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A Guide to the Beaches of California


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If anything, California is known for its beaches. Sun, sand, and surf are the orders of the day for many Californians, along with the perks of trendy bikinis, even suntans, and socializing in a relaxed atmosphere.

Out in Southern California, we have the ever-popular beaches of Malibu, Los Angeles, OC (made insanely popular by the hit TV show), Santa Barbara, and San Diego. The beaches in Santa Cruz deserve a special mention from Central California, while Northern California's claim to beach fame comes from the three counties of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Marin.

Venice Beach in Los Angeles is often touted as a popular favorite, where you have more than just surf and sand. Locals and tourists gather to watch street performers, artists, and, of course, beautiful women (and men for the ladies), which forms part of the action. The sidewalk that runs through the beach stretches all the way out to Santa Monica.

If skating or biking is your thing, hit the Alamitos Beach, which offers a 3.1 mile pedestrian bike path. Those with kids may want to stick with a safer beach like Marine Beach, where the waters are quite shallow and lifeguards are always nearby during peak seasons. The volleyball court and grassy areas make it the ideal picnic spot for families.

Surfers will want to head out to Malibu Surfrider Beach. The Malibu Pier in the area makes an ideal spot for saltwater fishing or birdwatching (real birds for avian lovers). Guided tours for everything from the monarch butterfly to the gray whale are available at certain seasons.

Snorkelers should take a look at La Jolla Cove Beach. Gear rentals are available nearby and the waters are safe for children and beginners. There's also plenty of sealife to be seen here.

But if sheer beauty is what you're after, definitely take a trip down to Laguna Beach and have your pick of several gorgeous beaches, many of which have added attractions such as surfing, picnicking, volleyball, snorkeling, and even tide pools. For a more laid back atmosphere, visit Ocean Beach in San Diego, and bring your dog for a walk as well.

The lineup of beaches in California is endless. Everything from activity-heavy beaches, to incredible views, to specialty beaches for dogs to roam free without leashes (Dog Beach-San Diego) and nudists (Black's Beach-San Diego) is available for every kind of preference.

Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing USA holiday apartments & Holiday apartments


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