If you aren’t up for an journey, take a stroll alongside the boardwalk and pier, discover the close by wineries or take a selfie in entrance of the Pismo Beach signal.

14. El Matador State Beach, Malibu

Best Beaches in California El Matador State Beach
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El Matador Beach is certainly among the best seashores in California and it’s simply a few minutes’ drive from Malibu. This slim seaside is in the shade of giant cliffs and stairs led us down there from the car parking zone.

We have been amazed by the attention-grabbing rock formations on the shore and in the water, and in addition by the proper ocean sundown this seaside presents. It’s probably not a seaside for swimming or browsing, nevertheless it’s a photographer’s and {couples}’ favourite due to its wild and romantic environment.

15. Beach at Alamere Falls, Point Reyes National Seashore

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A seaside with a waterfall – how does that sound? No, we aren’t speaking of Big Sur’s standard and magical McWay Falls this time, it’s one other one: Alamere Falls at Point Reyes National Seashore.

We usually are not certain if this seaside has a reputation, truly, it even ceases to exist at excessive tide, after which Alamere Falls flows straight into the ocean. But it undoubtedly exists at low tide and there’s a steep path main all the way down to it close to the highest of the falls.

However, this distinctive seaside requires some mountain climbing, as a result of it will probably solely be accessed by way of Coast Trail from Palomarin Trailhead. This means an 8 miles reasonable roundtrip which has simply change into a day hike for us as we spent a lot time chilling out on the seaside.

If you like these try extra Unique Beaches from Around the world.

16. Rodeo Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area

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Golden Gate National Recreation Area is simply north of San Francisco and it presents a number of good coastal hikes, some with a shocking panorama of Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay.

Rodeo Beach is a good seaside for hikers as it’s the start line of a number of shorter and longer hikes and in addition a pleasant seaside itself bounded by a lagoon. Its darkish, pebbly sand is exclusive in California.

It’s a preferred browsing seaside, however swimming is harmful due to the sturdy currents. We loved strolling on the seaside, doing a number of the coastal hikes, and getting amazed by the wild ocean.

17. Laguna Beach, Orange County

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Laguna Beach is a neighborhood’s favourite in Orange County. And our favourite, too! With its clear and calm water is alleged to be among the best swimming seashores and there’s additionally scuba diving in the world. But we warn you the water is much from heat even in the summer time – simply as wherever else alongside the coast.

It was a pleasant refreshing cease although in South California’s scorching summer time. There are loads of seaside actions right here at Laguna Beach properly together with seaside volleyball courts, a motorbike path, and basketball courts.

18. Pescadero State Beach – San Mateo County

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Pescadero is an extended, quiet, wild seaside in Central California with nice wildlife-watching alternatives. We’ve seen tons of harbor seals resting on the cliffs close to the shore and Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is correct behind the seaside.

There are a number of shorter trails in the marsh and they’re wonderful for bird-watching. Pescadero State Beach additionally has lovely (although normally windy and chilly) sunsets. Read extra: Things to do in San Mateo, California

19. Half Moon Bay State Beach – San Francisco

Best beaches in California Half moon Bay State Beach in California
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Located a couple of half-hour from San Francisco is the group of Half Moon and is a well-liked California seaside escape from town. It homes Half Moon Bay State Beach, Dunes Beach, and Francis Beach.

Take a hike alongside the California Coastal Trail for panoramic views of the shoreline. Dreaming of an island getaway? Check out our checklist of The Most Beautiful Tropical Islands in the World

20. Andrew Molera State Beach, Big Sur

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Andrew Molera Beach, Big Sur

Again, an adventurous seaside! It’s situated in Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur alongside the Pacific Coast Highway. Accessing Andrew Molera State Beach requires a brief stroll from the car parking zone.

This scenic stretch of freeway is 2 hours and thirty minutes south of San Francisco and makes for one of many nice California Road Trips. The stroll features a river crossing as properly if the seasonal bridge is eliminated.

The crystal clear river was not deep in any respect once we have been there, we might pleasantly stroll by way of it. Uhm… we might have accomplished it pleasantly if it wouldn’t have been so rattling chilly. But it was nonetheless enjoyable.

Andrew Molera Beach is on the mouth of Big Sur River, it’s an extended undeveloped seaside and we additionally cherished mountain climbing on the good bluff mountain climbing trails above it. Read extra: A information to one of the best campgrounds in Big Sur

21. Gold Bluffs Beach, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

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Gold Bluffs Beach

Gold Bluffs Beach is a part of Northern California’s Redwood National and State Parks and the foggy redwoods in the background give a mystic environment to it. This places it proper up there as among the best seashores in California.

Usually, there usually are not many individuals on the seaside which is able to solely strengthen this environment.

One of probably the most particular hikes in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is Fern Canyon Trail which took us again to Jurassic occasions – truly, some scenes of the Jurassic Park film have been filmed there.

It begins from Gold Bluffs Beach – or ends on the seaside when you begin at James Irvine Trail as we did. The seaside itself can be accessible by automotive and there’s a small campground on the car parking zone. Read: 7 Epic Places to Visit in Northern California

22. Limantour Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore

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Best seashores in California: Limantour Beach

This lengthy and ideal sandy seaside on a sand spit between Drakes Bay and the Limantour Estero estuary is one other gem of Point Reyes National Seashore.

Thanks to the close by wetlands there’s a excessive probability to identify seabirds. Harbor seals additionally just like the shallow water of Drakes Bay and they’re usually seen mendacity on the shore.

Limantour Beach is accessible by automotive and it has a pleasant giant car parking zone. But when you ask us it’s a lot nicer to park earlier alongside the highway and hike there by way of pine forests and wetlands. We’ve accomplished the Laguna Trail – Limantour Beach – Muddy Hollow Trail – Bayview Trail loop which was a good looking numerous day hike.

23. Carmel Beach City Park, Carmel-By-The-Sea

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The group of gorgeous Carmel by the Sea additionally has among the best California seashores. Located proper on Central California’s Monterey Peninsula Carmel is a good base for exploring the Pacific Coast Highway.

It’s a kind of typical Central California seashores with a stunning strolling avenue, tons of eating places with or with out ocean panorama, and naturally, an extended, sandy seaside (that can be canine pleasant.) Explore it extra at The Best Stops on 17 Mile Drive

We cherished strolling on Carmel Beach and in addition on the scenic highway above the seaside. The seaside was stuffed with households having a picnic, youngsters swimming or taking part in in the water and canine operating round, and naturally, the seaside volleyball that California is so well-known for.

Carmel Beach is likely one of the few locations left on the California coast the place folks can nonetheless collect round a fireplace to toast marshmallows and benefit from the environment of a seaside bonfire. Read extra: Things to do in Carmel by the Sea, California

24. Cowell Ranch Beach, Half Moon Bay

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The most hidden seaside and among the best seashores in California is Cowell Ranch Beach. While driving south of Half Moon Bay State Beach on California 1 we have been searching for a small car parking zone by a yellow gate which indicated the trailhead for Cowell Ranch Beach.

It’s straightforward to overlook it, nevertheless it’s price searching for, it rewarded us with a good looking, barely recognized seaside. The seaside is accessible by a brief bluff path with picket stairs on the finish and it took us about quarter-hour to get there.

There’s one other seaside south of the path which isn’t accessible as a result of it’s a seal protect. Binoculars are all the time a good suggestion on the California Central coast, however right here you may have an particularly good probability to watch seals. On the opposite hand, Cowell Ranch Beach is going through completely west, so it’s a peaceable getaway for sundown lovers.

25. Crystal Cove State Park – Orange County

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Crystal cove state park is a real gem with its lovely landscapes and scenic views. The park boasts a 3-mile shoreline one of many largest uninterrupted pure seashores in California. It additionally options a number of seashores, tide swimming pools, and an underwater park excellent for outside lovers.

An 18-mile mountain climbing path can be accessible for all. While unleashed canine usually are not allowed on the seaside, they’re allowed on the path. Restaurants and rooftop lounges are additionally accessible that will help you wind down after a day on the seaside with iconic views of the sundown.

26. Sand greenback seaside – Big Sur

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Don’t let the steep stroll down the seaside deter you as you’ll be rewarded with one of the vital scenic seashores in California. A phenomenal shoreline with a rocky panorama enclosed in a cove-like formation.

While Sand Dollar Beach may not be finest for swimming, it’s an amazing picnic spot. The dramatic rock formation that encloses the seaside makes for a tremendous place to loosen up as you admire nature in all its glory.

It’s a favourite spot amongst surfers in Big Sur. Watch them journey waves all day. In low tide, you’ll be able to attempt your luck at catching some crabs or muscle tissue.

If you’re up for it, you can too go looking for jade stones. However, follow rules on your security.

27. Glass seaside – Fort Bragg

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Located in Fort Bragg, the glass seaside is a real testomony to what nature can do. The seaside is stuffed with coloured stones that have been as soon as dumped items of glass choking the life out of the ocean. Mother nature in flip broke down the rubbish and turned it into lovely items of frosted glass, a course of that takes about 30 – 100 years to finish.

The fixed pounding of the ocean waves breaks and softens the glass turning it into totally different sizes and styles. Common colours you’ll discover embody clear, brown, and inexperienced.

Kids will particularly love visiting this seaside as they’re solely however a number of glass seashores in the world.

Years of tourists taking the glass stones has depleted the seaside and has resulted in the observe being declared unlawful. A strict measure that helps to make sure that there are glass stones left for future guests to take pleasure in.

Remember to maintain your flip flop on always as you stroll alongside the seaside as a number of the stones are sharp.

28. Marin County Stinson Beach

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Stinson Beach is situated alongside the scenic shoreline of Marin County, simply north of San Francisco. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the rugged slopes of Mount Tamalpais, the seaside is a high choose for its tender sand and crescent form.

Stinson Beach boasts a large expanse of sandy shoreline that stretches for about three and a half miles. The pure magnificence surrounding Stinson Beach is a significant draw for guests.

To the east, you’ll discover the majestic Mount Tamalpais State Park, which presents mountain climbing and biking trails with breathtaking vistas. To the west, the Pacific Ocean supplies a charming backdrop, full with rolling waves and scenic sunsets.

You can swim in the ocean (though the water may be chilly), surf, boogie board, or just loosen up on the sand. The seaside can be standard for beachcombing, birdwatching, and kite flying. Nearby Mount Tamalpais presents quite a few mountain climbing and biking trails that showcase the world’s gorgeous coastal and forested landscapes.

Final Thoughts on the Beach Beaches in California

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From Ocean Beach in San Fransico with one of the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge to the Southernmost Beach in California – Imperial Beach close to San Diego, there are numerous seashores in California. You may additionally like these Best Beaches in Florida

We barely scratched the floor of all of the sandy locations in California. One factor is for certain, California is one in all our favourite locations to go to in the United States.

About Our Wanders: Csaba and Bea are passionate vacationers, hikers, and interest photographers. They left their small house nation, Hungary nearly 2 years in the past and moved to a a lot greater one, the US the place they’ve rapidly change into hooked on nationwide parks, mountain climbing, and highway journeys and began to consider that they will dwell their desires. Read about their adventures on their weblog Our Wanders. Follow them additionally on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!

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