People say that the West Coast is the best coast, but don’t take their word for it — check it out for yourself! There are renowned big cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as plenty of charming small towns and quaint villages. California has the biggest stretch of land along the Pacific Ocean, but the northwestern states of Washington and Oregon are as picturesque. Book a stay at one of many West Coast vacation rentals today. Whether you’re looking for a sandy beach or something a little more rugged, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for on the West Coast.
1. Cambria, California
This seaside gem comes complete with jaw-dropping views and rustic coastal terrain. Top attractions include Moonstone Beach Boardwalk and Hearst Castle, but you can also spend the day strolling through art galleries and antique shops. In terms of vacation rentals, choose from cozy cottages and rural retreats with picturesque wrap-around porches and vegetable gardens. For any outdoor enthusiasts in the family, there are plenty of opportunities for water sports and hiking. We also recommend visiting the Guthrie-Bianchini House, one of the oldest homes in Cambria which houses the Cambria Historical Museum.
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2. Anacortes, Washington
Located on Fidalgo Island, halfway between Seattle and Vancouver, Anacortes makes the perfect romantic beach getaway. Ferry service to the San Juan Islands and British Columbia are also available, just in case you get your fill of beach walks, bike riding, and fishing. It’s hard to believe that you’ll fun out of things to do with Deception Pass State Park and Mt. Baker National Forest right next door. You’ll also find casual cafes to elegant dining, quirky to sophisticated shopping, art galleries to antique shops and unique vacation rentals.
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3. Encinitas, California
This beautiful Southern California beach town has somehow managed not to explode with tourists or reality TV shows (Laguna Beach, anyone?). Encinitas is definitely a hot spot for surfing, but if you don’t know how to hang ten, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy this laid-back town. Check out the retro attractions in Downtown like the La Paloma Theatre, and you can’t miss the two historical houses built in the shape of boats.
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4. Cannon Beach, Oregon
This coastal village on the Northern Coast of Oregon is brimming with fantastic art and architecture in addition to the breathtaking scenic views. Make sure your camera is charged and ready to visit Haystack Rock and the old grown rainforest in Ecola State Park. Cannon Beach makes for a great family vacation thanks to the hiking, water sports, and wildlife viewing. Plus, you can plan your visit during the summer for their famous Sand Castle Contest.
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5. Morro Bay, California
This seaside fishing village is the picture perfect waterfront getaway. Morro Bay is best known for its namesake attraction, Morro Rock. The 578 volcanic peak rises out of the water just offshore. Of course, this isn’t the only thing to see here. Main Street is full of interesting shops, there’s the natural history museum, and wine country and the Hearst Castle are less than an hour away. Don’t forget about ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching. And the beach. There’s always the beach.
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6. Bandon, Oregon
The shoreline in Bandon might be the most spectacular scenery on the Oregon Coast. The broad, flat beaches with their towering rock spires are unlike anything you’ve seen before. Go horseback riding in the sand and stick around to capture the sunset at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. Then head inland for the restaurants, boutiques, art galleries and the historic shopping district.
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7. Capitola, California
Camp Capitola opened its doors nearly 150 years ago, and this West Coast beach town is still just as charming. In fact, Capitola is California’s oldest seaside resort. Rent one of the colorful vacation homes that dots the coastline giving the town a mild Mediterranean flare, and you’ll be steps away from the sand, surf shops, and live music venues. Rent a boat and fishing equipment and have one of the local restaurants cook up your catch, or take a food tour to really taste the area’s history.
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8. Westport, Washington
Known as Washington’s original beach town, Westport has carved out a niche for itself as a surfing mecca. Just across the bay from Washington’s most popular seaside destination, Ocean Shores, this town is just the ticket if you’re looking to avoid the crowds. Top local attractions include the Marina District, known for its quaint waterfront promenade, and Grays Harbor Light State Park, home to half a mile of shoreline and the tallest lighthouse in the state.
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9. Sequim, Washington
Sequim, pronounced “Skwim,” gets about as much precipitation as Los Angeles making is the sunniest town in Washington. The best beaches are located a little bit outside of town and include the longest sand spit in the United States at the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge and public oyster and clam beds at Sequim State Park.
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10. Seal Beach, California
Seal Beach is located just 22 miles south of Los Angeles, making it the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Get ready for plenty of fun in the sun at one of America’s favorite West Coast beach towns. Spend your day wandering through Main Street boutiques and the wooden pier. If you’re looking for a little more adventure, head to Crystal Cove Beach to scuba dive in the 1,140-acre underwater park.
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