Top 10 California Beaches

in Central and Southern California


Top 10 California Beaches
Sponsored by: Cali Life Co.

May 3, 2020

Article Sponsored by: Cali Life Co.

At Cali Life Co., we design uniquely handcrafted eyewear and accessories in San Diego, California. Our unique frames are crafted with mostly natural materials, and offer Polarized/UV400 Sun Protection in every pair!

Every Model is inspired by a special place in California.

Top 10 California Beaches

In Central and Southern California

By: Nina Ruud, California Adventurer & Co-Owner of Cali Life Co. 

Before we get started, it needs to be said that California has way more than 10 amazing beaches! From Border Field State Park to Pelican State Beach, there are 840 miles of coastline with approximately 420 choices for California beach-goers!

From bustling boardwalks to beaches off the beaten path, these are our Top 10 Iconic Beaches in Central & Southern California with the eyewear they've inspired.

Note: We know most of them are closed right now, but we can still dream, right?

10. Santa Cruz

Between the towering redwoods, rugged cliff coastline, sandy beaches and a boardwalk with it's own Amusement Park, Santa Cruze is the ideal place to visit! The beaches are beautiful and the boardwalk provides plenty of food, shopping and entertainment. A great adventure for all ages!

Getting there: Take the Scenic Highway 1 south from Half Moon Bay, or north from Salinas. You can also take Highway 101 for a faster route!


9. Carpinteria

South of Santa Barbara and North of Oxnard and Simi Valley, Carpinteria is home to Carpinteria State Beach, one of the best beachside camping spots along the coast! Take the train and bring your tent and supplies, you can actually walk to the beach campgrounds from the train station! 

It's a fairly small town so don't forget your essentials. Sometimes trains don't operate on time, so be patient if there are delays in arrival and departures!

Getting there: Follow Highway 101 North out of Los Angeles, or better yet the 1 and catch Malibu!

8. Sunset Cliffs, San Diego

Nestled within the 70 miles of San Diego's Coastline, just south of Ocean Beach is a locals favorite, Sunset Cliffs. A perfect place to catch the Bioluminescent plankton that come with Red Tide every few years. This phenomenon illuminates the rocks and cliffs with neon blue water. 

Be safe when you visit here, the cliffs are not stable and people do get hurt when they don't proceed with caution. 


7. Malibu, Los Angeles

Malibu may be well known because of its proximity to Hollywood, but it really is as beautiful as it looks on the big screen. If you are camping, visit the Malibu RV Resort (not an ad) for seaside views and a cute general store. 

Getting there: From LA head to Santa Monica Pier, and follow the PCH north along the coast. You can't miss it!

6. Imperial Beach, San Diego

Just North of the San Diego/Tijuana border is a small beach town called Imperial Beach. Stunning views of San Diego, Ballast Point and Playas de Tijuanas. You can even see the mountains in Baja, Mexico on a clear day! Take a stroll on the pier and wind up at an amazing Taco Shop serving local brews!

Getting There: Take the Silver Strand out of Coronado Island and head south. Also check out Silver Strand State Beach for beachside parking and resources.

5. Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur

If you have the privilege of passing through Big Sur, Pfeiffer Beach is a must-see on your way heading both North and South. There is a short and easy walk from the parking lot that guides you to this view! 

Getting there: Take Highway 1 to Sycamore Canyon Road, between the Big Sur Ranger Station and the Post Office.

4. Pacific Beach, San Diego

Located between Tourmaline and Mission Beaches, Pacific Beach is the beach destination for locals and international travelers! Lots of shops and bars in walking distance, and amazing surf and sunny views year round! 

Getting There: From Highway 5 Exit Balboa/Grand Avenue and head west until you hit the sea!

3. Laguna Beach

If you enjoy a year round Mediterranean Climate with idyllic ocean views, Laguna Beach is just the place for you. Ample seaside hotels line manicured cliffs with plenty of food and shopping in the village. 

Getting there: Just South of Crystal Cove State Park (remember the Beach house in the classic movie Beaches?)

2. Black's Beach, San Diego

Nestled between Torrey Pines Golf Course and La Jolla Shores, you'll find a treasure that not everyone can find. It's not very accessible if you require flat and easy pathways. In fact it's one of the steepest hikes in coastal California! Also be aware there is a Nude Beach waiting for you at the end of your journey, nothing to be afraid of but definitely good to know in advance!

Getting There: Look for the Torrey Pines Gliderport Parking Lot. 

1. Santa Monica

1. Santa Monica

If you enjoy a year round Mediterranean Climate with idyllic ocean views, Laguna Beach is just the place for you. Ample seaside hotels line manicured cliffs with plenty of food and shopping in the village. 

Getting there: Hop on the classic Route 66 and head west!