Since the beach movies of the early Fifties, teenaged boys have gravitated to the left coast, waxing surfboards and strumming their guitars around the campfire. For their part, girls have followed, bikinis hiding less and less as they turn themselves a golden brown as they watch their surfer boys take to the waves.
The beach blanket myth continued when Barbie got her convertible and had little girls growing up dreaming about the Malibu lifestyle. Teen soap operas such as “Beverly Hills 90210” and “The OC” have since helped preserve the beach house lifestyle ideal for TV watching teens the world over. If you are looking for the typical California beach experience, then you need not look much further than the Southern California cluster around Los Angeles. This over urbanized area is home to some of the worlds most popular and legendary beaches.
Venice Beach is probably the best known of all the beaches in the Los Angeles area. Standing on the beach’s edge and seeing the throng of people for miles in either direction is an awe-inspiring sight in and of itself. With all of those people in one place, going to and from the multitude of beach shops and other kinds of interesting stores makes Venice Beach an ideal spot to get your fill of people watching and to fill your camera with interesting pictures to show the folks back home.
Malibu is the classic beach that made California famous in the old beach blanket movies your parents or grandparents used to watch. Although Malibu still boasts miles of sandy beach and famous Paradise Cove, Malibu is more of a residential area, its beaches and piers only open to day visitors. Still, if you are making a beach pilgrimage to California, then Malibu needs to be on your list of stops along the way.
Long Beach is a city where business suits and bikinis can mix graciously in the same space. Newly constructed condos and resort towers over look the sparkling Pacific Ocean and a marina that boasts a luxurious a fleet as Monte Carlo’s.
For those looking for a more relaxed and refined atmosphere, there is Catalina Island. A short ferry ride from any number of L.A. terminals (Long Beach, San Pedro, Newport Beach or Dana Point) will get you from the mainland to this enchanting island. The pace on Catalina is much slower, with tourists usually walking, or renting a golf cart at best. Most resorts are within walking distance of the ferry dock, as well as the marina, restaurants, shopping and the crystal clear waters ideal for snorkeling or relaxing on the beach.
Pacific North West
Los Angeles is not the only area of California to boast beautiful beaches, nor is California the only beach destination on America’s Pacific Coast. Although you will need to wait for the warmer weather in June, July and August, Washington State also has its own sandy paradise with mountain backdrops.
If you are looking for white sandy beaches in Washington State, you will need to travel to the state’s most southwestern corner and Long Beach Peninsula. This peninsula offers numerous beaches and rustic resorts, all of which are a far different experience than their glitzy Californian cousins.
For those of you looking to relive the beach blanket romance from movies of a bygone era, you still might find some of that among the glitz of Tinseltown. If you are looking for a quieter kind of beach vacation, you will want to start heading north along the Pacific coast until the crowd sizes are more to your liking.