Beaches along the coast: 21 Best East Coast Beaches You Must Visit in 2022

17 Best Beaches in Southern California (2022) Top Beach Spots!

You can never imagine California without thinking of sunny days and irresistible beaches.

Whichever beach you’re thinking, chances are that’s located in the Californian region best known for the state’s most alluring beaches: Southern California.

Populated by surfing spots, bays, beachfront towns, and marine reserves, Southern California has it all if you’re looking for the perfect beach to unwind from the daily grind.

However, deciding which Southern California beaches should win your heart could be a tough decision to make, what with the hundreds of choices there are in this region alone, each competing in uniqueness and natural beauty.

Don’t fret; we’ve rounded up the best beaches in Southern California just for you, complete with tips and why they made it to this list.

1. El Matador Beach — Malibu

32350 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
(818) 880-0363

Malibu’s west end is home to three “pocket beaches” offering coves, cliffs, bluffs, and rock formations. Among these three gems, El Matador shines the brightest.

Why We Recommend This Beach

El Matador’s hidden coves lure visitors from all over the world, especially those looking for peace and quiet amidst an idyllic landscape.

Its geological features particularly allow for secluded areas away from Malibu’s regular crowds.

Expert Tip

Pack snacks and meals and spread a picnic blanket in your chosen hidden nook.

There are also picnic tables up the parking area on the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club

Related: Best Beaches in Malibu

2. Santa Monica Beach — Santa Monica

Ocean Avenue to Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 458-8300

If downtown Los Angeles happens to be part of your itinerary, just drive 20 minutes west and you’ll find yourself in one of the phenomenally popular beaches in Southern California — Santa Monica Beach.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Boasting over three miles of shoreline, Santa Monica Beach not only offers beach fun and stunning views of the horizon; it’s also surrounded by an iconic amusement park, a pier, and an aquarium, taking your beach getaway to a whole new level.

Expert Tip

If you’re looking for a scenic bike ride by the sea, there are bike rentals in the area and a 22-mile bike trail from Santa Monica Beach to Torrance County Beach.

Best of all, the waters at Santa Monica Beach are considerably calm and lifeguards watch over everyone, making it the safest beach for kids.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Shutters On The Beach

Related: Best Beaches Near Santa Monica

Related: Fun Things to Do with Kids in Southern California

3. Zuma Beach — Malibu

30000 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265-3601
(424) 526-7777

Zuma Beach is yet another Malibu gem, known for its long wide sand and ideal surf.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Bustling and beautiful, Zuma Beach is a surfers’ haven.

It consistently ranks among the cleanest and healthiest Southern California beaches and hosts annual surfing events everyone can watch.

Expert Tip

There’s a nearby ridge you can hike to watch dolphins and seals!

Just walk to the southern end of the beach, which takes you up a hill overlooking Zuma’s animal inhabitants.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Malibu Beach Inn

Related: Best Restaurants in Southern California

4. La Jolla Cove — San Diego

1100 Coast Blvd, La Jolla
San Diego, CA 92037-3600
(619) 235-1169

La Jolla is always hailed as the most iconic among Southern California beaches.

It’s a marine reserve located in the thriving La Jolla seaside community, well loved by both locals and tourists during the summers and solo adventurers during the colder seasons.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Visitors flock over at La Jolla for its natural features and rich marine life.

Surrounded by cliffs and picturesque greenery, the cove’s calm waters are famous for being home to sea kelp, dolphins, turtles, sea lions, caves, and canyon walls, all of which you can see for yourself!

Swim, snorkel, go scuba diving, and watch sunsets.

A popular activity in La Jolla Cove is observing the sea lions who love this beach.

Expert Tip

If you go coastal walking to the north, you’ll find seven famous sea caves waiting to be explored.


La Jolla’s best restaurants are just a walk away from the beach.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines

Related: Best Beaches in San Diego

5. Manhattan State Beach — Manhattan Beach

400-4500 The Strand
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

More than four million visitors enjoy the two-mile shoreline and 115 acres of sand at Manhattan Beach each year.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Did you know that there are about 50 volleyball courts spread out across Manhattan Beach?

Besides that, surfers absolutely love its waves, and lessons are offered to aspiring surfers by the north end of the beach.

Because of the popularity of both activities, Manhattan Beach hosts a lively surfing festival and a volleyball tournament annually.

Expert Tip

Anglers will love the fact that fishing is permitted here throughout the year.

Meanwhile, at the end of the pier, there’s an octagonal building that houses the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium.

You might want to check that out.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Belamar Hotel Manhattan Beach, Tapestry by Hilton

6. Coronado Beach — Coronado

919 Ocean Boulevard
Coronado, CA 92118
(619) 435-1867

San Diego County’s Coronado Beach stretches from the famous Hotel del Coronado to Sunset Park up north.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Now and then, Coronado Beach tops lists of the prettiest beaches in all of America and is sometimes considered as the best beach for swimming in Southern California.

Its popularity attracts throngs of beach bums, but due to its 1. 5-mile sandy expanse, it’s not impossible to secure yourself a peaceful spot.

Even royals and celebrities are not intimidated by the beach’s national fame!

Expert Tip

Seaside kite flying is a particularly popular activity for families at Coronado Beach.

Your pets are also welcome at the northern part of the beach.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton

Related: Restaurants: Coronado

7. 1000 Steps Beach — Laguna

31972 Pacific Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Despite the name, there are actually only 230 steps to walk from the Pacific Coast Highway down to the beach.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Looking to burn calories before digging your toes in the sand?

Laguna Beach’s 1000 Steps Beach is undoubtedly one of the best beach spots in SoCal, but reaching it isn’t for the faint of heart.

Making it to the bottom of the steep steps, however, is immensely rewarding: sheer cliffs, an endless shore, hidden caves, soft sand, spectacular views, and tons of water activities.

Expert Tip

When tides are low, tide pools and caves emerge!

Walk to the south end of the beach to find a large cave.

The north end, on the other hand, reveals a secret rock tunnel that leads to Totuava Beach, a hidden paradise accessible only at low tide!

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Montage Laguna Beach

8. Venice Beach — Los Angeles

Windward Ave and Ocean Front Walk
Los Angeles, CA 90291
(310) 745-1064

Venice is a lively Los Angeles beach town and is the second most visited destination in Southern California.

Why We Recommend This Beach

It’s no secret that Southern California is dotted with nice beaches and unforgettable views.

But the beach at the Venice District of Los Angeles stands out.

Home to a plethora of street entertainers and artists on top of the usual surfers, swimmers, sunbathers, and sports enthusiasts, its Ocean Front Walk attracts 30,000 people daily!

Expert Tip

Being one of the most popular beaches in Southern California, expect a wide variety of activities on Venice Beach and its surrounding Ocean Front Walk.

These include skateboarding, biking, weightlifting, surfing, Windsurfing, kiteboarding, swimming, sunbathing, parasailing, and more.

If you brought the little ones along, there are playgrounds for them to burn off their extra energy.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hotel Erwin

Related: Best Beaches in Los Angeles

9. Newport Beach — Newport

Newport Beach, CA 92660-3267
(949) 719-6100

The coastal city of Newport is known for its marina, piers, big waves, and old-fashioned amusement park.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Newport Beach features a five-mile stretch of coastline offering tons of exciting activities and attractions.

From sunset cruises to surf lessons, old-school arcade games to harbor-front promenades, you are assured an entire day of endless fun during your visit.

Expert Tip

Head over to Newport Landing or Davey’s Locker for whale watching tours!

If you’re here during the summer and fall, expect giant blue whales.

Winter and spring, on the other hand, will show you gray whales.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Balboa Bay Resort

Related: Best Beaches in Newport Beach

10. Windansea Beach — San Diego

6800 Neptune Place, La Jolla
San Diego, CA 92083

Windansea Beach is among the many top beaches along the lively seaside neighborhood of La Jolla.

It especially stands out as a local surfers’ favorite.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Expert surfers in San Diego love Windansea Beach for its amazing surf breaks, which are created by underwater reefs.

Believe it or not, Windansea’s waves typically reach six to eight feet high!

Expert Tip

Due to its giant waves, Windansea is ideal for skilled surfers and sunbathers.

Be wary of swimming here.

Photographers, however, will love the sandstone points sticking out the surf.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Pantai Inn


Huntington State Beach — Huntington

21601 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
(714) 536-1454

Located in Orange County, Huntington State Beach sits on 121 acres of sheer beauty and features a two-mile-long beach.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Huntington State Beach is well loved by beach enthusiasts for its surf, sandbars, volleyball courts, basketball courts, fire rings, facilities, and wonderful bike path. Interestingly, it also has one of the longest piers in the state of California.

Expert Tip

You’ll love the fog that covers the shore early in the morning.

At night, fire rings are available for any squad looking to have a great time around a bonfire.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa

Related: Best Family Resorts in Southern California

Related: Best Beaches in Orange County

12. Catalina Island — Santa Catalina

Santa Catalina Island, CA 90704
(800) 626-1496

If you’re technically outside Southern California but are longing for its warmth, Catalina Island is one of the best beaches near Southern California that can offer you the same experience.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Off the coast of Southern California, the island of Santa Catalina heavily relies on the attractiveness of its shores.

Beach bums head over to Avalon City for fine white sand, swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing, while outdoorsy travelers explore the city of Two Harbors for peace and quiet, hiking trails, and campgrounds.

Expert Tip

The best and easiest way to reach Catalina Island is via boat from San Pedro, Long Beach, and Newport Beach.

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous during your stay, try boat-in camping instead of the usual tent or hotel.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Pavilion Hotel

Related: Best Beaches in Catalina Island

Related: Best Beaches in Long Beach

13. Hermosa Beach — Hermosa

Hermosa Beach, CA 90254-3731
(310) 318-0239

Named after the Spanish term for “beautiful,” Hermosa Beach is another charming beachfront city in Los Angeles.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Hermosa Beach may only be two miles long, but if you visit during the weekend, you’ll find the beach packed with sunbathers, surfers, bikers, runners, and many other beach lovers due to the excellent surf, swimming areas, and the volleyball nets along the sand.

Free, public events also take place here every now and then, such as triathlons, volleyball tournaments, and surf festivals. You might want to catch one when you can.

Expert Tip

Once you’ve had enough of the water, don’t forget to drop by the 1,328-foot-long pier, Hermosa’s dining, shopping, and entertainment hub.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Beach House at Hermosa

Related: Best Beaches Near Hollywood, CA

14. Crystal Cove State Park — Laguna

8471 N Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-3539

Located in Newport Beach, Crystal Cove State Park encompasses 3.2 miles of Pacific coastline.

Why We Recommend This Beach

True to its name, Crystal Cove State Park features crystal clear water and a beachfront cove that gleams under the Californian sun.

Apart from the golden sand and blue water, the park features tidepools, canyons, and secrets you can uncover beneath the water.

Expert Tip

Crystal Cove State Park is so much more than wading in the water!

Enjoy its underwater park, magnificent tidepools, 20 miles of hiking trails, mountain biking, or horseback riding.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hyatt Regency Newport Beach

Related: Best Beaches in Northern California

15. Arroyo Burro County Beach Park — Santa Barbara

2981 Cliff Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(805) 687-3714

Right where the Arroyo Burro Creek ends, Arroyo Burro Beach begins.

Locals, however, still call the beach Hendry’s Beach, a remnant from Santa Barbara’s past still unknowingly being carried on by residents.

Why We Recommend This Beach

The area that is Arroyo Burro used to be immigrant William Hendry’s farmland and property.

One can only imagine how lovely living in such a piece of paradise could have been, with Arroyo Burro’s sand and grassy areas.

Today, the beach area further offers barbecue grills, picnic tables, and horseback riding trails.

Expert Tip

If you brought your furry best friend along, you’re in for a surprise. Arroyo Burro welcomes dogs on its sand and waves!

Keep in mind though that dogs must be leashed at all times, unless you’re visiting the Douglas Family Preserve.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Simpson House Inn

Related: Best Beaches in Pismo Beach

16. Mission Bay — San Diego

Mission Boulevard, Ventura Place
San Diego, CA 92109
(619) 221-8899

Mission Beach constitutes the coastline of San Diego, along with Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Not only does Mission Beach let you surf, cruise, dine, and shop; Mission Beach offers you the best things to do in Southern California: chase thrills at the Historic Beachside Amusement Park or explore a shipwreck site!

Expert Tip

Adventures in Mission Beach don’t end with the oceanfront amusement park and shipwreck alley.

There are electric bike tours and a gigantic aquatic park in the area as well, so if you’re planning to visit, plan to spend at least a day in this vibrant neighborhood.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina

Related: Best Restaurants: San Diego

17. Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve — San Diego

12600 N. Torrey Pines Road
San Diego, CA 92037
(858) 755-2063

Commonly listed among the best beaches in Southern California, Torrey Pines State Beach occupies four and a half miles of fine sand and shore and red-hued bluffs.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Just north of La Jolla along Highway 101, Torrey Pines State Beach offers miles of unspoiled shores and a lagoon popular among kids.

Being a reserve, Torrey Pines is also a haven for birds and other animals and features unique geographical formations.

Expert Tip

Keep in mind that Torrey Pines is a reserve, so that means there are no restaurants around.

Pack some food and spread your picnic blanket on the sand. Enjoy nice beaches in their natural state!

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Related: Best Beaches in California

Map of Beaches in Southern California

List of image sources

17 Best Southern California Beaches for 2022

  • El Matador Beach — Malibu
  • Santa Monica Beach — Santa Monica
  • Zuma Beach — Malibu
  • La Jolla Cove — San Diego
  • Manhattan State Beach — Manhattan Beach
  • Coronado Beach — Coronado
  • 1000 Steps Beach — Laguna
  • Venice Beach — Los Angeles
  • Newport Beach — Newport
  • Windansea Beach — San Diego
  • Huntington State Beach — Huntington
  • Catalina Island — Santa Catalina
  • Hermosa Beach — Hermosa
  • Crystal Cove State Park — Laguna
  • Arroyo Burro County Beach Park — Santa Barbara
  • Mission Bay — San Diego
  • Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve — San Diego

15 Very Best Beaches In California — Hand Luggage Only

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California is one heck of a diverse state and a place you can go to and have totally different experiences at any time of the year. Now, one of the things that always comes to mind when I think of visiting California is its natural beauty. Yes, you’ve got some incredible cities like San Francisco (which I LOVE), but there’s so much more to California than just cities. Case in point, with the best beaches in California; there’s hundreds of them.

Still, one of my favourite travel experiences was driving along the coast of northern California right down to the south, and you know what, it still surprises me how much one state can change so significantly from north to south.

Anyway, before I ramble and reminisce about my road trip across California, I wanted to share some of my favourite and best beaches in California that I’m sure you’ll love.

Yes, some of the beaches are pretty well-known (so expect a crowd) but others are a little away from the trails and totally idyllic. You’re going to love them.

Take a look at the best beaches in California, below. Have the best trip! 

1.) Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur

is famous for its gorgeous sands and stunning rock formations.

Also, keep an eye out for the purple-y coloured sands, you will be amazed when you see this colouration that’s caused by the run-off rainwater from the surrounding cliffs. It really is unique and totally is up there with the best beaches in California.

Take your camera for some amazing sights among the towering formations of rocks and the crashing of waves for this beach is a paradise for photographers. This beach is not for swimming, but for climbing over the rough terrain, taking in the views or having the appearance of being lost in the wilderness, well it is a long two-mile hike to Highway 1.

If you would like to stay here overnight you really should try to book one of the luxury wooden cabins for hire at Glen Oaks Big Sur, it is just 15 minutes away from this beach.

Read more: The best hikes in California

2.) Capitola Beach

Perched on the north end of Monterey Bay, Capitola Beach is one of the best beaches in California that’s also got a lovely (and totally colourful) seaside vibe. One of the best things about Capitola Beach is that it’s much more intimate and smaller than some of the other beaches in Calfornia.

Once here, pop into one of the local stores and rent a boogie board, it’s so much fun.

For a tasty bite to eat, head over to Paradise Beach Grille. Just go there hungry, the portions are big!

Read more: Best places in California to visit

3.) Stinson Beach, Marin County

Stinson Beach is a mere 20 miles north of the city of San Francisco and two and a half miles from the secluded (and totally lovely) Bolinas Bay.

Once here, make sure you take a dip in the ocean as it’s highly rated as one of the best beaches in California for swimming. If you’re more of a rambler, then take the California hiking trails from the beach lead you to Mount Tamalpais State Park.

If you visit in June you can watch or even compete in the USA’s oldest trail race the 7.4 miles long Dipsea Race, which looks totally fun and exhausting in equal measure.

For a great place to stay, head to the gorgeous Hotel Triton, it’s literally so beautiful.

4.) Coronado Beach

Colorado Beach is one and a half miles of silvery sand beach just ten miles north of the Mexican border.  Once here, you can learn to surf at the beaches Surfing Academy, take a leisurely stroll across the Coronado Heritage Walk, or rent a surrey along Ocean Boulevard.

From Coronado Island, you can watch the sand sculptors as they create some epic art. If you arrive here in December (approximately) you’ll also get to watch the whales as they are close to the beach until, around, February.

It’s so incredible to see and really makes this one of the best beaches in California for some sun, (hopefully) seeing some whales and lots of ice cream. Just don’t forget your binoculars!

Oh, also, opened way back in 1888 is the Hotel Del Coronado that’s right on the Californian coastline that you’ll love.

Read more: Best places in California to visit

5.) La Jolla

La Jolla beach is a small crescent-shaped beach tucked into towering cliffs of sandstone on the California coast. The cove is small but so picturesque, making it one of the best beaches in California if you love dramatic coastlines.

Oh, another thing, some of the best things about this beach are actually hidden below the surface, it’s excellent for scuba diving and snorkelling (in the right conditions). Just make sure to always listen to local lifeguards and snorkel responsibly.

Read more: Best places in California to visit

6.) McWay Cove 

Okay, now for me, this has to be one of the best beaches in California, hands down! I mean, I still remember my first visit and how awe-inspiring it was to see. I literally fell in love with it then and there.

Now, yes it can get totally crowded, but if you plan your visit right, you’ll be part of only a handful of people there. one of the best things to do is head across early in the morning if you don’t like crowds.

As of March, you couldn’t actually get down to McWay beach (due to unstable conditions) but I’m hoping this gets lifted really soon.

If you’re driving from Monterey, make sure to enjoy the hiking trail at Partington Cove (that’s just north) and watch a gorgeous sunset at Andrew Molera Beach (if you fancy it).

Read more: Best things to do in Monterey

7.)  Leo Carrillo Beach

Consisting of a whopping 1.5 miles of sand, Lea Carrillo Beach is one stunning place to visit if you love windsurfing, exploring tidal pools and caves and seeing the giant sycamore trees that line the coast.

Perched just off the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1), it’s a gorgeous spot to visit if you’re in the Santa Monica area. You do need to pay for parking here, but the charge is about $12USD for a whole day.

It’s one of the best beaches in California for camping, too (well, just off the beach, in designated areas).

Read more: Best places in California to visit

8.) Newport Beach

Newport Beach is one of the best beaches in California to spot a great sunset. I know, I know… all of the California coasts is westerly facing (meaning it’s great for sunset) but there’s something about this beach that makes it so special.

The wide stretch of 5 miles of silky blond sand begins at Newport Pier and goes south all the way to Balboa Pier. Here as you walk along the sand you can watch the surfers catch some waves.

If that’s not your thing, head over to the historic pier and lifeguard stands that totally take you back to an earlier time; all you need is the backing of a Beach Boys song and you’re done!

Oh, and make sure to walk around the harbour area and see the Balboa Island Artwork that happens around May and take a look at the Resort At Pelican Beach, it’s a lovely (and totally plus spot) to stay at.

9.) Huntington Beach

Not only is Huntington Beach totally gorgeous, but it’s also been awarded as one of the best beaches in California, and within the whole of the USA (in 2016).

Located to the south-east of Los Angeles it begins at Beach Boulevard and stretches two miles to the Santa Ana River Channel that is amazing just after the midday heat. If you’re travelling by car, there’s is a continuous parking lot that extends behind the entire length of the beach that backs onto the Pacific Coast Highway so access is not a problem.

One of the biggest attractions of this beach apart from it’s surfing is the fire rings that allow us hungry visitors to cook our own BBQ on the beach. Locals tend to make a day of it, so it does get pretty packed on the weekends.

Just remember, the beach is closed at 10 pm (though, I never really knew a beach closed before this). If you’re looking for a gorgeous hotel, pop into the Waterfront Beach Resort.

Read more: Best places in California to visit

10.) Venice Beach

So, Venice Beach probably needs little introduction and is one of the most famous and possibly one of the best beaches in California.

One of the things that set Venice Beach apart from the other California beaches is that all action isn’t just centred on the water but on all the things you can see, do and eat around the coast.

Make sure to take some time to stroll or cycle the area (with an ice-cold shake in hand), prepare to be entertained at the 3-ring urban street circus and pop into Small World Books (it’s a bookworm’s dream).

Just don’t forget to leave Venice Beach without a stroll along the Ocean Front Walk. 

It’s a concrete boardwalk, three-quarters of a mile long full of kitsch little stores, flea markets and some totally tacky (But somehow so cool) shops. don’t forget Manhattan Beach, too.

For a great spot to rest your head, book into the gorgeous Marina Del Rey – which is about 1-mile away.

Visiting the West Coast? Make sure to stop off at these gorgeous spots

11.) Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Beach has more than three miles of soft, powdery sand that you’ll love and is also a popular surfing spot between the Pacific Palisades and Venice Beach.

In the centre of the beach is the whopping, Santa Monica Pier. Here, you’ll find the Pacific Park amusement park, which is so much fun, I can’t tell you enough! Make sure to ride the Ferris wheel at sunset, too… this alone makes it one of the best beaches in California to enjoy at sunset.

Santa Monica beach is a total foody spot, too. So whatever your favourite food is; American, Mexican, vegetarian, seafood, pizzas, grills or juicy burgers you are sure to find a local haunt you’ll love. One favourite spot has to be The Lobster, who serve up (you guessed it) some mouth-watering lobster dishes.

For a great spot to stay, head to the Casa Del Mar, which is right next to the pier.

12.) Thousand Steps, Laguna & Victoria Beaches

Perched in South Laguna, Thousand Steps Beach is possibly one of the best beaches in California that’s totally accessible.

Named after the long walk down (and unfortunately back up 😅) the stairs that lead to the beach. Apparently, one local pastime for locals is jogging up and down the steps?!? I mean, count me out but you are welcome to join them if that’s your thing. 🤣

The beach is rarely too busy and a great location for exploring. Possibly one of the biggest draws is a large cave at the southern end of the beach. When the tide is out you can walk all the way through this cave to an adjoining beach, Totuava Beach that is only accessible at low tide. Though, as always, be really careful with tides and listen to local, informed, advice.

Make sure to head along 9th Avenue and Coast Highway to get to the beach but ensure you park legally as the local police enjoy issuing tickets! Across from 9th Avenue is the beach access point which leads you to the stairway. Do not worry the 1000 steps is not the actual number, it’s actually about 223, but when climbing back up it may feel like way more.

Also, to find the tower on Victoria Beach (pictured), head north end of the Beach. The tower is privately owned, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go and see it at the very least.

Visiting the West Coast? Make sure to stop off at these gorgeous spots

13.) Santa Barbara Beaches

The beaches of Santa Barbara are situated along the Central Coast of California and a totally gorgeous spot to visit. Here you will first find the West Beach in Santa Barbara, in particular, that you’ll love, that’s just adjacent to Stearns Wharf, California’s oldest wooden working wharf, which easily makes it one of the best beaches in California for a little slice of history.

One thing to note, be prepared for a more lively beach, with plenty of shops, a museum, restaurants and even a fish market on the wharf. Though, if you’re looking for a more peaceful beach, you might wanna skip this one.

Adjacent to the beach is a cycle path to the campus of UCSB and on to the Butterfly Beach where you can try your hand at rollerblading at Skater’s Point or just walk along the waterfront (I’m still terrible at this).

For a luxurious spot to stay, check in to the Hotel Californian. It really is stunning.

Read more: Best places in California to visit

14.) Ocean & Baker Beach, San Francisco 

Ocean Beach (and the nearby, Baker Beach) in San Francisco was one of the very first Californian beaches I visited (and one that I fell in love with straight away). Yes, it can get a little breezy and the weather can be temperamental in San Francisco, but hey – that doesn’t make it any less gorgeous and one of my favourite and best beaches in California.

For me, Ocean Beach is great at sunset, which you can watch with the Golden Gate Bridge in view. Wrap up warm in the winter months and be really careful if you decide to go in the water, the currents are very strong and it’s not always advisable.

For a great spot to stay at, pop into the Tilden Hotel (that’s so sumptuous) and in the city centre itself.

Read more: The best things to do in San Francisco 

15.) Carmel Shore

Carmel Shore beach just goes on and on, it’s huge and one of the best beaches in California if you love a more rugged and unspoilt natural beach. If you want to enjoy more of the park, head over to Monastery Beach, also known as San Jose Creek Beach that is so pretty.

Just remember, swimming and paddling are banned in this area due to the unstable currents and strong waves. If you need more information on staying safe in the ocean, check out this guide.

Read more: Best places in California to visit

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The best sandy beaches in Russia —

Photo: Tatiana Gordievskaia / Shutterstock

Summer is the sea, and the sea is the beaches. We have prepared for you a small but very useful list of resorts with sandy beaches in Russia. The geography is extensive — the Black, Azov and Baltic Seas, as well as Baikal and Primorye.

Sandy beaches of the Black Sea


In addition to Anapa itself, this large resort includes Vityazevo and Dzhemete. Excellent beaches are concentrated here, some of the most popular in Russia.

The central beach of Anapa stretches along the coast for about a kilometer. It is crowded during the season, but in addition to sand and the sea, the beach has everything you need: sunbeds and sun umbrellas for rent, rides and other entertainment. You can ride a catamaran, and send children to inflatable slides and trampolines. Another advantage of the Anapa beach is that it is located near the embankment.

The village of Vityazevo is also popular. Here you can ride water slides, banana boats and scooters. There are wild beaches between Blagoveshchenskaya and Vityazevo — nature is almost untouched, the sand is good, and there are not so many people. If you drive from Vityazevo towards Blagoveshchenskaya, you will have to pay for entry — this is a protected natural area. However, in return you will get pleasant sand and sparsely populated terrain.

Some of the best sandy beaches on the Black Sea are located in Dzhemet. It is not as crowded here as in Anapa, and the sand is very light and clean. Entertainment is good too. As for the sea, in this area it is rather shallow.

Where to stop:

Anapa — 900 sentences

Vityazevo — 120 offers

jameta — 15 offers


The golden beach is located here — one of the top on the coast, which can be judged already by name . It stretches along the sea for more than 10 kilometers. You can rent sun loungers and umbrellas, ride water skis, jet skis, catamarans and other wonderful devices. There are carousels, water slides and playgrounds for children. Adults can go to cafes, restaurants, and even a juice bar that sell healthy drinks made from local herbs.

Where to stay:

Feodosiya — 2400 options

Photo: Dance60 / Shutterstock

Beaches of the Sea of ​​Azov

Local sandy beaches on the sea are located mainly in shallow water and have a gentle entrance. The most comfortable beaches are in Yeysk, in the villages of Dolzhanskaya and Golubitskaya, as well as near Kerch and Cape Kazantip in the Crimea.

Perhaps the best here is the central city beach of Yeysk, with comfortable sunbeds, cabanas and inexpensive cafes. The main advantages of this beach are its latitude, clean sand and convenient entry into the sea. You can ride water skis and scooters, there are also entertainment for children.

The southern part of the Sea of ​​Azov «rests» against the Crimea. Here we highlight the beaches of the village of Shchelkino: «Central» and «Tatarka». The first of them is well landscaped, has a network of cafes, provides sun loungers, awnings and other amenities. Getting to these beaches is not very convenient, but it is not crowded there.

Where to stay:

Yeysk — 450 options

Shelkino — 70 options

Photo: Pavel Kosolapov / Shutterstock

Sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea

Kaliningrad seashore

This intricate name refers to the coastal strip, which stretches from Baltiysk to Zelenogradsk for about 60 kilometers. There are many sandy beaches here, and the most popular resorts are Svetlogorsk and Zelenogradsk. You can walk along the embankments, sunbathe on clean and well-equipped beaches.

Curonian Spit

This is a national park washed by the Baltic Sea on one side and the Curonian Lagoon on the other. Most of the spit is covered with forests, and the rest is a strip of sand. There are clean beaches with fine light sand. Around — pine trees and water, which even in hot summers remains quite cool. Most of the beaches are wild, and equipped places for recreation are available in the villages of Lesnoy and Rybachy, where you can buy delicious fish and amber souvenirs.

Where to stay:

Svetlogorsk — 170 offers

Zelenogradsk — 210 offers

Photo: vladeva / Shutterstock

Beaches of Primorye

Lazurnaya Bay is located 23 kilometers from Vladivostok, in Ussuriysky Bay. Shamorovsky sandy beach is located here (it got its name from Shamora — the old name of the bay). For recreation there are water rides, cafes and bars. You can rent a boat or jet ski. There are playgrounds and mini parks for children.

Where to stay:

Vladivostok — 400 options

Photo: Meshcheriakova Alla / Shutterstock

Baikal beaches

The deepest lake in the world is complemented by clean beaches that look especially impressive in combination with the surrounding forests. And of course, with pure Baikal water.

The beaches with the warmest water are located on the shores of the Chivyrkuisky Bay. The entrance to the water is convenient here, but there is no infrastructure. But you can always find a place where no one bothers to relax.

We also highlight the sandy beach of the Saraisky Bay, which is located near the village of Kharaytsy. The length of this wild beach is about 3 kilometers. A pine forest grows behind, so in the hot summer there is where to hide from the sun.

Another place for a relaxing holiday on Lake Baikal is Myagkaya Karga beach. It is located next to the cedar forest, the landscape here is amazing. The entrance to the water is gentle, so you can safely take children with you. The beach is located next to the highway, it is convenient to get here by car.

Where to stay:

Irkutsk — 600 options

Baikalsk — 50 options

Turquoise coast of Turkey — on your own

Towns and villages | Transportation | When to go to Turkey’s Turquoise Coast

Part of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, from Kemer to Fethiye, is called the Turquoise Coast, due to the numerous bays with turquoise water. Once upon a time, the ancient kingdom of Lycia was located here, traces of which remained in the form of rock tombs and ancient monuments. The Lycian Way is a walking route from Fethiye to Antalya, laid through the territory of ancient Lycia, is considered one of the most picturesque routes in the world.

Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, despite its incredible beauty and many historical attractions, is the least developed part of the Turkish Riviera from a tourist point of view, which, in turn, makes it the most attractive region on the coast for independent travel.

The infrastructure of the tiny towns on the Turquoise Coast is focused mainly on independent travelers — here you can find decent guest houses and rent a boat to explore nearby attractions. Along the Turquoise Coast are also the main cruise routes of the Turkish Riviera.

what to go for

Towns and villages on the Turquoise Coast

The charm of local small towns and villages is difficult to describe, it can only be felt) The main town of the Turquoise Coast is the colorful town of Kas, located somewhere in the middle between Oludeniz and Cherali, borders of the region from east to west.


Ölüdeniz is a small tourist village located near the resort town of Fethiye at the junction of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. This is perhaps one of the most picturesque places on the Turkish Riviera, which was chosen by fans of paragliding and hiking. The main attraction of Oludeniz is the Blue Lagoon surrounded by mountains with absolute calm turquoise water. The lagoon is part of a protected park, next to a large sandy beach. Despite its tiny size, Oludeniz has more than 200 options for hotels, apartments and villas.

More details in the guide: Oludeniz — where to live, how to get there, what to see

Oludeniz from a bird’s eye view. Photo credit: Art for Art’s Sake, Flickr

Butterfly Valley

15 km from Oludeniz is another of the most beautiful places on the coast — Butterfly Valley beach. You can get to the beach itself only by water from Oludeniz, but on the rocky shores along the coast there are a couple of tiny villages — Faralya and Kabak (Faralya and Kabak), which are connected to the «civilization» by mountain roads. Here along the road you can find absolutely wonderful lodges and campsites with amazing views. This place has a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere. The distance between the villages is about 6 km, near the village of Kabak there is also a tiny beach, which can be reached on foot from the village.

Read more in the guide: Butterfly Valley and Faralya Village

In Butterfly Valley. Photo credit: Volkan Andac, Flickr

A beach lost in the rocks in Butterfly Valley. Photo credit: Chandra M (сchandra.somu), Flickr


Kalkan is a small historical town with characteristic architecture and measured rhythm of life that has a special charm. Not far from the city there are two absolutely magnificent beaches — Patara (Patara) and Kaputas (Kaputas) — which can be reached by boat or dolmus, there are also several interesting historical sites in the vicinity.

The format of housing in the city is small nice hotels, boarding houses and apartments. In the vicinity of Kalkan, you can also rent a stylish villa with amazing views of the city and the bay. There are a lot of restaurants in the city, on the embankment there is a beach club picturesquely located on the rocks.

Hotels, boarding houses, apartments and villas: Kalkan
How to get there: by dolmush from the cities of the Turquoise Coast, by bus from Antalya, Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and other major cities of Turkey; the nearest international airport is located in Dalaman, a shuttle runs from the airport to Kalkan.

View of the Kalkan embankment. Photo credit: Mark Parker, Flickr

Kaputas beach 4 km from Kalkan. Photo credit: Ayhan Altun, Flickr

Patara and Gelemiş Village

The long (the longest in Turkey) sandy beach of Patara is deservedly considered one of the best beaches in the region. However, you will not find crowds of tourists here, you can get here either by boat or on foot through the village of Gelemiş. An absolutely relaxed atmosphere reigns both on the beach and in the village. The ancient ruins of the ancient city of Patara are located near the beach. There are several nice pensions and hotels in the village. It is convenient to get to the beach from Kalkan, but a stop at one of the guesthouses in Gelemis for a day or two will definitely please fans of authentic relaxation.

More details in the guide: Patara — where to live, how to get there, what to see.

Patara beach. Photo credit: Ugo Cei, Flickr


Kas is a small resort town for those who prefer the «go to visit» format. Kas has retained the charm of a provincial Turkish town, despite the increasing number of tourists from year to year. This city is good not only for its pleasant atmosphere, but also for its proximity to one of the stunning places in Turkey — the ancient city — the island of Kekova. There are also many historical monuments and charming mountain villages in the Kas region.

Kas City Beaches — The rocky, idyllic coastline beaches are an hour away by car or motorbike. Kas is also considered the center of adventure tourism in the region. Diving, snorkelling, yachting, trekking, kayaking, paragliding, boat trips, cycling and hiking are just some of the things to do in Kas, apart from relaxing and lazing around on the beach.

Sea cruises on gulets (traditional sailing boats) start from Kas towards Kekova Island (with return to Kas), Marmaris, Bodrum and Antalya. Duration 3-4 days, cost about 200-300 euros.

More details in the guide: Kas — what to do, what to see, where to live, how to get there.

Streets of Kas town. Photo credit: Polo Correia, Flickr

Kayaks and gulets Kas. Photo credit: robert j. mang, Flickr

Kaleucagız and Kaleköy

The atmospheric village of Kaleucagız lies halfway between Kas and Demre, a little further from Kaleucagız is the tiny atmospheric village-castle Kaleköy, from the streets and the embankment of which offers gorgeous views of the island of Kekova . Holidays here are a special experience, a pleasant relaxed atmosphere, trekking, kayaking and renting a boat on Kekova.

Pensions: Kaleuchagiz and Kalekoy
How to get there: by dolmush from Kas or Demre

Kalekoy village. Photo credit: Yener Coşkunsu, Flickr


The tiny town of Demre is known to the Orthodox world as the birthplace of Saint Nicholas and to the Catholic world as the birthplace of Santa Claus. Whatever the name of the Lycian saint, the fact is that he spent the years of holy deeds in the ancient city of Myra (modern Demre), where he served as a bishop. The Church of St. Nicholas, restored on the site where, according to legend, there was a church in which Nicholas served, is the main local attraction and a place of pilgrimage for believers.

The ruins of ancient Myra are located just outside the modern city. Demre is most often visited as part of day trips, but if you wish, you can stay in the city for a day or two — there are a couple of small hotels and good beaches near the city.

Hotels: Demre
How to get there: by dolmush from the cities of the coast, by bus from Antalya

Ruins of ancient Myra. Photo credit: Wax Museum, Flickr


Pretty Finike is perhaps one of the least visited on the Turquoise Coast, so the quality/price ratio is very good. If you want to spend a couple of days in a beautiful seaside town with good inexpensive hotels and restaurants, occasionally going on boat trips along the coast, then Finike is a very good option)

Hotels: Finike
How to get there: by dolmus from the cities of the coast, by bus from Antalya

View from Carpe Diem Gold Hotel, Dates. Photo of the hotel


The village of Karaöz, located in a picturesque bay and surrounded on all sides by mountains, most often serves as a haven for tourists conquering the Lycian Way. The village has several pensions and a couple of restaurants. Part of the Lycian Way in the vicinity of Caraiosa is incredibly beautiful, in addition, from the village, by renting a boat, you can go to the nearby wild bays and islands.

Pensions: Caraioz
How to get there: by dolmus from the cities of the coast

View from the Lycian Way near Caraioz. Photo credit: Harald S., Flickr


Olympos is the perfect place for the adventurous. An ancient Lycian city nestled in the thickets of Oleander and Laurus. It is possible that this very place is the same Mount Olympus from ancient legends, on which the ancient gods gathered. In any case, Olympos in the eyes of researchers is one of the places that challenge the glory of the Greek Olympus.

Olympos is located near the picturesque beach, which today is chosen by young backpackers from all over the world. The main housing format here is tree-houses, houses (more often even huts) located on trees, and local colorful boarding houses.

Pensions and tree houses: Olympos
How to get there: by bus or dolmush from Antalya

The dominant format of recreation in Olympus. Photo credit: Tom Poland, Flickr


Cirali is the outermost village on the side of the big resorts (30 km from Kemer), with a 3 km pebble beach that stretches all the way to Olympos. From May to August, sea turtles lay their eggs on Cirali Beach, which are protected by local volunteers with special nets. From the beginning of July to the beginning of September, early in the morning on the beach you can see tiny turtles that, having hatched from their eggs, head towards the sea.

Çıralı is a very peaceful place, with a lot of boarding houses, guest houses, small hotels and restaurants. Local attractions include the ruins of ancient Olympos and burning stones on Mount Yanar.

Hotels, boarding houses: Cirali
How to get there: by bus from Antalya, by dolmush from Kemer

Little turtles on Cirali beach. Photo credit: Deirdre and Tristan, Flickr

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Transport links in the region

The main cities of the region are Kas and Kalkan. Both cities are connected by bus to Antalya and Dalaman airports serving the Mediterranean region, as well as to Antalya, Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and other major cities in Turkey.

The main public transport in the region is dolmushi, small minibuses that run between cities.

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