California – the golden state of the USA is known for its beautiful coastline along the Pacific Ocean. California is blessed by a warm sunny climate throughout the year, surfing waves of the Pacific Ocean, and artistic colorful beachside towns. Many world-famous beaches in California attract locals as well as international tourists too. The scenic drive across these beach towns on historic route 101 is too one of the most beautiful road trips in the world. So let’s read about some of the Beautiful & Prettiest beaches In California – Best Beaches In California which I recently visited on a California trip. Some of these beaches must be included in your California road trip itinerary.
DISCLAIMER – After reading this post, you might seriously pack your bags, buckle your seatbelts and start for the trip without thinking twice😂.
Beautiful & Prettiest beaches In California – Best Beaches In California
California Coastline facts
- The California coastal region stretches 1,264 miles on the west side of California.
- More than half of California’s population lives in the coastal region.
- On the coast, the average daily high temperature switches 70°F and up, with occasional heatwave reaching 80°F and freezing temperatures are rare, even in winter.
- You can find exotic marine life – Whales, Dolphins, Sea Lions, and elephant seals at the Californian beaches and in the Pacific ocean.
Read about some of the Beautiful & Prettiest beaches In California – Best Beaches In California with location details and places to stay nearby.
La Jolla Shores is one of the most famous and beautiful beaches in the world. It’s known for its breathtaking views, upscale shopping village, surfing waves, white sands, and mysterious sea caves. This beach is also known for scuba diving and snorkeling. La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Caves are the two most famous attractions to visit here.
LOCATION – 10 miles from San Diego and 15 miles from San Diego International Airport. La Jolla can be reached by bus through routes 30, 31, and 34/34A from San Diego.
Carlsbad is the prime vacation spot for families due to its laidback stunning beaches, eclectic colorful village, and kid-friendly attractions. It also has its little downtown area known as Carlsbad Village, with a wide range of boutiques, funky restaurants, and bars. Carlsbad downtown is walkable and also the beach is within walking distance from downtown. Carlsbad is famous for sunset, stunning beaches with blue waters, surfing, and beachside plush resorts.
LOCATION – Carlsbad is 87 miles (140 km) south of downtown Los Angeles and 35 miles (56 km) north of downtown San Diego
Coronado Island is known for stunning beaches, quaint downtown area, stunning views of the San Diego skyline, with a perfect Mediterranean climate.
LOCATION – The distance of Coronado from Los Angeles – 125 Miles (2 hours Approx.)
Located at a relaxed beach town on the northern coast of San Diego County, this place gives you a perfect suburban feeling with peaceful and relaxed vibes. Family-oriented beach activities, surfing, shopping, and great food is the highlight of this place.
LOCATION – The distance of Solana Beach from Los Angeles – 100 Miles (Approx 1 hour and 30 minutes) by car on scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1 and 22 miles(1 hour) away from San Diego.
Torrey Pine Beach
One of Southern California’s wildest stretches of coastal which is located just north of La Jolla along historic Highway 101. Not only this beach is one of the best beaches in California but also world-famous for its beauty with a backdrop of cliffs and waves of the Pacific Ocean all around.
LOCATION – The distance from San Diego is 19.1 mi -25 min via I-5 N. Torrey Pines State Beach is located between La Jolla and Del Mar, California, north of San Diego. There are two locations where you can park to enter the beach. From Hwy 5 going southbound, exit on Carmel Valley Road and drive west for about 1.5 miles until you reach McGonigle Road.
Venice Beach is the most exotic and famous beach nearby Los Angeles. This beach is famous for surfers, nature lovers, street shopping due to the large Broadwalk besides. Many people come here to spend their weekends or time under the sunny sky and wavy waters. Venice is one of the most popular destinations for Los Angeles locals and international visitors. It is home to famous Beat Generation poets and artists. Not only it is an exotic beach destination, but it is also an artistic center of that region.
LOCATION – Venice Beach can be reached by car, public tram, and bus line No1. Venice beach is 47 min away from LA – 17.6 mi via I-10 W.
Santa Monica is a beautiful beach city with a pier, small aquarium, historic merry-go-round, large, very large swath of beach with volleyball and a long beach bike path to enjoy it all. Safe, easily walkable, pretty, seaside. It is like a fair and carnival on the beachside with lots of people are enjoying rides, overlooking the Pacific coast.
LOCATION – Santa Monica is adjoining Venice beach. Just a couple of miles away. Even your bike from Venice Broadway walks to Santa Monica broadway walk.
Malibu is a beach town in western Los Angeles county. With a long oceanfront, it is a great spot for surfing, scuba diving, and windsurfing. Known for its beautiful Mediterranean climate and scenic sunsets.
LOCATION – The distance of Malibu from Los Angeles – 35 Miles (Approx. 40 minutes)
East Beach, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara a beach town is also known as Californian Riveria famous for its beautiful Mediterranean climate. It has several pretty beaches, Mediterranean architecture, and palm trees.
LOCATION – The distance of Santa Barbara from Los Angeles – 95 Miles (1 Hour and 45 minutes) by road on scenic Pacific coast highway 1.
Pismo Beach is a seaside beach town that is a favorite amongst ocean lovers and is a perfect stop on Pacific Coast Highway 1. This is a classic beach town in the San Luis Obispo region with a surfing beach.
LOCATION – SBP is just 15 minutes from the city. While there are several airports close to Pismo Beach, California. Pismo Beach is 176 miles away from LA and 245 miles away from San Francisco via US 101-N. Pismo Beach is closet to Santa Barbara – 83 to 84 miles via CA-154 W/San Marcos Pass Rd and US-101 N
Known as Gibraltar of Pacific. This bay is famous for surfing, enchanting coasts, sandy beaches, and a perfect coastal holiday spot for nature lovers. This ocean-side beach town with many exciting things to do like golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews. Marine life lovers would love this place to spot Elephant seals playing across the Pacific Coast in their natural habitat.
LOCATION – Morro Bay is 1 hr 47 min (107.9 mi) via CA-154 W/San Marcos Pass Rd and US-101 N from Santa Barbara.
One of the most beautiful spots on this highway and not to be missed during this drive. Exotic coastal cliffs and vast ocean views are worth turning off Highway 1 with elephant seals lying across beaches in their natural habitat.
Pescadero & Half Moon Bay
The drive to Pescadero & Half Moon Bay is very scenic from San Francisco as it passes from a bunch of neat virgin beaches, open rolling fields, small village towns, and, small mountains. Coastal villages with beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and state parks are the top features of this region. As it is very close to the city, Pescadero & Half Moon Bay are the perfect weekend out options from San Francisco.
LOCATION – The distance of Pescadero & Half Moon Bay from San Francisco – 45 Miles (Approx 50 to 60 minutes)
Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz
A famous beach town of California and a hot favorite amongst surfers. This place is for sun, sand, and surfing. You will find amazing beaches, surfing opportunities, amusement rides, beer, and T-shirts related to surfing. So soak yourself into the sandy beaches and get some tan under the sunny town of Santa Cruz during a weekend road trip from San Francisco.
LOCATION – The distance of Santa Cruz from San Francisco – 73 miles (Approx 1 to 1.5 hours) by road.
A 25 to 50 minutes drive from Golden Gate Bridge this beach is known to be one of the cleanest beaches in the state. Most of the time this beach is surrounded by fog and so is a popular day trip from San Francisco.
LOCATION – The distance of Stinson beach from San Francisco – 24 Miles (Approx 50 Minutes)
Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur – Beautiful & Prettiest beaches In California – Best Beaches In California
Formed of rugged coastline with stunning views and it is the place where Saint Lucia mountains meet the Pacific Ocean. It is known as one of the most stunning coastlines in the world and also the most scenic coastline in the USA. Known for its wilderness, unexplored virgin coasts, this place comes under the best top nature attractions in the world.
LOCATION – The distance Big Sur from San Francisco –147 miles (Approx – 2 Hr. 30 minutes) by road on scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1.
I hope you must have enjoyed reading about Beautiful & Prettiest beaches In California – Best Beaches In California.
Useful things to know – Beautiful & Prettiest beaches In California – Best Beaches In California
- Some beaches are located near natural cliffs so there can be landslides on natural cliffs.
- All Californian beaches are located on scenic route Pacific Coast Highway 101
- Many of these beaches are famous for surfing and diving so take all your surfing and diving gear with you.
- Some beaches are great for camping and check nearby camping grounds where you can officially park your RV’s and lay down your tents.
- Many public parking slots near beaches are having free parking for up to 2 hours.
- There are many handicrafts markets nearby these beaches by local artisans. So if you are an art lover then do check these markets too.
- Southern Californian beaches are warmer as compared to northern Californian beaches.
- There are many beautiful Mural art nearby beaches on shops, buildings, streets making the whole atmosphere very energetic, colorful, and funky. Art lovers would also love visiting beaches in California.
- Some beaches have exotic plush resorts which are worth staying in.
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