Five Beautiful California Coastal Cities

3 min read

Five Beautiful California Coastal Cities

If you're looking for a place that feels like summer all year, California is a wonderful place to travel. Along with perfect beaches, California coastal towns have great opportunities for sightseeing and nature. California is such a vast state, you can experience completely different culture and sites throughout the coast. Whether you're looking for relaxation or adventure, we recommend the following five coastal cities.

Monterey

oceanshore cliffs

Photo by Ian Schneider

Another popular summer destination a couple of hours South of the San Francisco Bay Area, Monterey is a perfect retreat all year. All year-long, it's possible to go whale watching and see whales and seals migrating, or simply relaxing near the beach. Depending on your preferences, you can either stay in the cute town or in a more secluded beach retreat.

After going to the beach, you'll want to spend half a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of America's largest and most popular aquariums. In nearby Pebble Beach, you can also take on the scenic 17-mile drive. The loop, which is 17 miles long, is full of wonderful views and scenic attractions.

Half Moon Bay

Great cliff

Photo by Alone Tabito 

Just an hour South from San Francisco, this quiet little town has everything you could want for a quiet or romantic getaway. The town is famous for its beautiful beaches, and has a cute downtown full of delicious, high-end restaurants and unique shopping.

For a delightful getaway a couple of miles outside of town, consider staying at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. Famous as one of the most highly recommended Ritz-Carlton hotels, you can expect full service and pampering at this resort and spa. There's also a golf course, two excellent restaurants, and in the evening, fireplaces with tasty s'more kits.

 

Mendocino

cliff and oceanpicture courtesy of: https://commons.wikimedia.org

A few hours North of San Francisco, Mendocino is a delightful hidden gem that offers beaches with naturally made glass, and the redwoods are a quick drive away. If you get your fill of beautiful trees and lying in the sun, spend an afternoon hiking the Mendocino Headlands State Park, with trails suitable for beginners and beautiful nature all year round.

The quaint town of Mendocino also offers plenty to do for the high-end shopper or artistically inclined. The town is filled with boutiques, art galleries, and good eats. You can also drive 15 minutes North to Fort Bragg and take the half day Skunk Train, an adventure that takes you on an old-fashioned steam train through a beautiful redwood grove.

San Diego

beach sunset

Photo by frank mckenna 

One of California's largest beach towns, San Diego has over one million residents and is perfect for the traveler who wants to go to the beach but would also enjoy an urban escape. The beaches are particularly popular with surfers, but are welcoming to all. San Diego is just North of Mexico and always has perfect warm beach weather and water temperatures.

San Diego is also full of bars, clubs, and entertainment if you're looking for a lively trip. You also won't want to miss the San Diego Zoo, one of the nation's largest and most famous zoos. There's also Sea World, which is located right by the beach. 

San Luis Obispo

sunset and resort

picture courtesy of: https://commons.wikimedia.org

San Luis Obispo, or SLO, is a few hours North of Los Angeles, located on California's beautiful central coast on Highway 1. The beach is about a 10 minute drive from SLO, or alternatively you can stay in one of the beautiful resorts or spas in quiet Avila Beach. SLO's downtown is full of great restaurants and shops, and Cambria, home of the famous Hearst Castle, is only an hour North and well worth a day trip.

For a truly unique experience, stay in SLO's famous Madonna Inn. This flashy, colorful property has 110 unusually unique guest rooms, a spa, restaurants, and even a tennis court.

 

Towns like these beg for beautiful people to stroll their streets, and you can make sure they get the right compliment by wearing the right cloths. Check out our What to Wear on Vacation guides to learn how the right clothing can help step up both your travel and style game.

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