Just north of Huntington Beach, is the slightly quieter, and more laid back, Bolsa Chica State Beach. It spans from Warner Avenue to Seapoint Street, with 3 miles of white sands, just perfect for a 1-hour stroll. Here the water is shallow, ideal for seeing fire skies melting into the sea and there’s a paved beach path for an easier pace.
With its volleyball players and surfers, Manhattan Beach has to be the ultimate ‘classic’ in our destination list of California beach sunsets. Located in the South Bay of Los Angeles, it offers a lovely gentle walk along the pedestrian walkway which stretches right along the beach. Extremely laid back, this beach is very popular with both families and outdoor sports lovers alike. It brags more than 300 days of sun per year and wonderful surf conditions, particularly as the sun goes down. As day turns into night, you’ll see one of the best sunsets Southern California has to offer. For the perfect view, head along the Pier which is 930ft long. Because of the great entertainment and leisure facilities, you can certainly make a night of your visit, as there are plenty of bars for that all-important sundowner. We recommend trying out one of the great BBQ’s and accompanying it with a pitcher of beer. This certainly is Californian living.
Literally picture perfect, Natural Bridges State Beach is completely mesmerizing as the orange hues of the sun setting hit behind a huge natural rock arch that sits slightly out to sea and has formed a natural bridge. This beach is part of California State Park in Santa Cruz and is also renowned for the migration of 150,000 Monarch butterflies.
California beach sunsets epitomise everything that the State has to offer: laid-back living, perfect weather and outdoor healthy living. Therefore, if you are looking for an iconic Californian beach that typifies the TV vision of California, then your backdrop simply has to be Santa Monica Pier at Santa Monica Beach. Situated just West of Downtown Los Angeles, this place has 3.5 miles of soft white sands and offers a huge range of activities and events. Bang in the middle, you’ll find the Pier, which is a landmark offering an amusement park, aquarium and places to eat. To the South is the original Muscle Beach, absolutely brilliant for people watching, as local’s workout in the cooler dusk temperatures.
Almost completely opposite to Santa Monica, if you’re looking for more wild, quiet, remoteness, then head to central California and drive up the coast from San Francisco. Here you’ll come to Shell Beach, Sea Ranch. This is a truly great place for breath-taking views and blustery scenery. It can get a bit chilly here with the offshore winds, so wrap up warmly and watch the wet sands turn from golden to purple. For stunning photographs, head along one of the six trails for the best California beach sunsets. There are some incredible backdrops, including rugged cliffs with steps and stairways, fir pine woods, meadow sand dunes and sunken tidal pools, ideal for those simmering reflections.
Our final two beaches on our list have not only been chosen for their incredible sunset seascapes, but also for their gorgeous natural wild settings, perfect for wildlife watching.
First off is Muir Beach, which you will find if you head 16.5 miles northwest of San Francisco in Marin County. Just minutes from Muir woods, that has some incredible walking trails through its Redwood trees, the beach can be found with its clean tidal pools packed with anemone, octopus and starfish. The nearby Creek is also home to various birds, Salmon, Trout and wetland plants.
Last, but by no means least, is Carlsbad State Beach, in Orange County. Why? Well if you really want to experience the outdoors and watch the sunset from your tent, this is a perfect camping spot – right on top of the cliffs. As the sun disappears into the sea, you can almost hear the hiss. Life really doesn’t get much better than that.
Ready to explore California for yourself? Check out our California holiday options.