Coastal Co Box + 5 Hidden Gem Beaches Along the Pacific Coast Highway

Springtime is when we all come out of hibernation and start enjoying the surf and sandy beaches. I grew up in the California coastal town of Half Moon Bay and my parent’s house is a short 10 minute walk to the beach. Nowadays I love visiting my family there and enjoying beach days with my daughter and bae. We take road trips from Sacramento to the coast almost every month, especially when it gets too hot inland.

Keeping Our Beaches Clean with Coastal Co Box

Something we should never take for granted is how clean and healthy our beaches are in California. It’s a sad statistic but over 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans each year. When I hear such huge numbers I get overwhelmed and feel like one person couldn’t possibly make a difference. But there are things we can do to have a positive impact on our environment.

Coastal Co is an awesome company that gives you the opportunity to shop your favorite brands while raising funds for Heal The Bay.

When you sign up for a Coastal Co membership, four times per year they’ll send you a box of premium, beach-inspired products valued at $200+  which makes it a great value for the $99 cost of the box. This box was valued at $229! Each box contains 6-8 premium pieces of apparel, accessories & lifestyle products. Every 3 months a new box arrives at your door, full of surprises! Proceeds from every box sold fund monthly beach cleanups hosted by Heal The Bay.

Before I received my Spring box, I didn’t know what would be included. I was so pleasantly surprised to find some of my all-time favorite brands and discover some new ones. In college I worked at a boho fashion boutique and they carried the brand Chaser, and I’ve been a loyal fan of the brand ever since. I was so psyched to find my “Island Vibes” Chaser muscle tank in my box! Havaianas Sandals are always a beach gals classic staple, I live in flip flops when the weather is warm!

My Saltwater LUXE kimono made for the perfect beach coverup, and I will totally pair it with jeans and shorts this summer. Also included in my box was Cocovit Coconut Water Hydro-Mist skincare product, a Kolohe Gems sterling silver ring wave ring that was handmade in Hawaii, a Vagabond Goods bikini bag / cosmetics pouch and Laguna Salt Company sea salt duo for seasoning. I was really impressed with the quality and curation of the brands!

5 Hidden Gem Beaches Along the Pacific Coast Highway

One thing I’m not crazy about when we visit the beach is crowds and struggling to find parking. On a sunny day in the Bay Area, everyone from all over Northern California head to beaches along Highway 1 and it can get chaotic.

Luckily I know some beaches that are less frequented, mostly because most people don’t know they exist. There’s no better feeling than cruising down Highway 1 and having the beach to yourself. We took all the photos in this blog post at Bean Hollow State Beach. It was a super sunny Saturday on the coast and all the beaches close to downtown Half Moon Bay were filled with tourists. But here we had no problem finding parking and we only saw a few others during our visit. We sat on the beach, played in the waves, nibbled on snacks. As the sun went down we bundled up in blankets and watched the sunset.

Bean Hollow State Beach - The closest town to Bean Hollow is Pescadero, but it really isn’t that close to anything. If you’re going to need to buy any food or get gas, best to do it before you head out because you’ll have to detour quite a bit before you hit civilization. There’s only one small picnic table so be sure to bring a beach blanket. When you arrive at the beach, you’ll have to cross over a flowing creek to reach most of the sandy area. So travel light unless you don’t mind your belongings getting splashed a little. To find the entrance to this beach, put 11000 Cabrillo Hwy, Pescadero, CA 94060 into your GPS.

Año Nuevo Beach - This beach is most famous as the breeding grounds for elephant seals, but that only takes place in the winter. Elephant seals are very large and aggressive animals, especially during mating season. The beach is usually closed and/or warning signs are posted when you should use caution visiting this beach. In the spring and summer it’s safe to hangout on the beach. There aren't very many highway signs indicating where the beach is, so it often gets overlooked by non-locals. Check out our photos from our visit to Año Nuevo Beach a couple of summers ago. To find the entrance to this beach, put 1 New Years Creek Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060 into your GPS.

Pescadero State Beach - If you’re a fan of tide pools and marine life, this beach is much more of a place to explore than sunbathe. Adventure seekers can discover all kinds of rock formations and nooks. If the tide is low you can walk a long way to Pomponio Beach where there are some cool rocks. Not far away is the town of Pescadero where you can pick up picnic style food. A favorite is the deli at Pescadero Country Store, ask for the God Father sandwich, it's locally famous. Pescadero beach is located along Highway 1, 15 miles south of Half Moon Bay.

San Gregorio Beach - This is one of the few smaller beaches that has lots of parking available so it may be a good option on a busy weekend. We used to always hang out at this beach in high school. The shores stretch for a long way and there’s some fun sea caves in the rocks you can explore. This beach always feels like a sun-spot to me on an otherwise very foggy coast. In my memories it was always warm-ish and sunny when it was cold everywhere else. For small children, there’s a lagoon that I used to swim in as a kid. Just make sure the tide is flowing and there’s fresh water coming in, avoid still water that’s been sitting for a long time.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse - One of the best photo spots on the Pacific Coast Highway! This is not one of those typical beaches where you can walk on the sand and play in the surf. But there’s so much to see and explore at this historical spot. The lighthouse is one of the tallest in America and sits on the edge of the cliff. There’s short trails that go through the area and even a lookout point to the pacific ocean. Admission into the park is free and there’s parking available. See photos from our visit last year in this blog post! An easy way to find this spot is to put 210 Pigeon Point Road, Pescadero, CA 94060 into your GPS.

5 Hidden Gem Beaches Along the Pacific Coast Highway
5 Hidden Gem Beaches Along the Pacific Coast Highway
5 Hidden Gem Beaches Along the Pacific Coast Highway
5 Hidden Gem Beaches Along the Pacific Coast Highway
5 Hidden Gem Beaches Along the Pacific Coast Highway
5 Hidden Gem Beaches Along the Pacific Coast Highway
5 Hidden Gem Beaches Along the Pacific Coast Highway
5 Hidden Gem Beaches Along the Pacific Coast Highway
Thank you Coastal Co for sponsoring this blog post.
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