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The Southern California Beaches Vacation Guide was created to help local, out-of-state and international visitors plan a beach vacation in sunny Southern California.  

Like so many others, I love the beach.  I love the morning fog, seabirds calling, waves crashing, the salty breeze and especially that pale yellow-pink-blue hue of the water just after the sun sets.

When I was a kid, my family took us to Balboa Island (Newport Beach) frequently, where I ate frozen bananas and paddled around in the bay on a long board.  I could hardly wait for our annual camping trips to El Capitan (near Santa Barbara) or South Carlsbad (near San Diego).

Later, I rode the ferry boat to Catalina Island with the Girl Scouts and we camped and rode the glass bottom boat and saw flying fish from a boat at night.

As a young teen, I’d ride a bus, bicycle or moped all the way down Rosemead Blvd. from Pasadena to Seal Beach (near Long Beach).  I think it took about 2 hours.  

Once I could drive a set of 4 wheels, I spent countless afternoons boogie boarding or body surfing down at Huntington Beach.  

As a young adult, I lived many years in San Francisco, but on visits south, I would sneak time in for the beautiful coves of Laguna Beach.  I spent two college summers living in Santa Monica and another two down at Newport Beach.  

Now, my favorite beaches to visit include Carpinteria with its small town atmosphere and tame waves.  

Or better yet, Santa Barbara with its lovely Spanish-Mediterranean architecture and plethora of palm trees.  Even just a few hours there feels like a vacation. 

Laguna is another favorite, especially in the off season, when it is not so crowded, but summer is fun with the art festivals and water warm enough to swim comfortably.

If we have a few days, San Diego is a favorite family vacation spot.  There is just so much to do.  Whether snorkeling at La Jolla Cove, or visiting museums in Balboa Park, or riding the ferryboat to Coronado or going to the San Diego Zoo, it’s sometimes hard to squeeze in the best part of all…the beach! 

These days, I enjoy sailing, especially out of Marina del Rey and over to Catalina Island.

So you see, I enjoy variety and each beach area definitely has its own flavor and offerings.  Yet still, I am discovering something new all the time, which I hope to share with you.

Earnings Disclosure: I try to make some income from this site to make the time to keep it up to date and grow it, so any time you use the links to TripAdvisor to research your accommodations, or to Amazon to buy things you need, earns me a small percentage to help keep this site going. And thanks.

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Whether for a day, a week, or a month, I wish you a great trip to the beach!


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