Everyone who’s anyone works hard at getting their body into summer tip top shape if they live near the California coast. These are the 10 best beaches to show off all of that hard work.
Despite the occasional tendency for strong tides, Laguna Beach is one of the most well-known and popular beaches, largely due to its calm, clean water and warm, clean sands. It’s located in Orange County and is one of the most fashionable cities in the area. The rich cultural ambiance often fosters a relaxed, chill atmosphere, perfect for taking strolls or naps, or joining a volleyball match. The beach area is narrow and has a backdrop of hills and dips, so come prepared to hike if you are exploring the town. Laguna Beach was originally an artists’ colony, and even today, art is one of the big draws. Many of the large buildings have ocean murals, and every summer they host the Pageant of the Arts where the best-known of the Masters’ paintings are re-created using people. If you’re there for the beach during the day, the art is worth checking out in the evenings.
Not only is Coronado known for the beautiful Hotel Del Coronado, but it’s also known for its glittering waters and luxurious Coronado Central Beach. The beach spans behind the glamorous houses of Ocean Boulevard for 1.5 miles. It’s a popular destination for anyone interested in swimming, boogie boarding, body surfing, or even building a sand sculpture. In addition, the sand and sea of Coronado can be seen filled with whale watchers from December through February each year. Northern Coronado’s Dog Beach allows dogs to run free in the surf with their owners.
El Matador Beach.
Ah, El Matador Beach . . . the perfect escape for anyone looking to get away from the chaos of busy city living. Located on one of Malibu’s most beautiful stretches of white sandy beaches, El Matador Beach is a mecca for relaxation. Whether you decide to enjoy it with a picnic or on a blanket near the water with your nose stuck in a book, El Matador Beach is sure to have a little slice of heaven for everyone who decides to visit this Malibu gem.
If you’re looking for a traditional beach with white sand and surfing, Venice Beach isn’t the beach for you. Why? Because Venice Beach is so much more than a traditional beach! In fact, it resembles more of a circus than anything. Located on a 3/4-mile stretch, Venice Beach actually HAS a 3-ring street circus and is a hot spot for a diverse group of people, including artists, weightlifters, philosophers, and more. This unique beach has something for everyone, including a boardwalk riddled with flea markets, restaurants, and little shops.
Santa Monica is known for it’s famous Santa Monica Pier. Why? Because it’s a little amusement park right next to the water. Who wouldn’t want to spend a day at a place like that? With a historic boardwalk filled with amusement park rides and other attractions like fair food, little shops, and an aquarium, no one will get bored visiting Santa Monica. Walk, bike, or skate the pier and enjoy the sun, sand, and people you’ll find there.
Newport Beach has been a popular destination for beachgoers for years, but they’re not the only ones in love with Newport Beach. With a glamorous harbor filled with luxurious yachts and million dollar bungalows dotting the coastline, this beach is also a popular destination for the wealthy. But, again, they’re not the only ones enjoying the beauty of this beach. With its shopping district, alluring sandy beach, and busy piers, Newport Beach has something for everyone, including surfers, sunbathers, and those going on family picnics.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Hermosa Beach is the beach for you. It’s well known for its selection of outdoor beach activities — volleyball, sunbathing, surfing, and swimming — all take place on a stretch of 1.5-mile sand. Hermosa Beach also plays host to its famous boardwalk, known as the Strand. It is often frequented by joggers, bikers, and the casual walker milling about between numerous restaurants and bars that dot the Strand. If you are lucky or well-connected, you can stay in one of the many homes that face the ocean with their back door or patio area opening on the Strand.
La Jolla Cove.
One of California’s hidden gems is protected by the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve. La Jolla Cove is a favorite destination for scuba divers and snorkelers, thanks to the crystal clear waters and up to 30 feet of visibility beneath the surface. Even though it’s one of the smaller beaches, it’s also one of the most beautiful. Surrounded by breathtaking sandstone cliffs, La Jolla Cove is THE most photographed beach in Southern California.
Catalina Island is a hub for outdoor activities and your typical beach attractions. The difference between Catalina Island and other beaches is that it’s an island! It’s located 22 miles from Southern California’s coast, and visitors to this popular destination feel like they’re on their own little private island getaway. Enjoy activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and numerous paths available for hiking during the day. Then, check out the window-shopping, art, and restaurants in the evening. There’s no shortage of fun at Catalina Island. It even plays host to grazing buffalo! Getting there is easy, just catch one of the scheduled boat rides over.
Crystal Cove State Park.
Crystal Cove State Park is a water lover’s dream. Stretching nearly 3.5 miles, it’s a more secluded beach than most, making it an ideal, quiet escape for those looking for a break from busier parts of town. The park is well-known for its tide pools and coves, and the 23 miles of steep, rocky trails strewn about the park are perfect for biking, hiking, or horseback riding. The park is still primarily in its natural state and a bit on the wild side which makes it a unique place to be among most SoCal beaches.
So there you have it — the 10 best beaches in Southern California to visit and show off that bikini body you’ve been working so hard to create. Go have some fun!