California is home to over 200 state parks, all of which are beautifully diverse. And some of them happen to be located along the coastline, giving you the bonus of a beach. These are a few of our beautiful state parks that happen to have prime waterfront spots, and they’re all little pieces of paradise for anyone who loves the great outdoors.
Sinkyone Wilderness State Park
Sinkyone Wilderness State Park sits along the southern boundary of King Range National Conservation Area. This is a primitive park, so if you’re hiking one of the numerous beautiful trails, you’re very likely to see wildlife like deer and elk. During wet weather, four wheel drive vehicles are recommended.
Crystal Cove State Park
The rolling hills, sandy beaches and wooded canyons make Crystal Cove State Park a beautiful oasis in Southern California. This is one of the most popular places in the state to camp, and for good reason. Crystal Cove is one of Orange County’s largest remaining examples of open spaces and natural seashore.
Point Sal Beach State Park
You’ll find this popular state park in the northwestern part of Santa Barbara County close to the city of Guadalupe. With about 1.5 miles of oceanfront space, rocky shoreline and exceptional coastal views, you’d think that Point Sal is a local favorite, but it is hardly known. That’s because it’s hard to get to. We added this beach to our Bucket List Beaches since it’s so beautiful and challenging at the same time.
Hearst San Simeon State Park
Located about 35 miles north of San Luis Obispo on Highway 1, Hearst San Simeon State Park is one of the oldest places in the California State Park system. You’ll find rocky shores and unobstructed ocean views here along with hiking trails with scenic overlooks.
Border Field State Park
This park, as the name indicates, is a coastal habitat on the Mexico-United States border. It’s located within the city limits of Imperial Beach in San Diego County adjacent to a suburb of Tijuana. It’s an important wildlife habitat that offers refuge to migrating waterfowl, wading birds and pelicans.
There is no charge for walking or biking through a state park, but there is a nominal vehicle fee for day use, typically around $10. Camping fees vary.
McLaughlin Eastshore State Park
Located along the San Francisco Bay shoreline of the East Bay, this 8.5 mile park has restored and natural wetlands. Though it’s not an oceanfront park, it’s still a relaxing place to walk along the water for those who call Northern California home. Eastshore State Park is open for day use only. See the best beaches near Oakland and the East Bay.