10 California Beaches For Unsurpassed Fun! - 1AdventureTraveler

10 California Beaches for Unsurpassed Fun!

Growing up at the southern California Beaches, I can truly say the beach provides an unsurpassed amount of fun.  Starting with the cool foggy morning walks on the sand, the smell of salt air, to the full sun during the day along with gorgeous sunsets.

Let me share with you my Top 10 California Beaches, that are a must visit for all travelers to California.  Each beach has their own special quality but what they all have in common are the amazing unsurpassed sunsets.  Make sure to pick up your Lonely Planet Guide for you next California trip.  You can also check Trip Advisor for some activities and hotels in each beach area. [links are in green]

[Great travel clothes that wash and dry overnight.  Ones that I use!]

10 California Beaches For Unsurpassed Fun! - 1AdventureTraveler

10 California Beaches For Unsurpassed Fun! - 1AdventureTraveler

10 California Beaches For Unsurpassed Fun! - 1AdventureTraveler

10 California Beaches For Unsurpassed Fun! - 1AdventureTraveler

Morro Bay  – California Beaches

Visit this quaint Northern California seaside town of Morro Bay known for the famous Morro Rock.  Try one of the year-round activities; biking, hiking, golfing, kayaking and surfing.  The visitors guide is helpful to plan your day.  There are two separate Maps one for bikes and one is a visitors guide.  The seafood chowder is wonderful in this cooler climate town.

Santa Barbara – California Beaches

Stay in this upscale California Beachside town of Santa Barbara.  With its beautiful pier and seafood restaurants poised to catch the sunsets.  Make sure to take a view of the boats in the marina.  Try some upscale shopping, art galleries and quaint restaurants that lead to the pier.   Take a visit the missions nearby.  Spend a few days here and relax.

Venice Beach – California Beaches

Welcome to Venice Beach or “Muscle Beach” as I know it.  Enjoy this quirky beach town and walk the strand.  Yes, walk on the beach path next to bike riders, roller skaters or skate boards enjoying the sun swaying to the music.  Make sure you are walking on the correct side.  Nothing worse than running into another person head on.   Stop by and watch the weight lifters on the beach showing off their tanned tone muscles under the sun.  Eat like a local, and do some souvenir shopping.

Santa Monica – California Beaches

At the end of iconic Route 66 sits the Santa Monica Pier at this California Beach.  Take a ride on the Ferris wheel which twinkles at night.  Santa Monica is located next to Venice Beach, not far from the Los Angeles Airport.  Rent bikes and ride the strand which goes along the beach.  You can also find the fancy Santa Monica Place shopping center and Third Street Promenade.  If you’re looking for the legendary Beverly Hills just drive northeast.

Manhattan Beach – California Beaches

Travel towards Los Angeles and stop at Manhattan Beach.  Another beachside town with the strand path for bike riding or walking.  People watch the street performers or visit one of the fun and crazy restaurants/bars.  The “Comedy and Magic Club” in nearby Hermosa Beach is where Jay Leno sometimes frequents which is close by.  One of my favorite upscale Italian Restaurant is the “Bottle Inn”.  Make sure to make reservations.

Huntington Beach – California Beaches

Huntington Beach a Surfers Paradise with guys and gals catching a wave and enjoying the life. This is one of the famous California Beaches.   No worries here while you enjoy the warmth of the sun.   Shop surf clothes then grab a bite of food or enjoy a refreshing beverage.  Take a walk along the pier, play volleyball, bicycle or rent a surf board.  I just love to soak in the sun and watch the surfers.  Growing up, this was my hangout in the summer.

Newport Beach – Balboa Island – California Beaches

Another surf town is Newport Beach, which has the hustle and bustle of people and a fun places to catch a wave.  You can also visit the famous Balboa Island for some quaint shops and cafes.  Also drive along Pacific Coast for stunning views of the beaches and ocean waves that takes you from one beach to the next.  Stay in one of the luxury hotels and have a sunset dinner.

Laguna Beach – California Beaches

Laguna Beach with its quaint town of shopping and restaurants right next to the beach makes it a favorite beach of mine.  I really do enjoy my favorite sushi restaurant here.

La Jolla – California Beaches

Travel north of San Diego where sits the beautiful La Jolla with its elegant shopping and cafes.  Take a meander down to the beach and watch the surfers.

San Diego – California Beaches

Welcome to home of the happiest people of California.  With lots of fun things to do in town plan your day.  Go across the bridge to Coronado Bay and rent a paddle board, go out on a yacht for a sunset cruise and so much more.  As a treat splurge on a night at the Hotel del Coronado to get pampered.

[Looking for a great tour in your favorite city try Viator.  They have provided some wonderful tours for me!]

10 California Beaches For Unsurpassed Fun! - 1AdventureTraveler

10 California Beaches For Unsurpassed Fun! - 1AdventureTraveler


Hope you enjoy my 10 favorite California Beaches that I love to visit.  With so many fun things to do at the beach from water and beach activities to restaurants, bars and shopping.

All is do is just a drive along the coast and seeing the beach with its’ blue cold Pacific Ocean, smelling the salt air, I feel at home.

Life is short, go out and have an adventure!

Have you traveled to a California Beach?  What was the best activity you did while in Cali?

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10 California Beaches For Unsurpassed Fun! - 1AdventureTraveler

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22 thoughts on “10 California Beaches for Unsurpassed Fun!”

  1. This is great! I have always wanted to go to California and how lucky that this is where you grew up! I will definitely have to visit Santa Monica pier and the eateries mentioned-you can’t beat fresh seafood when by the water! I will be saving this for the future!

  2. I visited Venice Beach and checked out Muscle Beach which is where Arnold Schwarzenegger used to train isn’t it. I know there is a Gold’s Gym up the road which is more famous for him training there too. I need to check out more beaches in California, especially the more beautiful ones.

    1. Venice Beach your correct is where Arnold Schwarzenegger trained also at Gold’s Gym. Just a crazy fun place to visit and people watch unless you want to work out on the beach. I am content to ride my bike and stop at places along the way. 🙂 You must check out the other Cali beaches.

  3. It was good to see I only knew a few of these like Venice and Santa Monica. Would love to drive all along the California coast one day and see all of these, they sound truly special.

    1. David, a drive along the coast in So Cal is fantastic also driving along the northern Cali Coast too. I prefer the So Cal beaches since it warmer and great to catch a wave and enjoy the beach life. You might need to return and check out these other beaches 🙂

  4. Nice breakdown of the beaches. I must admit I do love the beaches lifestyle so would have to check out some of these when I finally get around to visiting California!

  5. This is the perfect post for me to read! I am a huge beach fan (and self-confessed beach snob) so to have a guide like this at my fingertips is perfect! I will be visiting many of these beaches when I make it to Cali, and I have a romantic vision of slowly cycling along the beachfront admiring the views! Pinned for when I visit #feetdotravel

    1. Thanks Angie,
      There are some wonderful beach bike trails along the beach where one can ride for 40 miles. It is so much fun and great places to stop along the way. Hope you get a chance to make it to Cali. I like you am a huge beach fan with an emphasis on sunsets. When I travel to islands my priority is to stay on the west side to sit back and enjoy the colorful sunset. Thanks for pinning 🙂

    1. Thanks Scarlett, A must is a Cali Beach drive where the views are amazing along with great places to explore. I must try and visit the Oregon Coast 🙂

  6. My grandparents used to live north of LA, so I spent my childhood visiting many of these beaches! Definitely some beautiful spots to visit!

    1. Hi Jenn,
      How exciting you have been to So Cal many times and have visited many of these wonderful beaches. I just love the carefree thinking, sunny days and the beautiful beaches with loads of activities in California. Happy Travels 🙂

    1. Hi Paul and Carole,
      Hope you get a chance to visit the West Coast USA. Lots of amazing beaches to visit! That would be a great trip to drive up the coast in California and see lots of amazing cities. Happy Travels!

  7. Great post – I’ve spent quite a bit of time in California and know some of your beaches well – Venice, Santa Monica, Huntingdon, Newport and Laguna Beach – I was last at Newport and Laguna Beach in 2014 and I agree with you that they offer lots of unsurpassed fun. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Raymond,
      So you know how the Southern California beaches seem to draw one in with each beach having a beauty all its own. It has not been that long since you were last there. Lots of activities to do while in California. The beaches there I must admit have the best sunsets. Happy Travels 🙂

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