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As 2016 comes to a close, it’s time to start making resolutions… and hopefully, that includes some travel-related goals. If the California coast is on your list for 2017, check out this list of must-see attractions and beachside towns. The more of these places you can see, the better.

Hearst Castle

Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument

Hearst Castle is a National Historic Landmark located in San Simeon. The castle began as a hilltop retreat, was a popular destination during the 1920s and 30s, and is now a beautiful museum offering daily tours.

Monterey Bay Aquarium


Photo credit: Justin Ennis, Flickr

Don’t pass up a chance to explore the beautiful Monterey Bay Aquarium. It’s well known on the coast for its variety of sea life. It contains over 35,000 individual specimens from over 600 species!



Located a mere hour drive south of San Francisco, Pescadero is one of America’s Happiest Seaside Towns. It’s an ideal spot for a weekend getaway.

Catalina Island

Beautiful Beach and Cove on Catalina Island, California

Catalina Island is truly one of those places that you have to see to believe. It’s that beautiful.

Bodega Bay


Bodega Bay was made famous by Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” but this string of shops, hotels, wharfside restaurants and houses along Highway 1 is truly a wonderful place to visit.

Big Sur

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

People who have never been to the Big Sur area wonder if it’s as amazing as it look in pictures… and the truth is, it’s even better in person.

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg


Glass Beach is actually a series of three former city trash dump sites that have turned trash into treasure, so to speak. It’s now a beautiful and shimmering stretch of beach.

San Luis Obispo’s Bubble Gum Alley

Bubblegum Alley

If you’re heading to San Luis Obispo, don’t leave without finding the quirky Bubble Gum Alley. If nothing else, it makes for a great photo op.

Balboa Fun Zone

Balboa Fun Zone

Located in Newport Beach, the Balboa Fun Zone is an amusement park people of all ages can enjoy.

The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary Historic Ship Tour

If you’ve never seen the most haunted ship in Long Beach (and possibly the world), check out the beautiful Queen Mary. They offer self-guided tours, ghost tours, a few delicious dining options, and overnight stays.

Sunset Cliffs

No Surf Beach Sunset Cliffs Bryce Feb2015 (4)

This is the most breathtaking place in San Diego to catch a sunset, by far.

Coronado Island

View of San Diego Skyline from Centennial Park at Coronado Island

This relaxing little island in the San Diego area is consistently voted “best beach in the U.S.” by Dr. Beach. It also has charming restaurants, shops and a few beautiful places to stay.

La Jolla Cave

IMG_9637 la jolla cave arch (Large)

This is such a scenic, peaceful part of La Jolla that is wonderful to explore during a low tide.

Museum of Flying, Santa Monica

Museum of Flying

Located at 3100 Airport Ave., the Museum of Flying is perfect for anyone in your family who has an interest in aviation.


Solvang Danish Bakeries

Just look at the charming village of Solvang. Who wouldn’t want to visit?

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Located in Huntington Beach, the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve was established in 1990 by a coalition of government, community, business and environmental leaders.

Monarch Butterfly Grove, Pismo Beach

Monarch Butterfly Grove

Pismo Beach’s Monarch Butterfly Grove is a hidden gem you’ll fall in love with. It’s open from October through February each year.


Have a wonderful and travel-filled year!