12 Adorable Small Beach Towns in California

Encinitas, California:  Surf culture hub with local shops and four public beaches along Highway 101, also known as the Flower Capital of the World.

San Clemente, California: Laid-back surf town with famous surfing spots like T-Street and Trestles beaches, midway between San Diego and Los Angeles.

Capitola, California:  Quaint village with sandy beaches at Monterey Bay, featuring Venetian-style homes, art galleries, and beachfront entertainment.

Avalon, California: Charming town on Catalina Island with Crescent Avenue beaches, local eateries, and unique attractions like the Serpentine Wall.

Carpinteria, California: Home to the world's safest beach, Carpinteria offers beachfront shops, Rincon Beach for surfing, and Tar Pit Park's natural wonder.

Arcata, California:  Known as "Hippie Haven," Arcata boasts Mad River Beach Park for kayaking and Jacoby's Storehouse for historic charm.

Oxnard, California:  Blend of big-city entertainment and small-town charm with white sand beaches, vibrant harbor, and access to Channel Islands National Park.

Cayucos, California:  Resort town with Old West vibes, antique shops, and proximity to Hearst Castle and San Simeon.

Davenport, California: Tranquil beach town along the "Slowcoast" with sea glass beaches, wineries, and scenic landscapes.

Fort Bragg, California: Coastal gem with attractions like Point Cabrillo Light Station, Glass Beach, and the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.

Morro Bay, California: Home to Morro Rock and picturesque beaches like Morro Rock Beach and Morro Strand State Beach, offering affordability and charm.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California:  Coastal retreat near Big Sur with shopping, cultural events, and the serene Carmel Beach at Ocean Avenue's end.