California’s coastline is a wonder. An incredible stretch of towering cliffs, vast, wide beaches, rugged rocky landscape, and hidden bays and coves, it stretches for nearly 3,500 miles and is one of the most beautiful spots in the US.
With such a wealth of coastal beauty it is unsurprising that, despite California’s popularity, it is almost always possible to find new, remote, and secluded stretches of sand to enjoy. Find out about these top 7 secluded beaches in California in the USA that no one has ever told you about.
With fewer visitors, Northern California offers the biggest selection of secret beaches and hidden bays. Heading out along the coastal highway you’ll quickly discover a wealth of nooks, crannies, and even wide expanses of beach that are almost deserted, where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and commune with nature. But even in Southern California, a solitude on the beach is possible!
So if you are leaving on a cruise from San Francisco and feel like a little bit of peace, calm, and tranquility, check out these 7 secret beaches in California to visit before you set off.
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Finding peace and quiet in Orange County can be a challenge, with the popular beach destinations of Laguna, Long Beach, and Newport always crowded with visitors. But head north a little and you’ll find the white sands of Seal Beach to be a very different prospect indeed, with far fewer tourists, but equally beautiful views and magnificent surf breaks.
The charming wooden pier is one of the longest in California and is a fantastic spot to watch the sunset from. This beach is surely one of the top secluded beaches in California.
Tucked away on Santa Monica Bay, nestled in between Redondo Beach and Malaga Cove, this delightful secret treasure is accessible, picturesque, and great for sun worshipers and adrenaline-junkies alike.
There’s parking galore, accessible ramps that lead from the lot down to the beach, and plenty of accommodation and dining options nearby, and the surf/sand combo means that both relaxation and exciting water sports are equally viable. Torrance Beach marks the start of The Strand, a paved track that stretches 22 miles along the Pacific coast all the way to Malibu.
South Ponto Beach
It can be a tricky task to find remote, secluded, uncrowded beaches around San Diego. With a perfect climate all year round and some of the best stretches of sand in California it is unsurprisingly popular, and finding space to breathe, relax, and get away from it all can be tough.
That’s why locals in the know head north to the border of Carlsbad and Encinitas, to enjoy the less congested, crowd-free delights of South Ponto Beach. The area is extremely lightly developed, which makes the beach wide and clean, and there is an enormous amount of space for sports, beach activities, or just chilling away from the noise and bother.
Black Sands Beach
There are a few black sand beaches along the California coastline, and they make an eye-catching sight. But sadly most of them come with two downsides – they get unbearably hot in the midday sun, and they are incredibly popular with Instagrammers looking to grab the perfect shot.
Black Sands Beach in Humboldt County avoids both of these impediments to the perfect day at the beach, and in addition offers a wealth of wildlife, bird species, and marine life to discover.
Thousand Steps Beach
The secret behind the seclusion of Thousand Steps Beach in Orange County is the relative difficulty of actually getting there. While you might not literally have to climb down 1,000 steps, the descent (down a picturesque scramble of wooden stairs clinging to the cliff) is an undertaking.
However, once you get to the beach itself you might well find that you’ve got it all to yourself, something that can’t be said about anywhere else in Laguna Beach! Not only is it a haven of peace and tranquility, but it offers an amazing bonus hidden attraction – the glorious beauty of two man-made tidal pools accessible only through a secret rock cave at the southern end of the beach.
Not too far from the joys of Carmel and Monterey, Big Sur is famous, immortalized in song, and a surfer’s paradise. Famous for a wonderful combination of rugged coastline and towering mountain landscapes, this part of the coast is stunning, and Pfeiffer Beach is one of the most picturesque spots around.
With remarkable rock formations, hidden caves, and intriguing white sand laced with lavender stripes (seriously!), it is an astounding sight and a wonderful place to spend the day, a little way away from crowds of surfers on Big Sur’s other beaches.
Thanks to the steep climb to get down to the shore, and the proximity of the far more accessible Baker Beach, Marshall’s Beach is one of San Francisco’s least visited spots. However, while water can be cold, the beach offers unparalleled views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and is the perfect spot to catch one of the Bay Area’s world-class sunsets!
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