Follow the coastline from the Mexican border to the Oregon state line and you’ll find some of the best beaches in the Golden State. Some of the beaches are more commonly known (like the one in Santa Monica) and others are hidden treasures. All these beaches are owned by the state (and a few local jurisdictions) and are open to the public. You’ll find the name of the beach, the address, and a link to the state site with details on admission, camping, and any potential closures. The great thing about California? The majority of beaches are open year-round, so even on a gloomy December day, you can still stand on the beach and watch the shoreline and wildlife.
Sometimes you’ll see a state park near a shoreline, but it is not listed as a beach. This is because either it is a protected area, or the beaches are in extremely hazardous areas. For example, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park has a beach, but it is off limit. The park is mainly for hiking and viewing the Big Sur coastline and the trees, waterfall, etc.
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