California Beach Cities Vacation Travel Guide

California Beach Cities Vacation Travel Guide features California destinations arranged broadly by county from south to north. To help plan your beach vacation, here are some facts:  There are 58 counties in California, 478 incorporated cities and approx. 118 cities with beaches on the 1000-mile coast and Pacific Ocean. There are also many cities with beaches at lakes such as Big Bear Lake and Lake Tahoe. Some of the largest, wealthiest cities in the USA and biggest public beaches are in California. Helping plan great beach vacations is our Number 1 goal so we've expanded to include historical destinations such as Gold Country, mountain resorts, desert attractions and theme parks such as Disneyland, SeaWorld and Universal Studios Hollywood. We've also visited many hotels, dined on great meals and taken pictures and written reviews of these delicious experiences. Take a look at our beach photos and California pictures to find out why it's so tempting to take a vacation or plan a trip in California.  Because of its long, thin shape, most beaches are accessible within a day's drive. Beach California website has spent a decade bringing the best beaches and vacation destinations in the world to you and we hope you'll find the experience useful.

to  R    California Cities by County Alphabetical  

to  Z    California Cities by County Alphabetical


 
ALAMEDA COUNTY   population is approx. 1,500,000. Incorporated on June 6th, 1853.  ALAMEDA. County seat, Oakland. Created March 25, 1853. The word Alameda is derived from alamo the Spanish name for cottonwood or poplar tree.  www.acgov.org
  • Alameda
  • Albany
  • Berkeley
  • Dublin
  • Emeryville
  • Fremont
  • Hayward
  • Livermore
  • Newark
  • Oakland
  • Piedmont
  • Pleasanton
  • San Leandro
  • Union City
Hotels
ALAMEDA
BERKELEY
CASTRO VALLEY
DUBLIN

EMERYVILLE
FREMONT

HAYWARD
LIVERMORE
NEWARK

OAKLAND
SAN LEANDRO
UNION CITY

 
BUTTE COUNTY Historical Landmarks

 
COLUSA COUNTY Hotels
WILLIAMS
 

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY  was incorporated in 1850 as one of the original 27 counties of the State of California. It is one of the nine counties in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area with a  population close to 1,003,900.  (Gray link -No Beach)
  • Antioch
  • Brentwood
  • Clayton
  • Concord
  • Danville
  • El Cerrito
  • Hercules
  • Knightsen
  • Lafayette
  • Martinez
Hotels
ANTIOCH
CONCORD

LAFAYETTE
MARTINEZ

OAKLEY
SAN RAMON

 


EL DORADO  COUNTY  was created February 18, 1850. El Dorado means "the gilded one" in Spanish, referred in the 16th century to a mythical Indian chief covered with gold dust during religious rites. James W. Marshall discovered gold at Coloma in January 1848. www.co.eldorado.ca.us

Hotels
ELK GROVE
FOLSOM

Hotels
CAMERON PARK
GALT

PLACERVILLE
RANCHO CORDOVA

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
 

HUMBOLDT COUNTY  county seat is Eureka. Created May 12, 1853. In 1850, Douglas Ottinger and Hans Buhne entered the bay, naming it Humboldt in honor of the great naturalist and world explorer, Baron  Alexander von Humboldt. www.co.humboldt.ca.us
Beach Vacations:
Eureka
Hotels
ARCATA
EUREKA

FORTUNA

TRINIDAD

INYO COUNTY is over 90% government operated land of the National Parks Services. It contains the highest mountain, Mt. Whitney, and lowest elevation, Death Valley's Badwater.
 
KERN COUNTY
 
LAKE COUNTY
  • Lakeport                 Hotels LAKEPORT

 

LOS ANGELES COUNTY is California's largest county with over 10 million people.  Universal Studios Hollywood,  Los Angeles Zoo, Port of Los Angeles Cruises, Getty Museum,  Studio Tours, Rodeo Drive shops, Hollywood sign.  LOS ANGELES  Created 1850. The words los angeles  mean "the angels". www.co.la.ca.us   Historical Landmarks 
Beach Vacations: Santa Monica
 

Los Angeles County Cities-Beaches (Gray link -No Beach) Hotels
AGOURA HILLS
ALHAMBRA
ARCADIA
ARTESIA
AVALON

AZUSA
BALDWIN PARK
BELL GARDENS

BEVERLY HILLS
BRENTWOOD
BURBANK
CALABASAS
CANOGA PARK
CARSON
CASTAIC 

CATALINA
CERRITOS 

CITY OF INDUSTRY
CLAREMONT 
COMMERCE

CULVER CITY
HAWTHORNE
HERMOSA BEACH
CULVER CITY

DIAMOND BAR
DOWNEY
DUARTE

EL MONTE
EL SEGUNDO
GARDENA
GLENDALE
GLENDORA

HOLLYWOOD
INDUSTRY
INGLEWOOD
LA MIRADA
LANCASTER
LAWNDALE
LONG BEACH 
LOS ANGELES
LYNWOOD
MALIBU
MANHATTAN BEACH
MARINA DEL REY
MONROVIA
MONTEBELLO
MONTEREY PARK
NORTH HOLLYWOOD
NORWALK
PALMDALE
PASADENA
PICO RIVERA
POMONA
REDONDO BEACH
ROSEMEAD
SAN DIMAS
SAN PEDRO

SANTA FE SPRINGS
SANTA MONICA
SOUTH EL MONTE
SOUTH GATE 
STUDIO CITY
TORRANCE
VENICE
UNIVERSAL CITY
WALNUT
WEST COVINA
WEST HOLLYWOOD
WESTLAKE VILLAGE
WHITTIER
WILMINGTON

MARIN was created on Feb. 18, 1850. The origin of its name was was possibly derived from Chief Marin of the Licatiut tribe of Indians who inhabited that section and waged fierce battle against Spanish explorers. www.co.marin.ca.us

Hotels
CORTE MADERA

Hotels
LARKSPUR
MILL VALLEY
NOVATO

SAN RAFAEL
SAUSALITO
TIBURON

MENDOCINO was created on Feb. 18, 1850. The county seat is Ukiah. Its name honors either Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain or Lorenzo Suarez de Mendoza, Viceroy from 1580 to 1583.  www.co.mendocino.ca.us
Beach Vacations:
Fort Bragg
Hotels
FORT BRAGG
LITTLE RIVER

MENDOCINO

UKIAH
WILLITS

MONO COUNTY

MONTEREY COUNTY is 3rd in state for agriculture. Big Sur, Monterey Bay Aquarium & Cannery Row, Steinbeck Museum, Pebble Beach Golf, Art are attractions. MONTEREY  Created 1850. Historical Landmarks From  the Spanish words monte and rey, it means "king of the forest." Named by Sebastian Vizcaino in 1602, in honor of the Conde de Monterey, Viceroy of New Spain.  www.co.monterey.ca.us    (Gray link -No Beach)
Beach Vacations: Monterey
Hotels
BIG SUR
CARMEL

CARMEL VALLEY
KING CITY
MARINA
MONTEREY
PACIFIC GROVE
SALINAS
SEASIDE
SOLEDAD

 

NAPA was created on February 18, 1850. Napa is of Indian derivation and may be derived from the Patwin word napo meaning house. Known as California Wine country, along with Somona County. (707) 253-4421  www.co.napa.ca.us 
Hotels
CALISTOGA
NAPA
RUTHERFORD
SAINT HELENA
YOUNTVILLE

 
NEVADA COUNTY  
Hotels
GRASS VALLEY

ORANGE COUNTY is home to Disneyland - Anaheim, Knotts Berry Farm, Wax Museum -Buena Park, Mission San Juan Capistrano, South Coast Plaza, Performing Arts Center -Costa Mesa, ORANGE  Created 1889 and named for  extensive orange groves.  www.oc.ca.gov Historical Landmarks
Beach Vacations:
Laguna Beach
 
Orange County Cities & Beaches   

Hotels
ANAHEIM 
BREA 
BUENA PARK
CAPISTRANO BEACH
COSTA MESA
CYPRESS

DANA POINT 
FOUNTAIN VALLEY
FULLERTON
GARDEN GROVE
HUNTINGTON BEACH
IRVINE
LAGUNA BEACH
LAGUNA HILLS
LAKE FOREST
LA PALMA
LOS ALAMITOS
MISSION VIEJO
NEWPORT BEACH
NEWPORT COAST
ORANGE
PLACENTIA
SAN CLEMENTE
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
SANTA ANA
SEAL BEACH
STANTON
SUNSET BEACH
WESTMINSTER
YORBA LINDA


PLACER COUNTY (Gray link -No Beach)  

Hotels
AUBURN

ROSEVILLE


 RIVERSIDE -  7,243 square miles of land. 3rd largest for population with  1,522,900 people. Aerial Tramway-Palm Springs, Mission Inn- Riverside, Los Angeles County Fair-Pomona RIVERSIDE  Created 1893 and derived its name from the City of Riverside.  www.co.riverside.ca.us Historical Landmarks
 

Hotels
BANNING

BEAUMONT
BLYTHE
CATHEDRAL CITY
CORONA
HEMET

Hotels
INDIAN WELLS 
INDIO
MORENO VALLEY
MURRIETA
NORCO
PALM DESERT 
PALM SPRINGS
 
PERRIS
RANCHO MIRAGE
RIVERSIDE
TEMECULA
  
SACRAMENTO COUNTY, home to California State Capitol and Historic Old Town Sacramento, Train Museum, Sutter's Fort, State Indian Museum.  SACRAMENTO created in 1850; signifies "Sacrament" or "Lord's Supper." www.co.sacramento.ca.us Historical Landmarks
 
Hotels
ELK GROVE
FOLSOM
GALT
RANCHO CORDOVA
SACRAMENTO
WEST SACRAMENTO

SAN DIEGO COUNTY shares a border with Mexico.  San Diego is California's top beach vacation destination. Historic Old Town, Balboa Park, Sea World,  Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Mission, Point Loma Lighthouse, Star of India, Tijuana, Scripps Aquarium, La Jolla, Legoland.  SAN DIEGO- Created 1850. Named in honor of San Diego de Alcala de Henares. Historical Landmarks www.co.san-diego.ca.us 
 
San Diego County Cities & Beaches
(Gray link -No Beach)
Beach Vacations:
San Diego
CALIFORNIA HOTELS
BORREGO SPRINGS
CARLSBAD
CHULA VISTA
CORONADO
DEL MAR
EL CAJON
ENCINITAS
ESCONDIDO
LA JOLLA
LA MESA 
OCEANSIDE
POWAY
SAN DIEGO
SANTEE
SOLANA BEACH
VISTA

 



SAN BERNARDINO - largest land mass, 20,164 square miles. Recreational Hiking, Skiing, Mountain Biking, Camping and Sports in Mountains    SAN BERNARDINO  Created 1853. Saint Bernard is the patron saint of mountain passes. The name Bernardino means "bold as a bear." www.co.san-bernardino.ca.us  Historical Landmark

Hotels
ADELANTO

BIG BEAR CITY

Hotels
BIG BEAR LAKE
CHINO
COLTON
FONTANA
HESPERIA

HIGHLAND
NEEDLES
ONTARIO
RANCHO CUCAMONGA
REDLANDS
RIALTO
SAN BERNARDINO
TWENTYNINE PALMS
VICTORVILLE
YUCCA VALLEY

SAN FRANCISCO Created 1850. The sixth mission in California was established by Padre Junipero Serra on October 9, 1776, and was named Mission San Francisco de Asis a la Laguna de los Dolores (Saint  Francis of Assisi at the Lagoon of Sorrows). The mission is now known as "Mission Dolores."  Web Site: www.ci.sf.ca.us  Historical Landmarks
Hotels
SAN FRANCISCO

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY County seat, Stockton. Created February 18, 1850. Named for San Joaquin River. (meaning Saint Joachim)

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY on Central Coast California with 3,326 square miles. Hearst Castle -San Simeon, Elephant Seals -Piedras Blancas, wineries, Cambria, shopping. SAN LUIS OBISPO  Historical Landmarks Created 1850. Name comes from the mission. www.SLOCounty.org
Beach Vacations: Pismo Beach
San Luis Obispo County Cities & Beaches
 

Hotels
ARROYO GRANDE
ATASCADERO
AVILA BEACH

CAMBRIA
GROVER BEACH
MORRO BAY
PASO ROBLES
PISMO BEACH
SAN LUIS OBISPO
SAN SIMEON
 


SAN MATEO COUNTY contains San Francisco International Airport, wealthy communities, Silicon Valley influences and pristine beaches with giant 60-foot surfing waves at Mavericks. (Gray link -No Beach)
Beach Vacations:
Half Moon Bay
San Mateo County
Hotels
BELMONT
BRISBANE 
BURLINGAME
DALY CITY
HALF MOON BAY
MENLO PARK
MILLBRAE

PACIFICA
PESCADERO
REDWOOD CITY
SAN BRUNO
SAN CARLOS 
SAN MATEO
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY is located on the Central Coast. 2,745 square miles. Historical Landmarks Missions, wineries, Danish -Solvang, Sand Dunes Split Pea Soup -Buellton. SANTA BARBARA   Created 1850. Named after Mission Santa Barbara. www.co.santa-barbara.ca.us   (Gray link -No Beach)
Beach Vacations:
Santa Barbara
Hotels
BUELLTON

CARPINTERIA 
GOLETA
LOMPOC
SANTA BARBARA
SANTA MARIA
SOLVANG
SUMMERLAND

SANTA CLARA "Silicon Valley," comprises 1,316 sq. miles. Santa Clara County created 1850 and named after Mission Santa Clara established in 1777. The mission was named for Saint Clara of Assisi, Italy. The name Clara means "clear" or "bright."  www.santaclaracounty.org  Historical Landmarks

Hotels
CAMPBELL
CUPERTINO
GILROY
LOS ALTOS

Hotels
LOS GATOS
MILPITAS
MORGAN HILL
MOUNTAIN VIEW

PALO ALTO
SAN JOSE
SANTA CLARA
SARATOGA
SUNNYVALE

SANTA CRUZ  created 1850, named  Branciforte, then changed to Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz Mission destroyed by earthquake in 1857, rebuilt in 1931. Santa Cruz means "holy cross."  Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary is popular surfing spot.  www.co.santa-cruz.ca.us  Historical Landmarks

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY  (Gray link -No Beach)
Beach Vacations:
Santa Cruz
Hotels
APTOS
BEN LOMOND
CAPITOLA
SANTA CRUZ
SCOTTS VALLEY
WATSONVILLE

SHASTA  was created February 18, 1850 and was named after Mount Shasta, the English equivalent for the name of an Indian tribe that once lived in the area.  County seat is Redding. Population of Shasta County is: 169,200. The form of government: General Law.  www.co.shasta.ca.us   Historical Landmarks
Hotels
ANDERSON
REDDING
 

SOLANO COUNTY mid-way between San Francisco & Sacramento, bordered by Napa, Yolo, Sacramento and Contra Costa Counties. Formed in 1850. County seat, Fairfield. General Vallejo named county for Chief Solano, ruler of tribes.  www.co.solano.ca.us (Gray link -No Beach)
Hotels
BENICIA
DIXON
FAIRFIELD
VACAVILLE
VALLEJO

SONOMA COUNTY Population: 472,7000 Historical Landmarks
Beach Vacations: Bodega Bay
Hotels
BODEGA
BODEGA BAY

CLOVERDALE
HEALDSBURG
PETALUMA
ROHNERT PARK

SANTA ROSA 
SEBASTOPOL
SONOMA
WINDSOR

 STANISLAUS - Population: 459,864 1,521 Square Miles  Created 1854. The word Stanislaus derives from an Indian chief who led a band of Indians in a series of battles against Mexican troops.
Hotels
CERES
MODESTO
OAKDALE
PATTERSON
TURLOCK

TEHAMA COUNTY Historical Landmarks


TRINITY  TRINITY. County seat, Named for Trinity River in 1845 by Major Reading, Hotels
WEAVERVILLE

TUOLUMNE COUNTY was created in 1850. The name is of Indian origin.  Historical Landmarks

Hotels
ANGELS CAMP

Hotels
SONORA

JAMES
JAMESTOWN  

MOKELUMNE HILL

VENTURA features Channel Islands National Marine Park, Perry Mason, mission, factory outlets.  VENTURA Landmarks Created in 1782 when Mission San Buenaventura was founded. Buenaventura means "good fortune." www.ventura.org
Beach Vacations:
Ventura or Oxnard
Hotels
CAMARILLO
FILLMORE
OJAI 
OXNARD
PORT HUENEME
VENTURA
SIMI VALLEY
THOUSAND OAKS

YOLO COUNTY POPULATION: 176,300 , INCORPORATION DATE: 1850
YOLO. County seat, Woodland. Created February 18, 1850. In the original act of 1850 the name was spelled "Yola, which is an Indian tribal name Yo-loy meaning "a place abounding in rushes".
 
Hotels
DAVIS
DUNNIGAN
WEST SACRAMENTO
WOODLAND

YUBA COUNTY  

Hotels
MARYSVILLE

 
 

 

 

List of Cities Featured on California Beaches

 


hot deals

Discount Disneyland Tickets


Catalina Flyer


 

Outside California: Vancouver Canada Beaches

17-Mile Drive  | Aliso Beach | Alpine  | American Canyon | Anaheim | Anchor Bay | Aptos | Arcadia  | Arcata | Arroyo Grande | Avalon | Avila Beach | Baker | Balboa Island | Ballard | Barstow | Baywood Park  | Beachcalifornia site map | Beacon's Beach | Belmont Shore | Beverly Hills | Big Basin Redwoods | Big Bear Lake  | Big Creek | Bixby Ranch  | Bodega Bay | Boonville | Buellton -Ostriches | Buena Park | Burbank  | Cachuma Lake | Calabasas  | Calico | California - by Region | California Beaches | California Cities | California Counties | California Events | California Weekend Vacations | California Facts | California Missions | California Shopping | California State Parks | California Wineries | Calistoga | Camarillo - Ranch | Cambria | Capistrano Beach | Capitola | Cardiff-by-the-Sea | Carlsbad | Carmel-by-the-Sea | Carpinteria | Carson | Casmalia | Castroville | Catalina Island | Cayucos | Central Coast | Channel Islands | Chualar  | Chula Vista | Columbia | Corona | Corona del Mar  | Coronado Island  | Corte Madera | Costa Mesa | Cotati | Crystal Cove | Culver City | D Street Beach | Dana Point  | Davenport | Del Mar | Del Rey Oaks | Devil's Slide  | Dixon | Dockweiler Beach | Dogtown | Doheny Beach | El Capitan | Elk | El Morro | Encinitas | Eureka | Felton  | Fernbridge | Ferndale | Fields Landing | Fort Ross | Fountain Valley  | Garberville | Garden Grove | Gaviota  | Gaviota Pass | Gilroy  | Gold Country | Goleta | Gorda Springs  | Grand View Beach  | Greyhound Rock | Grover Beach | Guadalupe | Gualala Half Moon Bay | Henry Cowell Redwoods | Hermosa Beach | Hollywood | Humboldt County | Huntington Beach | Imperial Beach | Irvine | La Conchita | Lafayette | Laguna Beach  | Laguna Niguel | La Jolla / Shops | Lake Forest  | Las Flores View Pt. | Leucadia | Limekiln-SP | Little River | Loleta | Lompoc | Long Beach | Los Alamitos | Los Alamos | Los Angeles  | Los Olivos  | Los Osos | Lost Coast | Lucia  | Malibu | Manhattan Beach | Marina | Marina del Rey | Marshall| Mendocino  | Mission Beach | Monterey  | Monte Rio | Moonlight Beach  | Morgan Hill | Morro Bay | Moss Beach | Moss Landing | Murphys | Mussel Shoals | Napa | Naples | Natural Bridges | Nepenthe | New Brighton | Newport Beach | Nipomo | Oakland | Ocean Beach  | Oceano | Oceanside | Opal Cliffs| Orange | Orange County - Hotels| Orcutt| Oso Flaco | Oxnard | Pacifica| Pacific Beach | Pacific Grove | Palm Springs | Palos Verdes Estates| Paradise Cove | Pasadena | Paso Robles | Pebble Beach | Pescadero Beach| Petaluma | Piedras Blancas | Pigeon Point| Pirate's Cove | Pismo Beach | Placerville | Playa del Rey | Point Arena | Point Fermin | Point Loma | Point Lobos| Point Mugu| Point Piedras Blancas| Point Pinos| Point Reyes Station| Point Sur | Pomona| Port Hueneme | Port San Luis | Privates Beach| Ragged Point | Rancho Palos Verdes | Redcrest| Redding| Redondo Beach | Rincon Beach| Rio del Mar | Riverside | Rockaway Beach | Rodeo Drive | Rossmoor | Royal Palms Beach| Rutherford | Sacramento | Salinas | San Bernardino | San Clemente | San Clemente Island| Sand City | San Diego | San Diego Beaches | San Elijo SB| San Francisco| San Jose | San Juan Capistrano | San Luis Obispo | San Marino | San Nicolas Island| San Pedro | San Simeon | Santa Ana | Santa Barbara | Santa Barbara County | Santa Cruz | Santa Maria | Santa Monica | Santa Rosa | Santa Ynez | Sausalito | Scotts Valley | Seabright Beach| Seacliff State Beach| Seal Beach | Sea Ranch | Seascape| Seaside| Sebastopol | Shell Beach | Sherman Oaks | Signal Hill | Silver Lake | Silver Strand | Solana Beach | Soledad | Solvang | Sonoma | South Lake Tahoe| Summerland | Sunset Beach | Surf Beach | Surfside | Swami's Beach | Templeton | Tijuana,Mexico| | Tomales | Torrance Beach| Tourmaline Beach | Trabuco Canyon| Two Harbors| Universal City | Vacaville | Valley Wells| Vandenberg Base | Venice Beach | Venidita Beach | Ventura | Victorville| Waddell Beach | Watts| Weott| Westlake Village| Westley | Westminster | Whale Rock Reservoir | Wilmington | Windansea Beach | Yermo | Yorba Linda | Yountville

Regional Links:   / California Beach Cities List California City Populations / Beach Photos