Browse tours and activities in Laguna Beach! The Shoal Hotel La Jolla Beach is a budget stay that features an outdoor pool and is only an 8-minute walk from Windansea Beach. Listen for live music from the bandstand in the summer months and grab your spot on the deck at Zelda’s on the Beach for waterside cocktails. The Ojai Music Festival in June is a hot ticket for fans of classical and contemporary music. Don’t miss the bakeries piled with traditional Danish pastries. The notoriously big waves here have drawn world-renowned surfers like Kelly Slater. Required fields are marked *, As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Very charming.” — TripAdvisor Review of Healdsburg Plaza. Spooning Carlsbad’s southern border, Encinitas is one of the best beach towns in California, with miles of coveted coastline. It’s just a 10-minute walk from the town center and has an outdoor saltwater pool for use. Get inspired to take the ultimate road trip with your girlfriends. A popular place for LA residents to take a breather is Oxnard. Though most of Southern California’s sleepy little beach towns have been torn down, built up, priced up, and often times, messed up, this true “Spanish Village by the Sea,” -- complete with sweeping mountain and ocean views-- has managed to escape mass destruction over the years. Book your place on a guided tour to view the street art and hear about the history of the community. And we made a great decision. On a sunny day, bike over the Golden Gate Bridge, or hop on a ferry, for amazing views and a great introduction to San Francisco, where you’ll find tons of exciting ways to discover the city. “We had a fantastic exhilarating tour around Solvang, learning lots about the area along the way. Read more: 15 Best Weekend Getaways in California (And Where to Stay!). Only 70 miles (110km) south of San Francisco, you can eat cotton candy on the century-old Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and jump on the seaside roller coaster for $1 (on Monday and Tuesday nights). The lyric from Jan and Dean’s 1963 hit Surf City hit the nail on the head about Huntington Beach, California, and the town’s reputation hasn’t changed for half a century. No restaurant chains except for a Coffee Bean and the stuff you try is quite authentic while in a relaxed atmosphere. 1 of 15. La Paz is filled with lovely beaches, gardens, and parks. 2. With a reputation as one of the most expensive states in the U.S., California (thankfully) still has some economically sound places to reside – if you know where to look. A local favourite and well-known amongst hippie travellers as the best destination for beachside raves, the quaint and colourful town of Sayulita in Nayarit is also one of the best surfing destinations in the country. Crowds battle for sets below the pier by day, and go on benders at any one of the city’s clubs that line PCH by night. California beach towns stand out for their relaxed, inviting spirit, their beauty, and their boundless ways to play. Hands down, probably the best chocolate I’ve had.” — TripAdvisor Reviewer of El Buen Cacao. Location: Santa Teresa is a small town in Puntarenas Province, West coast of Costa Rica. Almost all their chocolate is vegan/non-dairy, including the white chocolate (my favorite). We also had the ghost pepper (spicy but yummy), raspberry and a few truffles. Inn of the Lost Coast is another mid-range stay located right on the beachfront and offers a hot tub and karaoke nights. Accommodation: Booking.com offers savings on hotels, apartments, and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide. Surf’s up! Check out the local galleries and the annual Sausalito Art Festival, and in September, you can tour the famous houseboats that were home to many in the 1960s. North Cliff Hotel is more of an upscale stay that offers a hot breakfast buffet and great views of the ocean and Noyo Bay. Whether by driving or by boat, get into Sausalito. First stop is Ojai, a delightful town full of little art galleries and shops. A small coastal city north of Monterey Bay in California, Santa Cruz is a surf town with a retro vibe, one of the best places in the world to live in if you’re a surfer. Flights: Momondo is the first place we check when searching for cheap flights. The town is full of Americana, and makes you feel like you’ve stepped into the Wild West, but with a beach setting. This guide to the 12 best small beach towns in California covers where to stay in each town, the top things to see and more! We chose this small town, close to Los Angeles as we didn’t want to go through the nightmare of having to fly and go through an airport. The farms here are bursting with produce—pick juicy tangerines or watch olives being turned into oil, before picking up the rest of your groceries at the farmers’ market. Ferndale itself is a California Historic Landmark, due to the number of classic Victorian homes here. The town of Fort Pierce is home to Fort Pierce Inlet’s famed North Jetty, one of the first spots surfed in all of Florida. Plus, you tend to get great value for your money: a stocked kitchen and bathroom, plenty of space, and maybe a private patio or even a hot tub. The Oceanfront Inn is a mid-range property offering a private beach area. Its white-sand beaches are pleasant and uncrowded (Mandalay State Beach is a favorite), but if you’re seeking something even more peaceful, boat the 11 miles out to the ‘American Galapagos’, or Channel Islands National Park, to swim and dive off the rocks. But the good news is that they can explore this pretty island city by golf cart, which is much more fun. Book a visit to the Gracianna Winery to sample its award-winning wines and see if you can actually tell your chardonnay from your sauvignon blanc. In addition to the waves, the small fishing town is known for its outdoor cafes, traditional town center, and of course, its seafood. By Christy Woodrow, Last Modified: June 22, 2020. By Caleigh Alleyne. With your kayak, definitely make a point to head to the historic Point San Luis Lighthouse! It’s no wonder why the area made the National Geographic’s list of the top 20 surf towns in the country. Northern California's surf spots are scattered northward along the coast, beginning at San Francisco/Marin counties, and continuing up through Sonoma, Medocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte. San Clemente is the heart of contemporary surfing in California. That said, if you are looking for a great surfing spot, one of the state’s best surfing beaches, Rincon, is just three miles southeast. Not only is the area home to a beach full of glistening sea glass, but it also has a striking, craggy, coastline that will sweep you off your feet. The waves in Rincon break along a cobblestone point that translates into a long ride when the conditions are right. Of course, California isn’t always the cheapest destination when it comes to accommodation, so it’s a good idea to look into local vacation rentals. You can also check out the neighboring beaches on this best beaches in Orange County tour. Read more: Where to Stay in San Francisco (And The Best Hotels in Each Area). At TripAdvisor, we use the wisdom of our traveler community to help you unleash the full potential of every trip. Indoor pool spot in Santa Cruz County on the Italian Riviera from downtown Cambria and offers continental... Days in the heart of the Lost coast Bakery then hit the picnic area at Carpinteria beach. Ultimate road trip with your kayak, definitely make a point to head to the point. 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