California, the Golden State; people know California for the Golden Gate Bridge, Silicon Valley, and of course, Hollywood, but another thing California is most famous for is its beaches. Blessed by its amazing coastline, California is home to some of the best beaches in the United States. What makes the best beaches in California truly the best?
California beaches offer the beachgoers a wide variety and well-developed beaches, where at the same time, they can enjoy nature and the stunning scenery. From Pelican State Beach in the North to Imperial Beach in the South, there are some of the best beaches in California.
There are beaches where families play with their kids on sandy beaches and warm waves, and other beaches where ocean currents and underwater coral reefs create powerful waves that only surfers can love.
There are many things to do and gorgeous places to visit along the Golden State’s best beaches in California.
Best Beaches in California
The best beaches in California are not just about the sea and the sand as far as the eyes can see, but they offer so much more. California beaches have covered everything with so many water sports, beach volleyball, romantic walks, and endless wind through your hair.
The Northern California coast is home to some of the world’s most photogenic beaches and great hiking spots. From the Oregon border to the San Francisco Bay Area, from the wild, secluded beaches of Del Norte County to the wide sandy beach of San Mateo County, there are over 300 beaches.
Southern California coast stretches from San Diego in the south through Malibu in the north. The Golden State of America is lucky to have a fantasy shore with probably the best beaches in the world. Remote sandy coves, beautiful sandy beaches, cliffs, scenic seascapes, rippling coastlines, and Southern California beaches are world-class.
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Pacific Coast Highway
A California coastal drive along the roaring Pacific Ocean is probably America’s favorite drive destination. The Pacific Coast route begins at the northwest tip of the United States at Port Townsend near Olympic National Park and remains within sight of the ocean almost all the way south to the Mexican border.
And some routes are fully offered when it comes to stunning views, quirky stops, and that refreshing coincidence of wondering what the next road turn will bring.
Here are some of the best beaches in California mentioned below:
1. Baker Beach, San Francisco
Located right next to the Golden gate bridge, Baker beach is one of the closest beaches to San Francisco. With the most picture-perfect view, this is one of the best beaches in California for families.
This public park was previously a military fort. Due to its strong currents, it is not suitable for swimming, thus making it more of a walking beach. And with the BBQ grills available for the public, making it a great beach for your extravagant picnics and dates.
2. Carmel beach, Carmel by-the-Sea
Carmel River State Beach is next to the beach town of Carmel-by-The-Sea. The City Beach is a long, wide, white sand beach that is hard to beat anywhere on the California Central Coast. Want to take your dog for a walk by the sea? Carmel beach is the answer for that and thus making it to the top of the list of the best beaches in California.
Carmel beach is a mile-long beach with great hiking trails that runs along the entire area. It is one of the most famous beaches in Northern California and calls for all the bird watchers, surfers, and kayakers. It’s a three-hour journey south of San Francisco that’s incredibly scenic and attracts visitors from all over the world every year.
3. Main Beach, Santa Cruz
The Santa Cruz Main Beach, which runs between the Santa Cruz Wharf and the San Lorenzo River, is undoubtedly Santa Cruz’s most popular and crowded beach. Because the waters are noticeably warmer and its lively beach culture Santa Cruz Main Beach is packed with surfers, volleyball players, and sunbathers.
Behind the beach, you’ll find the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park, an arcade, mini-golf, swimming pool, bowling alley, and many restaurant options that visitors have flocked to for years.
Families love to visit Main Beach throughout the summer. Because of its continuous soft waves and vast, sandy shoreline, it’s a fantastic site for seaside activities like body boarding and beach volleyball. In addition to that, Natural bridges state beach is one of the best beaches in Santa Cruz. One of California’s most photographed beach icons, Natural bridges state beach is named after the huge rocky natural arches on the coast.
4. Pfeiffer beach, Big Sur
Pfeiffer Beach, famed for its violet-hued sand, is a gorgeous, pristine site popular among locals but relatively unknown among Big Sur visitors. Pfeiffer Beach, along with Bixby Creek Bridge and Mc Way Falls, is one of Big Sur’s most popular attractions and thus, comes among the best beaches in California.
The beach is reached via an unpaved road off Highway 1, aka the Pacific Coast Highway, which was recently named the most scenic drive in the state.
It is one of Monterey County’s most beautiful beaches. With its slightly curved top and magnificent proportions, Keyhole Arch is obvious as soon as you get a full view of the beach, and it is a majestic sight.
The sand is usually the most purple shortly after it rains, so check the weather forecast in the week following your visit and try to visit on a sunny day that follows a rainy day. Finding the beach is a little tricky, and you will have to ensure you don’t miss the turn-off on California Highway 1!
5. Huntington City Beach, Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach, city, Orange county, southwestern California, is situated south of Los Angeles; it lies along the Pacific Coast route. Huntington City Beach and the Huntington Beach pier are the city’s heart.
Packed on summer weekends with surfers, beach volleyball players, swimmers, and families, the beach gives the city the nickname “Surf City.” Huntington Beach is known around the world for its amazing surf spots. So, of course, it had to be included in the Beach Boys song at some point, making it in the list of best beaches in California.
Not only will you enjoy incredible ocean views, but when you need to stay away from the sun, sand and sea, learn about the city’s favorite pastimes at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum. Before the end of the day, admire the spectacular sunsets of California at our oceanfront restaurant or rooftop bar in downtown Huntington Beach.
6. Santa Monica State Beach, Santa Monica
South California is known for its famous beaches, and Santa Monica is among the most famous of them all, with its soft, golden sand. Located just west of Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica beach is conveniently divided by the Santa Monica pier. Best for one of your strolls, a game of beach volleyball at the courts made along the beach, surfing or paddle boarding, Santa Monica beach is what you are looking for.
Santa Monica’s signature pier at sunset, its huge sun setting in the Pacific Ocean, and you’re probably wondering if it could be much better. Santa Monica Beach is a very lively beach crowded with people from children to adults.
Right next to the pier is an amusement park called Pacific Park, with not-so-scary roller coasters and classic rides, perfect for young kids. Walking or biking to the Santa Monica beach is quick and easy. Paved and lighted paths, clear signage, accessible walkways, and bike lanes are available the length of the beach.
7. Main Beach, Laguna beach
The main beach is Laguna’s largest and most popular beach. It is a nice sandy beach in a broad cove that faces southwest. All beaches in Laguna Beach offer a unique slice of paradises like Thousand Steps Beach and Victoria Beach. Beaches in Laguna Beach star on Southern California postcards.
There is not much space to spread towels on the main beach. Still, there’s no shortage of activities with beach volleyball, Basketball, Scuba Diving, Surfing, Bodysurfing, Beach Walking, Sunbathing, and Swimming.
Laguna Beach, another delight from the list of best beaches in California, is also one of the clearest Southern California beaches. One of the many exciting and beautiful things to do during your stay in Laguna Beach is Crystal Cove State Park has 3.2 miles of beach.
This is a major part of California’s lasting popularity as a destination for camping, hiking, and horseback riding. Also, Crystal Cove State Park is used by inland mountain bikers and underwater divers.
8. Newport Municipal beach
Newport Beach offers fine, soft sand and has plenty of space to stretch and enjoy. Newport Municipal Beach is located on both sides of the Newport Beach Pier, and the picturesque wooden fishing pier has wonderful views up and down the shoreline. Five miles of sand stretch north and south of Balboa Pier.
The beach provides the backdrop for a variety of activities, Surfing, Fishing, Biking, Walking, Sunbathing, Running, Skating, Beach Walking, and Volleyball. Newport Beach also has long bike paths that stretch most of the peninsula.
Newport Beach boasts an array of amenities, including the Lido Marina Village shopping center and the Balboa Fun Zone amusement park. Therefore, making it in the list of the best beaches in California.
9. Butterfly beach, Montecito
Popular among Santa Barbara locals, Butterfly Beach is located along Channel Drive in the laid-back village of Montecito. The Beach iost a scenic stretch of Santa Barbara, but it’s also very friendly to your four-legged friends — and we’re not just talking about dogs, but horses as well!
Many local The Beach is easily accessible from Downtown Santa Barbara via a 10-minute or 15-minute bike ride.s bring their dogs to Butterfly Beach and walk at the water’s edge. There is also a good chance of spotting dolphins, sea lions, and whales, so bring a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, and you’ll be in good company.
10. Manhattan State beach
Manhattan Beach is a city on the Pacific coast northwest of Los Angeles County, south of El Segundo, west of Hawthorne and Redondo Beach, and north of Hermosa Beach. Manhattan Beach has over 2 miles of ocean frontage and a beautiful sandy beach. A 900-foot pier on the edge of Manhattan Beach Boulevard divides the area.
It is a great beach and is an extremely popular surf spot where you can swim and surf, and there are also plenty of volleyball nets that extend to Hermosa Beach, another beach part of the list of best beaches in California.
11. Pacific Beach, San Diego
Pacific Beach is one of the finest beaches in San Diego. It is located just north of downtown San Diego, right after Mission Beach. During summer, the boardwalk can be packed with people from late morning to the late evening, giving a spring-break-like vibe.
Situated between the Pacific Ocean shoreline and the bluffs behind it, it is where young crowds often enjoy sunbathing, playing beach sports on the sandy shores, and bar hopping roughly between Crystal Pier and where the vacation rentals start in Mission Beach.
The main street in Pacific Beach is home to loads of casual shops, restaurants, and bars. In the middle of the pier on the right, there is a great place to see surfers. On the other side of the pier, you can go whale watching, watch the sunset and catch fish.
12. Pismo State beach
Pismo Beach is a classic small beach town located on California’s famous Central Coast, halfway between the Pacific coast of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the 101 Highway. The city will amaze you with its natural wonders, from steep seaside cliffs to dunes. Enjoy Pismo’s great weather and fabulous area wineries.
Golfing on the Central Coast, bashing dunes on a 4WD ATV, horseback riding, surfing, bodyboarding, and fishing are all part of your vacation at one of the best beaches in California.
Take a stroll along the award-winning boardwalk adjacent to the Pismo pier. Shop at Pismo Beach Premium Outlets, and visit the California Welcome Center while you’re there.
13. Venice Beach, Florida
Venice Beach is in Venice city limits but is maintained by Sarasota County, including its concession area. A Certified Blue Wave Beach, with clean sand and clear shiny waters, it’s another of our beautiful Gulf of Mexico beaches waiting for you to explore.
Venice Beach is one of the best beaches in California to find seashells and shark tooth hunting, which led to the beginning of the Venice Shark Tooth Festival every April.
Along with two sand volleyball courts, a picnic area, and boardwalks, dolphin sightings have been off the far end of the Venice Jetty. From Venice Beach, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Venice Public Fishing Pier and have plenty of opportunities to find dolphins and fruit flies. There are numerous sea turtle nests on the beaches along with Venice between May and October.
14. Sand dollar beach, Big Sur
Sand Dollar Beach is a half-mile beach in Big Sur, California, and is one of the best beaches in California longest public beaches on the coast. Swimming and playing in the water are not recommended due to dangerous wave conditions and strong currents.
It’s popular with hikers and photographers because of its stunning cliffs. Tide pools can be found at the south end of the beach at low tides. Behind the beach are also beautiful jade stones and other rounded sea rocks.
There are more of these beautiful green rocks near Jade Cove, but the largest and most valuable have already been extracted. Walking along the water in search of tide pools, interesting driftwood, and the most beautiful rocks is a great way to spend time on the beach.
Dogs are welcome at Sand Dollar Beach, so how can it not make the list of best beaches in California. They are expected to be strapped along the trail, but when you arrive at the beach and walk freely on the sand, you’ll see some unstrung dogs.
15. Dunes Beach, San Mateo County
Located along California’s renowned Pacific Coast Highway, Dunes Beach is one of the northern beaches in Half Moon Bay State beach, adding it to the list of best beaches in California. The Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail runs through the beach and is a must-see for hiking enthusiasts. It runs parallel to the Pacific coast and overlooks the ocean.
The California Coastal Trail runs through the beach and is a must for any hiking fan. A short, steep sandy path leads through the dunes on the cliff to the beach. It is a popular spot regardless of the season, such as sunbathing, fishing, surfing, picnics, and camping.
So, there you go, you are all set to have summer fun at the best beaches in California. And just in case, you want to know about some of the Best Casinos in California, check out our article https://icytales.com/casinos-in-north-california/