California is famous for its varied landscape, which includes everything from deserts to snow-capped mountains and evergreen forests. But the Golden State is especially well-known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, especially in its southern portion. If you’re planning a California vacation this summer, here are the top 5 beaches you have to check out.
Los Angeles’s Venice Beach has a long and colorful history. It was the home of Jim Morrison back in the 1960s, and is today famous for its eccentricity and boardwalk, which is always bustling with tourists, local shops and eclectic street performers. On any given day, you’ll find jugglers with power saws, street musicians, rollerbladers, painters, acrobats, graffiti artists and many more sideshow attractions lining the Venice Boardwalk. You can get a workout done at Muscle Beach and even get a lesson from one of the regulars. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops to enjoy, so no matter what you’re into, you’ll never find a dull moment while taking a stroll or bike riding along Venice Beach. Next time you’re visiting Venice Beach, check out some great resources for California vacations rentals.
Ocean Beach in San Diego is one of the most relaxed and laid back beaches in California, and one that offers plenty of unique attractions to enjoy. OB, as the locals call it, is just south of Mission Beach and 7 miles away from downtown San Diego. OB’s dog beach is popular with dog owners. Other attractions include the OB pier, the tide pools, the Sunset Cliffs Park and the Point Loma lighthouse. Look for resources for San Diego vacation rentals if you’re visiting anytime soon.
Black’s Beach, in the city of La Jolla, is one of the best secluded beaches in California. To get there, you have to make your way down the Torrey Pines cliffs, via a path of wooden steps. Once you make it down, you’ll find wide stretches of sand and placid waves to swim in. With the massive Torrey Pines cliffs towering above it, Black’s Beach is the perfect place to have a bonfire at night or enjoy a calm, secluded picnic in the sand. The north side of Black’s Beach is a clothing-optional area, so watch out for nudists.
Huntington Beach is actually located just south of the city of Huntington Beach, and it stretches for several miles. The south end of Huntington Beach is a nesting place for the rare California Least Tern. The area where the birds dwell is fenced off, but you can enjoy some good bird watching if you bring binoculars. Huntington Beach is also a popular spot for beach volleyball, due to its soft sands. Biking, surfing, body boarding and basketball are also popular activities.
Zuma and Surfrider
Yes, this is technically cheating, but you have to include both Zuma and Surfrider Beach if you’re going to talk about the Malibu coast. These two legendary beaches are prime destinations for surfers everywhere, and were the beaches that inspired much of the 1960s surf rock movement.