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28 Best Beaches in California In 2023

28 Best Beaches in California In 2023

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California’s Pacific Coast boasts 840 miles of shoreline making it the right 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, among the greatest seashores in California aren’t actually recognized and subsequently much less busy.

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

Best California Beaches

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Beaches in California are nature’s unspoiled treasures and so they supply nice alternatives for solitude, wildlife watching, and beautiful 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 publish was initially written by Csaba & Bea of Our Wanders and has been up to date by The Planet D staff for 2023.)

1. Venice Beach – Los Angeles

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

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

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

2. Manhattan Beach – Los Angeles

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There is a purpose that Manhattan Beach is likely one of the most costly locations to reside in Los Angeles. Situated completely on the Pacific Ocean, the large sandy seashore is delicate and dotted with stunning homes, upscale eating places, fashionable boutiques, and a few very costly lodges.

Weekends deliver out crowds of individuals together with some fairly good seashore volleyball gamers. Manhattan Beach looks as if an odd title for a seashore in California, but it surely 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 positioned 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 unquestionably considered one of our favourite southern California seashores. Read extra: 37 Best Things To Do In Los Angeles In 2023 – By A Local

3. Malibu

Best California Beaches Zuma beach Malibu
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Zuma Beach

Malibu has among the most stunning seashores in California. Most individuals will likely be accustomed to Zuma Beach, with its large sandy seashore that stretches for two miles. Dotted with seashore volleyball nets, lifeguard stands, and many amenities it’s no surprise this seashore is so common.

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

If you might be up for one thing distinctive, be certain that to take a look at the Malibu Beach Inn which provides you the possibility to spend a night on the “Billionaires Beach” stretch of the coast. It might not be low-cost but it surely 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 grow to be fairly the vacation spot currently and for good purpose. Located in the town of Huntington Beach (nicknamed Surf City) it boasts a gorgeous 2-mile-long sandy seashore that stretches from Beach Boulevard to the Santa Ana River Channel.

This seashore has some nice breaks for surfers. The Huntington Beach Pier is a superb place for leisurely stroll in addition to to strive 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 incredible choice of bars, fabulous eating places, ice cream retailers, and boutiques. Huntington Beach is a type 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 positioned in the well-known playground of the wealthy and exquisite, Orange Country.

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

Not solely do you will 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 buying heart, 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 type of seashores in California that’s enjoyable for the entire household.

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

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

Santa Monica Beach can be house to glorious 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 possibility to spend a few days exploring the realm.

Located on the Pacific Coast, there are many seashores to discover in Santa Barbara however it’s East Beach positioned 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 using, 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

Best Beaches in California Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur
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Located alongside the Pacific Coast Highway, Pfeiffer Beach is likely one of the most stunning settings in California.

Famous for its keyhole arch positioned offshore in the Pacific Ocean, Pfeiffer Beach is a gorgeous lengthy sandy seashore recognized for its purple sand.

It’s a bit off the crushed path making it one of the 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 concerning 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 seashore. It is positioned simply throughout the bay from downtown San Diego and makes the record as one of many prime 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 incredible place to cease for lunch if you’re not able to splurge on an evening.

This seashore is a hub for tide swimming pools the place you’ll have the ability to see ocean life reminiscent of 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 positioned in stunning San Diego. This seashore is great 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’ll 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 seashore that is only one hour from San Francisco. Take a stroll alongside the mile-long Santa Cruz seashore boardwalk or go to the historic amusement park.

Santa Cruz Park is the oldest surviving amusement park in California. There are loads of seashore actions together with seashore 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 seashore in California. The stone formation is one thing you’d count on to see off the coast of Portugal.

Natural Bridges State Beach is known as for precisely what you suppose it’s, the pure bridge that’s positioned offshore. There are climbing trails, and tide swimming pools to discover at low tide.

Plus there’s a boardwalk and it is a crucial sanctuary for Monarch Butterflies migrating by the realm from October to January. The panorama alone makes this top-of-the-line seashores in California.

13. Pismo Beach – San Luis Obispo

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I’ll always remember watching Clueless in the Nineteen 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 stunning sandy seashore.

There are loads of issues to do round this small seashore city and whereas it is likely one of the greatest seashores for browsing, we hit the sand dunes for a severe 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 unquestionably top-of-the-line seashores in California and it’s simply a few minutes’ drive from Malibu. This slender seashore is in the shade of giant cliffs and stairs led us down there from the car parking zone.

We had been amazed by the fascinating rock formations on the shore and in the water, and in addition by the right ocean sundown this seashore gives. It’s probably not a seashore for swimming or browsing, but it surely’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 seashore with a waterfall – how does that sound? No, we aren’t speaking of Big Sur’s common and magical McWay Falls this time, it’s one other one: Alamere Falls at Point Reyes National Seashore.

We aren’t certain if this seashore has a reputation, really, it even ceases to exist at excessive tide, after which Alamere Falls flows immediately into the ocean. But it undoubtedly exists at low tide and there’s a steep path main right down to it close to the highest of the falls.

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

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 gives a number of good coastal hikes, some with a shocking panorama of Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay.

Rodeo Beach is a superb seashore for hikers as it’s the place to begin of a number of shorter and longer hikes and in addition a pleasant seashore itself bounded by a lagoon. Its darkish, pebbly sand is exclusive in California.

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

17. Laguna Beach, Orange County

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Laguna Beach is an area’s favourite in Orange County. And our favourite, too! With its clear and calm water is alleged to be top-of-the-line swimming seashores and there’s additionally scuba diving in the realm. But we warn you the water is way from heat even in the summer season – simply as anyplace else alongside the coast.

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

18. Pescadero State Beach – San Mateo County

Beaches in California Pescadero State Beach
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Pescadero is an extended, quiet, wild seashore 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 true behind the seashore.

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

19. Half Moon Bay State Beach – San Francisco

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Located a few half-hour from San Francisco is the group of Half Moon and is a well-liked California seashore escape from the 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 record of The Most Beautiful Tropical Islands in the World

20. Andrew Molera State Beach, Big Sur

Best Beaches in California Andrew Molera Beach Big Sur
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Andrew Molera Beach, Big Sur

Again, an adventurous seashore! It’s positioned 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 nicely if the seasonal bridge is eliminated.

The crystal clear river was not deep in any respect after we had been there, we may pleasantly stroll by it. Uhm… we may have completed 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 seashore and we additionally liked climbing on the great bluff climbing trails above it. Read extra: A information to the perfect 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 top-of-the-line seashores in California.

Usually, there aren’t many individuals on the seashore which is able to solely strengthen this environment.

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

It begins from Gold Bluffs Beach – or ends on the seashore in the event you begin at James Irvine Trail as we did. The seashore 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 excellent sandy seashore 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 typically seen mendacity on the shore.

Limantour Beach is accessible by automotive and it has a pleasant giant car parking zone. But in the event you ask us it’s a lot nicer to park earlier alongside the highway and hike there by pine forests and wetlands. We’ve completed the Laguna Trail – Limantour Beach – Muddy Hollow Trail – Bayview Trail loop which was a gorgeous 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 top-of-the-line California seashores. Located proper on Central California’s Monterey Peninsula Carmel is a superb base for exploring the Pacific Coast Highway.

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

We liked strolling on Carmel Beach and in addition on the scenic highway above the seashore. The seashore was filled with households having a picnic, children swimming or enjoying in the water and canines operating round, and naturally, the seashore volleyball that California is so well-known for.

Carmel Beach is likely one of the few locations left on the California coast the place individuals can nonetheless collect round a hearth to toast marshmallows and benefit from the environment of a seashore 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 seashore and top-of-the-line seashores in California is Cowell Ranch Beach. While driving south of Half Moon Bay State Beach on California 1 we had 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, but it surely’s price searching for, it rewarded us with a gorgeous, barely recognized seashore. The seashore 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 seashore 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 will have an particularly good probability to watch seals. On the opposite hand, Cowell Ranch Beach is dealing with 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 stunning 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 good for outside lovers.

An 18-mile climbing path can be out there for all. While unleashed canines aren’t allowed on the seashore, they’re allowed on the path. Restaurants and rooftop lounges are additionally out there that can assist you wind down after a day on the seashore with iconic views of the sundown.

26. Sand greenback seashore – Big Sur

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

While Sand Dollar Beach won’t be greatest for swimming, it’s an incredible picnic spot. The dramatic rock formation that encloses the seashore makes for a tremendous place to chill out as you admire nature in all its glory.

It’s a favourite spot amongst surfers in Big Sur. Watch them experience waves all day. In low tide, you possibly can strive your luck at catching some crabs or muscle tissues.

If you’re up for it, you can too go looking for jade stones. However, stick with rules to your security.

27. Glass seashore – Fort Bragg

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Located in Fort Bragg, the glass seashore is a real testomony to what nature can do. The seashore is filled with coloured stones that had 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 stunning 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 completely different sizes and shapes. Common colours you’ll discover embrace clear, brown, and inexperienced.

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

Years of holiday makers taking the glass stones has depleted the seashore and has resulted in the apply 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 seashore as among the stones are sharp.

28. Marin County Stinson Beach

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Stinson Beach is positioned 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 seashore is a prime choose for its delicate sand and crescent form.

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

To the east, you’ll discover the majestic Mount Tamalpais State Park, which gives climbing and biking trails with breathtaking vistas. To the west, the Pacific Ocean supplies a fascinating 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 chill out on the sand. The seashore can be common for beachcombing, birdwatching, and kite flying. Nearby Mount Tamalpais gives quite a few climbing and biking trails that showcase the realm’s beautiful coastal and forested landscapes.

Final Thoughts on the Beach Beaches in California

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From Ocean Beach in San Fransico with the perfect 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 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 considered one of our favourite locations to go to in the United States.

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

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