Other destinations may have sand and surf, but California has iconic beach landmarks celebrated in song and film. In fact, I can’t remember a moment of my life that didn’t involve California beaches; and although many Hollywood memes disappoint in real life, California’s golden sands never do.
I’ve walked along the wide honey beaches of San Diego licking ice cream cones and marveling over intricate, multi-story sand palaces, laughed at cavorting sea lions along the shores of La Jolla, and biked along Venice Beach alongside bodybuilding champs, swaying roller skaters, tricked up skateboarders, and speedy runners. In Santa Monica, I fell in love with my husband as the waves lapped the glittering sand in front of our chic hideaway hotel. Later, in Santa Cruz I celebrated my growing family on the beach boardwalk, reaching for the golden ring on a vintage carousel with my son as the Pacific Ocean glistened below us.
While there are plenty of ocean-view hotels in California, the properties here open directly onto the sand. That means you can start making your own sandy memories as soon as you arrive at your California beach resort.