West Coast and Gulf Coast Beaches


5 minutes

We'll round out our week at the beach today by featuring the beaches of the West and Gulf Coasts.  The West Coast is situated on the Pacific Ocean, which is known to be significantly colder than the Atlantic Ocean but offers better opportunities for surfing and other activities such as whale watching.

California

Malibu Beach

Of the most popular beaches in the world, the beaches of Malibu in Los Angeles County have been known to attract a wide array of celebrities to its sandy coast. There are 24 beaches in Malibu, and they are all carefully maintained for visitors to go for a casual yet elegant experience.  Malibu Beach is a surfer's paradise and rests in a beautiful lagoon.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

From Los Angeles International Airport take San Diego Freeway (Interstate 405) north to Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10) west. The Santa Monica Freeway intersects the Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica.

California - Catalina Island

A popular destination for honeymooners, they don't call it the Island of Romance for nothing. The beaches of this island offer luxurious resort experiences for those interested in treating themselves as well as accommodations for every budget. The island is secluded and a perfect escape from the stresses of daily life.

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Things to do:

How do I get there?

Getting to Catalina from Southern California is easy and fun. You can get to Catalina Island from five mainland ports in Southern California in under an hour by either boat or helicopter. Once there, you can get around by taxi, trolley or even walking due to the small size of the island. For more detailed directions please visit: http://www.catalinachamber.com/howto/

La Jolla Beaches

These beaches located in San Diego exude exquisite natural beauty. Lined by bluffs, the beaches of La Jolla are all unique from one another.  La Jolla Shores (www.sandiego.gov/lifeguards/beaches/shores.shtml) is best of swimming and sunbathing, while the waves at Windansea (www.a-zsandiegobeaches.com/windansea.htm) are ideal for surfing and windsurfing, and Children's Pool (www.a-zsandiegobeaches.com/lajollachildrenspool.htm) is ideal for seal spotting.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

San Diego International Airport is the closest airport to fly into. For driving instructions, please visit: http://www.lajollabythesea.com/visitor-resources/maps-directions

Santa Cruz - Main Beach

While crowded in the summer as most beach destinations are, Santa Cruz boasts 29 miles of sandy beaches.  Main Beach is known as one of the top surfing spots in the world and is a nice destination to relax, unwind and enjoy the Pacific Ocean.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

You can look up the address 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz, California in Google maps, which will take you to the boardwalk for the most updated directions on how to get to this attraction from where you are coming from.

Capitola - New Brighton Beach

Located in Santa Cruz County, this is one of California's most visited beaches. Known for it's spectacular view of Monterey Bay and surrounded by breathtaking bluffs, this beach is at the site of an old Chinese fishing village. Located south of the city of Santa Cruz, this beach has plenty to offer in terms of scenery and activities.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

The beach can be reached by taking the New Brighton/Park Avenue exit off Highway One. If you are coming from farther away, the closest airport to fly into is San Jose International Airport

Elsewhere on the West Coast 

Oregon – Cannon Beach

In the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Cannon Beach provides a tranquil nearby destination for those looking for a world-class beach in an unusual region.  Stretching 9 miles, this wide beach is ideal for swimming, surfing and sunbathing along the wide sands.  The main attraction to this beach is the giant Haystack Rock, which is the 3rd largest monolith in the world.  This rock is home to a plethora of wildlife and adds an interesting dimension to the skyline.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

You can drive to Portland, Oregon from Seattle and to the beach in 3.5 hours. You can fly into Portland International Airport and rent a car to get to the Beach. For detailed instructions depending on where you are coming from: http://www.cannonbeach.org/getting_here/car_and_car_share.aspx

Gulf Coast

Texas- South Padre Island

Surprise! Texas has more to offer than rodeos and BBQs. This stretch of land near Corpus Christi attracts thousands of visitors each year.  You can get relief from the intense heat of the Texas summer at the South Padre Island beach that is packed with fun activities that would make for the perfect weekend vacation.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

You can fly into Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport or Valley International Airport. From the airport there is an assortment of transportation opens that will take you to the beach such as airport shuttles, taxis and public transportation: http://www.sopadre.com/gettinghere/transportation.php

Texas – Galveston Beach

This beach is located on Galveston Island, approximately 45 minutes South East of Houston in the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf Coast beaches are ideal for shell collecting and fun beach activities. The island of Galveston has plenty of local attractions to keep you busy as well! The Galveston Island Visitor's Center will provide you with all the information you need to start enjoying your stay there.

Things to do:

How do I get there?

You can fly into William P. Hobby Airport (closest) or George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Transport from the airport includes public buses as well as taxis and rental car options. For more information: http://www.galveston.com/maps/

Ani Kington Ani Kington

Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Ani is a fan of exploring new places through photography and the local cuisine. After earning her BFA in photography from NYU and gaining communications experience at International Planned Parenthood Federation, she joined InterExchange in 2012, and worked as the Marketing Producer until 2016.

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