The Best Beaches in Southern California


Every year visitors flock to California to explore its iconic beaches. From ritzy locales to funky coastal enclaves, Southern California’s diverse beaches all provide a different experience. We’re exploring the top five beaches that Southern California has to offer.

La Jolla Shores

San Diego’s La Jolla Shores offers a mile of pristine coastline. Known for its calm surf, La Jolla Shores is a great spot for swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, and kayaking. Its gentle waves make it a popular spot for families with small children.

Directly adjacent to La Jolla Shores is the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve. This unique underwater park boasts an abundance of sea life. Snorkelers and scuba divers can swim among harmless leopard sharks, garibaldi fish, sea bass, and La Jolla’s famous sea lions and seals. After a day at the beach, visitors often head to downtown La Jolla, where they can stroll down Prospect Street and check out the many boutiques and galleries in the area.

Sunset Cliffs

Another popular spot in San Diego is Sunset Cliffs, located in the Point Loma neighborhood. This stunning spot on the coast offers a 1.5-mile walk along sheer cliffs that tower high above the rugged beach below. Some visitors brave the trek down to the beach itself, while others simply choose to take in the incredible views from the cliffs. Sunset Cliffs’ coastal bluffs have been carved away from erosion, resulting in striking arches and sea caves.

From the cliffs, it’s not uncommon to see California gray whales in the distance as they complete their annual migration. And as the name suggests, Sunset Cliffs is one of the best spots to catch a sunset in San Diego. It’s also a great place to witness the famous “green flash,” which is a phenomenon that produces a green glimmer of light just as the sun goes down.

Santa Monica


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