California has more than 840 miles (1,350 km) of beaches, so it is sometimes difficult to choose which one to visit for a day of fun in the sun. According to National Geographic, the best beaches in California are:
- Coronado Beach
- Rodeo Beach
- Santa Cruz Beach
- Venice Beach
- Malibu Beach
How many have you visited?
California’s Best Beaches
Coronado an island with a long, beautiful beach in San Diego with sand that actually sparkles (it’s true!). It is home to the famous Hotel Del Coronado and is next to Point Loma, which creates a beautiful backdrop for gorgeous sunsets. At Coronado, you can rent bikes, BBQ or have a beach bonfire, swim, surf, and kite surf. From the other side of the island, you can enjoy the stunning views of the San Diego Bay, Downtown San Diego, and the famous Coronado Bridge.
Note: Locals say “Coronado” for both the island and the beach: saying “Coronado Beach” sounds strange to a San Diegan!
Visit the Coronado page of the official San Diego website for more information.
Rodeo Beach is just three miles from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The beach is covered with small red and green rocks (called pebbles), which makes it very unique! The area is famously windy, which makes it a great place to fly a kite. Rodeo Beach is also a great place to picnic and bird watch.
Visit the Rodeo Beach page of the Golden Gate National Parks website for more information.
Santa Cruz Beach
Santa Cruz is located in Northern California near Monterey and Carmel. The beach is attached to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which is a small amusement park with roller coasters, rides, and games. It’s a great place to spend a day! Go whale watching or bird watching, wine tasting, or rent kayaks and stay on the water. The area also has beautiful natural parks for those who love the outdoors: check out the beautiful pine trees and wildlife in the Santa Cruz mountains and in Big Basin, which is a natural park with stunning waterfalls and California’s famous redwood trees.
Visit the official Santa Cruz website for more information.
People use words like bohemian, free-spirited, funky, and outrageous to describe Venice Beach. What makes it so special? On Venice Beach, there is something for everyone: shops, beautiful sandy beaches, performers, great music, artists selling their work, places to exercise, and delicious restaurants. See what makes it so special.
Visit the official Venice Beach website for more information.
Beautiful Malibu is the home to many celebrities, and it is easy to see why: the area is a perfect combination of mountains, sand, and sea. Spend a day on its beautiful beaches (the sunsets are incredible!) and enjoy the restaurants on the Malibu Pier. You can also explore everything Malibu has to offer, like the Getty Villa, which has Ancient Greek and Roman Art (admission is free: just make a reservation!) and the Surf Museum located on the Pepperdine University campus. Malibu is also home to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, which has beautiful wildflowers and waterfalls for hikers to admire.
Visit the Malibu page of the official California website for more information.
Need some more English practice (and advice on California?) Watch the National Geographic video that inspired this post.
All photos from Shutterstock. Cover photo is Malibu Beach.