When you think about California beaches, you probably picture Southern California’s sandy beaches, filled with beautiful people surfing, sunbathing, playing volleyball, or tossing around a Frisbee on the sand. While there are plenty of those down south, with the state’s approximately thousand miles of beaches, there are plenty of other types, which are truly must-see. Five of the most amazing beaches in California that you can’t miss when exploring its main cities.
Top 5 Beaches in California
Baker Beach, San Francisco
If you just purchased one of the Oakland houses for sale, you’re less than 20 miles from Baker Beach, which offers one of the best views you’ll find of the Golden Gate Bridge. Take advantage of the great photo-op and enjoy a mile-long stretch of golden sands that lie at the base of rugged cliffs just west of the famous bridge. It’s the longest, sandiest span of shoreline in the city.
Black Sands Beach, Shelter Cove
Part of the Lost Coast in Humboldt County, about midway between the Oregon border and San Francisco, is Black Sands Beach. Centuries of erosion from the gray-shale cliffs along the shore resulted in its striking appearance, while its remote location means you’re unlikely to be bumping elbows with others here. It’s a secluded, tranquil beach that stretches for 3.5 miles – at the southern end, nudists come to sunbathe. Others come to enjoy surfing, peaceful strolls, and beach combing.
Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur
Pfeiffer is one of the world’s rare beaches with sands that range from violet to deep purple. Located along the central coast of Big Sur, the color comes from the manganese garnet in the steep cliffs that surrounded it, with the greatest concentration found at the beach’s north end. You’ll see more purple right after a winter storm as the elements speed the erosion process. When the turquoise waves crash against the shore, the contrast is absolutely stunning.
Greyhound Rock Beach, Davenport
Located near the tiny town of Davenport, Greyhound Beach stands out as it provides tranquility away from the crowds and great wildlife watching too. There might be thousands of people packed in like sardines in Santa Cruz, just 10 miles south, but here, even during the busy summer months, you might see more elephant seals than people. The short, steep walk down to the sand, and the fact that it’s hidden from passersby on the highway, keeps it wonderfully peaceful and crowd-free. You’ll see Greyhound Rock jutting out into the ocean – a relatively easy climb up provides a perfect spot to watch the dolphins that frequently pass by.
Coronado Beach, San Diego
The “crown jewel” of Coronado Island, Coronado Beach is known for its powdery soft sands that sparkle in the sun, caused by the high concentration of a silver mineral called mica, resulting in a particularly stunning mile-and-a-half-long stretch. Often named among or at the top of lists of the country’s best beaches, its calm cobalt waves make it ideal for families with young children to splash around in the water, and for beginners to learn to surf too. Many are also drawn here for the sunsets, with crowds gathering just before dusk to enjoy the mesmerizing colors.