Beach Vacation in California: Top Destinations
Beach Vacation in California: Top Accommodations
6 Top Spots for California Family Beach Vacations
1. Half Moon Bay
Just 40 minutes south of San Francisco, the Half Moon Bay Beach State Park encompasses three breathtaking beaches: Venice, Dunes, and Frances Beach. The town itself has lots of eateries and an extremely scenic golf course, and you can see elephant seals playing at nearby Ano Nuevo.
Situated on the Monterey Peninsula, Carmel is a small town surrounded by beautiful beaches with great shopping and family-friendly restaurants. It's also famous for being dog-friendly, and it's a great base for animal spotting with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, whale-watching tours, and pristine Pacific Grove all nearby.
3. Point Reyes
Great for wildlife watching, Point Reyes National Seashore features miles and miles of protected seashore where marine life, native plants, and local Roosevelt Elk thrive. There's also a waterfall cascading into the ocean and an old lighthouse.
4. Pismo Beach
A favorite among locals, pretty Pismo Beach is nestled into a dramatic coastline wedged between cliffs, sand dunes, and the deep-blue ocean. Stroll along the picturesque pier in Pismo town for sunset, or zip around the Oceano Dunes in an ATV.
5. Balboa Island
This island, off the Balboa Peninsula from the town of Newport, is accessible via a short ferry ride that kids often enjoy as much as the beautiful beach, the chocolate-coated, hand-dipped frozen banana "Balboa Bar", and the Balboa Fun Zone amusement park.
6. Laguna Beach
California family beach vacations are all about surfing the deep blue waves. Laguna's many coves offer waves for both beginners and intermediate surfers, and there are plenty of surf schools and board shops to choose from.