Catalina Island is situated just 22 miles off the Southern California coast and is famous for its outdoor activities including hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Stick around for sunset—you might be tempted to capture it, even if dusk photos aren’t typically your thing. Catalina Island, off the shore of Los Angeles, is accessible only by boat. You can also have a meal at one of the high-end restaurants on the island. After a long day on the beach, head out to the social center of the island and check out dozens of galleries and shops. Santa Catalina Island, often referred to as Catalina Island or simply Catalina, lies 22 miles off the coast of southern California and is a true hidden gem. During the summer season, you will find lifeguards patrolling the area from morning to night. No matter what kind of beach day you’re looking for, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to the 10 best beaches in Southern California. Because Torrey Pines is a nature reserve and not a state park, food and beverages other than water are limited to the beaches and dogs aren’t allowed in the area. Or go all out and boat in with weekender supplies, including camping basics, which you can rent from Two Harbor Visitor Services. The tiny beach is striking, with building-sized natural rock tunnels covered in seaweed, sand caves, and exotic-looking birds like loons and cormorants. Grab some scuba gear and head into the water with the seals at La Jolla Cove. The best beach in California is at the bottom of the list! Just off Ocean Avenue, this gorgeous crescent-shaped stretch is known for its soft, pure white sand and views of the Pebble Beach golf course. Check out the shopping district and dozens of restaurants and bars that offer delicious meals and refreshing drinks. The beach itself is surrounded by sheer cliffs and stretches for ages. Beware that the rip currents can be strong on Zuma Beach, but there are lifeguards on duty from morning to night during the summer season. The sapphire water and surrounding cliffs make for a dramatic backdrop that give this spot the vibe of a Fijian island, while restaurants like the family-owned Crab Catcher (and its ocean-facing oyster bar) lend a dash of upscale dining. But not all SoCal beaches are created equal, and with some 300 or so miles of coastline to choose from, selecting a beach destination for your trip can be daunting. Parking is limited in the area (the beach’s only lot accommodates just 20 cars), so go early to snag a spot and you’ll have the beach practically to yourself all day long. Del Norte, Mendocino, Sonoma, and Ventura Counties don't have any well-known nude beaches. Black’s Beach has some of the best surfing in the area and never has loads of tourists or families. Part of a marine reserve and thus rich in marine life, San Diego’s La Jolla Cove is the ideal place to see sea turtles, dolphins, and seven-gill sharks. Nevertheless, Windansea Beach looks amazing with sandstone rocks and a cute beach shack that was built in 1946. Cancel free on most hotels. At Huntington State Beach, a little further south, there are one-off events and festivals throughout the year featuring acts like Toby Keith and Blink-182. The Best Stops for a Road Trip on the Pacific Coast Highway. It has bathrooms and nice tide pools to the north and south. Orange County's only nude beach, San Onofre State Beach closed to clothing optional visitors a few years ago. Looking for the best beaches in California? But not all SoCal beaches are created equal, and with some 300 or so miles of coastline to choose from, selecting a beach destination for your trip can be daunting. The landscape allows you to find hidden coves that offer secluded areas where you can get some peace and quiet away from the large crowds of tourists. Thanks to the 30-feet visibility under water, this beach is ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. This pier includes an amusement park, complete with games, rides and tuck-shops and even an aquarium. Huntington Dog Beach—home to a dog surfing competition and one of the largest corgi beach parties in the United States—is great for dog owners and lovers. 7 Best Gay Beaches in Southern California Nothing captures Southern California’s beauty quite like spending a day at the beach. Once you finally reach the bottom, you will be rewarded by spectacular views of the ocean. Every family has a California beach destination (or 10) on their travel bucket list — whether it’s the waters of teal-blue Lake Tahoe or the famous boardwalks surrounding Los Angeles. Best Activities: Terranea Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Feels like another world." This two-mile-long sandy beach is ideal for surfing and volleyball. They offer everything from surfing to swimming to Ferris wheels to sunbathing sea lions and much more. No matter what kind of beach day you’re looking for, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to the 10 best beaches in Southern California. Today, Huntington remains a wave-riding mecca and the most popular of the well-known beaches in the country—but surfing is not the only game in town. San Mateo Campground is commonly referred to as one of the best camping beaches in Southern California for a good reason! A slow ascent up the nature preserve’s hiking trail offers full views of the Santa Monica Bay and even a glimpse of Catalina Island in the distance. We all know that California beaches have surf, sand, and plenty of sunshine, but not a single beach in the state can be compared to fabulous Venice Beach. One noteworthy detail: This slice of Torrey Pines used to be a nude beach, and parts of it are still clothing optional. Salt Creek Beach Park – This beach has a good deal of parking. One of the main attractions is definitely the Roundhouse Aquarium, located at the end of the pier. Situated right between Los Angeles International Airport and Hermosa Beach, Manhattan State Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Southern California, with over 4 million visitors each and every year. More of the best Southern California beaches for families in South Orange County: Crescent Bay Beach – This is one the beautiful coves of Laguna. There’s free parking along the Pacific Coast Highway right across the street from the secluded beach—something you definitely won’t find anywhere else in Los Angeles. Charming small towns in california best beaches in central california fishing in orange county enjoy oc surfing spots in los angelesSouthern California Ocean Fishing From Piers SurfBig Socal Surf FishingThe Best Southern California Surf Spots3 Of The Best Surf Fishing Spots On Outer Banks OceanThe Best Places To Go Fishing In Southern CaliforniaSouthern California Ocean … The animals are best viewed in the water, so bring your scuba or snorkel gear or rent it from one of the shops along the beach. Going to the beach means you should only worry about which waves are the best for surfing or the best time of day for whale watching, not pollution or water quality problems.While most of the beaches in the state have earned accolades for unspoiled sand and pristine waters, some beaches stand out as the cleanest. At the southern end, a secluded spit of land called Black’s Beach is a must-see but notoriously difficult to reach. The beach is well-maintained and has all the necessary facilities like restrooms and showers which you can use as a visitor. . The easiest way to reach the island from the mainland is by boat that departs from San Pedro, Long Beach, and Newport Beach. All of this activity can be found on the popular Ocean Front Walk, a 3/4-mile concrete boardwalk with fast-food spots, flea markets, and shops. Situated in the South Bay area, Hermosa Beach is a small beachfront community famous for its outdoor activities such as surfing, sunbathing, swimming, and volleyball. More Close to Home. Vacationers who are visiting La Jolla Cove during low tide will have a chance to explore fascinating tidal pools. El Matador State Beach is easy to miss from the road, but keep your eyes peeled as you drive toward Oxnard. In case you get hungry after all of the water activities, there are a couple of great restaurants in the area including the Sunset Restaurant and Spruzzo Restaurant & Bar. Located in Los Angeles’s ritzy Pacific Palisades neighborhood across the street from the striking Getty Villa museum and gardens, there are plenty of beach activities to enjoy here, from fishing and windsurfing to a pickup game of volleyball. Don’t forget to watch the sun go down from the pier, everyone says that the sunsets here are amazing. The best way to deal with acknowledge El Bullfighter beach is to pack some sustenance for a journey, bring a spread, and pick one of the covered specialties for a nostalgic air. Unfortunately, the water is quite cold and swimming off the beach is not recommended for inexperienced swimmers. Image Credit: Emma Svalstad via Unsplash. Top California Beaches: See reviews and photos of beaches in California, United States on Tripadvisor. The beach is known for its many tide pools, which give visitors a peek at starfish, crabs, sea urchins, and even octopuses in the wild. Whether you choose to spend your day sunbathing, surfing, or just walking the shore, these seven beaches are your best bet for the perfect combination of privacy and paradise. Best Beaches in California The Torrey Pines hiking trail follows the coast and overlooks the beach. The best part? If you’re looking to sunbathe, there are plenty of opportunities to hike down to the beach as well. El Matador State Beach Southern California is known for its stunning & cleanest beaches. In ranking for the best beaches for bonfires in California, we considered a few criteria: the accessibility and number of fire rings, additional beach amennities like volleyball nets and picnic tables, natural features like rock jetties and tide pools, and proximity to … Southern California is famous for its warm weather all over the year and well-known for many vacation spots. In the evening, the Strand is a great place for people-watching and going out for dinner at one of the many restaurants. Santa Monica is perhaps Southern California’s most iconic beach. There’s a lot to love: The lively atmosphere, constant opportunities to catch talented buskers, beachside bars such as the Bungalow and the Independence, and the many oceanfront cafés and restaurants all make it a must-hit spot. The pier, with its famous Ferris wheel, hosts a free autumn concert series with up-and-coming as well as well-known artists (previous performers include Khalid, Lemaitre, Rufus du Sol, Borns, and Mavis Staples). Huntington City Beach, Huntington Beach. Here is our list of the best beaches in Southern California: Located in Malibu, El Matador Beach is one of the most stunning beaches in the region and features amazing rock formations and stunning views of the surrounding areas. Latest. Home to nearly 3,500 miles of coastline, California is a beach lover’s paradise. Included in the list views from its outdoor terrace for various activities including swimming and. 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