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Want to get away from Bakersfield and go kick sand at the beach? Well there are several options that aren’t far from the southern Central Valley. No matter which way you drive to the ocean, the quickest routes will be a couple hours, but it’ll be worth it!

The pier at Avila Beach as the sun is setting

Santa Barbara is probably the closest coastal city to Bakersfield as the crow flies, but the Santa Inez mountains make it tough to get there directly. Instead the fastest three options are the beaches in Santa Monica, Ventura, and the coast of San Luis Obispo at Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, and Morro Bay. With minimal traffic, each of these three areas will be a pleasant drive on a single tank of gas.

  1. Santa Monica & Venice via I-5 and I-405 are about 2 hours south
  2. Ventura & Oxnard via I-5 and Hwy 126 are about 2 hours south
  3. Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, & Morro Bay are about 2:30 hours west

From Ventura it’s about a half-hour drive north to Santa Barbara which has some of the finest beaches around. Also if you visit Santa Monica, it’s a short drive west on Pacific Coast Highway to the beaches of Malibu.

Here is our list of the top 10 beaches near Bakersfield.

Beaches on this map

  • Will Rogers State Beach

    Will Rogers State Beach is a state park operated by Los Angeles County that occupies the entire waterfront of the Pacific Palisades District of Los Angeles. The southern section of […]

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  • Venice City Beach

    Venice City Beach is the main beach in the Venice District of Los Angeles. It stretches from the Venice Pier up to the north end of the Venice District at […]

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  • San Buenaventura State Beach

    San Buenaventura State Beach takes up about two miles of the waterfront in Ventura. It stretches from Marina Park near the Ventura Harbor all the way north to the Ventura […]

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  • Mandalay State Beach

    Mandalay State Beach is a protected area of beach, dunes, and wetlands between a power generation plant and the Oxnard Shores neighborhood of Oxnard, CA. This is a popular place […]

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  • Morro Rock City Beach

    Morro Rock Beach is the city beach between the iconic Morro Rock and Morro Strand State Beach in Morro Bay, CA. This is a wide sandy beach just north of […]

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  • Sandspit Beach – Montana de Oro State Park

    Sandspit Beach at Montana de Oro State Park is a long beach that starts south of Morro Bay and continues out onto the long sand spit barrier that protects the […]

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  • Avila Beach City Beach

    Avila Beach City Beach is the large wide sandy beach that takes up the entire waterfront of the town of Avila Beach, CA. The picturesque wooden Avila Pier sticks out […]

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  • South Palisades Park

    South Palisades Park is a linear grassy park along the bluff in the Shell Beach area of Pismo Beach. There are picnic tables and benches here with nice views from […]

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  • Pismo State Beach – Grover Beach

    Grover Beach is the middle portion of Pismo State Beach and the only beach in the city of Grover Beach, California. Grover Beach is a small city squeezed between Oceano […]

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  • Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area

    Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area is a California state park that is part of Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area. This park offers visitors a trip through several diverse natural […]

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Other locations on this map

  • Bakersfield

    Bakersfield is just a couple hours drive to beaches on the California Coast.

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