20 Warmest Beaches in California You Should Visit

20 Warmest Beaches in California You Should Visit

If you’re looking for the warmest beaches in California to visit for your upcoming summer vacation, we’ve got you covered.

From the bustling shores of Santa Monica to idyllic, secluded beaches in Half Moon Bay, the Golden State has a lot of options you can choose from.

Discover our top 20 hottest beaches in California and make sure to add them to your itinerary.

20 Warmest Beaches in California

Even though the water temperature of the beaches in California will never get as warm as those in the tropical islands, there is no denying that you can still enjoy a fun beach day basking in the heat of the sun.

When searching for the best warm beaches in California, there’s no better place to go than the beaches in Southern California.

Although the waters are much cooler, Northern California will blow you away with its windswept beaches, and Central California’s scenic coastline and picturesque beaches will make it a trip you’ll never forget.

warm water beach california

Warmest Beaches in Southern California

If you’re on the hunt for the hottest beach in California, the best place to explore is its southern region.

Southern California, or SoCal, is known for its sunny skies and picture-perfect weather. If you can only visit one region to soak up the sun, there’s no better place than SoCal.

Some of the best beaches in California are located here, so you will never run out of options.

  • High = Highest summer ocean temperature
  • Low = Lowest summer ocean temperature
  • ☀️ = The Warmest month of the year (air temperature)

Santa Monica Beach

Why Visit: Arguably the most popular beach destination on this list, the Santa Monica beach is the perfect embodiment of SoCal’s beach culture.

With amazing views and countless fun activities to do, there’s never a dull moment on this popular state beach.

Visiting Santa Monica Beach and the world-famous Santa Monica pier should be on everyone’s travel plans. If you’re a fan of amusement parks, the Pacific Park has 12 thrilling rides for you and your family to trip.

If you’re not scared of heights, make sure to ride the Pacific Wheel, the world’s first and only solar-powered Ferris wheel.

  • Amenities: Restrooms, outdoor showers, food concessions, lifeguards, pier, athletic equipment, picnic areas, playgrounds, volleyball, bike path
  • Best For: Swimming, sunbathing, surfing, paddleboarding, cycling, walking, fishing, dining, shopping

Newport Beach

Why Visit: Newport Beach is a charming coastal town in Orange County, California. During certain months, this popular destination even has the warmest ocean water in California.

Whether you’re on a holiday with your family or enjoying a trip by yourself, there’s no shortage of fun activities you can do here.

You can go sailing on a yacht, book a romantic sunset cruise with your partner, learn to surf and paddleboard, or enjoy an afternoon of whale-watching and seaside biking with your kids.

You’ll surely be able to make fun memories at Newport Beach.

  • Amenities: Lifeguards, parking, beach wheelchairs, public restrooms, fire rings, portable barbecue, piers, parks, boardwalk, weddings at the beach
  • Best For: Swimming, sunbathing, cruising, yachting, sailing, surfing, whale watching, paddle boarding, biking

La Jolla

Why Visit: From rocky reefs to secluded coves and sandy shores, La Jolla has some of the most spectacular coastline views in California.

It also has a lot of amazing beaches that you can visit. The most popular is La Jolla Shores, which attracts a lot of beachgoers. You can also drop by La Jolla Cove, a small deep water bay popular with swimmers and snorkelers.

Catch a glimpse of seals and sea lions by Children’s Pool, a small cove protected by a concrete breakwater wall. With its breathtaking views and stunning beaches, La Jolla really deserves to be called the jewel of San Diego.

  • Amenities: Parking lots, garages, bathroom, showers, lifeguard station, picnic area, beachfront boat launch, parks
  • Best For: Swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, body surfing, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, sunbathing, jogging, walking, biking

Corona Del Mar

Why Visit: Corona Del Mar is located in the seaside town of Newport Beach. If you’re planning on visiting Newport Beach, make sure to check out the famous shoreline of Corona Del Mar.

Tide pool enthusiasts will definitely enjoy watching adorable sea creatures at Little Corona, sunbathers will love the half-mile-long stretch of sand at Big Corona, and swimmers will appreciate its soft waves.

Don’t forget to visit Rocky Point and Lookout Point for spectacular views. Add a romantic touch to your trip by heading to Inspiration Point at sunset where you enjoy panoramic views over the ocean.

If you’re looking for one of the warmest beach weather in California, this is a good place to go.

  • Amenities: Lifeguard, restrooms, showers, BBQs, picnic tables, volleyball courts, fire pits, parking, snack bar
  • Best For: Swimming, surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, spotting sea urchins and anemones in the tidepools, volleyball, sunbathing, bonfires

Dana Point

  • High: 68°F in August
  • Low: 67°F in June
  • ☀️ 79°F in August and September

Why Visit: Relaxed yet still luxurious at the same time, Dana Point is another one of Orange County’s splendid beaches. Besides being famous as a surfing hotspot, Dana Point is also the dolphin and whale watching capital of the world.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for an adventure or planning a romantic getaway, you can find tons of activities in this 6-mile stretch of sand.

If you enjoy the finer things in life, there are sunset wine cruises and luxury spas that you can try after a long day out in the sun.

  • Amenities: Lifeguards, parking, restrooms and showers, BBQs, boat launch area, paved paths, concessions, picnic tables, volleyball courts, fire pits
  • Best For: Surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, whale and dolphin watching, swimming, fishing, boating

San Clemente

Why Visit: Another gem located in Orange County, San Clemente has a lot of beautiful beaches for you to explore. If camping and surfing are on the top of your itinerary, make sure to visit San Clemente State Park.

For experienced surfers, Trestles has one of the best waves in California. But if you’re just learning how to surf, T Street and San Onofre are best suited for you.

You can also head to San Clemente Pier where you can find food stands and other dining options.

  • Amenities: Lifeguards, parking, picnic area, restrooms, visitor center, trails, volleyball court, BBQ, fire ring, concessions, campsites, RV sites
  • Best For: Surfing, fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, nature and wildlife viewing, windsurfing, camping

Laguna Beach

Why Visit: Laguna Beach is one of the best beaches in California for swimming. It is SoCal’s premier coastal destination known for stunning coastal parks and secluded coves and beaches.

Choose from several of the secluded coves and beaches along its seven-mile coastline and discover the amazing marine life that lives in its waters.

Visit Crescent Beach if you want to go kayaking, and venture into the hard-to-find Wood’s Cove if you’re looking for adventure.

You can ride the killer waves at Rockpile Beach if surfing is your priority, or learn to skimboard and mingle with locals at Victoria Beach.

  • Amenities: Parking, restrooms, showers, boardwalk, lifeguards, picnic areas, playground, volleyball, basketball, adjacent parks
  • Best For: Swimming, surfing, dolphin and whale watching, hiking, biking, paddleboarding, kayaking, skimboarding, snorkeling, diving


Why Visit: If you’re looking for adventure, the stretch of beaches in Oceanside needs to be added to your travel plans. It’s one of the warmest California beaches on this list, so summers here are nice and sunny.

This coastal city is famous for international surfing competitions, so if you love to surf, make sure to visit Harbor, Pier View South, and Wisconsin Street Beach.

For bodyboarders and those who prefer less crowded areas, check out Buccaneer and Breakwater Way Beach. If you’re not interested in surfing, you can swim and wade on the rocky Tyson Street Beach.

You’ll never run out of things to do, so make sure to include this fun and exciting beach in your itinerary.

  • Amenities: Parking, bathrooms, shower, lifeguards, volleyball, pier, picnic areas, fire rings, parks, barbecues, designated swimming areas
  • Best For: Surfing, sunbathing, boogie boarding, kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, fishing, bicycling, whale watching

Aliso Beach

  • High: 68°F in August
  • Low: 63°F in June
  • ☀️ 79°F in August and September

Why Visit: Another one to add to the list of the best warm beaches in California is Aliso Beach. For adventurous beachgoers who like trying various water sports, this beach has plenty to offer.

You can swim, surf, and skimboard. Skimboarders frequent this beach because The Vic, the annual world championship of skimboarding, is held here.

For a more low-key day at the beach, you can sunbathe, explore tidepools, and build sandcastles. If you enjoy skimboarding, you should definitely put this beach at the top of your list.

  • Amenities: Parking, restrooms, showers, boardwalk, lifeguards, picnic areas, playground, volleyball, basketball, adjacent parks, food concession
  • Best For: Swimming, skimboarding, sunbathing, scuba diving, tide pooling, snorkeling, bodyboarding, body surfing, stand-up paddling

Descanso Beach

  • High: 70°F in August
  • Low: 64°F in June
  • ☀️ 71°F in August

Why Visit: Descanso Beach is located on the charming Catalina Island. It’s known for its warm temperatures year-round and has the warmest water temperatures in California during the month of August.

It has a sense of luxury and seclusion that attracts thousands to its pristine waters and stunning coastline.

This beautiful private beach still has public access so you can freely swim in its pristine waters, rent your own private cabana, and sunbathe on padded lounge chairs.

This popular destination has one of the best warm water beaches in California, so don’t forget to give it a visit.

  • Amenities: Lifeguards, parking, restaurant, bar, private cabana and chaise lounge rentals, restrooms, showers, boat mooring, beachside dining
  • Best For: Swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding

Huntington Beach

Why Visit: Nicknamed the Surf City, this laid-back beach town has a 10-mile coastline that’s waiting for you to explore.

Huntington Beach is not only for surfing, but it’s also one of the best beaches for swimming in California. Check out the numerous events this beach holds or enjoy some peace and quiet at Sunset Beach.

If you want to swim, surf, and bird watch, visit Huntington State Beach. Learn to surf at Bolsa Chica State Beach or enjoy some quality time with your furry friend at Huntington Dog Beach.

  • Amenities: Restrooms, parking, showers, food concessions, volleyball, picnic areas, lifeguards during summer, paved ramps, beach wheelchairs, trails
  • Best For: Surfing, swimming, sunbathing, biking, fishing, beach bonfires, and volleyball

Warm Beaches in Northern California

It might be warmer in Southern California, but its Northern counterpart has its own charm. From national parks to beaches, NorCal will wake up your slumbering adventurous spirit.

The blue waters of Northern California beaches and the warm sun make the phrase “walking on sunshine” a reality right at your toes.

Let’s take a look at some of the warmest beaches in Northern California.

Looking for a secluded beach in California? Check out this Black Sand Beach in San Francisco

Stinson Beach

  • High: 59°F in September
  • Low: 54°F in June
  • ☀️ 89°F in July
  • Amenities: Lifeguards, parking, snack bars, restrooms, picnic areas, barbeque grills, cold showers, beach volleyball rental, trails
  • Best For: Swimming, surf lessons, windsurfing, sunbathing, fishing, hiking, beach volleyball, hiking, sightseeing, kayaking, surfing, windsurfing, bodyboarding

Why Visit: Stinson Beach is situated at the base of Mount Tamalpais at the bottom of the Point Reyes National Seashore.

This long stretch of beach is a popular spot for residents from the bay area to escape the heat and have a day of building sand castles or taking a beginner surf lesson.

One of the big draws to this beach is its size and the fact that there are great facilities. The water at the beach is fairly cold especially if you go farther out, but can be quite comfortable if you wear a wetsuit.

Be warned that this beach is in the red triangle of great white attacks in California. Stinson beach is famous for an attack that took place in less than 6 feet of water.

Salmon Creek State Beach

Why Visit: Salmon Creek State Beach, located in Bodega bay, makes our list of the best warm water beaches in Northern California.

This beach is a popular surfing spot due to consistent surf and ease of accessibility. The 2-mile stretch of sandy beach is broken up into North and South Salmon Creek Beach.

If you’re looking to swim, opt for the lagoon as this beach is at the northern tip of the red triangle which means sharks frequent the area.

  • Amenities: Parking, lifeguards, restrooms, driftwood shelter, picnic areas, trails, camping area, dunes
  • Best For: Beachcombing, picnicking, birdwatching, wildlife watching, sunbathing, swimming, trekking, sightseeing, rock fishing, surf fishing, camping, paddleboarding

Drakes Beach

Why Visit: Drakes Beach is a remote beach in Point Reyes National Seashore, but it does not mean it has less to offer.

This beach, with its breathtaking views of sandstone cliffs and calm and soothing waves, makes it the dream destination for families and friends.

Drakes Beach is sheltered from the weather which makes it good for swimming. You can easily drive up to the beach and park which makes it convenient.

If you visit during the winter and spring, you may get lucky and see the Northern Elephant Seals as they are breeding and pupping this time of the year.

  • Amenities: Parking, picnic tables, bookstore, visitor center, lighthouse, restroom, first aid kit, cafeteria, bay overlook, lagoon, lifeguard, cafe
  • Best For: Wildlife watching, swimming, trekking, sunbathing, sunset watching, photography

Trinidad State Beach

  • High: 57°F in August & September
  • Low: 54°F in June
  • ☀️ 63°F in August and September

Why Visit: Trinidad State Beach checks all the boxes and is considered one of the best beaches to visit in NorCal. It has a long sandy shore perfectly suited for beachcombers and will satisfy your desire for the beach and sunshine.

The wide sandy beach can be the best avenue for a game of frisbee with friends and families. This dog-friendly beach can be a little windy at times so make sure to check the weather before heading out.

The trails on this beach can lead to scenic views of nature so make sure to leave some time to explore.

  • Amenities: Parking, restrooms, picnic area with tables and stoves, vista point, boardwalk, trails, near Trinity Pier Tidepools
  • Best For: Surfing, picnics, wildlife watching, hiking, kayaking, sunbathing, snorkeling, fishing

Warm Beaches in Central California

It is already certain that some of America’s best beaches are located in Central California.

Miles of sandy beaches can accommodate all beach lovers, from beachcombing and marine life watching to the most simple activities like sunbathing and swimming.

The beaches here in Central California will set your standards right when it comes to beaches, sand, and good vibes all the way.

Three Rocks Beach

Why Visit: Three Rocks Beach is one of several amazing beaches in Half Moon Bay and is less than an hour away from the bustling downtown San Francisco.

It boasts boulders and rocks that provide the most amazing backdrop for pictures. The beach, aside from its stone formation, still has a wide space for exploration and tide-pooling.

If you are looking for serenity and peace Three Rocks Beach is the perfect spot. You can also drop by the Ritz-Carlton hotel and enjoy the stunning views it offers. Spending your time here will surely be worth it.

  • Amenities: Close proximity to The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Half Moon Bay Golf Links, vista point, restaurants, parking, picnic area, hiking trails, tide pools
  • Best For: Beachcombing, hiking, sightseeing, swimming, sunbathing, tidepooling

Manresa State Beach

  • High: 60°F in August
  • Low: 57°F in June
  • ☀️ 76°F in September

Why Visit: Manresa Beach is the quintessential beach that both locals and tourists adore. It may not be well-known compared to its other counterparts, but locals visit it for a myriad of reasons.

Its shores are well-maintained, clean, and not too crowded. Amenities on this beach are enough to keep you comfortable. It always has space for wildlife and fun activities.

There’s a lot that you can do and explore aside from sunbathing and swimming. You’ll certainly have the time of your life in this beach paradise.

  • Amenities: Parking, lifeguard, picnic area, restroom, showers, cafes and restaurants, campgrounds, fire pits, paved ramps
  • Best For: Sunbathing, swimming, hiking, surfing, playing sports, skimboarding, boogie boarding, camping

Santa Barbara Beach (East Beach)

Why Visit: If what floats your boat is a beach that offers not just sand and sea but also amenities and comfort, then Santa Barbara Beach is what you’re looking for.

One of the best swimming beaches in California, this long strip of beach is home to picturesque inns and hotels. There is a myriad of activities you can do from beach volleyball, sunbathing, and swimming, to sports activities.

Name it, and this beach has it. The calm waters at East Beach are perfect for those who want to go kayaking and paddle boarding with rentals available at the beach.

  • Amenities: Lifeguards, playground areas, volleyball courts, picnic areas, restaurants and cafes, bike path, volleyball, trails, kayaks, and boogie board rentals
  • Best For: Swimming, sunbathing, volleyball, hiking, surfing, fishing, sightseeing, paddle boarding, kayaking, dolphin and whale watching

Santa Cruz Beach

Why Visit: Santa Cruz Beach is the perfect answer when you ask people to describe a Californian beach. Miles and miles of sandy shoreline, blue waters, and endless possibilities of activities.

Whether you’re looking to play beach volleyball or enjoy a relaxing day soaking up the sun, this family-friendly beach has a place for everyone.

During the summertime, this warm water beach has a lifeguard on duty making it a safe swimming beach.

  • Amenities: Paid parking, garages, outdoor showers, cafes and restaurants, lifeguards, pier, picnic area, beach volleyball, restrooms, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
  • Best For: Sunbathing, swimming, beach volleyball, sightseeing, surfing, fishing, biking, amusement park rides

Avila Beach

  • High: 60°F in August
  • Low: 57°F in June
  • ☀️ 73°F in September

Why Visit: This beautiful beach and charming town are located just a short drive from San Luis Obispo and are just an hour and a half north of Santa Barbara.

In Avila Beach, you will find this quintessential central California beach with its picture-perfect sand shore and its pier where you can watch the migrating humpback whales.

This is a great destination beach for a weekend getaway as you can spend a few days lounging in the sand, enjoying the boutique shops, tasting some local craft beer, and take a surfing lesson.

  • Amenities: Parking, lifeguard, picnic area, cafes and restaurants, restrooms, outdoor showers, volleyball, basketball, swings, trails, pier
  • Best For: Sunbathing, swimming, surfing, wildlife watching, beach volleyball, fishing, sightseeing

Wrap-Up: 20 Warmest Beaches in California

California is the quintessential place to visit if you’re on the hunt for pristine beaches and stunning coastlines. Good vibes last all day, and the food and people do not disappoint.

Each place has its own charm, and there are plenty of unique areas that you can explore.

Now that you already know where to find the warmest beaches in California, it’s time to choose the perfect destination for you.

Just like what they say, it’s always sunny in California. So, no matter what region you choose, the Golden State will never disappoint.