California Beaches

California Beach Names


In California where you'll find over 1,000 miles of beaches, names can be written in stone or sometimes are acquired by locals as a way to refer to particular sections of sand the pass-through public wouldn't understand so much. In places such as San Clemente and North San Diego County or along the San Mateo and Santa Cruz region, for instance, surfers have given their beaches pet names based on characteristics of waves and wave breaks that surfers love. For those passing through, if you look and don't see a sign signifying the name of a beach (which is often the case,) a local my tell you the name right off the bat or sometimes stutter and think about which name to supply you with --the official and often illusive moniker, or the one that locals grasp. Throughout California you'll find beaches named for people, cities, and descriptive words for characteristics of that beach. Here are just a few examples of names you may see:

  • Glass Beach - near Fort Bragg. Once a dump area for glass bottles and trash, the beach now delivers up smooth, stone shaped pieces of glass.
  • Pismo Beach - its the name of a city but really is a type of clam, the Pismo.
  • Shell Beach - easy to understand, this beach is also in the city of Pismo Beach.
  • Ocean Beach, Oceanside, Oceano - no mystery to these beach names for beaches that appear along the coast between San Diego and San Francisco.
  • Privates - in Santa Cruz County south of Santa Cruz this name refers to a surfers and locals beach that is somewhat hidden, harder to access, and thus, private feeling.
  • Windansea Beach - Located in La Jolla (San Diego), the beach descriptively tells what you may experience.
  • Treasure Island Beach - in Laguna Beach there are more than 25 beaches. Near Treasure Island Beach you'll find Christmas Cove Beach--two treasures!
  • Swami's Beach - named for the Self-Realization Center next door to this beach in Encinitas.
  • Mother's Beach - more than half a dozen mother's beaches span the coast, usually at inlets or coves. The water is generally not the best at these locations, though parents like to bring their children to play in the mellow waves.
  • Corona del Mar - Crown of the Sea
  • Imperial Beach - King of beaches
  • Summerland - always summer in this Santa Barbara County city
  • Rockaway Beach - Pacifica beach has lots of rocks. Surfers say 'get out of the way' or rockaway
  • Moonlight Beach - Encinitas beaches and moonlight can't be beat!
  • Seal Beach - it's all seals here... say hello to "Slick", the seal statue on the pier

Subscribe to our newsletter!

More Info