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6 California Coastal Cities to Visit Today

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California has many great cities along the coast, each having distinct experiences, from entertainment, shopping, great food, and breath-taking views along the way. Here are 6 of the best California coastal cities that you need to visit today. 

6 California Coastal Cities to Visit Today

See also: Best Dog Friendly Beaches in California, Clever Ideas for an Epic Beach Camping Experience, Coastal Towns in San Luis Obispo County

6 California Coastal Cities to Visit Today

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is located towards the central part of the California coast. It’s a beautiful city with the Santa Ynez Mountains in the backdrop. The architecture used on hundreds of buildings is white stucco style with red-tiled roofs, reflecting Santa Barbara’s Spanish heritage.

6 California Coastal Cities to Visit Today

We didn’t forget about the gorgeous beaches and deep blue ocean along Santa Barbara. There are also many resorts and spas hugging the beach that you won’t want to miss out on. 

Not too far from the city, is the Los Padres National Forest, that contains even more beauty, along with great hiking and camping. 

Things to Do in Santa Barbara 

  • Santa Barbara Zoo – this zoo has been ranked as one of the best small zoos in the nation. 
  • Mission Santa Barbara – visit this 18th-century catholic church and mission, built back in 1786. 
  • Stearns Wharf – is a pier that has shopping, restaurants, and even has an aquarium. 

Los Angeles

If you like the busy city-life along the ocean, you will enjoy the city of Los Angeles. Located in the southern part of California with the mountains off in the distance, Los Angeles is an extremely busy coastal city. 

6 California Coastal Cities to Visit Today

This city is best known for being the center of the filming industry, and where many celebrities reside today. Los Angeles has many beaches with plenty of entertainment to offer.

There are also several great beaches along the coast of Los Angeles, with deep blue waters and white sand along the beach.  

Things to do in Los Angeles

  • Universal Studios Hollywood – this movie theme park has many thrilling rides, great food, and entertainment the whole family will enjoy.  
  • Griffith Observatory – This planetarium and telescope will be right up your little observer's alley.  
  • Hollywood Sign – this iconic symbol is known all around the world, with each letter being over 45 feet tall. There are some great hiking trails in the area, and also great views. 

Santa Monica 

Just west of Los Angeles is the city of Santa Monica, marking the end of the road for the famous cross country road trip Route 66. 

6 California Coastal Cities to Visit Today

How would you love to live in a city that’s average year-round temperature is a mild 70 degrees? Everything about the city centers on the beach with so many beach activities and great shops all around.  

Things to Do in Santa Monica 

  • Santa Monica Pier-this is a famous pier that has shopping, entertainment, free concerts and great places to eat. 
  • Pacific Park– admission to this amusement park on the pier is free and has tons of rides and tasty amusement park food and snacks. The ferris-wheel is visible for miles around.  
  • Downtown Santa Monica– there’s so many great shops and dining, along with entertainment, that it draws in thousands from the Los Angeles area. 

Santa Cruz

Located about 75 miles south of San Francisco, Santa Cruz was a Spanish settlement, established clear back in 1791. It has mild weather all year-round, making it a great city to visit no matter what time of the year it is. Santa Cruz has some amazing geology by the shoreline, along with great beaches. 

6 California Coastal Cities to Visit Today

Things to Do in Santa Cruz

  • Natural Bridges State Beach – in this 65-acre park, there are waves that crash off of huge bridge-like rock formations, providing stunning views.  
  • West Cliff Drive – this 3-mile walk or bike path is by the Pacific Ocean and has some incredible and beautiful views of Monterey Bay. 
  • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – this boardwalk has an amusement park, little shops, cafes, and live free entertainment. 

Morro Bay

If you’re looking for a quieter and more remote city along the coast, Morro Bay is a great choice. Morro Bay has tons of wildlife including sea lions, sea otters, and whales that visit the bay. There are hundreds of fishing boats and sailboats that set sail out of the bay. 

6 California Coastal Cities to Visit Today

Things to Do in Morro Bay

San Diego 

San Diego is a beautiful California coastal city with fantastic beaches and a warm climate year-round. There’s so much to do in this city you could make a whole week’s worth out of San Diego. San Diego has a famous boardwalk filled with entertainment and great restaurants along the strip.   

6 California Coastal Cities to Visit Today

Things to Do in San Diego

  • San Diego Zoo – Come visit America’s number one zoo, that has thousands of animals and exhibits with a great opportunity for learning about these amazing creatures. 
  • Balboa Park – home to many theatres, museums, the zoo, and small restaurants. 
  • SeaWorld San Diego – this theme park has many thrill rides, marine shows, good eats, and your chance to get up close with a penguin, a dolphin, and much more. 

These are 6 California coastal cities that you need to visit in the future. If you’ve visited these great cities before, tell us about your experience.   

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