Best California Beaches

by Zara Mohammed, Lifestyle Columnist


Published in Lifestyle and Entertainment on 3rd July, 2019


If you are a tourist travelling through California, here is a guide to some of the best California Beaches for you to check out. Keep reading to the end to find out what the best beach in California to visit is!

Well-known California Beaches

Let's start off with some beach names that might be familiar to you. Here are three of the post popular beaches in California.

La Jolla Shores Beach

Located near the top of the San Diego area La Jolla Shores is a popular spot, and often jam-packed full of people enjoying the sun. One of the best ways to explore the shore is in a kayak or on a stand-up paddleboard. You will find other surfers riding the waves and kids having fun on body-boards too.

la jolla shores beach

You can continue to walk further up north towards Scripps Pier for some peace and quiet if you are craving a bit of solitude and me-time. And beyond that you will reach South Black's Beach where clothing is optional, if you fancy stripping down to your birthday suit.

Santa Monica State Beach

This is definitely the beach you want to visit if you are after theme park rides and amusements. It has an awesome pier, a great shopping experience, and a beach that is so big it is full of thousands of visitors every single day.

There is ample parking and plenty of hotels and restaurants, making this the perfect destination for a short break.

Coronado Beach

This is one of the best beach options for walking. Families with kids and pet dogs will love the north end of the beach, which is dog-friendly, meaning your dogs can roam freely and get their exercise.

coronado beach

Because the beach doesn't usually get large waves due to the protection from Point Loma, it is also a great beach for your kids and pets to have fun in the water.

Locally Known Beaches in California

If you are looking for something a little less touristy you should check out some of these beach options, popular with the locals.

Carmel City Beach

Home sale prices in the Carmel-By-The-Sea city area of California reach well over one million dollars. The well-off locals are very friendly though, and Carmel City Beach is a favourite beach to visit with vast space and bright white sand.

If you like to watch sunsets you might be interested to know that small beach fires are permitted on the south end.

Moonstone Beach

Cambria's beaches are a natural rustic brown colour, which is quite a contrast to the white beaches of Carmel.

Moonstone is a very beautiful long beach, which is quite narrow at high tide, but has a very picturesque shoreline, and plenty of motels and restaurants on Moonstone Beach Drive, which runs parallel to the beach.

Salt Creek Beach

Try this great beach in Orange County if you fancy having a grassy picnic on the large lawns. It is a windy spot that is perfect for surfers, and there are plenty of lifeguards making sure that nobody drifts out too far.

salt creek beach

At the south end of the beach at low tide you will find tide pools, and further south you will find another great beach for walking called Dana Strand Beach.

Hidden Gem Beaches To Discover

The following beaches are far less known, but just waiting to be discovered. So satisfy the explorer in you and go check them out.

Sand Dollar Beach

Many people driving Highway 1 in Big Sur tend to drive right past this hidden gen of a beach, even though it's not exactly hidden. It is a day-use area only, but if you are a camper do not fear as Plaskett Creek Campground is just across the highway.

One of the things that make Sand Dollar Beach so attractive is the large rocks offshore that you can gaze at, and relax whilst watching the surf break against the base of the rocks. Have fun searching for sand dollars whilst walking along the beach, and green jade stone that can be found in the cliffs.

Jade Cove is nearby to for any adventurers to explore.

McClures Beach

If you fancy a long drive out to the northwestern shoreline of Point Reyes National Seashore to get to the parking lot, then McClures Beach is a real hidden gem to discover.

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From the parking lot you can enjoy a half-mile walk down the trail to the sand, where you will be able to enjoy this beautiful beach with its wild vibe and feeling of remoteness that other beaches aren't able to offer. Its not a huge beach but there is plenty of space to walk around and expore.

Pebble Beach of Crescent City

Local residents will of course know about this beach, but apart from that this is a hidden gem well worth visiting as few other people know about it. Due to the beach sloping gradually, it is super wide at low tide, but fairly narrow at high tide.

If you look offshore you will see Castle Rock, which is a huge rocky island. It is part of national wildlife refuge that protects rocks that are home to sea birds, seals, and sea lions. It is a great place to take your camera.

The Best Beach In California

If you have been waiting for me to reveal what the best beach to visit in California is, don't worry because the time has come!

San Gregorio State Beach

There are trails to explore, and a large picnic area. But as you make your way down to the beach you will begin to see why it has been singled out as the best beach in California to visit. Behind the beach is a creek and lagoon.

san gregorio state beach

It is a wonderful spot to take your camera and catch some awesome shots of the birds posing down there. The beach is a wonderful walking beach, you can walk south from the creek all the way to Pomponio State Beach and even further at low tide.

The opposite side of the beach offers caves to explore, and further north is a private beach where clothing is optional. You can search for unique rocks and fossils around the cliffs too, which makes a fun activity for kids.

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