California's Best Beaches

Southern California: From Orange Co. to Santa Barbara Co.

Central Coast: From Pismo Beach to San Francisco

All Beaches Index





California's Best Beaches - From Orange County to San Francisco

Find Your Beach

Looking for a nice place to take the family for a day on the sand and some play in the waves? We've got the best beaches here. Searching for a new surfing beach? Check our list of the top ten. Hoping for some spectacular coast photos? Browse our lists of suggestions.

Complete Beach Information

  • Beach locations with detailed custom maps showing all the key features.
  • Admission fees, hours, parking, and facilities for more than 150 beaches
  • Activities at each beach, from surfing to diving, volleyball to whale watching, sand castles to fishing
  • Nearby lodging and camping
  • Check out our Mobile Site for California's Best Beaches.


Southern California Beaches:

    Orange County Beaches

Salt Creek Beach

  • Salt Creek Beach
  • Strand Beach
  • Dana Point

Doheny Beach

  • Doheny Beach
  • Capistrano Beach
  • Poche Beach

San Clemente Beach

  • San Clemente City Beach
  • San Clemente State Beach

San Diego County - Sneak Previews

San Onofre Beach

Oceanside Beach

Bolsa Chica Beach

Huntington Beach

  • Huntington City Beach
  • Huntington State Beach

Newport Beach

  • Newport Beach
  • Balboa Beach

Corona Del Mar Beach

  • Corona Del Mar State Beach
  • Little Corona Del Mar Beach
  • China Cove Beach

Crystal Cove Beach

Laguna Beach

  • Crescent Bay
  • Picnic Beach
  • Thalia Street Beach
  • Tresure Island Park
  • Aliso Beach
  • Victoria Beach
  • . . . and many more

    Los Angeles County Beaches



Santa Monica Beach

Venice Beach

Dockweiler State Beach

Manhattan State Beach

Hermosa Beach

Redondo Beach

  • Redondo Beach
  • Torrance Beach

Palos Verdes Beaches

  • Malaga Cove
  • Bluff Cove
  • Lunada Bay
  • Point Vicente
  • Abalone Cove

Royal Palms Beach

  • Royal Palms Beach
  • White Point
  • Point Fermin

Cabrillo Beach

Long Beach

Leo Carrillo State Park
Area Beaches

  • Leo Carrillo Beach
  • Nicholas Canyon Beach
  • Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach:
    • El Pescador Beach
    • La Piedra Beach
    • El Matador Beach

Zuma Beach

Point Dume Beaches

  • Point Dume Beach
  • Paradise Cove Beach
  • Escondido Beach
  • Dan Blocker Beach

Malibu Lagoon State Beach

  • Malibu Laoon
  • Surfrider Beach

Will Rogers Beach

  • Will Rogers Beach
  • Topanga County Beach
  • Las Tunas County Beach

Ventura County Beaches

Northern Ventura Co. Beaches

  • Rincon Point
  • La Conchita Beach
  • Mussel Shoals Beach
  • Old Piers Beach
  • Hobson Beach
  • Faria Beach
  • Mondos Beach
  • Solimar Beach

Emma Wood State Beach

San Buenventura Beach

McGrath State Beach

Oxnard Beaches

  • Mandalay Beach
  • Oxnard Beach
  • Hollywood Beach
  • Silver Strand Beach
  • Channel Islands Harbor

Hueneme Beach

Point Mugu State Park

  • Point Mugu Beach
  • Thornhill Broome Beach
  • Sycamore Cove Beach
  • County Line Beach

Santa Barbara County Beaches

Guadalupe Dunes & Beach

  • Guadalupe Dunes & Beach
  • Paradise Beach
  • Point Sal State Beach

Refugio Beach & El Capitan Beach

Gaviota Beach

  • Gaviota Beach
  • Jalama Beach

Goleta Beach

  • Goleta Beach
  • Isla Vista Beach
  • Sands Beach

Leadbetter Beach

  • Leadbetter Beach
  • Shoreline Park
  • Arroyo Burro Beach

East Beach

  • East Beach
  • West Beach
  • Stearns Wharf


Carpinteria Beach

  • Carpinteria State Beach
  • Carpinteria City Beach
  • Santa Claus Beach



California's Central Coast Beaches:

    San Luis Obispo County Beaches


Avila Beach

  • Avila Beach
  • Olde Port San Luis Beach
  • Fisherman's Beach
  • Pirate's Cove

Pismo Beach

  • Pismo Beach
  • Shell Beach
  • Oceano SVRA Beach

Wm. R. Hearst Beach

  • Wm. R. Hearst Memorial State Beach
  • Piedras Blancas

Hearst San Simeon State Park

  • San Simeon Beach
  • Leffingwell Landing
  • Moonstone Beach

Morro Bay Beaches

  • Morro Rock Beach
  • Sandspit Beach
  • Coleman Beach
  • Spooner's Cove
  • Morro Strand Beach
  • Cayucos Beach

N. Monterey County Beaches


Monterey Dunes Beaches

  • Zmudowski Beach
  • Moss Landing Beach
  • Salinas River Beach
  • Marina Beach

Monterey Beaches

  • Ford Ord Dunes Beach
  • Monterey Beach
  • Del Monte Beach

Asilomar Beach


Carmel Beaches

  • Carmel Beach
  • Carmel River Beach
  • Monastery Beach

Point Lobos

  • Point Lobos
  • Soberanes Point
  • Garrapata Beach

© 2013, California's Best Beaches, all rights reserved




Santa Cruz County Beaches


Waddell Beach

Davenport Beaches

  • Scott Creek Beach
  • Davenport Landing Beach
  • Davenport Beach
  • Shark Fin Cove

Coast Dairies Beaches

  • Bonny Doon Beach
  • Yellowbank/Panther Beach
  • Hole in the Wall
  • Laguna Creek

Wilder Ranch Beaches

  • 4 Mile Beach
  • 3 Mile Beach
  • Strawberry Beach
  • Sand Plant Beach
  • Fern Grotto
  • Wilder Beach

Natural Bridges Beach

Santa Cruz Beaches

  • Cowell Beach
  • Santa Cruz Beach

Twin Lakes Beach   Capitola Beach

New Brighton Beach

Seacliff Beach   Manresa Beach   Sunset Beach

S. Monterey County Beaches


Big Sur Beaches

  • Andrew Molera State Park Beach
  • Pfeiffer Beach

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Southern Big Sur Beaches

  • Limekiln Beach
  • Kirk Creek Beach
  • Mill Creek Beach
  • Sand Dollar Beach
  • Jade Cove
  • Willow Creek Beach


San Mateo County Beaches


Pacifica Beaches

  • Sharp Park
  • Rockaway Beach
  • Pacifica (Linda Mar) Beach

Montara Beaches

  • Gray Whale Cove Beach
  • Montara Beach
  • Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

Half Moon Bay Beaches

  • Roosevelt Beach
  • Dunes Beach
  • Venice Beach
  • Francis Beach
  • Cowell Ranch Beach

San Mateo Beaches

  • San Gregorio Beach
  • Pomponio Beach
  • Pescadero Beach
  • Pebble Beach
  • Bean Hollow Beach

Aņo Nuevo State Park

San Francisco County Beaches


San Francisco Beaches

  • Marshall Beach
  • Baker Beach
  • China Beach
  • Marshall Beach
  • Burton Beach
  • Thornton Beach

Ocean Beach


Ocean Safety

California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly."
Learn more about ocean safety at CA State Parks: Ocean Safety

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