best 2020

20 Best Beaches in California

With 840 miles of coastline, California is bursting with beaches—in SoCal, on the Central Coast, in Big Sur, in the Bay Area, on the North Coast—each with its own appeal. To make picking a beach—whether it’s for a day, a week, or a lifetime—a little easier for locals and out-of-towners alike, we’ve followed the California coast north, picking out the best beaches along the way.

Coronado Beach
Coronado Beach’s mile and a half of silvered beach—from its high concentration of mica, a pearly, silver mineral—literally shines in the bright Southern California sun.

Set on a peninsula in the San Diego Bay just 10 miles from the Mexican border, Coronado Beach has a brigade of famously watchful lifeguards, soft waves perfect for boogie boarding, and a flat walking surface, all of which makes it ideal for families. Learn to surf from the highly rated Coronado Surfing Academy, or stroll along Ocean Boulevard, with seaside mansions on one side—including the stately Hotel del Coronado—and the Pacific surf on the other.