Happy woman standing with her arms outstretched on the beach at sunset. Copy space.
Overlooked California Beaches To Visit On Your Next Trip
Just 35 miles north of San Diego, but much less populated, is a bay called South Ponto Beach, or South Carlsbad State Beach, in the coastal city of Carlsbad.
South Ponto Beach
There are dunes, beach volleyball courts, and fire pits, and without the crowds, you'll love the uninterrupted views of golden sand, crashing waves, and the sunset's golden hues.
As one of the wildest and untamed beaches in the area, it's fairly underdeveloped, so you'll find solitude but very little in terms of restaurants or cafes nearby.
This beach is just north of Shelter Cove and perfectly secluded for nature and wildlife lovers, offering 3.5 miles of glorious coastline and spectacular black sand.
Black Sands Beach
The drive down is all part of the adventure, thanks to a winding road that leads to the bay. Check local tide times and the weather beforehand to stay safe on the beach.
Take the windy, sloping track from Baker Beach to Marshall's Beach for panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge that will amaze you.
Marshall's Beach
You can bird-watch and admire native wildflowers along the bay. Be sure to check tide times — because it's so small, the beach is a no-go zone at high tide.
As 'the jewel' of San Diego, La Jolla Cove is shielded by the rocky cliffs of the bay and is a scuba diver's and snorkeler's haven with visibility up to 30 feet.
La Jolla Cove
Wild sea lion colonies hang out on the rocks, and plenty of crabs, sea anemones, limpets, sea cucumbers, and small fish are in incredible tidal pools at low tide.
There is a paved pedestrian walkway down to the beach, making the cove perfectly accessible for all, and it has all the amenities you might need.
After 223 steep steps to the shore, you're rewarded with 400 yards of pristine sand, crashing waves, and tremendous tide pools.
Thousand Steps Beach
This beach is a popular playground for budding surfers and kayakers, and if you have time while the tide stays out, walk south along the shore to Laguna's famous sea cave.