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California's Best Beaches

10.06.16

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California's Best Beaches

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  • Castles made of sand at Coronado Beach in San Diego.- California's Best Beaches
  • Cabrillo National Monument is located at the southern end of Point Loma.- California's Best Beaches
  • Pelicans along the Ocean Beach Pier.- California's Best Beaches
  • San Diego's Ocean Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Tourmaline Surf park at Pacific Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • La Jolla Shores.- California's Best Beaches
  • Black's Beach near La Jolla.- California's Best Beaches
  • View of the beach from the cliffs of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.- California's Best Beaches
  • San Elijo is a great spot for beginning surfers.- California's Best Beaches
  • Swami's beach is home to a world-class (and often crowded) surf break.- California's Best Beaches
  • Shaded picnic areas at San Onofre Surf Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • San Onofre Surf Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • San Clemente State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • San Clemente City Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Salt Creek Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Salt Creek is known for its surf.- California's Best Beaches
  • Thousand Steps Beach in Orange County.- California's Best Beaches
  • Avalon Bay Beach on Catalina Island.- California's Best Beaches
  • Manhattan Beach + Pier from Manhattan Beach Boulevard.- California's Best Beaches
  • Manhattan Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Venice Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Venice Beach at sunset.- California's Best Beaches
  • Santa Monica Pier from Venice Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Ocean Front Walk at Santa Monica State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • View of the Santa Monica Pier from Santa Monica State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Surfer's at Topanga State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Malibu's Surfrider Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) and western gulls (Laris occidentalis) at Malibu Lagoon State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Paradise Cove Beach in Malibu.- California's Best Beaches
  • View east from Point Dume State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • View looking northwest to Westward Beach at Point Dume State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Westward Beach, adjacent to Point Dume at the very southern end of Zuma Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Zuma Beach backed by the Santa Monica Mountains.- California's Best Beaches
  • El Matador State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Sunset at El Matador State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Looking east from the top of El Capitan State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Surfer's at El Capitan State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Jalama Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Surf fishing from Jalama Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Scenic Spooner's Cove in Montana de Oro State Park.- California's Best Beaches
  • Morro Strand is a great beach to relax or surf.- California's Best Beaches
  • Southern Big Sur's Sand Dollar Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Sand Dollar Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur.- California's Best Beaches
  • Pfeiffer Beach's Keyhole Rock is famous among photographers.- California's Best Beaches
  • Andrew Molera State Beach framed by Molera Point headland.- California's Best Beaches
  • Big Sur River Estuary at Andrew Molera State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Capitola Beach near Santa Cruz.- California's Best Beaches
  • Davenport Landing Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Scott Creek Beach is popular with kitesurfers.- California's Best Beaches
  • Waddell Beach in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. - California's Best Beaches
  • Brown Pelican at Waddell Beach. - California's Best Beaches
  • Walking out to one of the points at Pescadero State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Looking back at Highway 1 from the Pescadero bluff.- California's Best Beaches
  • Montana Beach on a foggy morning.- California's Best Beaches
  • Gray Whale Cove State Beach as seen from the access trail.- California's Best Beaches
  • Pacifica State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Surfers at Linda Mar/Pacifica State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • San Francisco's Ocean Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • With the right conditions, the waves at Ocean Beach are as good as anywhere.- California's Best Beaches
  • Baker Beach view of the Golden Gate Bridge.- California's Best Beaches
  • Looking down over Rodeo Beach and Rodeo Lagoon from Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands.- California's Best Beaches
  • Surfing at Rodeo Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Marin County's Muir Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Looking southeast along Bolinas Beach. Bolinas Ridge is in the background.- California's Best Beaches
  • Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes Peninsula.- California's Best Beaches
  • McClure's Beach, Point Reyes.- California's Best Beaches
  • Trail leading down to McClures Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • North Salmon Creek is the most popular surf spot along the Sonoma Coast.- California's Best Beaches
  • The view north from North Salmon Creek.- California's Best Beaches
  • Cooks Beach in southern Mendocino County.- California's Best Beaches
  • Humboldt County's Moonstone Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Sunset on the Pacific from Luffenholtz Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Trinidad State Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • Gold Bluffs Beach.- California's Best Beaches
  • View north from Gold Bluffs Beach.- California's Best Beaches
Article
Team

Perhaps nothing is more quintessential to California than her coastline and beaches. For those that love the sea, surf and sand, California's 840 miles of shoreline offers a cornicopia of coastal delights and an incredible array of beach divesity. From seemingly endless stretches of fine golden sand and tranquil turquoise waters to coastal marine wildlife sanctuaries thriving among kelp forests to fog enshrouded mountains and forests rising above driftwood-strewn beaches, California's beaches are as diverse as the state is long.

With an impressive ecological and climate range spanning nearly 10 degrees of latitude - an eastern seaboard equivalent covering the Georgia coast to Cape Cod - the golden state has a beach for just about everyone. The Mediterranean climate and palm-laden strands of southern California's bight offer a gentler coastal environment to sink your toes into, while the rugged coastline and rocky beaches of the central and north coast is marked by continual coastal mountains steeply descending into the Pacific.  

Whether your coastal calling is hiking through old-growth forest to a hidden cescent-shaped Humboldt cove, surfing a right hand point break, or cooling off with an ocean dip on a sun-kissed Malibu day, you're guaranteed to find what you're looking for at one of the California beaches listed below.

When visiting these beautiful beaches, please make sure to pack out what you pack in and help improve the scenery for everyone by picking up any trash left behind by others. 

California's best beaches oriented south to north:

Southern California

Central California

Northern California

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