California Beaches, USA
Huntington Beach, Orange County. Photo by Anthony Reyes.
Why California beaches?
California, America’s 3rd largest state, is one of nation’s most popular holiday destinations, known for its countless outdoor activity options and home to many great Pacific shore beaches including some frequently featured in Hollywood movies and TV series such as Venice Beach and Coronado Beach.
Since more than half of the state’s inhabitants lives within 100 km of the coast, traffic in the high holiday season can be a smoking, steel-belted nightmare; if you value your elbow-room, both on beaches and roads, it’s wise to visit in low season.
California‘s southern end beaches are wide, warm, sunny and sandy while those on the northern coast tend to be windy and rocky but curvaceous, tree-hugged and more scenically attractive.
Pacific Ocean water is nothing like clear Caribbean blue, more of a dark green while sand quality is not as fine as that on the east coast, usually beige or golden colour with coarse grains, and often unmanicured so if you’re looking for isolation then seaweed, flotsam and jetsam is part of the deal, especially on state park shores.
Note that while San Diego has one of the USA’s best climates with summer highs of 75F (24C), lows of 65F (18C) and very little rainfall, May is a notoriously gray month and June even greyer due to heavy coastal cloud that develops every year, though 5 miles inland may be sunny and bright.
The best time to visit San Diego beaches is July-October.