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20 Most Popular Beach Towns in California

Discover California’s Coastal Gems: The 20 Most Popular Beach Towns

Join us as we explore the 20 most popular beach towns in California, each offering its unique charm and allure.


Famous for its celebrity-studded beaches and iconic coastline, Malibu is a picturesque paradise where luxury meets the Pacific.

Santa Monica:

Home to the historic Santa Monica Pier, this vibrant beach town combines sun-soaked shores with a lively atmosphere, perfect for family fun.

Laguna Beach:

Renowned for its artistic community, Laguna Beach captivates visitors with its crystal-clear waters and artistic flair.

Huntington Beach:

Known as “Surf City, USA,” Huntington Beach is a haven for surf enthusiasts, offering endless waves and a lively beach scene.

Santa Cruz:

With its iconic boardwalk and laid-back vibe, Santa Cruz is a surfers’ haven nestled along the rugged Northern California coastline.

San Diego:

From the family-friendly shores of Coronado to the eclectic atmosphere of Pacific Beach, San Diego offers diverse coastal experiences.


Famous for its world-class aquarium and historic Cannery Row, Monterey provides a charming blend of marine life and coastal beauty.

Newport Beach:

Sailboat-dotted harbors, upscale shopping, and pristine beaches make Newport Beach a quintessential Southern California destination.

Big Sur:

For a more rugged and serene coastal escape, Big Sur’s dramatic cliffs and breathtaking views create an awe-inspiring backdrop.


A storybook town with fairytale cottages, Carmel offers a charming and romantic coastal retreat.


Surfers and beachgoers flock to Ventura for its laid-back atmosphere and excellent waves, making it a hidden gem along the coast.

Pismo Beach:

Famous for its classic California clam chowder, Pismo Beach welcomes visitors with its wide sandy shores and classic beach town charm.


North of San Diego, Oceanside boasts a vibrant surf culture, a historic wooden pier, and a welcoming community.

Manhattan Beach:

Known for its upscale vibe and scenic pier, Manhattan Beach is a coastal gem offering upscale dining and boutique shopping.

Morro Bay:

Dominated by the iconic Morro Rock, this coastal town is a nature lover’s paradise with bird-watching and kayaking opportunities.


A laid-back surf town with a thriving arts scene, Encinitas is a hidden gem along the Southern California coast.

Half Moon Bay:

Just a short drive from San Francisco, Half Moon Bay charms with its pumpkin festivals, coastal trails, and pristine beaches.

La Jolla:

Nestled in San Diego, La Jolla is known for its upscale shops, fine dining, and the famous La Jolla Cove, perfect for snorkeling.

Venice Beach:

An eclectic and vibrant beach town, Venice Beach offers a unique blend of street performers, Muscle Beach, and bohemian culture.

El Matador Beach:

Tucked away in Malibu, El Matador Beach is a hidden gem with sea caves, towering cliffs, and a sense of secluded tranquility.

Explore the diverse beauty of California’s coastline by visiting these 20 popular beach towns, each with its own unique character and allure.

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