Best beach on west coast: 25 Best West Coast Beaches

9 Best Beaches on the West Coast in the U.S.

When it comes to searching for the best beach on the West Coast, the states of Oregon, Washington, and California cover over 1,200 miles, offering a lot of shoreline to choose from. Between lively, bohemian surf spots, family-friendly stretches with wholesome boardwalks, and rugged, windswept swaths, there’s a beach for everyone. Here are our top nine picks for the best beaches on the West Coast in the U.S.

Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea; Richard James/Unsplash

With gorgeous white sand waiting below a picturesque headland bluff, it’s not hard to understand why Carmel Beach was previously voted as one of the best beaches in the world. The beach benefits from its location near the town of Carmel, where you can pick up provisions before indulging in a stroll along the bluff or relaxing on the beach beneath the famous Monterey cypress trees. The beach is a renowned surf spot and great for dogs, though the strong rip currents can make swimming unsafe. Tip: Try to stay and catch the stunning sunset.

Our Top Pick for a Carmel Hotel: Cypress Inn

Mission Bay, San Diego/Oyster

Good restaurants, good facilities, firepits, and an excellent boardwalk make Mission Beach one of the liveliest beaches in San Diego. If you prefer a beach that has more than the requisite sand and water, then this is the one. Mission is a fun place to hang out for a day, pairing sunbathing and swimming with any number of other activities. Bring your bike for the boardwalk and your A-game for the beach volleyball.

Our Top Pick for a Mission Beach Hotel: Bahia Resort Hotel

Beach at the Hallmark Resort & Spa Cannon Beach/Oyster

Cannon Beach draws visitors with its blustery beauty and the promise of a glimpse at the impressive Haystack Rock, a huge basalt column that juts out of the ocean. It’s the natural beauty and atmospheric vibe that make this long, flat stretch of sand stand out from the other white-sand spots along the coast. Take your dog and wander the beach while gazing at the towering lava rock formed millions of years ago.

Our Top Pick for a Cannon Beach Hotel: Hallmark Resort & Spa Cannon Beach

La Jolla, San Diego/Oyster

La Jolla is a true Cali classic, judging by the mix of locals and tourists who keep it packed most of the time. Steep, smooth rocks lead to gorgeous sand, where visitors can watch surfers and sea lions simultaneously. Hidden away in a tight curved cove, La Jolla Shores is ideal for snorkeling and bodyboarding, thanks to its gentle waves and a sandy bottom. The beach is relatively short, but don’t let the crowds put you off — it’s popular for a reason.

Our Top Pick for a La Jolla Hotel: La Jolla Shores Hotel

5. Zuma Beach, Malibu

Zuma Beach, Malibu; Parker Amstutz/Unsplash

You’re unlikely to ever be alone at Zuma Beach, but with great beauty comes popularity and the crowds to match. Regarded as one of the state’s finest beaches, Zuma is the quintessential Los Angeles beach escape, with iconic lifeguard towers dotting its clean, golden sand, gentle waves perfect for swimming and bodyboarding, and a picturesque clifftop backdrop. Malibu has its fair share of private beaches, so it’s a blessing that the public can pitch up at Zuma. If the crowds are crazy, there’s always Broad Beach a little to the north.

Our Top Pick for a Santa Monica Hotel, a 30-Minute Drive Away: Hotel Casa del Mar

Beach at the Inn at the Prom, Seaside/Oyster

An attractive beach with plenty to do besides admiring the rugged coastal beauty, Seaside Beach is one of Oregon’s most famous seaside spots. Unusual for these parts, Seaside has a boardwalk and lots to do, including its annual beach volleyball tournament (one of the biggest in the world). Visitors can also enjoy crab rolls and local craft beers from beachside spots, saltwater taffy, and a hike away from the beach and onto the Tillamook Head Trail. Make the most of being in the area by taking the 20-minute drive up the coast to Fort Stevens State Park, where you’ll find the wreck of Peter Iredale, a sailing vessel that ran aground in 1906.

Our Top Pick for a Seaside Hotel: Lanai at the Cove

Huntington Beach; Liana Mikah/Unsplash

An iconic California spot that most will recognize for its famous pier, Huntington Beach is often packed with people fishing (you don’t need a license). Surfing, bike riding, skateboarding, and volleyball are all popular activities here as well. It’s the best place to soak in that unmistakable SoCal vibe. Plus, the people-watching is amazing.

Our Top Pick for a Huntington Beach Hotel: Kimpton Shorebreak Huntington Beach Resort

Coronado Ferry Landing in Coronado, San Diego/Oyster

If you’re unsure whether you’ve arrived at the right beach, just keep an eye out for the turrets of the famous Hotel del Coronado, which overlooks the surf breaking on the golden sand of Coronado Beach. The beach is family-friendly, thanks to its flat, wide expanse of sand and warm, relatively gentle waves. You’ll also find plenty of fire rings, beach volleyball, and a dedicated dog park where pets can run off the leash.

Our Top Pick for a Coronado Hotel: Hotel del Coronado

Alki Beach; Benjamin Massello/Unsplash

If you’re in the Seattle area and aching for the type of beach you typically find lower down the coast, Alki Beach has you covered. A California-style beach with its own vibe, Alki is a great place to engage in water sports and rock pooling, though the sand isn’t all that golden and the water all that warm. While you’re here, stroll along the promenade and find the six-foot Statue of Liberty for a photo op. Oh, and there’s a great view of the Seattle skyline from the beach.

Our Top Pick for a Seattle Hotel, a 20-Minute Drive Away: The Edgewater, A Noble House Hotel

You’ll Also Like:

  • The 13 Best Beaches in the U.S.
  • The 15 Best Beaches in Florida
  • The Best Beaches on the East Coast in the U.S.

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The 9 Best Beaches on the West Coast


Everyone knows that the West Coast is *cough* the best coast, and nothing soothes the soul like a day spent by the glimmering waters. Naturally, the gorgeous stretches of sand capture every visitor’s heart. Black sands of the Alaska coastline conjure images of volcanic activities, whereas Southern California’s hotspots are filled with beach volleyball players. While all these places should totally be explored, some hold the title of best beaches on the West Coast.

The Best Beaches On the West Coast That Are Unlike Any Other

Coronado is the quintessential San Diego postcard experience and a great place for a romantic getaway or a fun-filled family beach vacation.

1. Coronado Beach, California

A true San Diego gem, Coronado Beach has enough charm to attract people from all over for a well-deserved West Coast beach vacation. Several miles of sandy shores invite you to a day of pure relaxation and fun. Splashing in the water, getting sun-kissed on the sand, and riding the waves are just a few of the countless activities available here. This favorite San Diego beach has one of the Golden State’s best dive-in theaters at the historic Hotel Del Coronado. And to add to the excitement, the beach transforms into one of the coolest places for bonfires at night. Join the fun and bring your pup along to check out the coolest West Coast beach in California.

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2. Ruby Beach, Washington

Located in Olympic National Park, Ruby Beach gets its name from the gorgeous reddish sand. Arguably the most beautiful beach in Washington, this sandy stretch is home to the iconic sea stacks that every photographer dreams of capturing. The magnificent rock formations have a crowned queen—Abbey Island—where sea otters, starfish, and hundreds of migratory birds live. Visitors enjoy tide pooling, beachcombing, and hiking at Ruby Beach. But the best part about coming here is watching the sunset; the views you’ll get to see are unparalleled.    

Gulls, cormorants, sea lions, and native plants line La Jolla Cove, making this one of the prettiest and most photographed areas in SoCal.

3. La Jolla Cove, California

If there’s one place in San Diego that takes our breath away, it’s La Jolla Cove. Tucked between sandstone cliffs and flanked by breathtaking sea caves, this tiny beach is an open call for adventurers and outdoor lovers. Thanks to its abundant marine life, the cove is a hotspot for snorkeling and scuba diving. You’ll see many people kayaking towards the caves, where more adventures await. So prepare your beach essentials—you’re about to enjoy the best West Coast beach vacation in San Diego.

Keyhole Arch is visible as soon as you have a full view of Pfeiffer Beach, with its slightly curved top and handsome size.

4. Pfeiffer Beach, California

With purple-hued sands and magnificent rock formations, Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur is a place everyone should visit at least once. The secluded beach is where you’ll find the Keyhole Arch—if it looks familiar, it’s probably because many photographers capture the sun rays escaping through the arch. Here, oceanside strolls are on a whole new level, especially when the sands are extra vivid. If you’ve been meaning to take your date to the best beach on the West Coast, you got your answer.  

5. Black Sand Beach, Alaska

Stunning blue glacial ice with dark, fine grains of sand sound other-worldly; Black Sand Beach is where you’ll find yourself in total awe of your surroundings. The quarter-mile-long beach is a popular spot for kayakers, campers, and photography enthusiasts. What makes Black Sand Beach a coveted place to visit is the emerging face of Coxe Glacier, forming a dramatic backdrop people can’t get enough of. Wish to have your jaw dropped, literally? Paying a visit to Black Sand Beach is the adventure you’ve been looking for.

Years of the crashing Pacific Ocean have battered broken glass down to soft pieces of colorful beauty, resulting in the magnificent Glass Beach.

6. Glass Beach, California

Sure, most people like to sink their toes in white sand, but how about we up the stakes and guide you to a place with no sand? The kaleidoscopic pebbles at Fort Bragg’s Glass Beach are Mother Nature’s work of art. Visitors flock to this beach to marvel at the mysterious natural wonder as the sky reflects its colors in the vibrant rocks. The tide pools and wildlife also make Glass Beach a charming place to visit—expect to see sea lions and otters being playful. No need to search for unique beaches anymore, the West Coast won’t let you down.

Victoria Beach still feels like a hidden gem despite the fact it’s one of the most popular areas in all of Orange County.

7. Victoria Beach, California

No OC beach is as striking as the charming Victoria Beach. This secluded spot is a local gem with glittering blue waters inviting you to splash around. Scuba diving, kayaking, surfing, and skimboarding are only a few that’ll keep you busy here. One thing that all visitors admire here is the Pirate Tower. Built as beach access in 1926, the tower is now privately owned, and we can only marvel at the structure from a distance. The lonely stone turret is best viewed at low tide only, so make sure you check the tides before making the trip to the marvelous Victoria Beach.

8. Rockaway Beach, Oregon 

There’s one West Coast beach in Oregon we’ve all been dying to visit. Rockaway Beach is where mountains meet the sea in the most mesmerizing way possible. Seven miles of uninterrupted coastline call your name to explore its abundance. Expect to take part in beachcombing, tide pooling, and kite flying to keep you entertained. Make sure to bring your camera when you’re here—you’ll want to take photos of the massive Twin Rocks. The two gigantic 100-foot rocks are made of million-year-old sandstone. And if rock formations don’t impress you much, you’ll love spotting lavender and golden starfish whenever you’re tide pooling at Rockaway Beach.  

Stones like these have caused wild speculation wherever they’ve been discovered, but the answer is actually simple geology.

9. Bowling Ball Beach, California

Unlike other rocky shores on the West Coast, Bowling Ball Beach is perhaps the most unique. The rocks here have a perfectly spherical form resembling bowling balls that are best admired at low tide. And while it’s quite inconvenient to walk among rounded rocks, the surrounding area has trails that are worth hiking. But for those who’d rather be on the shore, you’ll encounter rich tide pools waiting to be explored and bountiful wildlife thriving. Another advantage of coming to this beach is that your four-legged pal can tag along. Photo ops, wildlife, and dog-friendly? Those are the things the best beaches on the West Coast comprise. 


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The best beaches of the Western Crimea: Cape Tarkhankut, Belyaus Spit

If your priority is a quiet beach holiday, we recommend that you turn your attention to the Western Crimea. This direction is not as well known as the South Coast, but this is its attractiveness. There are no less sunny days here, the water warms up already in May, and the beaches are clean and free. This region has just begun to develop as a tourist region, so there are still few vacationers here, which allows you to sit on the beach with maximum comfort.

For those who are interested in such an offer, we have prepared this article about the best beaches on the western coast of Crimea.

Cape Tarkhankut

Throughout its length, Cape Tarkhankut is a steep rocky coast that hangs over the sea. If the length of the Tarkhankut peninsula is 120 km, then only on the fourth part of the coast there is an opportunity to approach the water without special equipment for mountaineering. Most of the locals relax on the beaches, which are equipped on lakes and estuaries.

A logical question arises, why did Cape Tarkhankut get into the rating of the best beaches in Western Crimea? The fact is that there are many hidden bays, some of which can only be reached from the sea. Each such bay has its own small sandy or shell beach, and their beauty will make a strong impression on you. Those who visit this part of Crimea on a regular basis definitely have their favorite wild beach on the coast of the Tarkhankut peninsula.

Even though there are no mountains, the sheer rocky shore looks amazing. Of the most famous sights of this coast, one can recall the natural pool in the rocks of the Chalice of Love and capes Big and Small Atlesh.

Belyaus Spit

This is a natural sandy spit 10 km long and 100-200 meters wide, it is a natural barrier between Donuzlav Lake and the Black Sea. Spit Belyaus got its name from the ancient Greek settlement of the same name, which was located here in ancient times, and now it is being explored by archaeologists. Most of this settlement is located at the bottom, so divers often train here, their second favorite place for diving is a half-sunk ship.

On the spit you can stop as a savage, just pitching a tent, its width is enough not to be afraid of being washed into the sea at high tide. In addition, you can stay in nearby villages, for example, Znamenskoye or the resort village of Zolotoy Krym, which is actually located at the beginning of the spit.

Local beaches are known for their clean sand and clear water. The secret is in the peculiarities of the soil, there is almost no clay in it, which, when the waves rise, turns the water dark.

Lake Donuzlav

Donuzlav, the largest salt lake in Crimea, gladly welcomes vacationers on its sandy beaches. You can stop in the villages of Medvedevo, Znamenskoye, Mirny and others. Near the shore, the lake is very shallow, up to 3 meters when entering the water at 100-200 meters. The water in Donuzlav warms up to a temperature of 22-24 degrees in early May, so you can safely come here for the May holidays to open the swimming season.

The water in the lake is salty, in addition, it is connected to the sea by an artificial channel, so its density is not less and it is easy to float. Add to this the long shallow water near the coast and you get a great place to relax with small children. In the meantime, the children will have fun on the beach, adults can go fishing or windsurfing. Novice divers also train on Donuzlav and you can also be among them.


There are two types of beaches near the resort village of Chernomorskoe. The first ones are very similar to the beaches of Tarkhankut, they are located in small bays, in some the entry into the water is only 1-2 meters wide. There are relatively few people in the resort, even fewer people who want to look for these hidden places, so you can easily find a place where no one will be around. But be careful, if you decide to camp in such a bay for the night, be sure to place a tent on the grass. Everything that is covered with sand or shells will be covered with water at high tide.

The second type of beaches is sand plus small shell rock, they are long and equipped for a comfortable stay. In addition to changing cabins, sun loungers and awnings, you can use water slides, ride a catamaran, jet ski, inflatable rafts, etc. The total length of the beaches along the Black Sea is about 30 km, there is plenty of free space on the coast and in the water.

In addition, few people know that there are as many sunny days on the western coast of Crimea as on the southern coast, but there are no cold currents and the wind rose is more favorable. As a result, the beach season opens in May and ends only with the arrival of October.


The village of Mezhvodnoe is located 15 km from the Black Sea and has all the advantages of the climate inherent in this part of the Crimean coast. The resort is located on the shores of the Yarylgach Bay, where there are beautiful sandy beaches several kilometers long, they go all the way to the Black Sea. Naturally, all of them are equipped and have an excellent entertainment infrastructure. But Mezhvodnoye is more positioned as a place for family holidays.

And for fans of medical procedures, beaches are equipped on the lakes Dzharylgach and Yarylgach. They have an estuary nature, at the bottom lies healing silt, which is used for preventive and cosmetic procedures. But you need to know how to properly use this healing mud, do not forget to ask about it in advance. By the way, the locals mistakenly call these lakes estuaries, but they do not have direct access to the sea and are not.

All beaches of Western Crimea 2021

Beaches of the Western Crimea

Sunny beaches of the western coast of Crimea, this is a huge variety for every taste. Vacationers are waiting for the many kilometers of small-pebbled coast of Yevpatoriya, the gentle sand of Popovka and Olenevka, the wild shores of the Bakalskaya Spit and hidden coves in the rocks of Tarkhankut and Dzhangul. There are sandy and pebbly beaches, wild and with all amenities. The depths are also different — somewhere you will have to trudge waist-deep in water for a long time, and in other places after a couple of meters you will be completely overwhelmed.

Another bonus of the beaches in the West of Crimea is that in these parts the sea often adjoins salt lakes, which attract tourists with warm water and therapeutic mud. In this section you will find detailed information about all the places in this part of the Crimean peninsula suitable for swimming.

About the public beach, Cote d’Azur beach in Evpatoria, we can safely say that this is a synonym for an ideal beach holiday. It is here that those who want to get the full package of pleasures from a seaside holiday should go.

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The most famous beach of Evpatoria, where there is everything a modern tourist needs, including a pretty promenade, many catering outlets, the proximity of an amusement park, a water park and an aquarium.

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