Stylish cities, golden beaches and the famous SoCal sun await you on an ultimate California beach holiday. Let your daily worries fade away as you lie on soft beaches and feel the warm breeze tousled in your hair. From the dazzling piers of the California Coast to bohemian towns and glamorous cities, there’s nothing about America’s coolest destination that will leave you wanting more.
Beach holidays in California transport you to a world of wonderfully sunny beaches, urban excitement and stunning coastlines. The famous laid-back atmosphere, beach sports and active lifestyle of the locals offer a glimpse of what life on this hippie west coast of the USA is all about. Natural beauty appears in every corner, with breath-taking national parks, mountain ranges and parklands waiting to be explored. Beach holidays in California are perfect for families, couples and solo travellers.
The Golden State of cool beaches and SoCal sun
California beach holidays provide the perfect sunshine escape. Snuggle up with family beside a cosy beach fire on the long white sands at Carmel Beach in the evenings. See for yourself why Huntington Beach got its name of Surf City USA, with miles of uninterrupted coastline and perfect waters to test your surfing skills. Watch adorable elephant seals hanging out by the narrow beach strip of Piedras Blancas as they prepare for mating season.
Early risers should rent a bike and cycle across the famous Golden Gate Bridge - be sure to stop along the way for views over the Pacific Ocean that you won’t find anywhere else.
At Bowling Ball Beach (part of Schooner Gulch State), find a perch and wait for the sun to go down - you won’t be disappointed with what must be one of the most romantic sunset views in all of California. Rows of giant, perfectly spherical balls line the coast - against a pink purple setting sun - it’s a sight like no other.
Families will love Salt Creek Beach Park, where bright green grass lawns blanket the grounds for the perfect picnic spot. Explore the walking paths heading in all directions and to the southern Dana Strand Beach. To escape the morning crowds, head to Sand Dollar Beach along the southern Big Sur coast, where you’ll find beautiful green jade stones along the back of the beach.
California has been the destination of dreamers since the Golden Age of the 1920s - and it’s easy to see why. Escape city life and bask in the Californian sun or channel your inner explorer with hikes and stunning mountain trips on the West Coast.
Your California beach holiday doesn’t have to end here – the state is close to the golden islands of Hawaii and is perfect for a multi-centre holiday in the heavenly Aloha Islands. Give us a call and we’ll help you extend your stay for the destination holiday of a lifetime.
Great sample itineraries
With so much to explore during a California beach holiday, we’ve handpicked a selection of popular itineraries to help you make the most of your trip.
California Zephyr Tour
California Road Trip San Francisco To Los Angeles
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“We went on a really fun Segway tour that took us along the boardwalk and Balboa Pier area, stopping occasionally to take photos of the beach and the incredible beachfront homes.”
“Surf lovers should visit the peninsula to see the famous 'Wedge', where surfers from all over the world come together to put their skills to the test - I really enjoyed it.”
Events & Festivals
Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your California Beach holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.
Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival
The Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival is an exclusive hub of taste and culture. Celebrity chefs and renowned culinary masters come together every September to present exclusive dinners and taste bites from over 40 top restaurants. Watch live celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, chat with master sommeliers, and sip on the best California wine.
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
On December 18-22, locals and visitors gather to watch beautifully-adorned boats, yachts and canoes sail along the quiet harbour at the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Families and children can enjoy the nautical themed playground and picnic areas surrounded by Christmas festivities and glittering lights. This is a festive tradition of decorating and lighting up the beautiful harbour - you can also travel along with the parade to see the bayfront homes in their festive decor.
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
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How we tailor make your holiday
The Hayes & Jarvis Way
We've been tailor making holidays for 65 years. With over 60 destinations to choose from, talk to us and we'll listen to your travel ideas to create unforgettable holiday experiences.