10 Best Beaches In California You Will Love

California, often known as the Golden State, is endowed with an outstanding coastline that is home to a plethora of beautiful beaches that are among the greatest in the United States.

Many people perceive California to be a laid-back area that is a surfers’ paradise; its picturesque beaches with their chilled out ambiance undoubtedly foster this image.

With world-famous cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, as well as known sites like Beverly Hills and the Golden Gate Bridge, California is an incredible area to visit with something for everyone.

1. Paradise Cove – Best Beaches In California

Paradise Cove - Beaches In California
Paradise Cove

The aptly called Paradise Cove is a delightful little area to visit, nestled away among some dramatic looking jagged cliffs and tree-covered hills. It is without a doubt one of the state’s most gorgeous beaches.

Due to its popularity, the gorgeous beach now charges a fee to visit; while this has kept some of the crowds at bay, it can still become a little congested on weekends.

Paradise Cove more than lives up to its name, with its sun-kissed golden sands, stunning vistas of the Pacific, and inviting, laid-back environment.

2. Manhattan Beach – Best Beaches In California

Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach, with its affluent atmosphere, is one of the most expensive areas to live in Los Angeles County, which comes as no surprise given its magnificent location on the Pacific coast.

Visitors will find a variety of gorgeous residences on exhibit, as well as many elegant restaurants, contemporary stores, and some extremely stylish hotels, in addition to the wonderful beach. On weekends, it might get a little congested as the rich and famous go to Manhattan Beach to enjoy everything it has to offer.

In addition, you’re only a half-hour drive from the heart of Los Angeles.

3. Natural Bridges State Beach

Natural Bridges State Beach
Natural Bridges State Beach

Natural Bridges State Beach is one of the nicest beaches in California, and it gets its name from the stunning granite arch that it features. The area has an unspoiled and untamed appearance.

The beach is located in a beautiful state park just outside of Santa Cruz and is home to a variety of species. Many visitors come to see the stunning monarch butterfly migration, which occurs every year when thousands upon thousands of them flutter across the park.

Because of its proximity to Santa Cruz, there is plenty to see and do in the surrounding area. Visitors can choose to relax on the beach after taking in the breathtaking sights.

4. La Jolla Shores Beach

La Jolla Shores Beach
La Jolla Shores Beach

La Jolla Shores Beach, one of the nicest in the state, has broad golden sands flanked by some stunning sea cliffs, and its position on the outskirts of San Diego makes it a favorite weekend destination.

While it might become a little busy, it is well worth seeing. Aside from the magnificent environment and sweeping seaside vistas, there is enough to do here.

The seas that flank the beach, which are especially popular with swimmers and kayakers, are rich in marine life, so it is recommended renting or taking along some snorkeling gear when visiting La Jolla Shores Beach.

5. Arroyo Burro Beach – Best Beaches In California

Arroyo Burro Beach
Arroyo Burro Beach

Arroyo Burro Beach, located in Santa Barbara County and surrounded by rocky coastal cliffs, is a lovely yet barren area to explore.

Large waves pounding the coast only contribute to the wild image. Locals gather here to stroll their dogs, while surfers come to ride the swells.

Because the beach offers so many amenities, you’ll frequently see people enjoying a picnic, cooking a grill, or fishing in the shallows. Whales can sometimes be seen off the shore by anyone with a keen eye.

With several vast parks only a stone’s throw away from its golden dunes, Arroyo Burro Beach is ideal for anyone wishing to get back to nature.

6. Mission Beach

Mission Beach
Mission Beach

The tiny strip of land that divides the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay is essentially man-made and features the fantastic Mission Beach, which has a variety of diverse sides.

Belmont Park is located at one end. This amusement park features a plethora of thrilling rides, as well as a plethora of shops and eateries. Aside from entertainment, the beach boasts a plethora of outdoor activities for guests to enjoy, ranging from swimming and surfing to volleyball and watersports.

After a relaxing day on the beach, many people enjoy the vibrant nighttime at the various pubs and clubs surrounding the beachfront, or they have a great lunch while watching the sunset.

7. Carmel Beach

Carmel Beach
Carmel Beach

Carmel Beach’s brilliant white beaches are flanked with attractive green hills, and wandering among the spectacular surroundings while taking in the ocean views is a delightful experience.

Carmel Beach, without a doubt one of the most beautiful beaches in California, is blessed with magnificent sunsets and is considerably quieter and more peaceful than many other beaches in the state.

There are numerous restaurants, pubs, and hotels for guests to check out because it is located near to Carmel-by-the-Sea, but most people come for the serenity and stunning views.

8. Huntington Beach – Best Beaches In California

Huntington Beach - Best Beaches In California
Huntington Beach

It should come as no surprise that Huntington Beach is known across the world for its world-class surfing. It has to appear in a Beach Boys song at some time, right?

The palm tree-lined beach spans for nearly fifteen kilometers and is a destination for surfers due to the massive waves that smash violently close offshore.

Away from the water, there is a lot going on in the city. There are several pubs and nightclubs to visit after a long day of sunbathing or strolling along the pier.

9. Santa Monica State Beach

Santa Monica State Beach - Best Beaches In California
Santa Monica State Beach

Santa Monica Beach features about three miles of smooth, powdery sand and is a famous surfing area between the Pacific Palisades and Venice Beach.

The massive Santa Monica Pier is in the center of the beach. I can’t say enough about the Pacific Park amusement park, which is so much fun! Don’t forget to ride the Ferris wheel at sunset… This alone makes it one of the top sunset beaches in California.

Santa Monica Beach is also a fantastic foodie destination. So, whether it’s American, Mexican, vegetarian, seafood, pizzas, grills, or juicy burgers, you’re likely to discover a local hotspot you’ll enjoy. 

10. Venice Beach

Venice Beach - Best Beaches In California
Venice Beach

So, Venice Beach certainly needs no introduction as one of the most well-known and maybe greatest beaches in California.

One of the things that distinguishes Venice Beach from other California beaches is that the focus is not only on the sea, but on all of the things to see, do, and eat along the coast.

Just don’t leave Venice Beach without taking a stroll along the Ocean Front Walk.

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Luke Beasley

Luke Beasley has over a decade of experience crafting engaging content for leading magazines. Spreading knowledge and sparking dialogue one article at a time. With 10+ years in content creation, He's the writer you need for your next masterpiece.