10 Beautiful Beach Spots in California (2023)
When the first time visitors imagine California, the first thing that comes to their mind is the beach. California is one such place envisioned with a beach and beachgoers sashaying down in the sunny boardwalks of California beaches. Either way, there is no doubt why California is also known as the beach city. It has more than 400 public beaches for visitors to explore. To help you decide which beaches are the best in this huge list, we have listed the best beach spots in California on factors like convenience, atmosphere and aesthetics. From wild to surfer-friendly, all the beaches in California are just perfect for all the beach babies out there.
10 Beautiful Beach Spots in California
So here are the best beach spots in California:
1. Will Rogers State Beach, Pacific Palisades
The Will Rogers State Beach is located between Santa Monica Pier and Malibu pro surf spots for surfing lovers. It is a convenient choice for a beach day outing and doesn’t need much planning. So, if you are feeling adventurous, then you can hire a bike and ride along the beach path. There are also numerous options available at this beach, like Temescal Gateway park trail, that will take you to the beautiful Santa Monica Mountain views. The views of the ocean and city from the location are just worth your visit. Just park your cars near the lifeguard towers and enjoy a beautiful relaxing time at this beach.
2. Huntington City Beach, Huntington Beach
California is known as the surf city for a reason. Huntington City Beach is the most popular beach spots in California, which is loved by both first time and experienced surfers. In addition to this, you also get to enjoy some five-star people watching along the beach pier. As this is a top-rated beach, huge crowds are gathered here, so for a relaxing and quiet time, put yourself around the down north of the pier. The Huntington pier is the longest one on the west coast. Enjoy dining at Ruby’s Diner, which is just a few minutes away from the end sides of the beach. Also, you can stroll through the beautiful quaint Balboa Village.
3. Laguna Beach, Pacific Coast Highway
Laguna Beach is what the California dreams are made up of. All the visitors are totally enticed after visiting this beach. You will be treated with verdant hillsides, coastal parks and secluded beaches at this scenic destination. Along with this, you also get to enjoy the historic arts community and many southern Californian aspects that you may have just read in books. One more incredible thing about this place is its easy to reach location. It is situated right alongside the pacific coast highway that makes it a perfect beach road trip destination.
4. Black Sands Beach, Shelter Cove
Just exciting as it sounds, the Lost Coast is the only coastal area that is the most contagious in the United States. It has more than 30 miles of sweeping coastline that stretched along the Lost Coast. Here you can spot a bear, elk and wild seals for sure. The black sand of the beach is a wonder in itself and has left a beautiful impression on your eyes. There are also many trails within the parking area, which attracts advanced level hikers. The best part of Black Sands Beach is the gorgeous views that set this coastline apart from others. Apart from camping and hiking, you can enjoy exploring the nearby Redwood National park with several trails leading to some beautiful scenic views.
5. Carmel Beach, Central California
Head to Carmel Beach to experience and explore the beauty of central California at best. No doubt why Carmel beach is amongst the top beach spots in California, with white sands, sparkling blue water, and unspoiled green cypress trees surely make this beachside the most visually appealing site. The perfect Carmel beach is dog-friendly and drinks friendly, which adds up to the fun times at the beach. After enjoying the sunbathing and surfing, take a break and head to the nearby town of Carmel and enjoy eating at the local breweries and eateries. Just don’t miss out on the sunset view from Carmel Beach for an unforgettable evening of your life or even stay a little more to enjoy beach bonfire sessions.
6. South Carlsbad State Beach, Carlsbad
The magnificent South Carlsbad State Beach is precisely the place you have been looking for an adventurous outing. Despite having many beach spots in California, there are sporadic locations that offer oceanfront campsites. This beach is the one that provides oceanfront camping, cliff top campsites to not only enjoy the beach waves but also camping in the wild. This beach looks like it is located in a remote area but is not and instead, it is just outside the borders of San Diego. You can also enjoy championship golf courses from the Aviara Golf Club and The Crossings at Carlsbad.
7. Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur
The Pfeiffer Beach is amongst the very few accessible beaches located in Big Sur. It is also the most photogenic beach in the whole of California. Located just about 10 miles from the southeast of Andrew Molera State Park, this beach will totally spark your eyes with its beautiful surroundings, scenic views, stunning cliffs with a fantastic collection of rock formations. Make your plan to travel to this quaint hidden gem of California and enjoy the most spectacular views, especially during the sunset when the natural lighting is at its best. Also, remember that this beach is more for enjoying scenic views instead of swimming because swimming is not safe at Pfeiffer beach.
8. Stinson Beach, Marin County
The Stinson Beach, located in Marin County, San Francisco, is a prevalent beach location amongst the locals and is a favourite escape from the city hustle-bustle. This beach spot in California is excellent for every type of visitor because there’s something to enjoy here for everyone. The waves of Stinson beach are great for swimming, surfing and other water activities. Also, there are picnic tables and BBQ grills available on the right sides of the sand. So you can pack all your picnic essentials and snag a spot at the beach to enjoy a picnic in the serene surroundings of Stinson beach. For the adventure junkies just adjacent to the beach, there are numerous hiking and biking trails.
9. Zuma Beach, Malibu
When you imagine a SoCal beach scene, then you are definitely looking to explore a beach like Zuma Beach. The vast coastline of Zuma beach is stretched over two miles and offers plenty of fun, entertaining activities. From surfing to beach volleyball to swimming, this beach has it all. The water is usually freezing but not during the summer days, which is quite a relief to enjoy summer days here. Also, get ready to encounter some beautiful dolphins and whales on the sea horizon during the winter season. The beach is almost 45 minutes drive from north of Santa Monica. In addition to this, seafood lovers can fill up their gut at the very authentic Refuel at Neptune’s Net restaurant, which is a popular hangout spot near Zuma beach.
10. Muir Beach, Marin County
To enjoy a quiet beach outing in the wild, then Muir Beach is the best escape. The little hidden gem in the California beaches is filled with pristine views of nature and the unique marine life to explore. For the kids, the area is teeming with starfish, octopus and anemone to keep them occupied for long hours. Due to its close proximity to the Muir Woods, you will find numerous walking trails that will take you into the forest boasting huge and tall redwood trees. After spending enough time at the beach, you can also spend some time in the streets of Sausalito, strolling around to witness a beautiful waterfront nearby.