Our Favorite California Beaches!
Summer is here and the sun turns the Californian coastline golden. Having lived here for years with my small family, we visited many beaches along this wonderful 850 mile stretch of enchanted land by the Pacific. From San Diego, LA, Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz, San Francisco and all the way up North to Eureka and Crescent City, it will leave you with a hard to beat impression and longing for more. It’s famous highway 1 guides you in a serpent like fashion and is in a way one big unforgettable scenic route. Surrendering yourself to this majestic land and by allowing yourself to explore it, you will be treated to amazing beaches, sand dunes, deltas, fantastically shaped rocks, rivers, mountains, forests, bridges, harbors, lighthouses and more. This is all topped by mostly incredible vibrant light effects of the rising and setting sun playing with the clouds creating shades while offering a cooling breeze.
As a start, we came up with our top 10 list of Californian beaches we have most enjoyed over the years. Hope this will help you in your future journey here.
La Jolla Cove, CA :
Home to juvenile seals and sea lions,to the great amusement of our at the time 2 year old girl who loved to wave to the seals.
La Jolla Cove Beach is located at the northeast end of Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla. This beach is protected by a rocky point which blocks waves rolling in from the west most of the time and creates a safe swimming beach.
Venice Beach, CA:
Also known as ‘Crazy Beach’, Venice is a great place for people watching and get motivated to exercise. You will see body builders on the beach and many celebrities like the singer Pink have a house nearby and can be sighted with their family.
We enjoyed wondering around the most famous of Venice’s attractions, the Venice Boardwalk which runs along the edge of the beach for about a mile and a half and offers everything from street vendors and performers to souvenir shops, cafes, rollerblading and biking rentals, tattoos and dispensaries. This is a must see for LA visitors since it shows a lot of the city’s character in a pure, rebel-ish and exciting way. We had a blast and created good memories here.
Santa Monica, CA:
Besides a beautiful beach, entertainment and amusement park, this place is great for shopping, dining or grabbing your favorite hot beverage at one of its many hip coffee shops. We had some pretty amazing and unforgettable fish, like a killer bouillabaisse here, served in a stylish yet down to earth and casual coastal setting.
Carmel City Beach , CA:
Carmel City Beach is a one of a kind-, long-, wide-, white sand beach that is hard to beat anywhere on the California Central Coast. Since they only bring in the finest sand, walking it bare feet is a delight. We are frequent visitors to this one due to its relatively close proximity to where we live but also because it guarantees relaxation in many ways.
For much more on this, please read my Carmel travel blog posts at:
Moonstone beach, CA:
Moonstone Beach is great for an afternoon. Make sure you bring your shoes because there are beautiful stones that might stub your toe and check out a few of the restaurants right at the beach. Becky’s mom use to live in nearby Cambria, so she’s been there several times and has good things to say about it.
Moonstone Beach is along Moonstone Beach Drive which parallels Highway 1 in northern Cambria, California.
Capitola Beach, CA:
Cruising for color, we wouldn’t mind waking up in one of these colorful houses every day. Happy Capitola City Beach is a sandy beach at the north end of Monterrey Bay in Capitola, CA. Besides the usual beach fun, this place is great for pictures and a walk on its fabulous warf. It also hosts great events which add even more vibe to its already vibrant character.
Pfeiffer Beach. Big Sur, CA:
What is the most beautiful beach in California? Surely this one is a contender. Which beach has your vote?
Pfeiffer Beach in the Big Sur area and is definitely off the beaten path, but well worth the drive. Because of this it has an untouched and natural majestic feel. Great for hiking and beach walks, taking in the true nature of California’s original coastline at its best. A great getaway from anything commercial and bad to no cellphone signal is a literal breath of fresh air.
Huntington Beach, CA:
A great surf spot where lots of people are out catching some waves. This is one beach sport I have yet to try but it looks like a blast and is always fun to watch. Walk its pier or just relax and sunbath on the sand.
Huntington City Beach is the center of a long stretch of sandy waterfront for the city of Huntington Beach, CA.
East Beach. Santa Barbara, CA:
The beach itself is very clean and there’s vast amounts of sand space so no matter how busy, you and your friends will always find somewhere to set up camp. In the spring and early summer the flowers are all blooming and the plants are photogenically beautiful.
If you’re looking for a place to start your long walk on the beach or single run along the water, east beach is your babe as you can go in either direction (on low tide) for quite some distance.
We visited Santa Barbara which was enjoyable by itself and after building up a healthy appetite wondering around headed to its warf for a nice meal with great views. Travelers whom drive Hwy 1 should certainly take time to take in this place and its amazing beach.
East Beach in Santa Barbara is located along the waterfront east of State Street and the Stearns Wharf Pier area.
San Diego Ocean beach city beach , CA:
Ocean Beach City Beach is the main beach in the San Diego neighborhood of Ocean Beach. This is a wide sandy beach that has formed at the south side of the San Diego River mouth. Its a great break from the city’s many popular parks and since it offers many months of beach weather every year it is a place to cool down, get your feet wet and recharge for the next adventure this place offers.
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