Get Travalour for free on Google Play

85 Beaches to explore in California

The most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area.

1000 Steps Beach1429 Shoreline Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109, USA

This is a narrow beach below homes high on East Mesa bluffs. The dilapidated concrete stairs, originally constructed in the 1920s, show their age. It is not particularly popular for sunbathing but can enjoy fun tide pool exploration and beachwalking.

Arroyo Burro Beach County Park2981 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109, USA

This is a long sandy beach that runs along picturesque bluffs, adjacent to the Douglas Family Preserve. It is good for swimming, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing, and more. It has a reputation as a dog beach and is a popular location for dog owners to walk their pets off leash.

Baker BeachBaker Beach, San Francisco, CA, USA

This is a public beach on the peninsula of San Francisco. Large waves, undertow and rip currents make the beach unsafe for swimming, but it provides panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands and Lands End. You can fish or check out the shorelife along the beach and rocky shoreline. Restrooms and picnic tables are nearby.

Balboa Pier1 Balboa Pier, Newport Beach, CA 92661, USA

A popular fishing spot. The pilings are home to a large population of starfish that feed on the large colonies of mussels growing there, and are easily spotted at low tide.

Bean Hollow State BeachBean Hollow State Beach, California, USA

Bean Hollow State Beach is a beach in the state park system of California. It includes two sheltered coves, separated by a rocky point. The southern cove was once called Arroyo de Los Frijoles and marked the southern extent of Rancho Butano. The beach also has a self-guided nature trail. Swimming is dangerous because of cold water, rip currents, heavy surf and sharks.

Black's BeachBlack's Beach, San Diego, CA 92037, USA

A secluded section of beach beneath the bluffs of Torrey Pines. Stingrays can be found along the coastline when the water gets above 50 degrees.

Bolsa Chica State BeachBolsa Chica State Beach, California, USA

Bolsa Chica State Beach is a popular state beach, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors to its location south of the community of Sunset Beach in Orange County. The beach extends 3 miles from Warner Avenue in Sunset Beach south to Seapoint Avenue, where the Huntington City Beach begins. Activities include surfing, sunbathing, play volleyball, and water sports. Tent camping is not allowed at Bolsa Chica State Beach. Fire rings are available.

Butterfly BeachButterfly Beach, Montecito, CA 93108, USA

Butterfly Beach is located along Channel Drive in the upscale community of Montecito. This is a popular beach with locals, many with dogs. Students are known to pack the beach at times. There are stairs to the widest and most popular part of the beach at Butterfly Lane, and another set of stairs in front of the Biltmore.

Campus Point BeachCampus Point Beach, Lagoon Rd, Isla Vista, CA 93117, USA

A beautiful surfing beach in Santa Barbara. It offers a fun scene with college students and families gathering and relaxing, while kids play in the sand and water. This latter beach is narrow at high tide and is shaded in the afternoons.

Cardiff State BeachCardiff State Beach, Encinitas, CA 92007, USA

Cardiff State Beach is the long sandy strip along the west side of San Elijo Lagoon a large wetlands and ecological reserve Popular activities include swimming, surfing, and beachcombing. It is one of the iconic location where you can soebd somwe nice time in the middle of the busy location.

Children's Pool La JollaChildren's Pool La Jolla, 834 Coast Blvd S, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA

This is a small beach partially protected by a seawall. The original intention was to create a fully protected swimming area, but in recent years sand has filled in much of the area inside the wall.The Children's Pool has become the subject of a controversial debate related to a growing colony of harbor seals which has inhabited the beach since the mid-1990s.

China Beach, San FranciscoChina Beach, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

China Beach is in a tiny cove tucked between Lands End and Baker Beach in the Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco. It is protected by rock walls on both sides creating an area that once was a camp for Chinese fishermen, hence the name.It was once used as a campsite for Chinese fishermen. Swimming is not safe at China Beach because of many possible dangers and the lack of lifeguards in the area.

Coronado BeachCoronado Beach, Coronado, CA 92118, USA

A beautiful beach popular with families and couples alike thanks to its miles-long shoreline, clean sands, peaceful atmosphere and idyllic location in the "Crown City. This wide family-friendly beach gets crowded, but it is wide enough that you can find a place to spread out comfortably. Sometimes near the hotel there are elaborate large sand castles to view and photograph – the creators love donations. Get there early to park nearby and secure a good spot on the sand.

Coronado IslandCoronado Island, Coronado, CA 92118, USA

A resort city in San Diego. Coronado is consistently voted best beach in the U.S. by Dr. Beach. With gentle surf, sparkling wide-sand beaches, charming main street and great hotels, including the famous Hotel del Coronado, this island paradise is perfect for a family vacation or romantic getaway.

County Line Beach, MalibuCounty Line Beach, Malibu, California 90265, USA

County Line Beach is beach park located in Solromar, an unincorporated community of Ventura County. This stretch of sandy beach is easily accessible from the adjacent Pacific Coast Highway. This popular surf spot is administered as part of Leo Carrillo State Park. The beach lies within the south coast portion of the Ventura County amidst a mostly rugged coastline that is some of the most striking and diverse coastal terrain in the County.

Dockweiler Beach12000 Vista Del Mar, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293, USA

Dockweiler State Beach is a beach in Los Angeles, California. It features a three mile long shoreline with a picnic area and concession stand. The park boasts the Dockweiler Hang Gliding Center and the Hang Gliding Flight Training Concession. The Dockweiler State Beach bicycle path is maintained by the Los Angeles Department of TransportationAlthough this is a State Beach, there are no camping sites that are reserved through ReserveCalifornia. The park is operated by a local agency.

Doheny State BeachDoheny State Beach, Dana Point, CA 92624, USA

A beautiful beach located in the city of Dana Point. The beach is a popular surf spot located at the mouth of San Juan Creek, which flows from the Santa Ana Mountains southwest to the beach, where it forms a fresh-water lagoon. It is also one of the most polluted beaches in Southern California. It is one of California's most popular state beaches and attracts almost one million visitors per year.

Dunes BeachDunes Beach, California, USA

Dunes Beach is one of the northern beaches in Half Moon Bay State Beach.Short steep sandy trails take you down to the beach through the dunes on the bluff. South of the beach access the beach is below sandstone bluffs and north of the access are the beach’s namesake dunes. The Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail runs north-south behind the parking lot for running, walking, and biking. This paved path extends the entire Half Moon Bay shoreline from Pillar Point to Redondo Beach.

East BeachEast Beach, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

East Beach located in Santa Barbara, California, United States, is often the first beach seen upon entering the city limits. It is separated from West Beach by Stearn's Wharf, and is proximal to downtown Santa Barbara. East Beach is the primary beach for tourists, as some of the major Santa Barbara hotels face this beach. The stretch of beach is not frequented as a surfing destination. East Beach is also home to the Santa Barbara Junior Lifeguards, who operate for seven weeks during the summer.

Emma Wood State BeachCA-1, Ventura, CA 93001, USA

Emma Wood State Beach is a beautiful beach located on the Santa Barbara Channel on the west side of the Ventura River estuary and south of the railroad tracks of the Coast Line. Its campground has 90 beach-front primitive campsites and all have beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands. At the eastern edge of the beach, the Ventura River estuary attracts a variety of wildlife, including great blue herons. A total of 300 plant species and 233 species of birds.