28 Greatest Seashores in California In 2023






California’s Pacific Coast boasts 840 miles of shoreline making it the right place for a highway journey to take pleasure in its infinite stretches of sand. Whereas many individuals can identify just a few of its extra well-known seashores like Venice Seashore, San Francisco’s Ocean Seashore, or San Diego’s Coronado Seashore, a few of the finest seashores in California usually are not 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 most effective California Seashores that you just already know and love, and a few lesser-known gems across the state.

Greatest California Seashores

best beaches in california

Seashores in California are nature’s unspoiled treasures and so they provide 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 crew for 2023.)

1. Venice Seashore – Los Angeles

best beaches in california venice beach

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

Most individuals who go to Venice Seashore stroll alongside the Venice Seashore Boardwalk, taking on the street performers, watching the bodybuilders elevate weights, and witnessing the numerous artists plying their commerce alongside this well-known stretch.

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

2. Manhattan Seashore – Los Angeles

Best Beaches in California Manhattan Beach

There’s a motive that Manhattan Seashore is without doubt one of the costliest locations to dwell in Los Angeles. Located completely on the Pacific Ocean, the extensive sandy seashore is tender and dotted with stunning homes, upscale eating places, fashionable boutiques, and a few very costly inns.

Weekends deliver out crowds of individuals together with some fairly good seashore volleyball gamers. Manhattan Seashore looks as if an odd identify for a seashore in California, however 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 actual property alongside Manhattan Seashore is spectacular with dwelling 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 Sundown Strip. Manhattan Seashore is certainly considered one of our favourite southern California seashores. Learn extra: 37 Greatest Issues To Do In Los Angeles In 2023 – By A Native

3. Malibu

Best California Beaches Zuma beach Malibu

Zuma Seashore

Malibu has a few of the most stunning seashores in California. Most individuals can be accustomed to Zuma Seashore, with its extensive sandy seashore that stretches for two miles. Dotted with seashore volleyball nets, lifeguard stands, and plenty of services it’s no surprise this seashore is so in style.

Different seashores within the space like Paradise Seashore, Level Dume State Seashore, and Puerco Seashore are smaller and provide a extra household environment than Zuma Seashore.

If you’re up for one thing distinctive, be sure to take a look at the Malibu Seashore Inn which provides you the possibility to spend a night on the “Billionaires Seashore” stretch of the coast. It will not be low-cost however it provides you a glimpse into how the opposite half lives. Learn extra about Malibu: 20 Greatest Issues To Do In Malibu In 2023 By A Native

4. Huntington Seashore – Orange County

Beaches in California Huntington Beach

Huntington State Seashore has turn out to be fairly the vacation spot these days and for good motive. Positioned within the metropolis of Huntington Seashore (nicknamed Surf Metropolis) it boasts a good looking 2-mile-long sandy seashore that stretches from Seashore Boulevard to the Santa Ana River Channel.

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

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

Ensure to go to downtown which has an incredible number of bars, fabulous eating places, ice cream outlets, and boutiques. Huntington Seashore is a kind of locations that was made for a trip.

5. Newport Seashore – Orange County

Beaches in California Newport Beach

With a whopping 10 miles of shoreline, Newport Seashore is situated within the well-known playground of the wealthy and delightful, Orange Nation.

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

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

6. Santa Monica Seashore

Santa Monica best beaches in California

Santa Monica Seashore is a spot for enjoyable within 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 seashore group is dwelling to the wealthy and well-known.

Head out to the Seashore to benefit from the sand and solar, but additionally to discover the Santa Monica State Seashore Park, climbing trails, procuring alongside the Third Seashore Preomenad, or biking alongside Marvin Braude Seashore Path.

Santa Monica Seashore can also be dwelling to glorious browsing identical to so many seashores in California.

7. Santa Barbara

Best Beaches in California Santa Barbara
Crusing in Santa Barbara – East Seashore

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 world.

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

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

Go to Summerland Seashore for horseback using, take a crusing journey, take pleasure in some kayaking alongside its shores or take within the stunning sundown at Hendry’s Seashore.

8. Pfeiffer Seashore – Huge Sur

Best Beaches in California Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur

Positioned alongside the Pacific Coast Freeway, Pfeiffer Seashore is without doubt one of the most stunning settings in California.

Well-known for its keyhole arch situated offshore within the Pacific Ocean, Pfeiffer Seashore is a good looking lengthy sandy seashore recognized for its purple sand.

It’s slightly off the crushed path making it probably the most secluded seashores in California. To get to Pfeiffer Seashore, from Freeway 1, take the second flip one mile south of Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park. It isn’t part of the State Park. drive down

There are tide swimming pools to be explored at low tide, excessive lookouts to view the infinite ocean, and rocks and bluffs. Learn extra in regards to the Pacific Coast Freeway at Huge Sur Highway Journey – The Greatest Viewpoints

9. Coronado Seashore – San Diego

Top Beaches in California Coronado Beach

Coronado Seashore homes the Silver Strand with seven miles of glowing sandy seashore. It’s situated simply throughout the bay from downtown San Diego and makes the record as one of many high seashores in California.

The enduring Lodge Del Coronado on the beachfront of San Diego Coronado Island was the setting for the film Some Like It Sizzling. 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 corresponding to starfish, crabs, and barnacles.

Swing by Del’s beachside café for fish tacos or head as much as the swank out of doors bar for sundown cocktails with a view. For extra on San Diego learn: A Native’s Information to the Greatest Issues to Do in San Diego

10. La Jolla Shores Seashore – San Diego

best beaches in california la jolla shores Beach
La Jolla Shores Seashore San Diego

La Jolla Shores is situated in stunning San Diego. This seashore is superb for exploring tide swimming pools and basking within the solar. It’s also one of many wildest stretches of the Southern California coast housing the Torrey Pines State Pure Reserve.

For those who love seashores, you will additionally love La Jolla Cove the place sea lions bask within the solar. La Jolla Cove can also be a superb place for kayaking to La Jolla Sea Caves to discover the coastal formations.

11. Foremost Seashore – Santa Cruz

best beaches in california - santa cruz
Santa Cruz Foremost Seashore

Hit up Foremost Seashore 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 many seashore actions together with seashore volleyball courts, browsing, and kayaking. You’ll see sea lions, sea otters, dolphins, and even whales offshore.

12. Pure Bridges State Seashore – Santa Cruz

best beaches in California Natural Bridges State Beach

Pure Bridges State Seashore in Santa Cruz is one other must-visit seashore in California. The stone formation is one thing you’ll count on to see off the coast of Portugal.

Pure Bridges State Seashore is known as for precisely what you suppose it’s, the pure bridge that’s situated 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 way of the world from October to January. The panorama alone makes this top-of-the-line seashores in California.

13. Pismo Seashore – San Luis Obispo

Best Beaches in California Pismo Beach

I’ll always remember watching Clueless within the Nineties and questioning the place Pismo Seashore was. Cher donated her ski gear to the Pismo Seashore Catastrophe. I had at all times needed to go there ever since.

We had our probability when exploring the wine area of Santa Maria. Positioned midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the Pacific Coast Freeway, this can be a stunning sandy seashore.

There are many issues to do round this small seashore city and whereas it is without doubt one of the finest seashores for browsing, we hit the sand dunes for a severe dune buggy journey.

If you’re not 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 Seashore signal.

14. El Matador State Seashore, Malibu

Best Beaches in California El Matador State Beach

El Matador Seashore is certainly top-of-the-line seashores in California and it’s simply a few minutes’ drive from Malibu. This slim seashore is within the shade of big cliffs and stairs led us down there from the parking zone.

We have been amazed by the attention-grabbing rock formations on the shore and within the water, and likewise by the right ocean sundown this seashore provides. It’s probably not a seashore for swimming or browsing, however it’s a photographer’s and {couples}’ favourite due to its wild and romantic environment.

15. Seashore at Alamere Falls, Level Reyes Nationwide Seashore

Beaches in California Alamere Falls

A seashore with a waterfall – how does that sound? No, we aren’t speaking of Huge Sur’s in style and magical McWay Falls this time, it’s one other one: Alamere Falls at Level Reyes Nationwide Seashore.

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

Nevertheless, this distinctive seashore requires some climbing, as a result of it could solely be accessed through Coast Path from Palomarin Trailhead. This implies an 8 miles average roundtrip which has simply turn out to be a day hike for us as we spent a lot time chilling out on the seashore.

16. Rodeo Seashore, Golden Gate Nationwide Recreation Space

Best California Beaches Rodeo Beach

Golden Gate Nationwide Recreation Space is simply north of San Francisco and it provides a number of good coastal hikes, some with a surprising panorama of Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay.

Rodeo Seashore is a good seashore for hikers as it’s the place to begin of a number of shorter and longer hikes and likewise 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 robust currents. We loved strolling on the seashore, doing a few of the coastal hikes, and getting amazed by the wild ocean.

17. Laguna Seashore, Orange County

Best Beaches in California Laguna Beach Orange County

Laguna Seashore is a neighborhood’s favourite in Orange County. And our favourite, too! With its clear and calm water is claimed to be top-of-the-line swimming seashores and there may be additionally scuba diving within the space. However we warn you the water is much from heat even in the summertime – simply as wherever else alongside the coast.

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

18. Pescadero State Seashore – San Mateo County

Beaches in California Pescadero State Beach

Pescadero is a protracted, 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 Pure Protect is correct behind the seashore.

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

19. Half Moon Bay State Seashore – San Francisco

Best beaches in California Half moon Bay State Beach in California

Positioned a couple of 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 Seashore, Dunes Seashore, and Francis Seashore.

Take a hike alongside the California Coastal Path for panoramic views of the shoreline. Dreaming of an island getaway? Try our record of The Most Stunning Tropical Islands within the World

20. Andrew Molera State Seashore, Huge Sur

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

Once more, an adventurous seashore! It’s situated in Andrew Molera State Park in Huge Sur alongside the Pacific Coast Freeway. Accessing Andrew Molera State Seashore requires a brief stroll from the 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 Highway Journeys. 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 have been there, we might pleasantly stroll by way of it. Uhm… we might have completed it pleasantly if it wouldn’t have been so rattling chilly. However it was nonetheless enjoyable.

Andrew Molera Seashore is on the mouth of Huge Sur River, it’s a protracted undeveloped seashore and we additionally beloved climbing on the good bluff climbing trails above it. Learn extra: A information to the most effective campgrounds in Huge Sur

21. Gold Bluffs Seashore, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Best Beaches in California Gold Bluffs Beach
Gold Bluffs Seashore

Gold Bluffs Seashore is a part of Northern California’s Redwood Nationwide and State Parks and the foggy redwoods within the background give a mystic environment to it. This places it proper up there as top-of-the-line seashores in California.

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

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

It begins from Gold Bluffs Seashore – or ends on the seashore when you begin at James Irvine Path as we did. The seashore itself can also be accessible by automotive and there’s a small campground on the parking zone. Learn: 7 Epic Locations to Go to in Northern California

22. Limantour Seashore, Level Reyes Nationwide Seashore

Best Beaches in California Limantour Beach
Greatest seashores in California: Limantour Seashore

This lengthy and excellent sandy seashore on a sand spit between Drakes Bay and the Limantour Estero estuary is one other gem of Level Reyes Nationwide Seashore.

Due 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 Seashore is accessible by automotive and it has a pleasant massive parking zone. However 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 completed the Laguna Path – Limantour Seashore – Muddy Hole Path – Bayview Path loop which was a good looking various day hike.

23. Carmel Seashore Metropolis Park, Carmel-By-The-Sea

Carmel City Beach in California

The group of lovely Carmel by the Sea additionally has top-of-the-line California seashores. Positioned proper on Central California’s Monterey Peninsula Carmel is a good base for exploring the Pacific Coast Freeway.

It’s a kind of typical Central California seashores with a stunning strolling road, tons of eating places with or with out ocean panorama, and naturally, a protracted, sandy seashore (that can also be canine pleasant.) Discover it extra at The Greatest Stops on 17 Mile Drive

We beloved strolling on Carmel Seashore and likewise on the scenic highway above the seashore. The seashore was stuffed with households having a picnic, youngsters swimming or enjoying within the water and canines operating round, and naturally, the seashore volleyball that California is so well-known for.

Carmel Seashore is without doubt 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 seashore bonfire. Learn extra: Issues to do in Carmel by the Sea, California

24. Cowell Ranch Seashore, Half Moon Bay

Best Beaches in California Cowell Ranch Beach

Essentially the most hidden seashore and top-of-the-line seashores in California is Cowell Ranch Seashore. Whereas driving south of Half Moon Bay State Seashore on California 1 we have been in search of a small parking zone by a yellow gate which indicated the trailhead for Cowell Ranch Seashore.

It’s simple to overlook it, however it’s price in search of, it rewarded us with a good looking, 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 at all times a good suggestion on the California Central coast, however right here you could have an particularly good probability to look at seals. Alternatively, Cowell Ranch Seashore is dealing with completely west, so it’s a peaceable getaway for sundown lovers.

25. Crystal Cove State Park – Orange County

crystal cove state park

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 excellent for out of doors fanatics.

An 18-mile climbing path can also be out there for all. Whereas unleashed canines usually are not allowed on the seashore, they’re allowed on the path. Eating places 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 – Huge Sur

best beaches in california - Sand dollar beach

Don’t let the steep stroll down the seashore deter you as you can be rewarded with probably the most scenic seashores in California. An exquisite shoreline with a rocky panorama enclosed in a cove-like formation.

Whereas Sand Greenback Seashore won’t be finest for swimming, it’s an incredible picnic spot. The dramatic rock formation that encloses the seashore makes for an incredible place to chill out as you admire nature in all its glory.

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

For those who’re up for it, you can too go trying to find jade stones. Nevertheless, stick with laws to your security.

27. Glass seashore – Fort Bragg

glass beach

Positioned in Fort Bragg, the glass seashore is a real testomony to what nature can do. The seashore is filled with coloured stones that have been as soon as dumped items of glass choking the life out of the ocean. Mom 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 totally different sizes and shapes. Widespread colours you’ll discover embrace clear, brown, and inexperienced.

Children will particularly love visiting this seashore as they’re solely however just a few glass seashores on this planet.

Years of holiday makers taking the glass stones has depleted the seashore and has resulted within 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.

Keep in mind to maintain your flip flop on always as you stroll alongside the seashore as a few of the stones are sharp.

28. Marin County Stinson Seashore

best beaches in california stinson beach

Stinson Seashore 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 seashore is a high choose for its tender sand and crescent form.

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

To the east, you’ll discover the majestic Mount Tamalpais State Park, which provides 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’ll be able to swim within the ocean (though the water will be chilly), surf, boogie board, or just chill out on the sand. The seashore can also be in style for beachcombing, birdwatching, and kite flying. Close by Mount Tamalpais provides quite a few climbing and biking trails that showcase the world’s beautiful coastal and forested landscapes.

Closing Ideas on the Seashore Seashores in California

best beaches in california map

From Ocean Seashore in San Fransico with the most effective view of the Golden Gate Bridge to the Southernmost Seashore in California – Imperial Seashore close to San Diego, there are numerous seashores in California. You may additionally like these Greatest Seashores 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 america.

About Our Wanders: Csaba and Bea are passionate vacationers, hikers, and pastime photographers. They left their small dwelling nation, Hungary virtually 2 years in the past and moved to a a lot greater one, the US the place they’ve rapidly turn out to be hooked on nationwide parks, climbing, and highway journeys and began to imagine that they’ll dwell their desires. Examine their adventures on their weblog Our Wanders. Observe them additionally on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Fb!

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