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Visiting California With Family For The First Time?

We put together a list of the 6 best beaches in California for families wanting to explore the sea! Beaches are a great way to spend time with family. But sometimes, it can be difficult to find the perfect beach to visit with your kids. But, we got you covered, so read along!


  1. La Jolla Cove
  2. Crystal Cove State Park
  3. Coronado Beach
  4. Carlsbad State Beach
  5. Pismo Beach
  6. Zuma Beach


So, where is La Jolla Cove located? It is located in La Jolla, San Diego. The directions to La Jolla Cove are 1100 Coast Blvd, La Jolla CA 92037 on Google Maps.  This is a well-known sought out destination amongst tourists for several reasons. It is definitely considered a kid-friendly beach.

There is a lot of marine wildlife you can see including sea lions, starfishes, and school fish to name a few. Perfect activity to let your kids explore the marine wildlife while you relax on the beach.

Here you will find:

  • Lifeguards – patrol area until dusk -super safe area
  • Sea lions – you can spot them soaking up in the rocks
  • Marine wildlife – visible in the water
  • Restrooms
  • Outdoor Showers – to wash off sand

While La Jolla Cove makes the list of one of the best beaches for families to visit in California we got a few heads up tips you should be aware of when visiting this place!

Heads Up:

Smell – Many seagulls and sea lions have made this landmark home and with that comes a lot of doo-do! You can see rocks covered in it!

Parking is very limited – Street parking is recommended, but even then expect to walk a bit here.

Avoid summertimes – Too many tourist


One of the best places for families to visit is Crystal Cove, State Park. This state park makes our list of best beaches in California for families that have something for everyone.

From taking a hike overlooking the breathtaking ocean views to snorkeling underwater.

We put together a guide of 15 Things To Do in Crystal Cove State Park while visiting, here.

Crystal Cove State Park is composed of 4 beaches:

  1. Morro Bay
  2. Historic District
  3. Pelican Point
  4. Reef Point

Here you will find:

  • Hiking trails
  • Campground – Moro Beach
  • Beach Cottage Rentals
  • Tide Pools – Historic District Beach

The Historic District Beach is the most tourist beach of all. Here you will find Crystal Cove, restaurants such as Beachcomber Café and Ruby’s Shack as well as Beach Cottage Rentals.  If you have little ones let them explore the tide pools which can be found in Reef Point or Pelican Point Beach.  However, please follow the guidelines. For it’s illegal to collect the following:




Any living creatures in tide pools

Or remove anything else from tide pools

**Only sea glass and driftwood can be collected.

You can learn more in the: Tide Pooling FAQs

For those campers and fitness lovers, Moro Beach offers camping and has several hiking trails here.

Heads Up:

Beach Cottage Rentals in Historic District Beach can take up to more than 1 year to book – make sure to plan ahead of time. For those dog lovers, unfortunately, your furry pets are not allowed on beach

Crystal Cove State Park has a $15 entrance vehicle fee


If you are looking for long sandy beaches and relaxation you can’t go wrong with visiting Coronado Beach.  You will spot sand dunes and palm trees on the beach. Watch the sunset from the beachfront Hotel del Coronado.  This hotel is inspired by Victorian architecture resembling steeply pitched roofs and colorful stained-glass windows.

The Coronado Beach & Dog Park located in the Northern part of Coronado Beach offers a designated area for dogs to run and play in the water.

Here you will find:

  • Volleyball nets
  • Lifeguards
  • Beach Rentals
  • Dogs allowed

Coronado Beach is a famous tourist destination, especially during the summers. Parking can be a bit of a pain due to limited space. Street parking will be your best bet, but be prepared to walk.

Heads Up:

Hotel Reservations are pricey

Parking limited and street parking as well – sometimes you spend an hour just to find a spot

Coronado Beach & Dog Park -there are dog feces in the sand in some parts – be careful when walking


If you’re looking for a clean and enjoyable place then look no more. This beach offers plenty of space for relaxation. The water is calm enough for children to play in without fear of getting too deep.  This is also an excellent spot to bring your boogie boards and spend the day catching some waves as a family.  There are restrooms, showers, and lifeguards present at this beach. If you get hungry then be sure to check out Carlsbad Village.

Here you will find boutiques, shops, and restaurants. We put together a guide on what to expect when visiting Carlsbad Village, here.

Here you will find:

  • Restrooms/Showers
  • Volleyball nets
  • Lifeguards
  • Carlsbad Boardwalk

Heads Up:

No animals allowed on beach

Parking is limited, but there is street parking

Many joggers and walkers present

Access beach only by walking down on the stairs


There is a lot to do and see in Pismo Beach. As a family, you can check out the Dinosaur Caves Park. It’s a bluff-top park that features swings and play structures. You can also walk around your dog here. There’s a grassy area in which you can plan a picnic here, but also be aware the space gets rented for weddings as well. For those interested in nature more be sure to check out the Monarch Butterfly Grove.

This is a perfect family get-together event where you will get to see thousands of Monarch Butterflies and learn about their importance to the earth. Unfortunately, the Monarch Butterfly Grove is only open from late October through February

You can kayak in Pismo Beach and there are several tours you can also partake in such as the Hummer Dune Tour. In which you ride along the dunes in a hummer.

Here you will find:

  • Restrooms/Showers
  • Tours – Hummer Dune and Hiking
  • Lifeguards

Heads Up:

Free tours at the Monarch Butterfly Grove

Dinosaur Caves Park -overlooking the cliff many seagulls and feces smell

Pismo Reserve allows horses on trail

Certain trails in Pismo Reserve are only for walking


Located in Malibu this beach offers many amenities, unlike other beaches. Unlike other beaches where parking is limited, you have several parking lot options here including street parking which is on a first come first serve basis.  Kitesurfing is common here between locals and tourists. There is a concession stand that sells nachos and snacks here. You will spot plenty of lifeguards and showers and restrooms can be found here.

This is a perfect beach for families to watch the sunset since it is not a popular beach destination. Weekends and summertimes do get more crowded, but overall it’s a pretty mellow destination.

Here you will find:

  • Food Concession Stand
  • Restrooms/Showers
  • Picnic Tables

Heads Up:

Be careful of kitesurfers while swimming

No restaurants nor hotels on the beach

Not all street parking spots are free you will still be required you to pay on some

Read also: asus 2-in-1 Q535


Be sure to check out the rest of the 21 Best Beaches in California for Families (2022) worth traveling to, until next time.

Happy Beach Travels!

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