10 Reasons California Has the Premier Beaches in the U.S.

Written by Kyle Glatz
Updated: August 22, 2023
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10 Reasons California Has the Premiere Beaches
California’s diverse climates offer a variety of beautiful beaches.

California is a very large state on the western coast of the United States. While several types of climates exist in the region, the beaches of California are known for being warm and inviting even if the water is a bit chilly. People come from all over the country to vacation in places like San Diego, Malibu, Santa Cruz, and other areas just to experience these beaches. Discover 10 reasons California has the premier beaches in the U.S. and learn why it’s the perfect vacation spot for people that love the beach.

1. Some Beaches Have All the Amenities You Could Want

Mosaic Pool at Montage Laguna Beach in Laguna Beach, California

Many beach towns have amenities to keep people occupied no matter the weather.

©Debbi DiMaggio, Highland Partners, Partner/Flickr – License

When people go on vacation to the beach, they want to have a bit of everything. They want access to the water, warm sands, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues all within a short distance. That is exactly what some of the California beaches offer people that visit the area.

People can rent hotels or rooms on the beachfront, experience spa days while breathing in the warm summer air, and then meet up with their friends for a night out. Some beach towns have everything a person wants right in one spot.  

2. Other Beaches Are Remote and Quiet

Pacific Grove

Some beaches are far away from the crowds.

©iStock.com/Gary Tognoni

Fortunately, many beaches in California are very remote for people seeking solitude. Other people will be few and far between, and nobody’s children are going to run amok, screeching as they drag sand onto a stranger’s beach blanket. Although remote beaches are harder to get to, California has over 800 miles of coastline. Several of the beaches are secluded and far enough away from major cities that a person can relax.

3. California Has the Premier Beaches in the U.S. for Short Winters and Long Summers

Beautiful sunset of Los Angeles downtown skyline and palm trees in foreground

California’s weather is perfect for people that enjoy the beach.

©Chones/Shutterstock.com

Although California has the highest recorded temperature on Earth, the coastal areas of the state are very temperate throughout the year, rarely getting too hot or too cold.

Places like Los Angeles have average high temperatures in the 80s throughout the summer, 70s in spring and fall, and 60s in the winter. However, the water is cool no matter the time of year, often staying in the high 50s and mid-60s. The weather makes the beaches in California a great, year-round place to be.

4. The Surfing Opportunities Are Amazing

Waddell Beach

California beaches are rugged and experience great swells that make the region one of the top places to surf in the country.

©iStock.com/Sundry Photography

California has a long coastline on the Pacific Ocean and abundant warm weather. As a result, people can surf in the water at just about any time of year. Of course, people will don wet suits in the winter months when the temperatures plunge into the low 50s.

Still, California beaches are rugged and experience great swells that make the region one of the top places to surf in the country. Some areas, like Mavericks Beach at Half Moon Bay, have waves that reach up to 60 feet high at times! This combination of climate and coastlines are hard to find anywhere else.

5. The Boardwalks Let You Make a Day of the Beach

Santa Monica pier Ferris Wheel in California USA on blue Pacific Ocean

The Santa Monica boardwalk has a small amusement park.

©lunamarina/Shutterstock.com

With so many people going to the beach, it made sense for businesses to follow them. Many of California’s beach towns have boardwalks. These areas feature shops to buy clothes and food, restaurants, and beach access ramps.

Boardwalks are a great place to refuel and have fun without getting too far away from the water. The Santa Monica Pier, one of the most famous beach boardwalks, has an amusement park, restaurants, great views of the ocean, and more. Boardwalks make it easy to entertain people of all ages.

6. Cultures Blend at the Beach, and Visitors Benefits

shark bite capital of the world

The laid-back surfer culture is prevalent in California.

©SR Productions/Shutterstock.com

People from all sorts of backgrounds love to flock to the beach. All sorts of cultures mix and mingle at the beach. As a result, visitors can find and experience food, art, and cultural practices from around the world, up and down the coastline.

Some towns are steeped in culture from nearby Mexico while others are places that embody the easygoing, laid-back California surfer culture that developed in the last century. California’s beaches are a true melting pot.

7. Abundant Wildlife

Parent and Offspring Gray Whales

Gray whales are often spotted off the coast of California.

©Travis Potter/Shutterstock.com

Another reason that California has the premier beaches in the U.S. is that those beaches are home to various types of wildlife. Up and down the coast, people can spot some of the following creatures:

  • Sea lions
  • Sea otters
  • Seals
  • California gulls
  • Dolphins
  • Whales

Various species of these animals live along the coastline in the region. People can often spot them basking on the beaches or in the water from the shoreline. Some businesses exist for the sole purpose of taking people out on the water to see them.

However, not all the critters that end up near the beaches are welcome. In recent years, a few sea snakes have washed up in the area, prompting worries that increasing water temperatures are bringing them farther north than before.

8. Some California Beaches Allow Camping

Beach camping

Some places in California allow beach camping.

©Steve Schwettman/Shutterstock.com

A person’s day at the beach does not have to end once the sun goes down. Many state parks have camping areas on beaches where people can stay. However, people that opt to camp at state parks often need to reserve their campsites, especially if they’re bringing along an RV. For a fee, you can spend a night out under the stars and see the waves crashing onto the beach.

9. The Pacific Ocean Water is Gorgeous

Santa Cruz Beach in Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz Beach in California has beautiful blue-green water.

©Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz/Shutterstock.com

A simple reason that California has the premier beaches in the U.S. is its gorgeous waters. Many beaches have beautiful blue waters with high clarity. Other beaches in the U.S. can’t say the same because they are close to river drainage basins. While the Gulf Coast has great beaches, a large swath of the area has rivers draining nearby, resulting in brown, murky water.

10. Nowhere Has Sunsets Like California  

Clear blue water lapping on the shore at sunset

Few places in the country have more beautiful sunsets than California.

©amadeustx/Shutterstock.com

Lastly, few places in the country have more beautiful sunsets than California. Many of the state’s beaches face the west, aligning perfectly with the setting sun. The location of the beaches combined with the natural cliffs, sandy beaches, and boardwalks make California the prime place to take amazing pictures and make memories.

California has the premier beaches in the U.S. for a lot of reasons. The beaches draw millions of people from within the state and far beyond because they have so much to offer. No other beaches offer such an incredible mixture of people, entertainment, wildlife, cultures, and solitude.  

Summary of 10 Reasons California Has the Premier Beaches in the U.S.

NumberReason
1Some Beaches Have All the Amenities You Could Want
2Other Beaches Are Remote and Quiet
3California Has the Premier Beaches in the U.S. for Short Winters and Long Summers
4The Surfing Opportunities Are Amazing
5The Boardwalks Let You Make a Day of the Beach
6Cultures Blend at the Beach and Visitors Benefit
7Abundant Wildlife
8Some California Beaches Allow Camping
9The Pacific Ocean Water is Gorgeous
10Nowhere Has Sunsets Like California

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Everything Cloud Images/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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