Activities for Families

What are the best family-friendly beaches in California?

California is a top spot for the perfect family beach holiday, with its 840 miles of coastline and 420+ beaches. It offers many options for families who love the sun and sand. The best family beaches have calm waves, lots of space for fun, and important facilities like bathrooms and snack bars.

These family spots are often within state parks. Here, you can enjoy things like campgrounds and nature trails nearby. Beaches with lifeguards are a must for extra safety. They also let you know about the water's safety with flags. Don't forget about having restrooms, showers, and food near the lifeguard area.

This article shares the best family beaches in California, from south to north. We'll talk about their special features and what makes them great for families. Get ready to have the best time exploring California's sunny and beautiful coast with your loved ones.

Silver Strand State Beach, Coronado

Silver Strand State Beach sits on 's Coronado Island. It faces the Pacific Ocean on one side, offering big surf waves. On the other side, it meets the San Diego Bay, known as Crown Cove, where the waters are calm and peaceful. This spot is perfect for families who love both adventure and relaxation.

The Coronado Surfing Academy is here for those eager to learn surfing. Kids can play and learn in Crown Cove's gentle waters. It's a safe place for them to have fun. At dusk, families can light a bonfire, creating lasting memories against the coastal backdrop.

In the summer, visitors can rent beach chairs, umbrellas, or enjoy a meal at Loew's Coronado Bay Resort nearby. This makes their day comfortable and enjoyable. Silver Strand State Beach is truly a top pick for families in San Diego looking for a peaceful California beach escape.

La Jolla Shores, San Diego

La Jolla Shores is about 20 minutes away from downtown San Diego. It's known for its wide beach and gentle waves. It is great for swimming and boogie boarding. The beach has s'mores-friendly fire pits, restrooms, and a nearby playground. It's the perfect place for snorkeling or kayaking in the La Jolla Underwater Park. Here, you can see marine life like colorful garibaldi and (harmless) leopard sharks.

Close to Birch Aquarium, families can watch a big group of seals. These seals relax, bark, and take care of their little ones at The Children's Pool. La Jolla Shores is a beautiful, family-friendly beach. It's ideal for everyone with its picturesque view and smooth California waves. There are also many for people of all ages.

Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel Beach spans about a mile and is stunning with its high bluffs and unique cypress trees. The beach is perfect for kids because of its soft, light-colored sand. In the fall, there is a fun contest to see who can build the best sandcastle. The water might be cold, but it's not too rough, making it safe for children to play.

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People can bring their dogs to this beach. Also, they can gather around the fire pits in the evening. Here, families often roast marshmallows together.

Relax on the White Sand

Carmel Beach, in California, is wonderful for families. It has beautiful, soft white sand and a peaceful vibe. You can see stunning views of the coast, with its tall trees and quiet sea.

This beach is a great place for relaxing by the fire pits. It's good for short visits or staying overnight. There's so much to do, like building sandcastles or just walking around. Carmel Beach is a top choice for families looking for a memorable time.

Bolsa Chica State Beach, Huntington Beach

In Huntington Beach, known as “Surf City USA,” you'll find Bolsa Chica State Beach. It runs three miles long and has smaller waves than other spots. Bolsa Chica State Beach has basketball courts, 200 bonfire rings, snack bars, and an RV campground, perfect for families. You can also enjoy fishing here, especially catching California grunion during the full or new moons.

A Wide Sandy Stretch

The wide sandy area of Bolsa Chica State Beach is perfect for families. You can play basketball on the courts, toast marshmallows at the fire pits, or go fishing. With its many features, this beach is a top pick for a fun family day in Huntington Beach.

Bolsa Chica State Beach

Family Fun at Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach is on San Diego's Coronado Island and is one of San Diego's top family-friendly beaches. It's right in front of the famous Hotel del Coronado. There, you can rent chairs and cabanettes and enjoy food and drinks by the beach. The sand sparkles thanks to a mineral called mica. You don't even have to stay at the hotel to use these facilities. It's a great spot for a day of family fun.

Coronado Beach's wide, clean sand is perfect for sandcastles, playing in the waves, or just chilling in the sun. Plus, it's very close to downtown San Diego. This makes it an easy place for a family day trip or a weekend escape. Whether you stay at the Hotel del Coronado or not, you'll find something fun to do. This beach is a great place for everyone in the family.

East Beach, Santa Barbara

East Beach in Santa Barbara is a top spot for families. It has a big sandy area, volleyball courts, and rentable gear for fun in the water. You can walk or bike along the shore to the Andree Clark Bird Refuge. There's a playground and lots of space for swimming and sunbathing. It's a great place to enjoy the outdoors.

This family-friendly beaches in Santa Barbara is ideal for enjoying the sunshine. It's well-situated and has many things to offer families. For those looking for beaches with rentals and beaches with volleyball courts near beaches near Santa Barbara, East Beach is a great choice. It's a must-see for families.

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Moonstone Beach, Cambria

Moonstone Beach in Cambria is a hidden gem for families who enjoy hunting for stones. It's called Moonstone Beach because of the beautiful stones you can find there. This family-friendly beach in Central California is perfect for sea glass hunting. The waves are a bit too big for swimming, but kids will love running around at Shamel Park. This park even has a pool open during some times of the year. Families can also check out the tide pools and walk the trails in the coastal hills near this beach close to Hearst Castle.

Moonstone Beach is one of the top picks for families in California. It offers a beautiful and peaceful spot by the sea. Families can collect pretty stones, take a quiet walk, or let kids have fun. It's a special place in Cambria that's perfect for families.

Cayucos State Beach

Gentle Waves and Pristine Sands

Cayucos State Beach is a gem not many know about, making it perfect for families. Kids will have a blast crafting sandcastles and enjoying the playground on the sand. Without a fishing license, anyone can show off their skills at the pier. It's an ideal beach day for families at Cayucos State Beach California, thanks to its gentle waves and pristine sands.

Cayucos State Beach California

Searching for family-friendly beaches in Central California? Look no further than Cayucos State Beach. It has something for everyone with its beaches with playgrounds, beaches with piers, and beaches for fishing. This hidden gem is a must-visit for families wanting to make cherished memories in California.

Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Beach is perfect for a family beach trip. It offers 3.5 miles of wide, clean Santa Monica Beach California. You'll find the famous Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park, an amusement park for kids. Families love the beach areas north of the pier and near the Annenberg Community Beach House. These spots provide easy access to restrooms, a playground, and rentals for chairs, umbrellas, and bikes.

Enjoy the Scenic Views

Don't miss the free Heal the Bay Aquarium, which shows off the ocean's diversity. It's part of the story of the family-friendly beaches Los Angeles has. Beaches with piers California and beaches with amusement parks California bring joy and relaxation. This makes Santa Monica Beach a key spot for families exploring beaches near Los Angeles.

Crystal Cove State Park

At Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach, you can enjoy both the beach and the great outdoors. Moro Beach is perfect for swimming or playing in the sand. After that, head to the tide-exposed reef at the Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area to see anemones and sea stars. Just remember, you can look but not touch. Families can also take walks through the beautiful hills and Moro Canyon.

Explore Tide Pools

For those who want to stay longer, campsites at Moro Beach and historic cottages are available. Whether for a day trip or more, Crystal Cove State Park is a dream destination. It features beautiful beaches with California tide pools, nature trails California to explore, and campsites California. It's all in one place, making it a breathtaking spot for everyone.

Arroyo Burro Beach, Santa Barbara

Locals call it Hendry's Beach. It's a top pick in Santa Barbara because you can take your dog. This family-friendly beach is fine for those wanting to surf or swim in calm waters. And, the Boathouse restaurant onsite is perfect after you've had your fun.

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But there's more. Visit the Douglas Family Preserve, close by. It has hikes with great views. Arroyo Burro Beach mixes beach fun with natural beauty perfectly, ideal for families wanting it all.

At Arroyo Burro Beach, families have everything needed for a fun day. There are plenty of things to do and the beach is welcoming. It's a place to enjoy with family and pets, creating unforgettable moments.

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