California Beach Pictures will chase off your January "blahs!"
In the slides above you're viewing California beach pictures---in the wintertime! Hey, what happened to all the ice and snow? Oh yes, that's right...there AREN'T any! Have the winter doldrums got you down? Why not visit California, where the beaches are sunny year-round!
California Picture of the Day details
Did you guess the location of the California Beach photos above?
Volleyball game at Hermosa Beach during the January, 2009 Southern California heat wave.
What could be more idyllic for tourists and residents alike than spending a warm day at the beach?
Especially for visitors fleeing the snow and sleet of cold, northern states, the particularly fine Los Angeles-area weather of January, 2009 made a welcome respite from winter's chills.
In the picture of Hermosa Beach to your right, you can see beach-goers enjoying a lovely SoCal weekend at the beach. For some, surfing is the sport of choice. For others, it's a lively game of beach volleyball!
Redondo Beach during the January, 2009 heat wave.
For the MLK holiday weekend, a heat wave struck Southern California, bringing beautiful skies and temperatures in the low '80s.
Residents and visitors alike flocked to the local beaches. Not everyone was content to stroll along the piers and boardwalks, however. Quite a few people donned their swimsuits so they could sunbathe or swim.
Beautiful beach scene at California's Refugio State Beach.
If you arrived at Refugio State Beach wearing a blindfold, when you took it off, you'd have to guess where you were. And that might be hard to do!
This state park's idyllic shoreline is punctuated by beautiful palm trees, giving it a look that people usually associates with postcard pictures of tropical islands!
Yet, this is a Southern California beach, just waiting for you to come enjoy the sun & sand...and even stay overnight, if you wish. That's because Refugio State Beach also has a campground, too!
If you'd like information about planning a camping trip to Refugio Beach, you may visit the Samta Barbara Beach Camping page of this website.
Brave gull holds still for a snapshot at Gaviota State Beach in California.
Most birds run the other way when humans approach too closely.
Not this macho gull! He was going to stay sitting in his favorite spot on the Gaviota Beach pier...no matter how close I came!
He's probably been hanging out with the folks who come to the pier to go fishing...and sneaking a little bit of the catch when he can!
In addition to its pier, Gaviota State Beach also has a campground. For further information about planning a day trip or a campout here, you can check out the Samta Barbara Beach Camping page of this website.
Seagulls fly along the Pacific Ocean shoreline at Carpinteria State Beach in California.
Carpinteria State Beach is a popular destination for both tent and RV campers wishing to spend a few days at the shore. Its day-use facilities also attract families just wishing to spend a few hours swimming, tanning and picnicking at the beach.
During the summertime vacation period, you may wish that scenic Carpinteria State Beach were a little LESS beautiful and popular, as you find it difficult to reserve a camping space without LOTS of advance notice!
But, heading to Carpinteria during the off-season will let you enjoy Carpinteria Beach at a more leisurely pace. If you'd like to discover details about planning a camping trip to this scenic California beach, you'll want to check out the Carpinteria State Beach Camping page of this site.
Zack's beach rental shop in Huntington Beach, California.
Got a sudden urge to try boogie boarding or take a bike ride along the beach path?
Forgot your sports equipment at home?
At many California beaches, not having your own equipment isn't a problem. Many beaches have equipment rental shops within easy reach of the sand and shore.
In the picture of Zack's beach rental shop to your left, you can see a sampling of equipment that's available to use by the hour or by the day.
Seagull hovers over our heads on the Huntington Beach Pier in California.
Taking a stroll along the Huntington Beach Pier is always a good way to find interesting sights. However, it's not every day when a seagull chooses to spend time with the tourists.
This particularly curious fellow kept his eye on us for awhile, hovering on the brisk wind that was blowing.
"I Love You" written in the sands of Morro Bay, California.
Somebody's in love! And he told the world by writing a very neatly-done "I Love You" in the sands at the base of famous Morro Rock! (See Picture of the Day for Jan 7th to see Morro Rock itself.)
Luckily, this happy message of love had its chance to linger untouched by the tides for awhile. And, I imagine it brought a smile to the faces of all who saw it!
Cambria, California's Lampton Cliffs County Park
Do you love tide pools? Yes? Then, you'll love Cambria's Lampton Cliffs County Park, where you'll find plenty of tide-pooling fun awaiting you.
Scenery-lovers needn't ever set a toe into the water, though, to enjoy the abundant natural beauty and sweeping Pacific views at Lampton Park.
This small, out-of-the-way Cambria beach can be tricky for non-residents to find...but your efforts will be richly-rewarded for making the journey. For help in planning out your route to this Central California gem, here's a Google map to Lampton Cliffs Park in Cambria, CA.
Surfer in Morro Bay, California
Morro Bay in central California, is a popular summer tourist destination. Nevertheless, it's a town that a number of lucky people get to enjoy year-round.
Surfing is one of the activities enjoyed year-round by locals, who simply don a wetsuit and brave the chilly winter and springtime waters of the Pacific Ocean. This surfer just caught a wave just north of the famous Morro Rock (which you saw in the Picture of the Day for January 7th.)
Seagull enjoys the beach at Montana de Oro State Park.
One of the California State Park system's "hidden gems" is the Montana de Oro State Park in Central California.
A drive into the mountains hugging the Pacific shoreline leads visitors to the park. As one leaves civilization behind, homes get fewer and farther between, until the visitor feels nearly all alone in the forest of trees lining the roadway.
Upon a guest's arrival at Montana de Oro SP, he or she is greeted by a beach...a cove-shaped spot of sand where the silence is punctuated by the cries of gulls and the slap of water onto the nearby rocks. But, you don't have to be content with a view of the beach from sea level. Drive or hike up a nearby steep mountainside, and you'll enjoy a sweeping view---not only of the park's little cove, but of miles & miles of scenic ocean views.
You may make a day trip of your Montana de Oro visit...but, you may also choose to enjoy the park's campground, if you wish. The camping area isn't beachside...but don't worry that you won't have a view. Tent and RV spaces are nestled in a mountain glen...with a spectacular scenery all its own style.
Wave crashes upon a rock in Malibu, California.
If you're trying to guess the locations of the slide show photos (above,) this picture isn't fair. It's really impossible to tell its location, because much of the California coastline features crashing waves on rocky shores!
This particular scene was shot in Malibu, California. No, not every beach in Malibu is rocky...but some of them are.
Heading northwards from Zuma Beach (Picture of the Day for January 3rd,) you "leave civilization behind." The homes thin out, then disappear; and the stream of cars on the road slows to a trickle. If you're a tourist who'd like to see the Southern California coastline in a more natural state, a trip up the coastline to northern Malibu should be on your "must do" list.
Morro Rock, as seen from Morro Bay State Park
If you've ever visited central California, this picture may have been easy for you to identify when you saw it in the slide show. After all, Morro Rock is one of the Central Coast's most recognizable landmarks!
Morro Rock was formed about 23 million years ago, and is a plug from an extinct volcano.
During the days of the sailing ship, Morro Rock was an important navigational aid. These days, it remains important to the natural world as a nesting place for Peregrine Falcons (and important to the economic world, as well--as a major draw for tourists!)
When you visit Morro Bay, California, you'll surely want to pay a visit to Morro Rock while you're there. While no climbing is allowed atop the rock itself, you're welcome to visit its base. You can drive, bike or walk to this State Historic Landmark via a causeway.
What's the biggest clue to guessing the location of this California beach? The car, of course!
Most of California's beaches do not allow driving on the sand...but Pismo Beach is an exception. On parts of Pismo Beach, you can enjoy taking a drive along the ocean's edges...very "up close & personal" with the water!
In another section of Pismo Beach, you'll be able to take your RV out onto the sand...or even your off-road vehicle. If camping quite THIS close to the water makes you nervous, you'll find great Pismo Beach camping (in a more traditional setting!) not far away. Be sure to check out the Pismo Beach Camping page of this website to discover some enjoyable camping options in this seaside resort.
Central California Coast
There are miles and miles of stunning coastline in Central California. This picture of the Pacific Ocean's rocky shore near the Plaskett Campground is the first Central California Coast photo to be on the "picture of the day" page...but it certainly won't be the last!
I would certainly recommend to any prospective California visitor to include a drive along California Highway 1.
The adults in your group will certainly find viewing the awe-inspiring scenery to be the only activity they need to enjoy a coastline drive. However, the kids in your group will probably want to enjoy some activities along the way. To find hints on family activities your group may enjoy while touring coastal California, please visit the Central California Coast Road Trip page of this website.
El Capitan State Beach
If you were trying to guess the location where this picture was taken, it wasn't really fair! There's not much of the beach visible; the beautiful seagull is the focal point of the photo.
However the pebbly beach might have given you a clue. Visitors to El Capitan State Beach and Campground are surprised to find a beach full of rocks instead of sand. This is especially surprising because the nearby Refugio State Beach has a traditional sandy shore that's a favorite with sunbathers and kids building sand castles. (The two beaches/campgrounds are so close you can bicycle between them.)
Fishermen love El Capitan State Beach...perhaps BECAUSE of the pebbles (which keep the shoreline less crowded.) On any given day, you'll surely see an angler or two casting their lines into the ocean here...even during the winter/early spring "off season."
If you'd like to get information about planning a camping trip to El Capitan State Beach, you can find that information here on Family-Vacation-Getaways.com---it's on the Santa Barbara Beach Camping page of this site.
Zuma Beach in Malibu, California
Zuma Beach is a popular Malibu family beach. Its wide sands ensure plenty of room for beach-goers. Free parking along the highway is available, but so are large parking lots, as well.
Lifeguard stands, like the one you see in this picture, dot the beach. Though it's a bit farther to reach from the main population areas of Los Angeles county than other beaches, the drive to Zuma Beach is pleasant and scenic. If you're looking for a fun beach outing, Zuma Beach might be a choice you'll want to try.
Seagulls at the ocean's edge in Laguna Beach, California.
Main Beach Park in Laguna Beach can be a busy, bustling place. Drop-in basketball games take place on a outdoor court with an ocean view. Exercisers power-walk and families stroll along a boardwalk...that's actually made of boards. Children stuff a popular play structure to the point where it's as full as a Thanksgiving turkey.
Seagulls want to be a part of the lively scene, too. Here, you see a group of beautiful birds enjoying the half-wet, half-dry water's edge, with their reflections shimmering in an arm of water lazily making its way back to the sea...until the next surge of the tide.
Laguna Beach, California, as seen from the cliffs of Heisler Park.
There's more than one way to enjoy the abundant scenic beauty of Laguna Beach, California. Walking by the water's edge is one of them.
On the other hand, perched on a cliff-side bench at Laguna's Heisler Park, a visitor can relax in relative isolation...taking in a panoramic vista of the area's beaches, cliffs and homes (as well as a lovely blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean.)
Best of all, this stunning scenery is free for all to enjoy. For the price of a parking meter, you can stroll among lovely gardens, gaze out to sea, or spy upon the activities of visitors on the beach.