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Post Ranch Inn

The Central Coast of California roughly runs from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara and is known for some of the most dramatic coastline in California, including the Big Sur Coast. Its central location makes it an easy weekend getaway for people living in or traveling through Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco or San Diego. Fortunately for those of us not lucky enough to live here, there is an impressive selection of beachfront resorts to stay at when visiting. Below are some of the best oceanfront resorts along California’s central coast.

Note: The following list of Central California beach resorts is ordered north to south, starting in Half Moon Bay to the north and ending in Ventura to the south.

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay Ritz-Carlton

Set on a bluff overlooking the ocean, this upscale resort is located just a few miles south of Half Moon Bay and features a world-class links style golf course. Nearby beach: Pelican Point Beach

Dream Inn, Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz Dream Inn

The Dream Inn is located next to the Santa Cruz wharf and is close to local shops, restaurants, Yacht Harbor, and Downtown Santa Cruz. Nearby beaches: Cowell Beach & Santa Cruz Main Beach

Seascape Beach Resort, Monterey

Seascape Beach Resort

Seascape Beach Resort sits on a bluff above overlooking Monterey Bay. It offers 285 spacious suites and beach villas with fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes, fireplaces, and private balconies. Nearby beach: Seascape Park Beach

Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach

The Inn at Spanish Bay

This oceanside retreat is located within the Pebble Beach community and fronted by a links-style golf course that borders some of the most breathtaking coastline in California. Nearby beaches: Spanish Bay Beach, Moss Beach, Asilomar State Beach

The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Pebble Beach

The Lodge at Pebble Beach

The historic Lodge at Pebble Beach sits next to the famous 18th green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, one of the most exciting closing holes in golf. Many of the 161 rooms feature ocean views, private balconies and wood-burning fireplaces. Nearby beach: Stillwater Cove Beach

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

Post Ranch Inn

Set on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this contemporary hotel features rustic rooms, suites and tree-houses that have private decks with mountain or ocean views and wood-burning fireplaces. Nearby beaches: Pfeiffer Beach (requires driving)

The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa, Pismo Beach

Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa

Set along a bluff overlooking San Luis Obispo Bay, this resort features 60 spacious 1 and 2 bedroom suites and is located 3 miles north of downtown Pismo Beach. Another good option nearby is The Cliffs Resort. Nearby beach: Silver Shoals Park

Bacara Resort & Spa, Santa Barbara

Bacara Resort & Spa

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this Mediterranean-style luxury resort features Spanish colonial style rooms with tubs, private balconies or patios and ocean views. Nearby beach: Haskell’s Beach

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, Santa Barbara

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Built in 1927, this luxury oceanfront resort is located 4 miles from downtown Santa Barbara and features beautiful gardens and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. Nearby beaches: Butterfly Beach, Hammonds Beach

Ventura Beach Marriott, Ventura

Ventura Beach Marriott

This pet-friendly and family-friendly resort is located just steps away from the beach and features fashionable guest rooms and suites. Other attractions include excursions to the Channel Islands. Nearby beaches: San Buenaventura State Beach

Also check out these related posts:

Best Beach Resorts of Northern California 

Best Beach Resorts of Southern California