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Archive for the ‘Pacific Coast Beaches’ Category

The Best Little Beach Towns On The Pacific Coast

Posted by E.G.D. on July 16, 2016

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Claire Lovesti.

The west coast may be best known for San Fran and LA, but these beachy babies are sure to make any vacation worthwhile.

The big stars of California (L.A., Long Beach, Napa Valley) and bustling cities of Washington (Space needle anyone?) get all the good reviews on TripAdvisor, but when it comes to getting the small town experience to a t, it’s more about the west coast towns that are a little off the radar.

From beautiful northern islands all the way down to Laguna, here are five beaches that are bound to make you lust after a trip out west.

  1. San Juan Islands, Washington
View_of_Roche_Harbor_at_Sunset_from_the_McMillan_Suites

View of Roche Harbor from the McMillan Suites by Bhsantos

This archipelago in Washington with a penchant for northwestern landscape and wildlife are literally a sight to behold. From the horseshoe shaped Orca Island to the bustling Roche Harbor on San Juan, there’s plenty to do and see here to make any beach vacation a gorgeous one. For orca whale sightings, head for the national park on Orca Island. For great hiking and kayaking, head for Moran State Park. With accessibility between these islands limited almost exclusively to boats (Anacorte is the only town you can connect to the mainland by bridge), it’s a dream situation where you’re literally cut off from the rest of the world by, at the very least, a charming ferry ride. Stay at the Roche Harbor Resort in your very own town house and grab a bite at Lime Kiln Cafe—it’s a mix of great views and a great breakfast!

  1. Cannon Beach, Oregon
©Jody Diehl

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach may be Oregan’s less famous beach town, but it gets you out of the way of all of the tourist traffic of Seaside and offers the same excellent beach feel. Haystack Rock is known for it’s killer landscape and beautiful beach atmosphere (also well known for being featured in The Goonies and Point Break) and is a must-see stop on your itinerary, as is Hug Point State Recreation Park with it’s waterfall and excellent hiking opportunities. Arch Cape Inn & Retreat will provide European style architecture (and eco-friendly outdoor excursions) while Cannon Beach Hotel offers the classic New England style B&B with excellent beach views. With a healthy restaurateur selection, I suggest making plans at The Irish Table (worth the wait in line) and Tom’s Fish and Chips for a local, quick bite.

  1. Monterey, California
img_2812

Cannery Row’s Beach in Monterey, CA

Monterey’s claim to fame may have been all the sardine canneries along the coast, but good news for the tourists (and for the smell) Cannery Row is now a waterfront delight that looks like the “Good Ole Days” but is bustling with excellent, modern attractions. Boasting an excellent seaside aquarium, a stellar brewing company (an original Cannery Row beer milkshake anyone?), and a beautiful inn or two, Monterey is the place to go for local culture, flavor, and an authentic West Coast beach vibe that has nothing to do with surfing or getting the perfect beach tan. American classic novelist John Steinbeck wrote of the Canneries in his novel, Cannery Row, and while Steinbeck’s character enjoyed his beer milkshake, I bet any traveller is going to enjoy it more since it’s gotten an upgrade since it’s literary mention in 1945.

  1. Santa Barbara, California
Aerial-SantaBarbaraCA10-28-08

By John Wiley User:Jw4nvc – Santa Santa Barbara, California

 

While Santa Barbara might not be anyone’s idea of a small beach town, it’s undeniable that this charming city by the sea is definitely underrated. From the picturesque boardwalk to the extensive botanical gardens, there’s so much more to do than just enjoy the beach life (and that’s perfectly great for me). This beach town is perfect for travelers who like to get in plenty of cultural stops as well as sun rays, so make sure to stop at Lotusland for an exotic botanical experience, the Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park including Native American stone paintings, and Arlington Theatre for a cool, old-fashioned movie theatre vibe.

For fans of a packed itinerary, download the Best of Santa Barbara app from the iTunes store for free and enjoy the limitless options that the city has to offer. Heading to the West Coast from out of town? All non-US travelers can grab a local SIM card for their unlocked iPhone and save on international plans while keeping the same service!

  1. Laguna Beach, California
Laguna Beach Califonria by D Ramey Logan

Laguna Beach, CA by D Ramey Logan

 

While the innuendo of a Lauren Conrad or Kristin Cavallari apocalypse comes along with any mention of Laguna, it’s still the most picturesque little beach town on the California coast. Full of art galleries, fantastic restaurants, and that full-on beach town vibe, this nook previously visited by artists and writers is now a great place for families, couples, and friends to go on vacation. If you’ve got the vacation budget, I suggest a stay at the The Inn At Laguna Beach—crystal beach water views, excellent food and coffee, and just steps away from the main town center of Laguna.

If you’re aiming for a relaxed, off the beaten path vibe, these five choices are sure to give you that beach tan and hang ten vibe—just a word of warning, you may never want to leave!

About the author:
I’m Claire – a self-confessed travel nut. I’ve been traveling around the world since my mum farewelled me in a teary goodbye and I haven’t looked back since. You can read all about my adventures through 48 cities in 26 countries on 4 continents on my blog Traveltio.com.

~~~~

A note from our Treasure Hunters:

We simply love to share when it comes to beaches, treasure hunting, beachcombing crafts, and beachy tips. How about you? Do you have a favorite beach you’d like to share with us? Maybe you have some great tips for beach picnics, seaside safety, or seashore activities. Please check out our Submission Guidelines for info on jumping into the fun at Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches.  You could be our next Featured Guest Writer!

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of North America, Featured Guest Writer, Northern California Beaches, Pacific Coast Beaches, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Honoring Veteran’s Day

Posted by Jody on November 11, 2015

Crown Memorial State Beach, Alameda, California

Crown Memorial State Beach, Alameda, California

Honoring Our Veterans

Honoring Our Veterans

In Memory (Naval Air Station Alameda)

In Memory (Naval Air Station Alameda)

Thank you for your service, veterans!  Here’s hoping you can take some time today to relax on a beach ^_^.  You’ve earned it- From The Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches Team (including Greg, who happens to be a U.S. Navy veteran)

Posted in Beaches of North America, Northern California Beaches, Pacific Coast Beaches | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Careful!

Posted by Jody on October 23, 2015

Tijuana Slough Beach

Tijuana Slough Beach

A Closer Look

A Closer Look

Careful!

Careful!

Such a shame.

~~~

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Careful.”

~~~

Posted in Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Picture Perfect October Day at Coronado Beach

Posted by Jody on October 23, 2015

Running is a Popular Activity on Coronado's Central Beach

Running is a Popular Activity on Coronado’s Central Beach

If you’re a beach lover visiting the San Diego area, Coronado Beach certainly needs to be on your “to-do” list! Better yet, make Coronado your destination and have San Diego be the extra thing “to-do.” Coronado Central Beach is one of the most spectacularly wide stretches of soft golden sand we’ve ever visited. It’s definitely worth the trip. And that trip gets even better if you take the 15-minute Coronado Ferry ride across the bay from San Diego’s Broadway Pier.

Coronado’s pristine Central Beach lies along Ocean Boulevard where you just might find free parking – if you don’t choose the ferry ride. You’ll have to be an early bird (or just really, really lucky) to get a nearby parking spot on the weekend. Public restrooms are available and helpful, friendly lifeguards are on duty into the evening hours.

Picture Perfect October Day

Picture Perfect October Day

Coronado's Beach Chair Program

Coronado’s Beach Chair Program

Beach accessible wheelchairs are available to the public, free of charge, at the Central Beach Lifeguard Tower.

Blue Skies and Perfect Temps

Blue Skies and Perfect Temps

Looking West from The Hotel Del

Looking West from The Hotel Del

The Sandcastle Man Was Here!

The Sandcastle Man Was Here!

The Perfect Day on Coronado's Beach

The Perfect Day on Coronado’s Beach

Coronado Beach is a great family beach. Even Fido is welcome at the far north end of the strand.

October Sky

October Sky

The Hotel del Coronado

The Hotel del Coronado

Coronado's Wide Beach

Coronado’s Glorious Wide Sand Beach

It’s no wonder Dr. Beach proclaimed Coronado Beach “America’s Best Beach” in 2012!

Beach Treasures

Beach Treasures

We joined a few folks who were busy tide pooling at the riprap in front of “The Del” during low tide. Little bitty sand dollars were the prized beach treasures on this absolutely gorgeous October day.

~~~ Have a great day at the beach! ~~~

Posted in Sand and Shoreline, Southern California Beaches, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Cabrillo Beach, California: a Monday Evening Walk

Posted by E.G.D. on February 21, 2015

Aloha, Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches world!  I know a good many of you have been asking “Hey, why haven’t Jody and Greg been posting as often?”  It is time for the big reveal: they were super-busy getting their business affairs in order so that they could go on the cruise of a lifetime!  Of course, now that they’re actually on said cruise, we all get to enjoy the fruits of their labor through their quite delightful photographs. Behold!  Cabrillo Beach:

Have a great day, preferably at the beach- E.G.D.

Posted in Beach Birding, Beaches of North America, Pacific Coast Beaches, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Celebrating Labor Day USA

Posted by Jody on September 1, 2014

Celebrating Labor Day

Celebrating Labor Day

“The beach is not a place to work; to read, write or to think.”

~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

~~~

Posted in Pacific Coast Beaches, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

♬ Above the Blue and Windy Sea 🎶

Posted by Jody on August 26, 2014

“There’s a beach in San Francisco?” We get that a lot! In fact, it’s only a very short jaunt from Fisherman’s Wharf to this popular stretch of sand! Simply head east on Jefferson Street, and you’ll find Aquatic Park Historic Cove and the exceptional city-side Aquatic Park beach.

This entire area is part of the National Park Service’s San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Lots of  words…even more fun!

Here you can bike, run, swim, paddle board, play in the sand, or just watch the world go by:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The next time you’re in the City by the Bay, you can use this handy National Park Service site to help plan your visit to San Francisco’s Aquatic Park Cove beach: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. And you’ll, too, be singing ~ “I Left My Heart in San Francisco. High on a hill, it calls to me…”

🎶 “My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco
Your golden sun will shine for me”♬

 “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” by George Cory and Douglass Cross

~~~

Posted in Northern California Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

By the Wind Sailor

Posted by Jody on August 23, 2014

Greg and I recently returned from another fantastic visit to the Bay Area (and points north).

Stinson Beach

Stinson Beach

While strolling Stinson Beach one perfect July afternoon, we happened upon a large number jelly-like oval-shaped creatures washed up on the sand.😦 They were the most striking deep blue in color. I recognized them right away, even though I had never seen one of these strange little life forms in person before.

By the Wind Sailors on Stinson Beach

By the Wind Sailors on Stinson Beach

By the Wind Sailors on Stinson Beach

By the Wind Sailors on Stinson Beach

Their distinctive “sail” was the give-away!

By the Wind Sailor

By the Wind Sailor

By the Wind Sailor

By the Wind Sailor

Nobody (except the scavenging gulls) seemed to pay them any mind at all. Harmless to humans, these amazing marine organisms are called “by the wind sailors” (Velella velella ). They live on the surface of the ocean and can be found on both the Atlantic coast and the Pacific coast of the United States. By the wind sailors are commonly seen scattered about the sands of Stinson Beach during the late spring and early summer, and along the west coast as far north as Washington State, when especially strong winds can cast counteless numbers of these ill-fated critters ashore.

Look closely for the By the Wind Sailors.

Look closely for the By the Wind Sailors.

Harmless to humans: blue stinging tentacles around the rim.

Harmless to humans: blue stinging tentacles around the rim.

According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s SIMoN website:

Velella velella is incredibly stabile and seaworthy by design. The sail is triangular, slightly thicker at its base, stiffened by superficial thickened ridges, and yet still quite flexible. This incredible design allows smooth bending when its sail is under load, recoiling when the wind lets up, and overall minimizes the risk of kinking. The whole animal tilts when under sail, hull broadside to the flow of oncoming water.

Velella velella drifts before the wind, almost always tacking about 45 degrees to the right of the prevailing northwesterlies. This is normally enough to keep them offshore, however southerly or extremely strong onshore winds can cause them to spin around and follow the wind at a much closer angle that brings them toward land. Once washed ashore, the animals die and disintegrate within a few days.

And here’s a little something extra for your next beach/trivia party! According to Oregon State University: The sail is set diagonally to the long axis of the animal. On our side of the north Pacific Ocean, their sails are set in a northwest to southeast direction. On the other side of the north Pacific, the sails are set in a northeast to southwest direction. In the southern hemisphere, sails are reversed.”

Apparently, 2014 has been a bang-up year for the beaching of these remarkable, translucent, ocean-going creatures. Stories of mass sightings abound.

Here are a couple more helpful links in case you’d like to learn more about the (often hyphenated) by-the-wind sailor.

Bay Nature.org

National Geographic.com

Serenity, Sand and (yes) Sharks of Stinson Beach (Stinson Beach)

~~~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Northern California Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Summery Day on the South County Shore

Posted by E.G.D. on July 22, 2014

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Robyn Waayers: 

Gary and I took a little trip yesterday to explore the beach just north of Imperial Beach and south of Silver Strand State Beach. A lot of organic material had washed ashore, including masses of California Mussels, as well as much kelp.

Mussel mass with surf grass

Mussel mass with surf grass

Some of the mussels had Leaf Barnacles attached.

California Mussel with Leaf Barnacles

California Mussel with Leaf Barnacles

This is a beach popular with clammers due to its concentration of Pismo Clams. What I presumed to be immature clam shells were here and there on the shore.

A small clam - about 30 mm in length

A small clam – about 30 mm in length

 

A larger specimen, but nowhere near the final adult size!

A larger specimen, but nowhere near the final adult size!

Most of the shells on this beach are heavily wave-worn, like this Chestnut Cowrie.

Chestnut Cowrie, after much rolling around in the sand and surf

Chestnut Cowrie, after much rolling around in the sand and surf

The beach was surprisingly bird-filled, with Willets, Marbled Godwits, and Forster’s Terns being present in numbers (the Forster’s Terns in large numbers as they fished in the huge anchovy schools off shore). We also saw the occasional Royal Tern in full breeding plumage. A lone Long-billed Curlew graced the beach and we saw several more in the Tijuana Estuary area later.

Long-billed Curlew, with the Silver Strand and downtown San Diego, as well as the Coronado Bridge, visible in the background

Long-billed Curlew, with the Silver Strand and downtown San Diego, as well as the Coronado Bridge, visible in the background

We saw easily over a half dozen Snowy Plovers skulking in the higher, drier portions of the beach as well. Signs discourage people or dogs from walking in their territory, but no fences exist, as we saw in Oregon last month for the protection of this species. The plovers are extremely well camouflaged, and tend to move in short bursts of activity, as opposed to just meandering around as the Willets do.

Snowy Plover standing at the edge of a tire track!

Snowy Plover standing at the edge of a tire track!

We also saw a merganser hanging around the edge of the water, and occasionally entering the shallows. A scoter (probably a Surf Scoter) was seen fishing in the shallows, as well.

Scoter in shallow water.

Scoter in shallow water.

About the author: Robyn Waayers has lived in San Diego since 1977, and teaches biology at three local community colleges. In her spare time, she is a lover of all­ things ­natural­ history, roaming the region with her camera and an eye for new things. Her website is Shoreline Ramblings, to which she has also posted this articleAll photographs are the property of Robyn Waayers.

~~~

Posted in Beach Birding, Featured Guest Writer, Pacific Coast Beaches, Seashells, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Sea

Posted by Jody on June 5, 2014

North of Canon Beach on the Oregon Coast

Ecola State Park, Oregon Coast

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”

~Jacques Yves Cousteau

~~~

Posted in Pacific Coast Beaches, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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