Travel Guide

The 30 Most Beautiful Beaches in California

California is blessed with a glittering 840-mile-long shoreline, a lot of which is dotted with a few of the most lovely seashores in the USA.

While exploring this sun-kissed state, you’ll simply discover seaside escapes of each form and measurement— serene coves, picturesque browsing locations, family-friendly stretches of sand, and idyllic seashores tucked away in pristine nationwide parks.

No matter the place you go in California, you’re by no means too removed from a stunning stretch of shoreline. The solely problem is deciding the place to start.

Here’s a whole information to the 30 prime most lovely California seashores price visiting. Whether you’re in search of peaceable golden sands to put down and decompress or a picturesque spot to get pleasure from watersports, you will see that one thing in this information. Have a glance under!

The 30 Best Beaches in California

Huntington City Beach, Huntington Beach

People surfing on Huntington City Beach, Huntington Beach.

Huntington City Beach is likely one of the most coveted browsing spots in California. This 3.5-mile municipal seashore is situated in the seaside neighborhood of Huntington Beach, typically known as “Surf City.”

Set alongside the Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington City Beach is praised for its meals surf in any respect levels of the tide and clear groundswells.

Aside from offering guests with world-class browsing alternatives, the seashore additionally options an array of family-friendly facilities. You’ll discover a number of volleyball courts, bonfire pits, and a paved bike path right here.

The crown jewel of the seashore is the legendary Huntington Beach Pier, which spans 1,850 toes lengthy and provides showstopping views of the Pacific Ocean.

Recommended Read: The Ultimate California Travel Guide

Crystal Cove, Laguna Beach

Crystal Cove, in Laguna Beach.

Crystal Cove State Park is an unspoiled location the place guests can expertise nature at its most interesting. Considered certainly one of Orange County’s largest remaining examples of open area and pure seashore, this state park encompasses a minimum of 3.2 miles of the Pacific shoreline.

The park is situated on the border with Newport Beach, and it’s dwelling to an array of golden-sand seashores appropriate for each temper and second. Moro Beach is a major place for bodyboarding, paddle boarding, fishing, and kayaking, whereas Reef Point is a top-notch spot for scuba diving. Ensure you additionally go to Little Treasure Cove, identified for its scenic tide swimming pools.

Another dazzling characteristic of Crystal Cove is the park’s 1,000-acre underwater park. Located simply off the shore of Crystal Cove Beach, the park is a wonderland for snorkelers and scuba divers, because it preserves one of the vital biodiverse marine ecosystems in the world: the Kelp forest. Here, adventurers will discover spectacular aquatic forests than can attain as much as 100 toes!

Crystal Cove’s alluring seashores are fantastically framed by over 2,000 acres of wilderness. Some of the breathtaking pure options you’ll embody whereas exploring the park embody majestic bluffs, dramatic canyons, and developed woodlands.

South Mission Beach, San Diego

Sunset at South Mission Beach, in San Diego.

Mission Beach is likely one of the most vibrant seashores in San Diego. Situated in the namesake neighborhood, this broad stretch of sand spans practically two miles of oceanfront and provides loads of alternatives for outside actions. 

Surfing, biking, sunbathing, boogie boarding, swimming, and seashore volleyball are fun-filled experiences guests can get pleasure from in Mission Beach. There’s additionally a paved oceanfront pathway that runs north and south from the seashore, and it’s excellent for biking, skating, operating, and strolling.

This vibrant seashore can also be surrounded by varied eating places and family-friendly locations. A must-visit is Belmont Park, well-known for its large curler coaster that speeds as much as 48 mph with sharp dips and turns.

Recommended Read: The Best Things To Do in San Diego

La Jolla Shores, San Diego

La Jolla in San Diego, California.

Those in search of to journey themselves in the water can’t go up the prospect to go to San Diego’s La Jolla Shores Beach. Known for its dependable and predictable waves, this mile-long seashore is the right spot for an exhilarating browsing session. The seashore’s crescent-shaped stretch of sand can also be ultimate for jogging and sunbathing.

You can take off from La Jolla Shores Beach to La Jolla Cove, a tiny coastal inlet identified for its light waves. Then, head over to the eye-popping La Jolla tide swimming pools, inhabited by many marine species like anemones, starfish, small crabs, hermit crabs, clams, and even small octopuses.

Recommended Read: The 6 Best Hotels in San Diego, California

West Beach, Santa Barbara

West Beach, Santa Barbara.

Are you visiting Santa Barbara along with your children? Then, West Beach is the place to go. Sandwiched between Stearn’s Wharf and the Harbor, this family-friendly seashore is definitely accessible and has many fun-filled facilities.

There’s a paved bike path with gorgeous ocean views, volleyball courts, strolling trails, and a pier.

The seashore can also be prime for watching Santa Barbara’s New Year’s and 4th of July Fireworks exhibits.

Recommended Read: 17 Bucket-List Things to do in Santa Barbara, California

Butterfly Beach, Santa Barbara

Butterfly Beach, Santa Barbara, California.

Butterfly Beach is one other bucket-list shoreline in Santa Barbara. A favourite amongst locals, this pristine seashore is thought for its serene waters, excellent for swimming and paddle boarding, and the comfortable sand, ultimate for sunbathing.

When visiting Butterfly Beach, stick round for sundown, a stunning spectacle of orange and pink hues over the Pacific Ocean.

Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica

Santa Monica State Beach, Santa Monica, California.

Santa Monica State Beach (aka Santa Monica Beach) is undoubtedly one of many prime Southern California seashores. This 3-mile-long stretch of sand follows the sting of the Pacific Coast Highway and permits guests to indulge in many actions.

The seashore has comfortable, sandy shores, ultimate for sunbathing, jogging, and strolling, in addition to seashore volleyball courts, picnic areas, and playgrounds.

Santa Monica Beach additionally performs host to the Original Muscle Beach, a particular space that flaunts gymnastics tools, comparable to parallel bars, rings, swings, and ropes accessible for teenagers and adults.

Around the seashore, you’ll discover a few of the prime points of interest in Santa Monica, together with the Santa Monica Pier, the Pacific Park, and the Heal The Bay Aquarium.

Ocean Beach, San Francisco

Ocean Beach with views of the Golden Gate, San Francisco, California.

Ocean Beach is likely one of the greatest seashores in San Francisco. Nestled on the westernmost border of San Francisco, adjoining to Golden Gate Park, this well-known seashore provides probably the most jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean and the majestic Golden Gate Bridge.

The 3.5-mile stretch of white sand and a breezy esplanade is a superb pot for scenic walks. At nighttime, guests can get pleasure from cozy seashore bonfires ( there are hearth rings between stairwells 15 via 20), and when the wind is kicking, the place turns into a veritable mecca for windsurfing.

Swimming is harmful at Ocean Beach on account of chilly water temperatures and powerful rip currents.

Baker Beach, San Francisco

Baker Beach with views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California.

Baker Beach is one other worth-visiting San Francisco seashore. It’s a bit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, encompassing over 82,000 acres of shoreline park and beachfront areas inside the San Francisco Bay Area. 

The mile-long Baker Beach stretches beneath the rugged cliffs in the southwest nook of the Presidio and rewards guests with privileged views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Ocean, the Marin Headlands, and Lands End.

The north aspect of Baker Beach is “clothing optional,” that means it’s additionally a nude seashore.

Recommended Read: A Guide To The 8 Best Nude Beaches In The United States

Half Moon Bay State Beach, San Mateo

Half Moon Bay, California.

The Half Moon Bay State Beach is a state park comprising 4 seashores: Francis Beach, Venice Beach, Dunes Beach, and Roosevelt Beach.

Perfect for these in search of to flee California’s jam-packed shores, these broad seashores supply golden sand (excellent for jogging, strolling, or just sunbathing) and spectacular views of aqua-blue waters.

Half Moon Bay’s seashores are additionally ultimate for fishing, picnicking, and tenting.

Want to get pleasure from taking in the spectacular landscapes of the realm? Then, go climbing alongside the California Coastal Trail.

Zuma Beach, Malibu


Zuma Beach is likely one of the largest and hottest seashores in Los Angeles County. Nestled in Malibu, this legendary seashore has white sand, gin-clear waters, and massive waves that are perfect for browsing.

In reality, Zuma Beach constantly ranks among the many healthiest seashores for clear water circumstances in Los Angeles County.

Amenities like Volleyball courts, picnic areas, and meals stands may be discovered at varied spots alongside the seashore.

El Matador State Beach, Malibu

El Matador State Beach, Malibu, California.

Located in the Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, El Matador State Beach is a feast for sore eyes. Regarded as top-of-the-line seashores in the USA, it has a secluded stretch of golden sand framed by dramatic coastal bluffs and faces the aquamarine waters of the Pacific Ocean. By the best way, this seashore has one of many clearest waters in Los Angeles county.

Massive rocks, caves, hidden coves, and a number of other migrating birds all design a peaceable and rustic ambiance in El Matador Beach.

There’s additionally a car parking zone on the bluff with picnic tables with views of the Pacific Ocean.

Main Beach, Laguna Beach

Main Beach, Laguna Beach, California.

Located simply an hour from Los Angeles, Laguna Beach is a romantic coastal metropolis in Orange County identified for its coastal canyons and hidden coves. Right in the center of Laguna, you’ll discover Main Beach, greatest identified its white landmark lifeguard tower.

This seashore is generally sand backside, and its shore break supplies wonderful circumstances for physique boarding and browsing (besides in the course of the summer time months).

Main Beach additionally has a boardwalk, seashore volleyball courts, basketball courts, and a playground, making it a major vacation spot for outside actions.

From right here, you’ll simply entry Laguna Beach’s prime procuring areas, eating places, and cafes.

Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur

Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California.

Pfeiffer Beac, in Big Sur, is not like something you’ve ever seen. This picturesque seashore is legendary for its purple sands (the results of manganese garnet deposits) and for being dwelling to an Insta-worthy geological characteristic known as the Keyhole Arch. Located simply offshore, this rock formation is likely one of the most photographed spots in California.

Swimming shouldn’t be really useful at Pfeiffer Beach, because the currents right here may be harmful. However, the seashore’s beautiful setting supplies a great backdrop for a scenic stroll or an outside picnic.

Carmel Beach, Carmel by the Sea

Aerial view of Carmel by the Sea in California, US.

Carmel Beach is an atmospheric seaside getaway in Carmel-by-the-Sea, on California’s Monterey Peninsula. This dreamy seashore lies on the foot of Ocean Avenue and options white sands and a delicate cove backed by majestic cypress bushes.

There are peaks alongside this half-mile seashore, creating the best circumstances for browsing.

Visitors could make cozy fires at sundown, jog across the seashore, or play with their canines in the sand.

Arroyo Burro Beach, Santa Barbara

A dog walker on Arroyo Burro Beach, Santa Barbara, California.

One of the highest issues to do in Santa Barbara is visiting Arroyo Burro Beach. Located simply ten minutes from the town heart, this 70-acre reserve is dwelling to a seashore surrounded by towering bluffs and scenic trails providing breathtaking ocean views.

Popular actions embody picnicking, bodyboarding, fishing, stand-up paddle boarding, browsing, and swimming.

Venice Beach, Los Angeles

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California.

Venice Beach is a bucket-list vacation spot for anybody visiting California. Once the epicenter of Los Angeles’s hippie scene, this bohemian neighborhood buzzes with Insta-worthy brunch spots, wellness retailers, wholesome supermarkets, road performers, and yoga studios.

This vibrant California seashore has virtually 3 miles of shoreline and 238 acres dotted with swinging palm bushes. Its sand stretch is broad, flat, and ultimate for sunbathing, jogging, and seashore sports activities. Surfing can also be a well-liked exercise right here.

You’ll additionally discover a paved oceanfront stroll the place locals and vacationers bike, jog, stroll, and rollerblade.

Oceano Dunes, Pismo Beach

Cars in Oceano Dunes, Pismo Beach, California.

Want to take your seashore expertise to the following degree? Then, head over to Oceano Dunes. Located three miles south of Pismo Beach, this leisure space preserves greater than 5 miles of seashore open for car use and certainly one of California’s most expansive coastal dunes.

The sun-kissed dunes right here go on for miles, protecting an unlimited geographical space, and may be explored via an array of adrenaline-filled actions. Don’t go the prospect to fly up and down the large banks of sand in your individual ATV or SunBuggy.

Victoria Beach, Laguna Beach

Victoria Beach, in Laguna Beach, at sunset.

Victoria Street is certainly one of Laguna’s best-kept secrets and techniques. Backed by coastal bluffs, this massive cove seashore additionally dazzles guests with an array of distinctive options, comparable to a pool on the sand, hidden sea caves, and tide swimming pools.

However, its best-known attraction is the medieval-looking “Pirate Tower”, which overlooks the ocean and is likely one of the most photographed spots in Laguna.

Main Beach, Santa Cruz

Main Beach, Santa Cruz, California.

Santa Cruz Main Beach is a wonderful location for households. Located in entrance of Santa Cruz’s well-known boardwalk, this expansive seashore boasts a big expanse of sand the place the little ones can run, construct sand castles, and play volleyball.

The Boardwalk contains a thrilling amusement park crammed with thrilling rides (the Giant Dipper curler coaster is price experiencing), mini golf, laser tag, eating places, and shops.

Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles

Manhattan Beach, in Los Angeles, California.

Consistently voted as top-of-the-line seashores in Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach is a quieter different to Venice and Santa Monica. Aside from being a wonderful place for water sports activities like browsing and paddle boarding, it has a comfortable 2-mile-long stretch of sand, which is especially well-known amongst seashore volleyball gamers.

The seashore additionally flaunts a restored pier, a major spot for watching the sundown, and a motorcycle path winding alongside the oceanfront.

Wildcat Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore

A camping tent on Wildcat Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, California.

Whenever you’re feeling like decompressing, escape to the great unspoiled landscapes of Wildcat Beach. Gloriously situated deep inside the Phillip Burton Wilderness in the Point Reyes National Seashore, this 2.9-mile-long seashore may be accessed via varied nature trails.

The seashore is fantastically shielded by steep bluffs and is usually visited by wild creatures like gulls, seals, and sea lions. The ocean water could also be freezing chilly and rip currents, so swimming right here shouldn’t be suggested.

Instead, go for jogging, fishing, horseback using, and sunbathing.

Stinson Beach, Marin County

Stinson Beach, Marin County, California.

A complete heap of enjoyable actions is offered at Marin County Stinson Beach. Located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in Northern California, Stinson’s white sand designs are the right setting for volleyball, climbing, picnicking, and seashore combing.

Water actions are additionally vital right here. Visitors can swim, fish, surf (in the course of the winter), and bodyboard.

North of Stinson, there’s a dog-friendly county seashore known as Upton Beach.

Tourmaline Beach, San Diego

Sunset at Tourmaline Beach, San Diego, California.

Tourmaline Beach provides world-class browsing in San Diego. The seashore is situated in the full of life neighborhood of Pacific Beach (identified for its vibrant nightlife scene) and boasts constant and clear waves and groundswells.

If you don’t surf, no worries. You can nonetheless lounge in the sand and sunbathe whereas watching surfers, kiteboarders, and windsurfers in opposition to the horizon.

Point Dume State Beach, Malibu

Point Dume State Beach, Malibu, California.

Point Dune is a sight to behold. Located on the coast of Malibu, this dazzling seashore provides awe-inspiring views of headlands, cliffs, and rocky coves.

Popular actions embody swimming, browsing, scuba diving, and whale watching throughout wintertime.

The seashore additionally has a boardwalk and viewing level that provides magnificent views of Santa Monica Bay.

Hermosa Beach, Los Angeles

Hermosa Beach, Los Angeles, California.

Among Los Angeles’s nice collection of seashores, Hermosa Beach is one which shines probably the most. With virtually 2 miles of ocean frontage and 94 acres of public seashore, Hermosa is the right place to benefit from the luminous California solar.

Visitors come right here to play volleyball, jog alongside the seashore’s pedestrian pathway, swim, and discover ways to surf.

On this charming sandy seashore, guests are additionally fortunately shocked to search out the 1,140-foot-long Hermosa Beach Pier, an exquisite place to observe the sundown.

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California.

Glass Beach is a kind of locations that leaves you in absolute awe. Located adjoining to MacKerricher State Park close to Fort Bragg, this seashore is greatest identified for having small items of colourful, smoothed glass strewn everywhere in the sandy seashore.

The space was a dumpsite for trash in the early to mid-1900s, and the damaged bottles from the rubbish cans of native residents have been reworked into little pebbles over time.

This otherworldly seashore additionally has small tide swimming pools inhabited by varied marine creatures like crabs and anemones.

East Beach, Santa Barbara

East Beach, Santa Barbara, California.

East Beach is one other superb family-friendly seashore in California. Situated in the center of Santa Barbara, on the far finish of State Street, the seashore has a spacious sandy shoreline backed by a verdant park spiked with palm bushes.

The waters are calm and ideal for swimming, and the seashore is crammed with picnic amenities, over a dozen volleyball courts, and a playground.

Paradise Cove Beach, Malibu

Paradise Cove Beach, Malibu, California.

A go to to Paradise Cove will certainly have a soothing impact in your soul. Tucked away in a cove surrounded by majestic craggy cliffs and tree-covered hills, this seashore will captivate you with its light waters and comfortable sands.

Make your self at dwelling, and benefit from the sand, solar, and facilities like volleyball courts and a youngsters’s playground.

Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego

Surfers climb down the mountain to surf in the ocean near Torrey Pines in La Jolla, CA.

Located in the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, the Torrey Pines State State Beach has all of the contains a nature worshipper may want for. This ocean escape is fantastically framed by a sequence of 300-foot sandstone cliffs of white and golden stone.

Torrey Pines is a superb seashore for browsing, and in the course of the winter months (most frequently in January), you’ll discover constant, clear waves right here (rideable swell with gentle / offshore winds).

After an adrenaline-filled browsing session on the seashore, discover the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. This 2,000 acres coastal park in La Jolla encompasses maritime chaparral, the uncommon Torrey pine, miles of unspoiled seashores, distinctive geological formations, and a lagoon important to migrating seabirds.


What is the clearest seashore in California?

La Jolla Cove, in San Diego, is thought to have a few of the clearest waters in California.

What is the prettiest seashore close to Los Angeles?

The greatest seashores close to LA are:

  • El Matador State Beach, Malibu;
  • Zuma Beach, Malibu;
  • Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica;
  • Paradise Cove Beach, Malibu;
  • Huntington City Beach, Huntington Beach;
  • Leo Carillo State Beach, Los Angeles County.

What’s the warmest seashore in California?

Descanso Beach, on Catalina Island, is legendary for having the warmest water temperatures in California.

What seashore in California has purple sand?

Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur is legendary for having purple-hued sand.

Is California hotter than Florida?

Florida is hotter and extra humid when in comparison with California.

Why is California’s ocean so chilly?

The ocean water in California is chilly due to the currents that convey chilly water from Alaska southward alongside the coast.

Do individuals swim on the seashores in California?

Yes, a number of seashores in California are appropriate for swimming.

What Is The Best Time To Visit California?

Boasting constantly pretty climate, California is a year-round vacation spot. For indulging in milder but luminous and nice climate, September and October are ultimate months to go to California.

What are probably the most lovely seashores in California?

The 30 greatest California seashores are:

  • Huntington City Beach, Huntington Beach;
  • Crystal Cove, Laguna Beach;
  • South Mission Beach, San Diego;
  • La Jolla Shores, San Diego;
  • West Beach, Santa Barbara;
  • Butterfly Beach, Santa Barbara;
  • Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica;
  • Ocean Beach, San Francisco;
  • Baker Beach, San Francisco;
  • Half Moon Bay State Beach, San Mateo;
  • Zuma Beach, Malibu;
  • El Matador State Beach, Malibu;
  • Main Beach, Laguna Beach;
  • Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur;
  • Carmel Beach, Carmel by the Sea;
  • Arroyo Burro Beach, Santa Barbara;
  • Venice Beach, Los Angeles;
  • Oceano Dunes, Pismo Beach;
  • Victoria Beach, Laguna Beach;
  • Main Beach, Santa Cruz;
  • Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles;
  • Wildcat Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore;
  • Stinson Beach, Marin County;
  • Tourmaline Beach, San Diego;
  • Point Dume State Beach, Malibu;
  • Hermosa Beach, Los Angeles;
  • Glass Beach, Fort Bragg;
  • East Beach, Santa Barbara;
  • Paradise Cove Beach, Malibu;
  • Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego.

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