Top Beaches on the West Coast of the USA

  • Cannon Beach // Oregon

    Cannon Beach
    ©Dima Sergiyenko (DiscoverWithDima)

    Look for Cannon Beach on a map of Oregon and you'll find its not only the name of a stunning stretch of west coast shoreline, but also a city in Clatsop County. Named one of the world's most beautiful places by none other than National Geographic (and they should know),… read more »

  • Baker Beach // California

    Baker Beach
    ©daveynin

    Situated between San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge to the north, Baker Beach is a flat, wide expanse of golden sand approximately 800 metres in length.

    In the city's Presidio area, its natural vistas are improved by views of the entirety of the Golden Gate Bridge on all but… read more »

  • Laguna Beach // California

    Laguna Beach
    ©Joe Belanger

    Located midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, Laguna Beach is the archetypal Southern Californian beach town. This is one of the most fashionable seaside towns in Orange County and as such has attracted the wealthy and famous for many years. Laguna Beach has a long established reputation as a… read more »

  • Glass Beach // California

    Glass Beach
    ©Gustavo Gerdel
    read more »
  • La Jolla Cove // California

    La Jolla Cove
    ©John Uhrig

    Tucked away at the foot of the sandstone cliffs north of San Diego, La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed beaches in SoCal, so it's fair to say it's exceptionally beautiful. The Spanish phrase "La Jolla" means "jewel" and this cove is a gem.

    Facing north it has… read more »

  • Venice Beach // California

    Venice Beach

    When thinking of Los Angeles it is hard not to picture the city's iconic Venice Beach. Whilst many beaches are exactly that, and nothing else, Venice Beach is much more than that; a beach, cultural institution, vibrant community and international tourist destination to name a few. What goes on along… read more »

  • Santa Cruz Main Beach // California

    Santa Cruz Main Beach
    ©Rabin Pamela

    Santa Cruz Main Beach is also known as Boardwalk Beach because it sits in front of the boardwalk amusement park. Dating from 1907, it contains the historic Big Dipper rollercoaster, a swimming pool, mini golf, and restaurants among its attractions.

    On the opposite side of the municipal wharf from Cowell Beach,… read more »

  • McWay Falls Cove // California

    McWay Falls Cove
    ©Dawn Ellner / License

    Set in the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park this beautiful little horseshoe shaped cove is surrounded by high, tree-lined cliffs. Perhaps the beach's most notable feature though is McWay Falls, a waterfall that vertically plunges 80 feet directly into the aqua-blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. The cove here is… read more »

  • Huntington Beach // California

    Huntington Beach
    ©James Kim

    Nicknamed "Surf City USA", Huntington Beach is a popular resort destination for locals and international tourists. This 121-acre state beach has a long pier and a beautiful sandy beach with dunes sheltering many bird species.

    Facilities include parking lots (open until 10pm), bathrooms, showers, lifeguard HQ and fire rings for bonfires.… read more »

  • Coronado Beach // California

    Coronado Beach
    ©ashleytheartist2002

    Consistently voted one of America's finest beaches, Coronado Beach is a long sandy stretch on the outskirts of San Diego. The main Central Beach runs along Ocean Boulevard from the Hotel del Coronado to Sunset Park. An area near Sunset Park is set aside for dog owners to bring their… read more »

  • San Gregorio State Beach // California

    San Gregorio State Beach
    ©Nathan Siemers

    Close to Silicon Valley in the South Bay Area, San Gregorio State Beach is a popular beach with a large car park and good amenities. Located on a wild stretch of the California coast this is a great place for picnics, birdwatching, beach activities, walking, hunting for fossils and exploring… read more »

  • Black's Beach // California

    Black's Beach
    ©Raquel Baranow

    Situated on the beautiful California coastline north of San Diego, Black's Beach is north of La Jolla at Torrey Pines, just below the famous golf course of the same name. The name Black's Beach comes from the horse farm in the area that was once owned by the Black family.

    A… read more »

  • Capitola Beach // California

    Capitola Beach
    ©Monica Liu

    Often voted one of the top ten beaches on the US West Coast, this beach of fine sand lies at the northern end of Monterey Bay. It sits in front of the almost-neon homes of the village of Capitola, where you can also find a good choice of restaurants… read more »

  • Stinson Beach // California

    Stinson Beach
    ©Adam Derewecki

    Situated within California's Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Stinson Beach lies approximately 30 kilometres northwest of San Francisco along Highway 1, making it a popular day trip for residents of the city.

    This long stretch of sand offers a relatively shallow entry into the waters of the Pacific, which can… read more »

  • Zuma Beach // California

    Zuma Beach
    ©Yisong Yue

    One of largest and most popular beaches in Los Angeles County, Zuma Beach has clean waters and wide sands that extend for a total of around two miles. The location for the famous final scene in the original 1968 version of Planet of the Apes, it is now better known… read more »