The Best Beaches To Visit In Southern California

Posted on November 15 2017

What are the best beaches in SoCal?

As a local resident, I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite beaches in all of Southern California so that locals and visitors alike can find their new favorite beach- and wear the right swimwear to match! Enjoy!

Thousand steps

Laguna Beach

Don’t let the name scare you! This beautiful beach is nested in the Laguna Beach coastline. There are not exactly 1,000 stairs, but there are approximately 230. It takes a long time to get up and down to the beach, so definitely don’t bring anything heavy if you don’t have to. Once you reach the beach, you are met with an expansive space of sand, beautiful palm trees, and a glorious sunset if you wait long enough. Wear a bikini that will last all day and one that stays put while you’re walking up and down the stairs!

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Treasure Island

Laguna Beach

Another Laguna Beach favorite, this beach is basically out of a vacation commercial. Comfortably located just steps from the Montage hotel, this beach is easy to access and it’s quite the sight. The water is the perfect shade of blue, and the surrounding cliffs make you feel like you’re inside of a secret cove. Unfortunately, since the beach is so close to the hotel, it can get quite crowded with tourists. Well-worth the visit anyways, especially if you can visit during the off-season! I suggest wearing a swimsuit that is family-friendly but still stands out.

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Dana Point

Conveniently located in Dana Point, this enormous beach is a great way to enjoy nature, swim, and tan. Plus- free parking! There are quite a few stairs to walk down, but once you are there, you’re guaranteed to find plenty of space to plop down your stuff. A major downside is that the city of Dana Point is situated on a point in the California coastline, so fog tends to collect, even on a sunny day. The best bikini to wear is one you can comfortably bask in, but with enough mobility to make sure everything stays in place during a beach walk.

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San Onofre

San Clemente

State beaches are great because they are well-maintained and typically easy to locate and get to. San O is a world-renowned surfing spot adjacent to Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. It is right off the 5 freeway, and its expansive, cliffside beaches are great for surfing, swimming, and even camping. Paid parking tends to be a downer, and sometimes the lines to get into San O can be awful on a busy beach day. If you love surfing, this is a destination you must visit! I’d suggest wearing a sporty bikini for optimal comfort while surfing- and bring a rashguard!

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Newport Beach

Oh, Newport. My home and my favorite place. I want to include two sides to Newport in this list, the first being the party beach, Blackie’s. Lots of students live in the houses down in this area, so when the weekend strikes you’re bound to see tons of parties and young people. Blackie’s is right next to the bars as well, so it could be fun to spend a day sun bathing with beverages and  food conveniently located right next to you. Plus, keep an eye out for the Blackie’s Halloween Surf Contest (pictured above)! This is the beach where you can bring out your cheeky swimwear and you will fit right in!

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Marina Park

Newport Beach

At this beach you can enjoy a calmer side of Newport. Bask in the sun while children splash in the water and race to the nearby dock. You won’t find too many college kids in skimpy bikinis here, which usually follows with loud parties and drunks. Instead, here you can watch as boats calmly sail by in the bay. There are bathrooms in the main building, as well as several restaurants with amazing views. Get here early though, since on popular beach days it can get overloaded with cranky children and panicked parents. Since this beach is focused on family, I would wear a one piece swimsuit or a more conservative bikini out of respect for the kids!

marina park newport beach california vacation swimwear best beaches

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El Matador State Beach


Malibu, anyone? Celebrities are known to crawl the beaches and surrounding areas in Malibu and Calabasas, making it a fun destination to check out. This beach captures the essence of Malibu, without being too insanely crowded. Enjoy long walks on the coast while checking out the beautiful houses perched right on the sand. This beach is a true California dream and must-see destination! Wear your brightest and most stand-out swimsuit here to look like a celebrity yourself!

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Thank you for reading and I hope that this post has helped you decide which beaches you want to visit, as well as what type of swimwear is best for each. Happy vacation!


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