When you think of beaches, I’m sure a California Vacation comes to mind. What many people don’t realize is that there are huge differences in the beaches and coastlines in different parts of California. There are so many beaches here, but I’m giving you the 5 Best California Vacation Beaches in the Golden State.

Plan your next trip with these 5 Best California Vacation Beaches! This list includes the best options for families and water lovers!

5 Best California Vacation Beaches

These California Vacation beaches are amazing choices for spring break, family vacation, or summer getaways.  This list includes my personal favorites, and of course, those little tips on the best things to do nearby!

Santa Monica State Beach

Located basically in LA, but not because it’s Santa Monica is one of the most fun beaches in California. The famous Santa Monica Pier is located here and is covered with rides and vendors. The beach is sprawling and has a gymnastics like playground on parts of it.

Near the beach are tons of restaurants and shops. 

Just south of Santa Monica beach is another super famous beach, Venice Beach.

Santa monica beach

Van Damme Beach and State Park

Located North of San Francisco, near Mendocino, is Van Damme State Park. Kayak tours are available to give you the best perspective along the coast here. You will often see abalone divers on the beach, as well as scuba divers.

There are ten miles of trail in the park along the Fern Canyon and Pygmy Forest. This area in the Redwoods has a history of logging.  When you think California vacation, this area definitely comes to mind.

Since this is a State Park, there is camping available. You are only a few miles from Mendocino, which has cottages and other lodging. You will find some great restaurants and wineries in this area.

Asilomar Beachasilomar-beach

While there are many beaches in the Monterey/Carmel area of the Central Coast, Asilomar Beach in Pacific Grove is a family favorite for a California vacation destination.

Located near the Asilomar Conference Center, this beach is great for families. You will almost always see people tossing balls in the ocean for their dogs, which is fun to watch.

As you walk the boardwalk towards the beach you can hear the waves and feel the salt air. When the bay comes into view, it will take your breath away. The dunes and rocky coast are something to behold.

There are world-class seafood restaurants in this area, and many lodging options available to fit any budget.

Pismo Beachpismo-beach

Travel to the South Central Coast and you will find this gem in San Luis Obispo County. Halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this area has white beaches, great views, and breathtaking sunsets.

This area has great weather and lots of local wineries. There are always events taking place, such as car shows and a Clam Festival in October. Make sure to check the calendar of events before you go.

If you want to enjoy the outdoors here, you can golf, go horseback riding, surf, bodyboard or fish. There is a 1200 foot pier along the beach. Enjoy hiking or kayaking in Pismo, too.

Experience California dining at restaurants serving fresh food with local ingredients, and fresh seafood, of course. Pair your food with a local glass of wine and enjoy the flavors.

East Beach

East Beach is at the eastern end of Santa Barbara’s 4-mile stretch of city beaches. There are picnic areas, lots of volleyball courts, and a playground, all with amazing ocean views.  The views here are definitely part of the iconic California vacation you have been dreaming about as you plan.

East Beach is bordered by a grassy park with lots of trees and shade. There is a beach house and snack bar here. There is a path just for rollerblading and biking.

There are many hotels near and facing East Beach, so it is sometimes a busy tourist area. That being said, you can find great lodging and restaurants here in Santa Barbara. You can always find something to do here, so check the local calendar of events when you are doing your vacation planning.

Laguna BeachLaguna Beach

It is famous not just for the water, sand, and sun; rather, at the same time, for the rich heritage of art and amazing history. There is a well-maintained Art Museum where you can have fun with the family. In case you are planning your visit in the summer season; never miss the opportunity to enjoy happy vibes at the Art Festival. 

This year, plan your California vacation with these amazing beach destinations in mind! You can’t go wrong choosing one of these fabulous places! And don’t forget to bring a high-quality beach umbrella!

More Vacation Tips:

10 Best Beaches In The United States

11 Free Things To Do In Los Angeles

6 Spring Break Vacation Planning Travel Tips 

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