10 More Top Beaches in California
Last year, we compiled a list of the Best California Beaches. This was done after two years of extensive research visiting beaches up and down the California coast, keeping in mind factors like popularity, accessibility and sheer “wow” factor. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it!
It’s hard to select just 10, so we decided it was time to select 10 more top beaches in California worth visiting. We included popular beaches, hidden gems and some locally-known beaches. Obviously you really can’t go wrong when it comes to California beaches, but if you’ve never been out this way, start with one or two from this list.
For this list, we selected 10 beaches based on the following criteria:
- 3 well-known beaches (very popular and recognized state-wide)
- 3 locally-known beaches (renowned in their region)
- 3 hidden gem beaches (much less-known, but should be discovered)
- 1 best overall beach (could be a popular, local, or hidden gem beach)
Here are 10 more “best beaches” in California
Redondo Beach, Los Angeles Area
Redondo County Beach is popular among locals and tourists alike. It’s a 1.5 mile long sandy stretch of beach, beginning with the Redondo Beach Pier near Veterans Park and continuing south toward condos and homes. It also happens to be a great place to surf.
Pacific Beach, San Diego
The beaches of San Diego County are spectacular, and the laid back Pacific Beach community is especially charming. P.B. (as the locals call it) is a favorite spot for college students and young adults who enjoy a party atmosphere, but the young at heart will also appreciate it. If you manage to pry yourself away from the stretches of restaurants, bars and shops, the beach itself is fantastic.
Montara State Beach, San Mateo County
If you’re looking for some Instagram-worthy photos, Montara State Beach is the place for you. Behind this wide mile-long beach are sculpted sandstone cliffs perfect for photographing. There are also numerous hiking trails nearby that lead up to Montara Mountain.
Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur Coast
Pfeiffer Beach is not easy to find, but it’s well worth the adventure. To reach it, take Highway 1 to the paved but narrow Sycamore Canyon Road, which winds its way down to the shore. The walk to the beach from the parking lot is short, and it leads to the most peaceful and often secluded stretch of surf and sand. Don’t miss Keyhole Rock, which is the focal point of the beach.
Rodeo Beach, Marin County
Located in Sausalito, Rodeo Beach separates Rodeo Lagoon from Rodeo cove on the west side of the Marin Headlands in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This unique beach consists of small colored pebbles, which isn’t a surprise given its Northern California location. Its close proximity to San Francisco makes it a popular spot.
El Matador State Beach, Malibu
El Matador State Beach has been called Malibu’s best kept secret, and although it seems that the secret is out, it still has its quiet spots. While driving down the Pacific Coast Highway past Point Dume, watch for the small signs for the beach on the side of the road. Once you’re there, you’ll see beautiful sea stacks on the beach and in the water.
Loon Point Beach, Carpinteria
Loon Point Beach is a hidden gem located south of the small town of Summerland, and it’s incredible. High bluffs back the beach, giving the area a secluded feel. On you’re on the beach itself, you can walk all the way to Summerland’s Lookout Park.
Table Rock Beach, Laguna Beach, Orange County
If you’re looking for a local favorite in the Laguna Beach area, this is an excellent beach to explore. With rocks of all shapes and sizes near the cove and waves perfect for skimboarding, it’s easy to see why the locals love it.
Hidden Beach, Klamath
Hidden Beach is exactly what it sounds like, a small cove beach in Del Norte County. It does require a bit of a hike to reach, but it’s well worth it—and since it’s not easy to reach, it’s not often crowded. There are also some beautiful hiking options in the area.
Fort Ord Dunes State Beach, Monterey Bay
Fort Ord is an underrated long sandy beach on Monterey Bay. There’s a lot to love about this beautiful beach. Named a state park in 2009, this area was once the now closed Fort Ord, a United States Army installation. The park includes a boardwalk, a path to the beach, a four mile walking and biking path and a fabulous shoreline of soft sand. This gorgeous beach has a remote feel, hiding below undeveloped bluffs that offer great beachcombing. Accessing the beach at Fort Ord Dunes State Park requires a lengthy walk from the parking lot, so it’s often uncrowded, which only adds to its appeal.