In California, there’s no such thing as a stretch of private beach – all beaches are public. That means that California is home to more beaches for you to enjoy than pretty much anywhere else you might ever travel. But, given that array of choice, it’s not always easy to figure out what beaches at which you should really be spending your time!
To help you out, we’ve made our selections for the 20 best beaches to see in California. From the surf meccas of SoCal to the sweeping cliffs and beauty of beaches in NorCal, it’s all here! So, if you’re planning a California vacation and want to know what beaches to check out, then read on! These are the 20 best that the great state of California has to offer…
1. La Jolla Shores
La Jolla is a very rich beach town, and you’d better believe that it has a stretch of beach to match. Expect to see plenty of surfers here.
2. Pfeiffer Beach
Big Sur is one of the most gorgeous places in the entire country, and this beach is a big reason why.
3. Venice Beach
This Los Angeles landmark is simply one of those things that everyone should have the chance to experience.
4. Newport Beach
Those who were fans of “The O.C.” back in the day might recognize this famous California beach…
5. Natural Bridges State Beach
The name says it all, and it’s why you’ll want to pay a visit to this gorgeous beach in Santa Cruz.
6. Leo Carrillo State Park
When you hear about the gorgeous beaches of Malibu, California, this is what people are talking about.
7. Enderts Beach
You’ll have to walk underneath the redwood trees to reach this beach, but that’s absolutely worth it!
8. Treasure Island Beach
When you think about the beaches of Southern California, this is likely the kind of beach you’re picturing.
9. Capitola City Beach
From the beach here, you can just spy Monterey across the Bay. Don’t let anyone tell you NorCal doesn’t have great beaches!
10. Downtown Avila Beach
If you pay a visit to this beach, you’ll likely spend much of your time admiring the surrounding landscape.
11. Manhattan Beach
The sand and surf here is so gorgeous, you might not even realize you’re practically on top of LAX.
12. Stinson Beach
All the way up in Marin County, you’ll find this wonderful and secluded beach that offers plenty of natural beauty.
13. Santa Monica State Beach
If you make the trip to this beach, make sure you leave yourself with some time to check out the famed Santa Monica pier.
14. Carmel Beach
If someone blindfolded you before taking you to this Carmel-by-the-Sea landmark, you might be convinced you were in SoCal.
15. Huntington State Beach
Considered one of the best beaches in the country, this one is part of Surf City USA.
16. Pescadero State Beach
Sweeping cliffs, lush landscape, rolling surf, soft sand… There’s everything to love about this Pescadero beach.
17. Rincon Beach Park
Also known as the Queen of the Coast, this a beach you’ll want to check out if you’re looking to get your surf on.
18. Glass Beach
Those who want to go looking for sea glass will find plenty of it along this aptly named beach.
19. West Beach
This Santa Barbara beach isn’t as crowded as beaches further south and gives you the chance to really get into the California spirit.
20. Coronado Beach
Situated out in the San Diego Bay, this is one of the most luxurious beaches you can visit in all of California.