A year-round tropical climate with an average water temperature of 78 degrees... that's what Southern California's beaches have to offer. Oh, and you can throw in perfect waves, superb dining, and oceanfront resorts for every budget. These shorelines are paradise on earth. You want more? How about picturesque harbors and hundreds of miles of shimmering coastline with free coastal access to the world's best white sand, surf and sun.
It's tough to pick the best of these treasures, but here are six of the greatest beaches in California. They include both nice quiet beaches and rip roaring beaches with thousands of bathing beauties.
1. Oceanside City Beach. This tropical beach lies in northern San Diego County. This tranquil and eloquent beach is lined with palm trees and perfect for beach walkers. You can take a leisurely walk or ride a rented bicycle along "The Strand" (the main street alongside the beach). If you're adventurous, you can even go rollerblading or spend some time fishing from the Oceanside pier. The nearby village of Cape Cod boasts a rich assortment of great restaurants. This beach has professional lifeguards and restrooms.
2. Newport Beach. This piece of trendy real estate is located between San Diego and Los Angeles in Orange County. Newport Beach offers delightful harbor cruises, boating, scuba diving, and bodysurfing. Most of local restaurants provide panoramic views of the ocean. This beach is distinguished by its Fun Zone and the Balboa Pavilion.
3. Cardiff State Beach. This San Diego County recreational facility has professional lifeguards for water goers and free public restrooms for all. The gently sloping beach is ideal for sunbathing, fishing, swimming, surfing and kayaking. Cardiff State Beach is a quieter, more casual beach with fewer crowds than most California beaches. The area's Restaurant Row features several quality seafood and Mexican restaurants. The San Elijo Lagoon is a bird watcher's fantasy come true.