Stop by the store and pick up some sunblock, dig out the beach towel, pack up the car and head to the beach. It is officially time to visit California's Number One destination. Over 50% of California beach visitation and vacations occur within a 3 month window in June through August, and beaches are the top choice for vacations in the state.
The most popular choice to go to a beach (by the numbers) is Los Angeles. From Malibu to Santa Monica, Venice to Redondo, there's a lot to see and do at L.A.'s beaches. Santa Monica has its pleasure pier with a Ferris wheel that's solar powered, fun zone, shops, and restaurants, as well as the lively 3rd Street Promenade. Stroll a short distance or rent a bicycle and head south on the beach path to Venice where the famed Muscle Beach is located. It's a top attraction! Thanks to a cement beach path, you can rent a bike or some roller blades and travel well over 20 miles one way between Torrance Beach and Malibu, where you'll find Surfrider Beach. This beach helped bring surfing culture into the lives of Americans through movies and songs. You can't go wrong visiting Los Angeles, but there are 1,000 miles of beaches to explore.
See them all! It will take you at least 2 days of driving and road stopping to catch a very small sampling of the beaches along the California coast from San Diego to the Oregon border. If you try to make the trip in 2 days, you'll have a long, scenic ride that often twists and turns on Highway 1, and you'll find yourself exhausted by the end of the day. Unless you have a week to explore, the best strategy is to relax and see just a part of the coast. You'll know what moves you and that's probably where you should decide to stop.
Types of beach experiences include: Sunbathing beaches throughout Southern California; sand dunes and sunbathing in the Central Coast, and beachcombing strolls and hikes at Northern California's colder, rocky shores.
One thing that tourists don't realize is that California's beaches and ocean temperatures are normally much cooler than the East Coast and its beaches. Tourists seem surprised and actually complain about the summer weather in California. For those who have chosen to live in paradise, the decision often is based on California's cooler, less humid climate- so locals just smile and tell out-of-state tourists that yes, that's the way it is in California.