Being close to the Pacific Ocean, there’s not a question why California is teeming with gorgeous, sunny beaches. Here are the top beaches of the Golden State that you would love to visit.
Catering to mostly the affluent crowd, Hermosa Beach is located in the South Bay region of Los Angeles and is one of the three so-called “Beach Cities” (the other two being Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach). It’s warm azure waters, 1.5-mile stretch of golden sands, and abundance of outdoor activities attracts people who love the beach life.
Capitola is another tourist-friendly city which has several beaches, including the oldest known beach on the entire West Coast. Capitola City Beach is one of the most charming beach towns, perfect for leisurely strolls on the wide stretches of sand, especially during the winter months. It is also conveniently located near the downtown with several commercial establishments like shops and restaurants. Of course, it’s also okay to swim and to do some surfing there.
Despite the name, this coastal city is not located in Manhattan, New York but in southwestern Los Angeles County, California. The beach is utterly beautiful and world-class, making it an ideal place to have a holiday or even to make a permanent residence. But a gentle warning, if you’re considering making a home here, it really isn’t that cheap. However, the living conditions are almost superb. It is a laid-back beach with sea, sand, sun, and also a pier. Swim, sunbathe, surf, or play volleyball (or just watch at the Manhattan Beach Open). You may also want to check out the downtown with numerous shops and restaurants, take a stroll down at the Manhattan Beach Pier, and a lot more.
One of the loveliest beaches in California is the Coronado Beach, located in San Diego County. You don’t want to miss the gorgeous white sands, deep blue waters, and a spectacular golden sunset view. Coronado is a beach city that caters specifically to moneyed folks, and its little doubt that the amenities there are quite high-class. You can go swimming, biking, kayaking, eat out and drink, stroll at numerous parks, pamper yourself by visiting spas, salons, barber shops, and wellness centers — all of them are but a short burst away from the beach.
Located in Santa Barbara, California, East Beach offers one of the most postcard-pretty seascapes out there, as the coastal mountain rises in the background. Lush palm trees stretch parts of the glorious sand, and the deep blue color of the sea complete the perfect example of a tropical getaway. There are several sand volleyball courts for those who are quite sporty, but for those who want to relax and bond with the whole family, there is also a grass park with picnic tables. Being close to the city streets, convenience and amenities are just within an arm’s reach.
This idyllic Southern California beach is a 3.2-mile (5.1 kilometers) underwater park which will surely delight visitors with an affinity for nature. It is teeming with reefs, tide pools, and secret covers. Go there at lower tide to get a closer and clearer exploration of the aquatic life. The park also includes a network of trails which serves as a route for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. It is also kid-friendly, too, where little tykes can play by the gentle waves, fly kites, and watch fishermen pulling back in from the ocean.
Another Orange County seaside resort, Laguna Beach’s stunningly sapphire blue Pacific waters, majestic canyons, velvety sands, and mild climate all-year round has continued to attract tourists. It also prides itself on its history as *the* retreat vacation of the county for several decades. Enjoy the best beach views, swim, surf, do kayaking, snorkeling, and skim boarding; off the sea, you will see art galleries, bike around the attractive neighborhood, eat out at trendy restaurants and bars, visit several shops, pamper yourself at several spas, and a lot more.
Also designated as a state park, the Santa Monica Beach is located along the city’s Pacific Coast Highway. Stretching 3.5 miles long of glorious sand, the beach has many amenities like lodgings, picnic areas, parks, restrooms, playgrounds, etc. Usual beach activities include swimming, surfing, sunbathing, paddle boarding, and volleyball. It also holds some historic spots like the Santa Monica Pier with the Looff Hippodrome Carousel, both built around the early 20th century.
Huntington Beach earns its reputation by its millions of tourists and vivid surfing culture, with lots of board-carrying visitors getting to ride the open ocean waves. That is why it is also known as “Surf City.” Located in Orange County, Huntington Beach has a lot to offer for visitors to do on and off the sea but remains so laid-back that the folks there are quite easy-going. Surf, swim, sunbathe or eat out at various bars and restaurants. Or you may like to fly kites, ride a bike, play volleyball, and lots more that you can do there.
This picturesque cove and beach surrounded by high cliffs are located in the community of the La Jolla, San Diego, California. It may be the smallest but it is also the most photographed beach for its unique formation and beauty. Swim, snorkel or scuba dive under the aquamarine waters. Because it is located within the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park, the beach is also a marine sanctuary and thus strictly protected by lifeguards on duty.
There are two beaches in California that are named Moonstone Beach: the one is an attraction located in Redondo Beach in Los Angeles, and another one located in the seaside village of Cambria, San Luis Obispo County. But we’re talking just about the latter here.
Take a leisurely stroll at the rustic-looking beach promenade (and you can see some squirrels scuttling under it) to see the gorgeous sunset there. Watch the elephant seals lounging along the rocky coasts up close, and see the tide pools during low tide. Moonstone Beach in Cambria is a perfect place to discover the beauty and uniqueness of nature.
Big Sur is a region in California’s Central Coast with a scant population, so you are treated to a virtually unspoiled, picturesque beauty at this place. In the heart of the Big Sur is Pfeiffer Beach, which isn’t short of these natural wonders. Strong waves crashing into amazingly-formed rocks off the shore, a must-see beautiful sunset, relative peace — the views and the tranquil atmosphere are all worth the tricky paths and the $10 per day parking fee. This is undoubtedly one of California’s best-kept secrets!
El Matador Beach in Malibu, California is a perfect quick escape for those who are weary of the hustle and bustle in LA. El Matador Beach gives the most stunning views of any other beaches in Malibu, which gives the opportunity to view the most wonderful sunset and take gorgeous pictures. The best time to visit El Matador beach is during the low tide where you can explore the tide pools, so you’ll want to check the tide schedule. Spread a blanket at the beach and have a romantic picnic dinner at sunset.
What sets Venice Beach apart from other beaches is that it boasts a three-ring street circus, which brings the most unusual, and unexpected entertainment complete with artists and performers — in other words, it’s quite a freak show. This entire crazy circus atmosphere occurs at the Ocean Front Walk, and 2 1/2 mile-boardwalk. Away from the beach, you may also want to explore the canals in this seaside city, obviously named after the original Venice, Italy. Ride a gondola to take you to the Venice Canal Historic District.
Newport Beach, another beach in the Orange County, is a haven for affluent folks. The wide stretch of golden sand stretches magnificently rolls down from Newport Pier to Balboa Pier. Serious swimmers, surfers, modish 20-somethings have been guests to this beautiful beach. Cycle by the boardwalk, get aboard the yachts anchored by the docks, go fishing, go whale watching, go rowing in a canoe or kayak, and watch the magnificently fiery sunset.