Los Angeles and San Diego might be on the top of your beach vacation list, but don't forget about all the wonderful little beaches in between. You'll be soaking up all that California sunshine but avoiding the major crowds that flock to the bigger cities. It'll be like having your own private beach. Visit one, or visit them all. Either way, here's our list of the most beautiful Southern California beaches in between Los Angeles and San Diego.
Head To These 6 Beautiful Beaches Between L.A. and San Diego
1. Laguna Beach
Come on, Laguna Beach even had its own TV show. Laguna is one of Orange County's most fashionable and culturally rich towns, but the beach is the main draw. The water is clean and calm and the strong tides are perfect for surfing. The white sand beaches are great for strolling, volleyball matches, or just sunbathing on a blanket.
Coronado is famous for the seaside in front of the glamorous Hotel Del Coronado which has been open since 1888. If you're not a hotel guest, you can still enjoy the main beach, Coronado Central beach, that stretches 1.5 miles behind the beautiful houses along Ocean Boulevard. Swim, body surf, boogie board or check out the amazing sand sculptures. If you come between December and February, you might not be able to sunbathe, but you'll probably see a whale! Bring your furry friend along to the northern Dog Beach where they can dig in the sand sans leash.
3. Newport Beach
The coastal charm of Newport Beach is unmistakable. There's a ritzy harbor full of dreamy yachts, million-dollar beachside bungalows, a chic shopping district and of course, a magnificent stretch of beach. The wide bed of sand from Newport Beach to Balboa Pier attracts surfers, sunbathers, families and glamorous 20-somethings alike. Sit by the weathered pier for the sunset and you'll be hearing Beach Boys playing in your head.
4. Hermosa Beach
If you're looking for outdoor beach activities, Hermosa is the place for you. There's always some activity going on whether is surfing, swimming, volleyball, and of course sunbathing. The 1.5 mile stretch of sand is lined by the Strand, a paved boardwalk that welcomes bikers, rollerbladers, and joggers. It's also a great place for people watching when the sun goes down and the restaurants and bars fill with crowds.
5. La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is one of the smallest but also the most photographed beaches along the Southern California coastline. It's small crescent of sand tucked between towering sandstone cliffs is nothing but magical. It's also a perfect place for scuba diving and snorkeling. Visibility can extend up to 30 feet and the area is protected by the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve.
6. Crystal Cove State Park
This secluded 3.5 mile beach is an official "underwater park." Crystal Cove is teeming with reefs and has over 2000 wooded acres to explore, making it the perfect escape. Check out the tide pools and coves during the winter when the lower tides allow a clearer view of the aquatic life. There are also more than 23 miles of trails for mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking. Some of them feature steep and rocky climbs, so come prepared for a workout!
This article was written by Lauren Gaw.