15 Best Beaches On The West Coast

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couple laying on beach

There are many places on the West Coast that are home to stunning beaches.

Even though Pacific Coast beaches are significantly colder than other beaches located along the Gulf Coast or Atlantic Coast, there is still much to see and experience.

Especially if you do not want to venture outside of the United States, these West Coast beaches can make it extremely convenient for when you want to take a family vacation, a girls trip, or you want a day by the beach just for yourself.

These 15 beaches on the West Coast are perfect to engage in fun activities, or simply lounging on the sand, and are definitely worth a visit for the upcoming summer months.

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Coronado Beach, San Diego

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best beaches on the west coast coronado beach

Coronado Beach is known to attract hoards of people that are attracted to its pristine aesthetic.

The beach stretches on for miles, and the sand, which contains mineral mica, quite literally sparkles in the sunlight.

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Cannon Beach, Oregon

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best beaches on the west coast cannon beach

Although swimming at Cannon Beach is not a popular activity, the area is rather known for its trails and vibrant nature explorations.

There is also diverse wildlife and the Haystack Rock, one of Oregon Coast's most recognizable attractions.

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Rialto Beach, Washington

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best beaches on the west coast rialto beach

Rialto Beach is known for its massive sea stacks, as well as Hole-In-The Wall, a sea-carved arch about 1.5 mile north of the beach.

There are also wildlife on the beach, including otters, whales, and seals, which can be seen regularly.

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Kaanapali Beach, Hawaii

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best beaches on the west coast kaanapali beach

Maui's Kaanapali Beach is truly an oceanfront retreat.

The beach offers a three-mile-long path of golden sand, as well as some activities to do, including snorkeling, whale-watching, surfing, and sunbathing.

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La Jolla Beach, California

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best beaches on the west coast la jolla beach

La Jolla Beach, also known as the Jewel of San Diego, features some of the best swimming beaches in the country.

The secluded sea caves are accessible by kayak, and snorkelers can even spot some gorgeous fish in the waters.

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Carmel Beach, California

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best beaches on the west coast carmel beach

Carmel Beach is known for its pure white sands and magnificent coves.

The beach was even recognized by National Geographic as being one of the best beaches in the world. It's also dog friendly and incredible for surfing.

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Butterfly Beach, Santa Barbara

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best beaches on the west coast butterfly beach

Butterfly Beach has a long stretch of sand and even sits in front of the iconic Biltmore hotel.

The beach is also dog friendly and is a favorite among locals who go surfing, swim, and sunbathe.

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Long Beach Peninsula, Washington

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best beaches on the west coast long beach peninsula

Long Beach Peninsula is 28-miles long and features different activities, including horseback riding, kite flying, volleyball, clam digging, and fishing.

Visitors can also paddle through the shallow waters in search of wildlife along the rocky shores.

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Salmon Creek Beach, Sonoma County

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best beaches on the west coast salmon creek beach

Salmon Creek Beach is a lesser-known location but is still a gem with its rugged coastlines and quiet cove.

The beach is divided into two sections. North Beach attracts surfers, while South Beach is known for its 2 miles of sand, which draws people looking to sunbathe and have picnics.

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Main Beach, Santa Cruz

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best beaches on the west coast main beach

Main Beach is well known for its boardwalk and amusement park, much like Coney Island in New York City.

The Giant Big Dipper roller coaster is a must for anyone who decides to go to this beach, it even gives you a great view of Monterey Bay.

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South State Beach, Carlsbad

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best beaches on the west coast south state beach

South State Beach in Carlsbad, California is regarded as one of the cleanest and most family-friendly beaches in California.

There's plenty to do as well, including surfing, hiking, swimming, fishing, and overnight camping.

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Rockaway Beach, Oregon

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best beaches on the west coast rockaway beach

Some of the highlights at this 7-mile beach include exploring tide pools and spotting whales offshore.

It's also a popular place for photographers looking to capture the Twin Rocks offshore. At nightfall, crowds of people gather around bonfires to watch the starry sky.

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Doheny State Beach, California

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best beaches on the west coast doheny state beach

Doheny State Beach is one of the most popular state beaches in California.

On the northern end, surfers can find the perfect waves, and on the opposite end, there are campsites available just a few feet from the sand.

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Manhattan Beach, California

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best beaches on the west coast manhattan beach

Manhattan Beach, in Los Angeles County, is a staple for anyone visiting Southern California.

Beach volleyball is also a must, with courts being found up and down the sand. There's also a 22-mile bike trail that leads through many neighboring neighborhoods.

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Laguna Beach, Orange County

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best beaches on the west coast laguna beach

Laguna Beach draws many people looking to enjoy their summer days under the sun.

You can relax in your own tide pool, explore age-old caves, and even go hiking. There's also volleyball and even just plain old people watching.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.