Oceanfront Beach Hotels
Monterey - Pismo Beach - Cambria - Santa Cruz
Beach City Hotel Listings
The California coastline is some of the most magnificent in the world. Driving up the coast you'll find a wide range of beaches. There's the broad and long beaches of Pismo Beach. Then there are tiny coves backed up by great cliffs and looking out onto the Pacific Ocean. Pismo Beach is a "50's" kind of beach town. Cayucos, because it's off the main highway, is still a relatively unknown jewel. At Avila you not only have a beach visited mostly by college kids, you have Pirates Cove, a secluded beach where you can be nude and probably not be hasseled. Cambria, though the town is not on the beach, many of the inns are. This is a mystical village worth at least several days of exploring. From here, going north, you find Hearst Castle. Then the incredible Big Sur coastline leading you to Carmel and Monterey. Circumvent Monterey Bay. There's Santa Cruz, on the sunny side of the bay. Next is a relatively undeveloped coastline where you'll see kite surfers on a windy day, which is most days. Then Pacifica and the beaches of San Francisco.
Cross the Golden Gate bridge and follow Hwy 1 north. The ocean here is wild. You'll pass through many small towns. Some you may have heard of, like Mendocino, and others like Gualala, that you've never read about. Past Mendocino, you leave the coast behind and link up with Hwy 101. Study your map here. You'll see that the coastline going north from this junction to Eureka is probably the most remote coastline in the entire United States.
You've driven through the Avenue of the Giants, tall, old Redwoods, and passed through Eureka and Arcata. For awhile you're inland from the coast till you come to Trinidad. When I went to Humboldt State University in the 60's I used to go to Trinidad to bodysurf, without a wet suit! And, there's still more California Coastline. You're not to Oregon yet. Most of the drive is through the Redwood forest with only occassional glimpses of the sea.
Crescent City is your last town before getting to the Oregon border.