Growing up in Minnesota I was surrounded by 10,000 lakes(it’s our state motto)
FUN FACT: There are actually 11,842 lakes in Minnesota. However, depending on who you talk to or based off an old state survey, there’s a range of 15,000-21,000 lakes in the entire state.
Basically, I love the water. Since being in California, my love for water has exponentially grown. I find myself having beach trips all year round and try to go to as many different ones as I can. In recent years, beach trips have been a cathartic experience for me. I go to find peace within myself and to find clarity in life’s situations. So if you’re traveling to California and want to know the beaches or currently live here and simply want to find new spots, this post is definitely for you!
- Santa Cruz
- It’s a super popular and well known beach in the Bay Area and definitely the place to be in the summer! You can visit the Santa Cruz Boardwalk that has a ton of rides, games, and other attractions. There are even free concert and movie nights done on the beach that populate a lot of people but are super fun to do! There are several other beaches surrounding the Santa Cruz area. Not far from the Boardwalk, you can visit Seabright State Beach and Natural Bridges State Beach. I like to go to Seabright when I want to be a little bit more secluded(TRAVEL BONUS: There’s a lighthouse here!) Natural Bridges is also a must see due to the beautiful sand and natural formations of the rocks and cliffs. There are also several tide pools here that are fun to explore!
- FUN FACT: Love the movie Lost Boys? A few scenes were filmed on the boardwalk including the train track scene! You can actually walk on those tracks! *Please use caution but it’s totally fun!*
- Panther Beach
- Truthfully I haven’t been to Panther Beach in several years – nothing bad about it! – I just don’t make my way over to Davenport very often(I should change that soon). My friend and I came here to have a chill beach day but didn’t want to be around a ton of people. The drive is beautiful and the walk down to the beach is quite adventurous! You’ll have to walk a ways down to get to the sand so make sure you’re prepared for a tiny little hike. It’s definitely a secluded area with gorgeous views. Here’s a picture of me when we went – my hair used to be ridiculously long.
- Pismo Beach
- I have so many beautiful things to say about Pismo Beach. I’ve taken two solo trips to this area when I’ve really felt like my life has been overwhelming. Living in the Bay is always fast-paced and onto the next hottest trend. Coming down to this area(San Luis Obispo/Pismo Beach/Arroyo Grande) is a wonderful change of pace with breathtaking views in any direction you look. Pismo State Beach is so big and full of wonderful people! Everyone does their own thing but super friendly. You can either enjoy yourself down on the beach, relax on the pier, or check out all the shops that are around! (TRAVEL BONUS: Check out Mon Ami on the pier. Literally the best tasting crepes I’ve ever had. The chai tea is to die for too.)
- Avila Beach
- Avila Beach is not far from Pismo Beach; about a 15 minute drive. Avila is a smaller beach but still quite large enough that you can have privacy. What I love about Avila beach is the scenery. I’ve spent hours here just walking on the beach or sitting on the large rocks and reading or doing whatever I feel like. There is a pier but it’s closed to the public. Above the beach is a bunch of shops and restaurants that are all so wonderful. Check out my Pismo Beach food recommendations here!
- Venice Beach
- Think of any California surfer/skater movie – Venice is that vibe perfectly. So many people come here to bike or roller skate around the sidewalks and there’s a skate park too! The beach is huge and has a very relaxing and chill vibe. I visited Venice beach in October and was blessed with beautiful weather! When you’re done soaking up the sun, you can check out all the shops, food spots, and vendors that line the street. Depending on the day you go, you’re bound to find some live entertainment as well!