California PWers!! Best Beaches?

So for our HM we decided to stay in the states instead of going to an island, because we are both from the islands. Him Puerto Rico, Me Jamaica!
So we go back and forth all the time. Nothing new to us. We would really love to see what the West coast has to offer. The Only place I have been to was Ontario on business and when I was in the Army I was stationed in Fort Irwin which is the in Barstow(the desert). We both love the water, so we love to see what the Beaches are like on that side!
Any suggestions?
TIA
Posted on January 18, 2011 at 2:33 am
CARLENEO
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jenzie
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Ahhhh, let me just start by saying I already typed this and then accidently closed the tab I was in!!  I hate that! Anyway, to summarize what I was saying...


If you have the time, I would do what @patticorona suggested and take a trip down the scenic highway 1 and stop at all of the beautiful places along the way.  Maybe fly into San Francisco, rent a car, drive the coast and then fly out of San Diego?


Some places to stop along the way:


 



  • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium + Beaches

  • The 17 mile drive along Pacific Grove and the Pebble Beach golf course

  • Big Sur (really breathtaking views)

  • Pismo Beach (if you wanna go 4-wheeling the dunes along the coast)

  • Gaviota

  • Santa Barbara (beautiful town -- great place to stop for lunch or an overnight stay)

  • Carpenteria (10 miles south of Santa Barbara)

  • LA Beaches

    • Malibu (awesome beach, plus people/celebrity watching)

    • Santa Monica Pier

    • Venice Beach (cool, quirky town, with fun people watching and some great restaurants)

    • Manhattan Beach: big beach volleyball hangout + great boardwalk

    • Hermosa Beach: (same as above)



  • Orange County Beaches

    • Seal Beach

    • Huntington Beach

    • Newport Beach: upscale, shopping, restaurants, and harbor

    • Laguna: If you want to take a day trip to Catalina Island you can take a ferry (fast boat) from here or from Long Beach (in LA).  Takes ~1hr.



  • San Diego Beaches (where I'm from!); so here are my favorites

    • Encinitas: Moonlight Beach (plus there are lots of cool shops and restaurants along this stretch of HWY 1)

    • Del Mar (upscale, restaurants, shopping, racetrack, sandy beaches)

    • Torrey Pines (great hiking and view spot)

    • La Jolla (so many spots in La Jolla I love)

      • Blacks Beach (nude beach! Hah! Below Torrey Pines)

      • La Jolla Shores (nice sandy beach; great to rent Kayaks and snorkel with Leopard Sharks)

      • The Cove: protected marine reserve; beautiful views, great snorkeling, and grassy area for a picnic.

      • Children's Pool: check out the seals

      • Wind'n'Sea: MY FAVORITE BEACH (small sandy, little inlet; kind of a locals spot)



    • Pacific Beach (Where I live): sandy beaches; kind of a college hang out town; cool boardwalk for bike riding/walking along

    • Mission Beach: (same as above + Belmont park with rollercoaster and rides)

    • Ocean Beach: kind of a hippy hangout; fun shops and restaurants along Newport Ave

    • Coronado (more upscale, you can visit the Hotel Del, and check out the Silver Strand Beaches)




You can get some more info from here.



Hope that helps!





Ahhhh let me just photo 2626318-1



Ahhhh let me just photo 2626318-2



Ahhhh let me just photo 2626318-3

 

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 7:26 am
milkgal
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wow jenzie! This is a lot of great info!!

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 7:27 am
RauLilia
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Take a roadtrip! 2 years ago we did that and had so much fun. We started in San Diego, then went to Huntington Beach. We drove along PCH most of the way, stopped in Malibu, then continued our trip by driving to Santa Barbara, then went to Solvang. From there went to Paso Robles,stayed a few days there, visited Hearst Castle. Drove up to San Jose , then San Francisco and we ended our trip in Sonoma. The trip took about 2 weeks.

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 7:27 am
jenzie
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@milkgal: Well, she hit a cord since I love beaches and also love to help out fellow travelers! ;-)

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 7:29 am
CARLENEO
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OMG! Jenzie! Great Info! THANK YOU ALL!! This is why I LOVE PW!!

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 7:30 am
RauLilia
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wow jenzie! lots of info, you've inspired me to go out for a drive this weekend. :)

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 7:33 am
MrzLemUS
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I LOVE San Diego Beaches...you can't go wrong with that town, BUT if you want something a bit more..."small town and cozy/romantic"  I would recommend Catalina or Santa Barbara.  I also HIGHLY recommend taking a road trip!  Just drive the coast, listen to some music or talk with your lovie about your future together while enjoying the beauty of the coast.  It's really the best way to enjoy the beauty of the coast!  Maybe google some restaurants or buzz some PW ladies for recommendations on places to stop along the way. 

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 7:33 am
jenzie
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Hah! @RauLilia: I think I inspired myself!  I was just thinking of when we could squeeze in a little road trip! ;-)

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 7:34 am
kjam3
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Laguna, La Jolla, Malibu and Catalina for sure :o] are my faves!


Posted on January 18, 2011 at 7:43 am
CARLENEO
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Do you think we could do a road trip like this on a 7 day trip?

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 7:44 am
RauLilia
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If you only have 7 days and want to do a roadtrip I would suggest you narrow down which places interest you the most. Maybe fly in San Diego and fly out of LAX and you can visit the San Diego, OC, and LA beaches. IMO these beaches are closer together so you can see more of them, and the attractions along the way.

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 8:10 am
MrzLemUS
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I agree with Rau


Raulilia: what's up btw, welcome to PW...68 post later,lol.

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 8:12 am
cayann32
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In 7 days, def! Just like the girls said, fly into SD then head over to LA and from there, you can do the scenic drive up the coast to SB, Monterey, Carmel, etc. Have fun! :)
Posted on January 18, 2011 at 8:16 am
RauLilia
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ha thanks...didnt post a lot before because my old computer was too slow 

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 8:20 am
Boricua_Bride
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1

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 9:18 am
jenzie
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You can easily do that trip in 7 days.  A lot of those places will just be stop in, check out, and be on your way.  If you were to take that trip and drive straight through it would take about 10-12 hours, so it all depends on how much you want to stop and how long you want to spend in each place.


Here's one recommended itinerary: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/27711/driving_from_san_diego_to_san_francisco.html?cat=16

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 9:50 am
CARLENEO
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Thanks Jenzie! Such a great help!!

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 10:38 am
Claire27
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One of my favorite places is Lover's Point in Pacific Grove - its more of a park on a cliff than a beach, but its beautiful (or was when I lived there 15 years ago!)


I absolutely ADORE doing 17 Mile Drive outside of Carmel - it is breath-taking and I am a SUCKER for the Monterey Cyprus trees!

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 10:41 am
snufflesgal2010
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definitely check out monterey/carmel and half-moon bay - DH and I both love the area (we had our mini-moon in carmel at the Highlands Inn!).  while they might not be "beaches" in the sense of what you think of typically (like in the southern california area - and yes i would recommend santa barbara and san diego as well), they are beautiful and tranquil!  if you have time, sunday brunch at the ritz-carlton at half moon bay is wonderful, especially on a sunny day - the view is stunning! 

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 11:09 am
LoveBirds523
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I live in Oceanside, but grew up near Laguna Beach. I have to say that the most beautiful beaches are in the Encinitas areas. Santa Barbara is beautiful, but the weather gets pretty cool & the water is freezing. SD is great, but it's not tropical, at least not compared to Hawaii.. (We went to Kauai for our honeymoon & it was incredible.) SD beaches are the best for a true CA experience & the weather is probably the best in the states. LA beaches are gross, but they get better once you're pass LA county. HTH!

Posted on January 20, 2011 at 7:59 am
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