If you’re planning a summer trip to the U.S. West Coast, it’s a good idea to know where the best beaches are. This will help you create a plan that includes visiting one or more of them as part of your vacation.
These 10 beaches are in no particular order and represent only a tiny fraction of the sand and surf available on this diverse coastline. They’re all great places to enjoy some time in nature or relax and unwind under the summer sun. You can’t go wrong with any of these picks.
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One of the best beach destinations in Oregon is undoubtedly Seaside – a town on the far northern coast of the state that has been welcoming beachgoers for dozens of years.
It’s about an hour and a half drive from Portland, and is, therefore, worth visiting even if you’re planning to stay there for just a day. You will have a chance to visit some of the local attractions such as the Seaside Promenade or the Seaside Aquarium.
On the beach, you can engage in various activities, such as swimming, surfing, or beachcombing. Seaside is also home to the annual Seaside Beach Volleyball tournament that you can watch or even become a participant in.
Around the town, there are plenty of hiking trails, golf courses, and, of course, amazing restaurants offering delicious, fresh seafood.
Agate Beach is very popular with beachgoers in Oregon, and it’s a great place to visit during the summer months. It’s about three miles long and located in Newport. The beach offers great views of the North Pacific Ocean as far as you can see it from a distance.
Plenty of offshore islands and rock formations make this beach area ideal for camping, fishing, surfing, hiking, or just relaxing. Many people choose to camp here on weekends, so they have time to enjoy kayaking or even wind-surfing on some days. It’s a great place for people of all ages to come and have fun together.
This beach is also a great place to go shell hunting for the perfect souvenir. You can have fun looking for shark’s teeth here too.
This beautiful coastline is set along the northern Oregon coast, about an hour’s drive from Portland. The heart of this stretch lies within the town of Cannon Beach proper. Cannon Beach was home to a lumber mill that used the beach to access its wood supply for a long time.
In more recent years, the town has been transformed into one of the top surf towns on this coast, thanks to its dramatic expanses of sandy beach and empty dunes.
Fishing and bird watching are popular activities, along with sunbathing and bodyboarding. Much of this coastal preserve also offers amazing ocean views from dune areas at low tide.
If you are looking for a spot to buy your first house, Cannon Beach is the best place due to its unspoiled natural environment and affordability. The city has the smallest population in Oregon, making it ideal for those who like their space.
If you’re looking for a sandy beach to relax on a sunny afternoon, Long Beach is an excellent place. Located a three-hour ride from Seattle, this popular beach attracts vacationers from all over the region during the summer months. The stretch runs along Washington’s outer coast and stretches roughly seven miles north to south.
This beach is ideal for surfing, sailing, and kite flying. Plus, it’s a popular spot for anglers and boaters who enjoy the convenience of fast ferry service to and from downtown Seattle. Be aware that its popularity means this beach gets very crowded in the summer months.
For example, during the month of July, the Long Beach ferry drops an estimated 20,000 people between Seattle and Long Beach on any given day. A new luxury hotel is currently set to be built as part of an expansion of the adjacent cruise ship terminal. It’s expected that this expansion will cause heavy traffic along this already busy stretch during the summer peak season.
If you’re planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest U.S. West Coast, then Rialto Beach should be one of the stops on your itinerary. Located along the southern shoreline of Olympic National Park, this breathtaking beach area is a great place to go camping and hiking. It’s also an excellent place to go boating or fishing, depending on your preferences.
This beautiful stretch of sand is about five miles long and joins up with other coastal areas, including Salmon Beach and Yellow Banks Beach. The surrounding area is filled with lush forests that provide prime hiking opportunities and a clear blue sky filled with stars at night to enjoy stargazing on a warm evening.
This beach is ideal for those looking to get away from the bustling world they live in and disconnect from everything.
Westport is situated on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula, making it a popular tourist destination for people visiting Seattle. It offers great views of volcanoes, mountains, and water, making it an ideal destination for boating, fishing, and surfing.
Along with its natural beauty, Westport is also a good place to go camping or hiking in this area. You can even try horseback riding while you’re here if you like animals.
If you’re looking for a wide array of accommodations, this beach area is the place to be because it’s close to several resorts, restaurants, and various shops. You will also find several places to rent kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and even fishing ships.
Laguna Beach is a popular beach area located in Southern California near Los Angeles. Set along the Pacific Ocean, this beautiful beach area is one of the top attractions for people looking for an enjoyable, picturesque coastal getaway.
Because of its prime location, Laguna Beach always attracts a lot of vacationers from nearby Los Angeles.
While it’s not the largest beach out there, length-wise, it covers more than four miles until it reaches Seal Beach to the north. The length makes this beautiful stretch ideal for boating, swimming, surfing, and fishing. It stretches over a wide variety of terrains and includes rocky hills, which attract trekkers looking to complete hikes along the coast.

When you visit this breathtaking beach area, you’ll notice how fabulous the sand is in this area, especially near Seal Beach, where the rocks are covered by it. The waves are also excellent for surfing in this area, and there are several boat launches you can use from the beach to enjoy different kinds of water sports activities.
Carmel Beach is a popular beach located in central California along the coast of Monterey Bay. This stretch is nearly 3.5 miles long, and it’s considered one of the best beaches in the area. It’s good for swimming, sunbathing, or relaxing amidst lush palm trees and large dunes. The beach is also very popular among residents and vacationers who come here to fish or haul out at night during the summer months.
No matter how you travel to this beach, whether by car, boat, or plane, you’ll be impressed by the picturesque landscapes that make this place so lovely.
This beach is also a superb place for stargazing. The skies are clear, and the stars illuminate the beach beautifully at night. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a meteor shower as you relax in the sand by the ocean and look up at the heavens.
La Jolla Cove is another very popular beach that attracts thousands of tourists. Whether you’re looking for a romantic vacation or a quiet getaway from the city, this secluded beach area is perfect because it lies along the coast of Southern California. It’s surrounded by granite cliffs that make it seem like an oasis in this part of California. If you’re used to busy places, you will love La Jolla Cove because it’s so quiet and peaceful.
This beach area is perfect for taking a stroll, kayaking, or swimming as it stretches nearly six miles long to the town of La Jolla. If you like to fish, you will want to spend your time here because it’s an excellent fishing spot. Several resorts along this stretch of beach also manage small boats for fishing and other water sports activities.
When you visit this beach, the first thing you’ll remember is the gorgeous scenery along the coast. It’s a great place for relaxing in the sun. You will also see many varieties of sea creatures, including fish, mussels, and kelp.
Last but not least, Butterfly Beach is a fantastic place to visit for beachgoers in L.A. County, California. Many people come here to enjoy a family picnic or just get away from the city for a while by boating, fishing, or swimming in the large freshwater lake next to it.
This beach area is very popular due to the pristine areas that make it so lovely for people of all ages to enjoy. The water is clean and clear, so you can see all kinds of marine life swimming around you if you like snorkeling or scuba diving.
The beach is also a great place to go camping since there are plenty of campsites along this stretch of sand. Many people opt to stay here when visiting the L.A. area because it’s so close and convenient to all the things they want to do while on vacation.
There you have it, 9 gorgeous beaches on America’s West Coast that are perfect for people of all ages and interests. No matter your preferences, be it adventure or peace, you can certainly find what you’re looking for by visiting these spots. If you’re planning a vacation in the near future, you may want to add one of these beaches to your itinerary.
You will find that most of the top beaches are very similar in their beauty. So, it will be easy to pick one that will appeal to you and your family during your next vacation. Be sure to plan your trip ahead of time to maximize your time at the beach each day and enjoy all that there is to do.
A realistic dreamer and discoverer with Czech artistic roots. She’s an MA Creative Writing graduate and a writer at Traveling Lifestyle.
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