America Beach Hotels Trip Ideas West Coast Nature Coast nature reserve water vegetation promontory Sea rock bay tree cove coastal and oceanic landforms terrain sky cliff inlet Lagoon Ocean cape tourism landscape mount scenery national park
Beach

The Best West Coast Beaches

There are few more diverting pleasures than whiling away an afternoon on a perfect stretch of sand. Whether it’s a powder-white beach with aquamarine waters ideal for swimming or a moody, windswept landscape dotted with photo-worthy natural rock formations, the country’s Pacific coastline offers a beach for every preference—and some of the most picturesque in the world. From the iconic shores of Laguna Beach to the archetypal waves of Hawaii’s Lanikai, here are eight of the best West Coast beaches to visit on your next vacation.

America Beach Trip Ideas West Coast outdoor sky grass Nature mountain atmospheric phenomenon landform wilderness cloud body of water Coast weather shore horizon loch Sea morning hill Ocean landscape Lake mist cliff terrain wave reflection hillside highland
America Jetsetter Guides Road Trips Trip Ideas West Coast outdoor tree Town Beach body of water Coast vacation Sea Village vehicle bay shore several
airy America Beach calm Island isolation majestic mystical Ocean reflection remote rock Scenic views serene still water Trip Ideas West Coast water outdoor Lake Sea Coast Nature atmospheric phenomenon shore body of water cloud horizon wave bay wind wave loch cliff terrain vehicle Boat pond surrounded
America Trip Ideas West Coast sky outdoor water Coast Nature Sea body of water shore coastal and oceanic landforms Ocean headland wave promontory cloud morning mountain terrain wind wave horizon Beach tree landscape rock cape bay cliff hill clouds distance
1

Cannon Beach, Oregon

There’s a good chance you’ve seen Oregon’s Cannon Beach even if you’ve never visited the place: its famous Haystack Rock, an impressive 235-foot outcropping in the middle of the sea, has made it one of the most photographed shorelines in the country. Located just 90 minutes from Portland, the coast is a nesting ground for tufted puffins and also home to a vibrant arts scene in its namesake town. Here, you’ll find Plein Air workshops and galleries that specialize in works by Pacific Northwest artists, from blown-glass pieces at Dragonfire to jewelry and pottery at Cannon Beach Gallery.

Book Hotels in Cannon Beach, Oregon
America Trip Ideas West Coast sky outdoor Sea Nature body of water Beach Coast palm tree arecales shore tree Ocean tourism plant vacation terrain coastal and oceanic landforms bay tropics people Resort horizon water travel sand landscape lined
America Trip Ideas West Coast sky outdoor water Sea Sunset Ocean vacation morning reflection evening vehicle Boat sunlight Beach sunrise shore
America Trip Ideas West Coast water outdoor sky shore Coast Sea body of water landform Nature Ocean Beach vacation bay landscape cliff rock cove cape terrain Lake day
2

Laguna Beach, California

When it comes to Southern California coastline, few are more iconic than the 36 stretches that make up Orange County’s Laguna Beach. Sun worshippers have their pick of archetypical swath: there’s Thousand Steps Beach, where you can relax in your own tide pool or explore age-old sea caves; or head to Laguna’s border with Newport Beach to Crystal Cove State Park for sand with a side of backcountry hiking. But for our money we’d park our umbrellas on Main Beach—a golden shore that’s become synonymous with volleyball and people watching—and follow it up with happy hour at neighborhood landmark Las Brisas.

Book Hotels in Laguna Beach, CA
America Beach Trip Ideas West Coast sky Sea lighthouse Coast tower promontory shore headland Ocean cloud horizon morning terrain cape tree beacon daytime sunlight calm coastal and oceanic landforms cliff tourism landscape evening cove bay
America Beach Trip Ideas West Coast tree outdoor grass Nature ecosystem vegetation nature reserve wilderness woodland water path riparian zone Forest plant wetland old growth forest biome rock riparian forest landscape shrubland state park temperate coniferous forest bog bank temperate broadleaf and mixed forest stream plant community creek spruce fir forest swamp area wooded lush
America Trip Ideas West Coast sky cloud ecosystem vegetation Sea shore grassland daytime grass sand Coast horizon ecoregion Beach prairie grass family shrubland Ocean field meteorological phenomenon landscape steppe dune plain meadow
3

Long Beach, Washington

With 28 miles of pristine coastline, Washington’s aptly named Long Beach is a perfect getaway for families seeking fun in the sun. The beach hosts an annual kite festival (and a museum where you can learn how to build your own), but every day activities abound: go oyster picking or clam digging in the cool waters (there’s also a razor-clam festival if you’re into that sort of thing), frolic on horseback, cast for salmon and halibut or follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark on the Discovery Trail, the 8.5-mile path where the 19th-century explorers ended their countrywide expedition.

Book Hotels in Long Beach , Washington
America Beach Trip Ideas West Coast Nature water Waterfall rock water feature formation geological phenomenon sunlight landscape watercourse geology cave stream fluvial landforms of streams computer wallpaper stone
Offbeat sky outdoor mountain rock Nature shore Coast Sea landform geographical feature body of water wilderness Ocean water Winter Beach loch wave morning rocky arctic landscape snow ice bay Lake cliff terrain surrounded
America Beach Hotels Trip Ideas West Coast Nature Coast nature reserve water vegetation promontory Sea rock bay tree cove coastal and oceanic landforms terrain sky cliff inlet Lagoon Ocean cape tourism landscape mount scenery national park
America Beach Trip Ideas West Coast rock formation geological phenomenon sky Coast geology promontory cliff Sea outcrop bedrock
4

Pfeiffer Beach, California

Sheltered by towering redwood forest, Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Beach is a local gem that’s known for its dramatic sea stacks. A view of the sunset through its keyhole arch is worth the visit alone. Another distinctive feature: the powdery sands are an otherworldly purple hue thanks to manganese garnet deposits that wash down from the hills above. Roll out your towel on a clear day when the surf is calm—there’s no lifeguard on duty here—then head 12 miles south to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, where your hiking heroics will be rewarded with glimpses of McWay Falls, an 80-foot cascade that empties into the Pacific.

RELATED: Cali's Top Hot Springs Resorts

Book Hotels in Pfeiffer Beach, California
America Beach Trip Ideas West Coast Coast vegetation nature reserve highland promontory loch headland sky mount scenery Sea cape hill station shore bay hill horizon peninsula cloud landscape mountain Lake
America Beach Trip Ideas West Coast rock outdoor animal ground Nature mammal Wildlife harbor seal fauna seals pile sheep zoo
America Beach Trip Ideas West Coast lighthouse tower Sea sky beacon promontory Coast horizon shore Ocean cloud daytime evening headland dusk Sunset calm
America Beach Trip Ideas West Coast Coast Sea headland lighthouse shore promontory coastal and oceanic landforms sky tower cape Ocean bay cove
5

Newport, Oregon

For a West Coast beach that looks a lot like the East Coast ideal, head down Highway 101 to Newport, Oregon, where the 1873 Yaquina Head Lighthouse—which made a cameo in the horror flick The Ring—stands watch over the black stones of Cobble Beach. Here, you’ll find pools filled with starfish and sea urchins at low tide. Nearby, South Beach State Park offers even more opportunities to witness the area’s wildlife, with 498 acres of hiking and birding trails and powdery dunes as far as the eye can see.

National Parks Natural wonders Road Trips Scenic views Trip Ideas water sky outdoor Nature shore Coast Sea Ocean body of water Beach reflection rock horizon wave cloud wind wave bay sand cape terrain material cliff Island promontory islet
America Beach Trip Ideas West Coast tree outdoor habitat Nature wilderness atmospheric phenomenon body of water natural environment water Lake River Forest mountain reflection morning rock leaf woody plant landscape hill plant Sunset Coast sunlight autumn flower hillside wooded
Trip Ideas outdoor water sky reflection Nature Sea shore Coast sunrise rock Ocean Sunset body of water dawn cloud morning dusk evening wave bay Beach terrain cliff cape
National Parks Natural wonders Road Trips Scenic views Trip Ideas outdoor tree sky water Nature plant atmospheric phenomenon Sunset body of water shore sunrise Coast Sea Ocean horizon dawn morning Beach cloud reflection dusk evening sunlight landscape bay Lake Sun setting
6

Olympic National Park, Washington

Located in Port Angeles, a town made famous by Stephenie Meyers’s Twilight franchise, Olympic National Park has something for every predilection. The three beaches at La Push draw fans of the books, while rocky shores and powerful waves make Rialto Beach a moody option for low-tide hikers looking for a photo opp at Hole-in-the-Wall arch. Wildlife lovers head to Kalaloch to spot Western gulls and bald eagles, and driftwood collectors go to the sea stack-laden Ruby Beach, but if swimming is more your speed you’ll have to head farther south.

Book Hotels in Olympic National Park, Washington
America Trip Ideas West Coast body of water shore sky Sea Beach Coast water Ocean grass tree vacation horizon coastal and oceanic landforms landscape leisure plant tourism calm recreation tropics bay
America Trip Ideas West Coast outdoor sky water Beach shore Nature Coast Sea body of water Ocean wave cloud rock vacation morning wind wave bay landscape sand sunlight cape Sunset cove tropics dusk sandy
America Jetsetter Guides Trip Ideas West Coast outdoor sky water Nature Coast shore geographical feature landform body of water Sea rock Beach Ocean vacation bay cove landscape tropics terrain cliff cape
America Trip Ideas West Coast sky water outdoor Sea shore Coast Ocean cloud Beach Nature horizon body of water wave wind wave sunrise rock morning Sunset dawn sunlight landscape bay dusk sand meteorological phenomenon cape material
7

Kaanapali Beach, Hawaii

Once upon a time, Maui’s Kaanapali Beach was an oceanfront retreat for Hawaiian royalty. Today, that legacy survives thanks to a slew of ultra-luxe hotels and resorts that cater to your every whim. Another portal to its past: Every day at sunset, a cliff-diving ceremony at Black Rock Beach pays tribute to King Kahekili, Maui’s last independent king. But the three-mile-long swath of golden sand also offers simpler pleasures, from world-class snorkeling and whale watching to surfing and sunbathing. Seeking shade? Nearby Whaler’s Village is a shopaholic’s paradise.

RELATED: The Best Hotels in Hawaii

Book Hotels in Kaanapali Beach, Hawaii
America Trip Ideas West Coast outdoor sky rock shore Coast Sea Nature Beach body of water Ocean water wave River morning sand landscape Sunset bay cove material
America Trip Ideas West Coast sky outdoor water pier shore Sea reflection scene horizon Beach Coast Ocean wave cloud Sunset sunrise morning dusk dawn evening sunlight sand bay clouds cloudy
America Trip Ideas West Coast water outdoor sky shore Sea Ocean body of water wave Coast wind wave horizon Nature Beach sunrise rock Sunset morning sunlight dawn material dusk distance
8

La Jolla Beach, California

If you’re looking for the iconic beach crescent you’ve seen in a lifetime of postcards, head to La Jolla. Known as the Jewel of San Diego, the area features some of the best swimming beaches in the country—body boarders welcome—plus romantically secluded sea caves that are accessible by kayak or on foot if you time it right. Snorkelers can spot the bright-orange Garibaldi fish that call these waters home; wildlife lovers should beeline to Children’s Pool to see the seals and sea lions that have taken over the space. If it’s a view you’re after, head north to Torrey Pines City Beach, where 300-foot bluffs provide endless Pacific panoramas.

Book Hotels in La Jolla Beach, California

Want More?