20 Best Beach Towns in California to Visit Story

By Andrew Sayles

Introduction

20 Best Beach Towns in California to Visit Story

From sunny SoCal to the moody skies of the Pacific Northwest, California's beach towns have...

Beach town 1

La Jolla

About fifteen minutes from Downtown San Diego, the upscale beach town of La Jolla inhabits...

Beach town 2

Encinitas

Encinitas is one of the original surf towns in California and has attracted beach bums...

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Beach town 3

Carlsbad

About halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, you'll find the town of Carlsbad. It's...

Beach town 4

Laguna Beach

Moving further from San Diego towards Los Angeles and into Orange County, the next of...

Beach town 5

Avalon

For time away from the mainland, catch a one-hour ferry from Dana Point or Long...

Beach town 6

Venice Beach

Venice Beach and its world-famous boardwalk are cultural staples of the Los Angeles area. It...

Beach town 7

Santa Monica

Santa Monica is the last of the Los Angeles, CA beach towns to see on...

Beach town 8

Malibu

Nestled between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, you'll find the picturesque town...

Beach town 9

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara's history stretches back to the founding of the Mission Santa Barbara in 1786...

Beach town 10

Pismo Beach

In Pismo Beach, you can take a docent-led hike through the Pismo Preserve, go golfing...

Beach town 11

Morro Bay

Morro Bay is among the smaller of the CA coastal cities on this list and...

Beach town 12

Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel-by-the-Sea is perhaps most famous as the town that Clint Eastwood once "Mayored," in real...

Beach town 13

Monterey

Crossing into Northern California and cooler climates, Monterey beachgoers are less likely to go for...

Beach town 14

Capitola

The colorful Capitola is the next of the California coastal towns you'll want to see...

Beach town 15

Santa Cruz

At the far northern end of Monterey Bay, you'll find the quirky Santa Cruz. Along...

Beach town 16

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay is further up the Pacific Coast Highway and into San Mateo County...

Beach town 17

Sausalito

Protected from the sprawl of San Francisco by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Sausalito...

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Beach town 18

Bodega Bay

Getting further into Northern California, there are now some truly remote towns on the coast...

Beach town 19

Fort Bragg

The moody coast of Fort Bragg is great for nature lovers. Beachcombers will love the...

Beach town 20

Crescent City

Finally, the northernmost of the California coastal cities on this list is Crescent City, near...

Conclusion

Conclusion

There are far more beach towns to see in California, but this sampler should have...