Top 5 Southern California Beach Towns


Point at any town or city on a map of Southern California, and it’s guaranteed to have plenty of fun and picturesque scenery in store. But when you think “SoCal,” you think warm weather, beaches, and relaxation. So, what are some great destinations for locals and visitors who want the best mix of what SoCal has to offer? We’ve narrowed down your choices to a list of five of the best beach towns in Southern California.

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1.) Encinitas

Encinitas is located 25 miles north of San Diego and almost 100 miles south of Los Angeles. The main street is just a few blocks from the beach, and you’ll find plenty to do when you’re not swimming or catching rays. Check out the San Diego Botanic Garden, Batiquitos Lagoon, or the San Dieguito Heritage Museum.

2.) Carpinteria

Although somewhat small compared to other towns on this ist, Carpinteria is bubbling with charm and adventure. You’ll find it in southeastern Santa Barbara County; the town has a population of nearly 14,000 people. This makes it a great destination for those who want to get away from it all, and enjoy the calm, quiet beach life—even for a weekend.

3.) Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is one of the most expensive areas to live in the United States. Walking its streets, you’ll see extravagant cottages, tons of shops, and, of course, the beach! You’ll also find some of the highest-rated restaurants around, including The Strand House, Fishing with Dynamite, and Manhattan Beach Post.

4.) Solana Beach

Population-wise, Solana Beach is even smaller than Carpintera, but it’s just 30 miles from central San Diego. With almost two miles of coastline, it’s the perfect spot for boating, surfing, and long walks by the water. Nearby, you’ll find the Carruth Cellars Urban Winery & Tasting Room, Cedros Design District, and Solana Beach Farmers Market.

5.) Laguna Beach

Smaller than Huntington beach, Laguna Beach is a city with the quaint feel of a small town by the water. Needless to say, there’s tons to do! Located between Los Angeles and San Diego, Laguna Beach is the place to be for culture, art, food, and fun. Some of its hotspots include Laguna Art Museum, Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park, and Las Brisas.

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