My Top 10 Favorite California Seaside Spots
1. Capitola - This colorful little beach town is located at the north end of Monterey Bay, almost a 2 hour drive south of San Francisco. As you can see from the pictures in this blog post, the sandy beach is a perfect place to lay out a blanket and enjoy a summer picnic. Feeling adventurous? Take a walk under the pier or grab your surf board and catch some waves. The local Esplanade is full of great eats and shops to explore, you can watch the sunset on the dock while enjoying fresh caught seafood. Yum!
2. Mission Beach in San Diego - A SoCal favorite spot, this beach has got all that California coolness we love. The San Diego summertime weather gets to that perfect temperature where you can't wait to splash around in the waves to cool off. The Oceanfront Boardwalk runs the length of the shore and is full of sweet treats and yummy eats.
3. Año Nuevo State Park - Known as a favorite hangout spot for elephant seals, this cool and breezy beach sits adjacent to strawberry fields along the Pacific Coast Highway. It's the perfect stop while road tripping up and down the California coast.
4. Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail - This hidden away little spot is actually my hometown and will always be near and dear to my heart. Locals love to ride bikes down the 11 mile stretch of ocean front trail, kayak in the harbor and stop for a bite to eat at popular seafood joints like Sam's Chowder House.
5. San Luis Obispo - SLO is well-know as Central California's hot spot and a favorite destination for wine and foodie lovers. Enjoy a day at Pismo Beach and then a romantic dinner downtown. See my full San Luis Obispo Travel Guide here.
6. Lands End and Sutro Baths - Located at the northwest tip of San Francisco, Lands End park is full of history and offers incredible Pacific Ocean views. With dramatic rocky cliffs and ominous abandoned ruins, a visit to this spot will make you want to read up on the story behind the famous 1800's bath house.
7. Santa Cruz - The city of Santa Cruz has so much to offer for your beachy summer vacation, including a carnival of fun at the Beach Boardwalk. My best memories from SC include taking surfing lessons, strolling around the lively downtown strip and watching sunsets while relaxing on the beach.
8. Sausalito - After a hectic work week, a day of sailing can do wonders to put you in an easy and breezy state of mind. During our visit to the peaceful town of Sausalito we set sail and cruised under the Golden Gate Bridge. It's no surprise that some of the best views of San Francisco can be found aboard a boat!
9. La Jolla Cove - This popular San Diego spot is known for its picturesque aqua blue water and is inhabited by a large colony of sea lions. A popular spot for snorkelers, the calm water is protected by large rock formations providing a haven for colorful schools of fish.
10. Venice Beach and Santa Monica - These two are California classics with popular destinations such as Muscle Beach and the Santa Monica Pier. I just recently spent a weekend with my girls in Venice and we had a blast renting bicycles and riding down the boardwalk.
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