15 Most Famous Beaches in California

Are you dreaming of lounging in the sun, listening to the waves crash on the shore, and taking a dip in some crystal clear waters? If so, California is an ideal destination for your next getaway with its beaches as famous as its Hollywood stars! From renowned surf spots to secluded coves favored by wildlife, there’s something for everyone. 

Here are the 15 most famous beaches in California.

1. Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Beach in California is one of the premier beaches in the world and a definite must-see destination for travelers. The shimmering white sand, crystal clear blue waters, and scenic coastline appeal to people from all walks of life. Outdoor activities such as swimming and surfing are popular, as are beach sports like volleyball, beach soccer, and Frisbee. Nature lovers enjoy admiring the rock formations along with plenty of wildlife living right along the shoreline. 

Food lovers will have their taste buds tantalized by the abundance of excellent restaurants that line Santa Monica’s pier. Shopping-minded vacationers also have plenty of choices when it comes to boutique stores and touristy souvenir shops. No matter what kind of traveler you are, Santa Monica Beach is sure to please you.

2. Malibu Beach

Malibu Beach in California is a great place to relax, recline and have fun. It’s a beautiful beach along the coast of Malibu with gorgeous blue water and white sand that stretches endlessly from the sunset-facing shores of Malibu Lagoon all the way north as far as Point Dume at the end of Malibu. 

Taking a long stroll along this beach feels like walking in paradise with panoramic views of vast oceans, tall bunches of scenery, and the serene sounds of waves crashing ashore. It is a popular spot for sunbathers, swimmers, boaters, beach umbrella setters and surfers alike – with plenty of private hideaways within its glistening waters allowing you to enjoy some tranquility at any time. An idyllic escape from everyday life awaits if you visit Malibu Beach!

3. Laguna Beach

Located in the seaside town of Orange County, California, Laguna Beach is one of the most beautiful and beloved locations on the entire West Coast. This perfect little paradise offers a variety of activities that are sure to please everyone; from visiting the Pacific Marine Mammal Center to hiking or mountain biking at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, nature lovers won’t be disappointed.


For art aficionados, this coastal city features multiple art galleries, which showcase pieces by some of the area’s most talented local talents. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or simply wish to relax and enjoy the sun and sea breeze, Laguna Beach has you covered – it really does have something for everyone.

4. Long Beach

Long Beach, in California, is located just outside of Los Angeles and it is a coastal paradise. Visitors flock to its pristine beaches for the surf, sand, and sunshine. Other attractions include the Aquarium of the Pacific and Queen Mary which offers daily sightseeing tours and themed events such as ghost tours or movie screenings.


For those looking for an adrenaline boost, Long Beach also boasts a plethora of thrilling activities like water sports and wakeboarding. The vibrant downtown area has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for exquisite dining options or stunning contemporary art galleries. In addition to a variety of unique festivals that take place throughout the year, Long Beach can be explored on foot with numerous bike trails along its beautiful coastline – making it an ideal destination any time of the year!

5. Newport Beach

Newport Beach in Southern California is home to stunning coastal views and is often the star of many vacation photos. The rich turquoise waters, pier full of activity, and miles of shoreline can surprise even the most experienced traveler. Boating, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing, windsurfing and more can be enjoyed on Newport beach. Its clear waters also make it a great spot for surfing and scuba diving – you never know what you may find when exploring under the surface! With its vibrant nightlife along with cafes and restaurants right off the beachfront, Newport Beach is an incredibly popular destination that blends recreation with luxury – this truly is a one-of-a-kind paradise.

6.La Jolla Beach

La Jolla Beach in California is the perfect spot to spend a day at the beach. The coastline offers rocky coves, miles of sandy beaches and turquoise waters. If you are looking for activities, there is swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, and even surfing.

If you’re just looking for some peace and quiet, simply relax under an umbrella or explore the tide pools during low tide. With beautiful sunsets as a backdrop, La Jolla Beach can make for an unforgettable experience for all ages.

7. Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach in California is the perfect destination for a sunny getaway. With mild temperatures year-round, pristine beaches, and wonderful attractions all within easy access, it’s no wonder why so many travelers flock here. It is one of the best dog friendly beaches in Orange County, California.

Popular activities include kayaking in the harbor or on one of the two lagoons, strolling along the pier to get a glimpse of some of the many surfing competitions that take place throughout the year, or exploring Downtown Huntington Beach with its vibrant nightlife and endless entertainment. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure or just looking to relax, Huntington Beach is an ideal spot for a memorable visit.

8. Ocean  Beach

Ocean Beach in California is a stunningly beautiful stretch of shoreline that’s tucked away off the beaten path. Visitors can experience incredible sunsets, stroll along the pier,, and marvel at the vibrant wildlife that abounds in the area. There are also numerous attractions such as tidepools, an amusement park, and well-maintained parks. Those seeking outdoor recreation will find plenty to explore, from fishing and boating to beachcombing and exploring long stretches of surf.

9. Pfeiffer Beach

Pfeiffer Beach in California is one of the most unique and beautiful places along the Big Sur coastline. It boasts an incredible view of the Pacific Ocean, complete with jagged rocks that line the ocean floor. Additionally, this beach serves as a haven for photographers due to its brilliant sunset views and an array of purple sand. 

Visitors should make sure to look out for hidden rock arches, where they might find rare souvenirs or find quiet moments away from the crowds. As expected, it can get busy in peak season but luckily it has plenty of room to wander without compromising on serenity.

10. Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach in California is one of the most popular beaches on the entire coast. It’s perfect for vacationers looking to soak up some sun and swim in warm waters. The city has a bustling pier, ideal for buying souvenirs or enjoying a leisurely stroll over gentle waves lapping against sandy shores. 

For those in search of recreation, Pismo Beach offers low-key activities like kayaking, golfing, and horseback riding along some of the most scenic trails in the area. There’s also an extensive bird-watching scene filled with a variety of winged creatures seeking refuge among the palm trees. Whether you’re looking to relax or find adventure, Pismo Beach is a great destination choice at any time of year.

11. Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach in California is truly a sight to behold. Situated along the one-and-only Pacific Coast Highway, this beach town feels worlds away from bustling Los Angeles. Visitors can feel the sand between their toes, enjoy breathtaking sunsets over the ocean, and take advantage of some outdoor activities like surfing and paddle boarding. A walk along the shoreline reveals stunning views at every turn, while a dip in the sea could help you cool off on hot summer days. 

12. Ventura Beach

Ventura Beach in California is the perfect place to escape from life and relax. take a leisurely stroll along the sand and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, while tantalizing palate with local seafood delicacies. There’s so much to do here-visiting museums, experiencing incredible wildlife encounters, or taking a tour of Point Mugu State Park. Whether it’s surfing, sailing, or just lazing on a beach chair, Ventura Beach truly has something for everyone. 

13. Redondo Beach

With its breathtaking views and vibrant beach culture, Redondo Beach in California is truly a remarkable retreat. Along the shoreline, there are plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the seaside air. Spend your days sunbathing on the sand, swimming in the waves, or strolling along the picturesque pier. 

For those looking for nightlife, there’s an assortment of cafes and bars with live music, plus a variety of recreational activities for all ages. The nearby harbor offers boat walks, fishing trips, and whale watching. Don’t miss out on this amazing getaway; Redondo Beach is sure to provide an unforgettable trip!

14. Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Beach in California is a popular vacation spot for people of all ages. From its iconic amusement park to its miles of sandy beaches, the city has something to offer everyone. One can explore the many trails that lead up to breathtaking lookouts or lounge in the sun on one of the many luxurious beaches. What sets Santa Cruz apart from other beach towns is its stunning natural beauty combined with its vibrant and eclectic culture. Its combination of seaside activities, unique museums, and art galleries make it a great destination for exploring California’s past and present. 

The lively city also offers plenty of fun for night owls, with lots of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues available for those looking to enjoy all the best parts of a beach-side getaway.

15. Baker Beach

Located just minutes away from San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Baker Beach is one of California’s most beautiful natural attractions. With its sweeping sand dunes, crystal-clear waters, and dramatic cliffs, the beach can easily transport you to a world of relaxation and rejuvenation. 

Here you can spend endless hours strolling along the shoreline and enjoying breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Whether you seek an idyllic spot for sunset viewing or just a place to relax, Baker Beach has something to offer for everyone – perfect for any vacationer in search of a memorable experience.

If you’re looking for the perfect spot to spend a sunny California day, any of these beaches would be a great choice. With so many different activities and breathtaking views, there’s sure to be something for everyone. So pack your sunscreen, beach chair, and towel and head on down to one of these stunning seaside destinations

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