17 Places on the California Coast You Should Visit
As another year 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 this year, check out these must-see attractions and beachside towns. The more of these places you can see, the better.
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
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 and home to Pescadero State Beach.
Catalina Island is truly one of those places that you have to see to believe. It’s that beautiful. Here are the best beaches on the island.
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.
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. Here are the beaches you need to see in Big Sur.
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.
The SLO Coast
San Luis Obispo might have the best stretch of beaches that includes Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, and Morro Bay. If you’re heading to the city of San Luis Obispo, don’t leave without finding the quirky Bubble Gum Alley.
Balboa Fun Zone
Located in Newport Beach, the Balboa Fun Zone is an amusement park people of all ages can enjoy.
The Queen Mary
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.
This is the most breathtaking place in San Diego to catch a sunset, by far. Sunset Cliffs invites exploration with trails and a rugged shoreline.
This relaxing little island in the San Diego area and has been voted “best beach in the U.S.” by Dr. Beach. Coronado also has charming restaurants, shops and a few beautiful places to stay.
La Jolla Cave
This is such a scenic, peaceful part of La Jolla that is wonderful to explore from the cliffs above, by kayak, or from a tunnel!. The Cave Store has a unique shop with a tunnel that leads deep into La Jolla Cave, which is also known as Sunny Jim Sea Cave.
Museum of Flying, Santa Monica
Located at 3100 Airport Ave., the Museum of Flying is perfect for anyone in your family who has an interest in aviation.
Just look at the charming Danish village of Solvang that’s just a short drive from Santa Barbara. Who wouldn’t want to visit? They are known for their bakeries and more specifically for their Aebleskivers.
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. It’s a superb place for walking and for bird-watching.
Monarch Butterfly Grove, Pismo Beach
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. If you can’t make it to this one see if there is another butterfly grove close to you.
Have a wonderful and travel-filled year!