7 Must-See California Beaches Along Highway 1

At the BeachTravel and Leisure — April 8, 2016 at 5:00 am

7 Must-See California Beaches Along Highway 1

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Highway 1 is the ever-so-popular Californian cruising vacation. No road trip is more American than cruising the two-lane freeway in a convertible and visiting all the popular beaches, sites and seafood restaurants. Luckily, there are no shortages of beaches along the Californian coastline. On your next adventure on Highway 1, make sure you spend some time at these seven amazing Californian beaches.

Half Moon Bay
Located in San Mateo County, Half Moon Bay is 28 miles south of San Francisco. Half Moon Bay is home to a historic downtown and plenty of hidden beaches such as Pomponio, San Gregario and Cowell Ranch State Park. The area is an ideal escape from the bustling San Francisco.

©istockphoto/stevegeer

©istockphoto/stevegeer

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Located just south of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Point Lobos is a popular destination for hiking, lookout points and smaller beaches. It is also known for its unparalleled scuba diving scenery. Point Lobos is so beautiful and unique that landscape artist Francis McComas called Point Loma, “the greatest place of land and water in the world.” Gibson and Sandy Beach are two popular hangout spots in the park.

©istockphoto/Viacheslav Gorelik

©istockphoto/Viacheslav Gorelik

Big Sur Secluded Beaches
Between Carmel and Big Sur you’ll notice long stretches of secluded beaches. Most have a pull out point where you can park your car along with wooden stairs that lead to the beach. The current may be too rough for swimming, but it’s a perfect spot to enjoy a beach walk all by yourself.

©istockphoto/Sam Camp

Jalama Beach
Located in Lompoc, Jalama is a popular surfing and camping destination. With 98 campsites, each site overlooks the beach and the ocean. Unreserved camping spots are on a first come first serve basis. With a long stretch of sand, it’s the perfect place to stretch your legs after sitting in the car.

Huntington Beach
If you want to experience the quintessential SoCal beach lifestyle, then visit Huntington Beach. With 13 surfing shops, there is no shortage of soul suffers in this area. You can visit the Surfers’ Hall of Fame and spot your favorite surfer’s foot and handprint inside Huntington Surf and Sport shop. Whether you want to learn how to surf or just walk the pier, you can find everything Los Angeles has to offer in and around Huntington.

©istockphoto/Kesterhu
Malibu Beach
Malibu is one of the most popular beaches in the Los Angeles region. Known for its pier, Malibu is perfect to watch the sunset and to try a seafood meal. Try Paradise Cove Beach Café for its stunning waterfront views and local favorites like the shrimp tacos.
Laguna Beach
Known as the most beautiful stretch of sand in Orange County, Laguna Beach is anything but ordinary. Backed by flowered hills and sandy cliffs, the beach overlooks the aqua-blue shoreline and the Catalina Islands. Definitely don’t miss sunset here; it’s by far the most beautiful part of the day.