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The Cutest Beach Towns in California To Visit For Summer

Don’t we just love our little home state of California?!! The sunshine, the mountains, the coolest shops and cafes and of course, the cutest beach towns. Just 20 miles north, south and west of LA, you’ll find a number of sandy beaches with a little town connected to it that holds cool shops to find a treasure trove of beautiful things. Plus some of these towns have quaint and exceptional restaurants. We put together a list of the cutest beach towns in California that are a must-visit for relaxation and maybe a little bit of luxury shopping. They’re also not too far from LA either ( if ya love a road trip!) Check each one off your bucket list this summer then tell us which is your favorite.  Get ready to fall in love with the things each of these cute beach towns has to offer.

1. Malibu

Location: 22126 Pacific Coast Hwy. Malibu, CA 90263

Malibu is our top choice when it comes to scenic, picturesque beach towns. There are stunning views everywhere, oceanfront celebrity mansions, and is home to Pepperdine University’s Malibu Campus. There’s a few places we’d recommend to shop, eat and play. The Malibu Country Mart is California’s premier seaside destination for shopping, dining, and relaxing. There is no cookie-cutter selection of your typical shopping experience. It has upscale boutiques, restaurants, and personal services set in a calming, laid-back setting. If you stick to checking everything near the pier, we love stopping by Malibu Farm or The Surfrider Hotel for cocktails and snacks then walking across PCH to a fave boutique – Aviator Nation. If you want to get some hiking in you can do this going up toward the mountains. Malibu Creek State Park, Point Dume, El Matador State Beach, and Escondido Falls are great locations to begin a hike. This is by far one of the cutest beach towns anyone can visit in California.


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2. Butterfly Beach, Montecito

Location: Butterfly Beach, Montecito, CA 93108

Located in the chic and laid-back village of Montecito, Butterfly Beach is a favorite! The beach’s pristine shoreline is ideal for swimming, surfing and sunbathing, and its unique east-west orientation makes for some truly spectacular sunrises AND sunsets. Keep your eyes peeled and you might even see stars because Montecito is home to several celebs.  Just a 15 minute walk across the street you’ll find yourself at the Montectio Country Mart. A shopping destination where they carry beachy and luxe goods, plus they have an amazing pizza place that is a must-try – Bettina.Butterfly Beach in Montecito is considered one of the cutest beach towns in California because of how quiet, stunning, and sweet it is. You’ll fnd yourself getting lost among the shops, food and people here. Right next to it is another cute beach town – Summerland. It has seaside charm and nearly year-round sunshine.


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3. Carmel- by-the-Sea

Location: Ocean Ave. Carmel, California, 93921

Carmel-by-the-Sea is one the cutest beach towns in California and is one of the few towns that is off the grid. Population is only abut 3,500 and none of th eresidents have addresses ( something the city prides itself on). Carmel-by-the-sea is a storybook type of place. Nestled along California’s scenic coast, this one-square mile, fairytale village full of inspired restaurants, wine tasting, boutique shops, art galleries, a white-sand beach, and stunning scenery—is all within walking distance from the charming hotel, inn, or B&B that are offered in Carmel-by-the-sea. Stroll through  Ocean Avenue for shopping, and check out restaurantslike Casanova (French & Italian cuisine) or the rustic Italian Little Napoli. Both places are great options for food, wine, and make for a lovely outing for a date and a little romance. As always – make sure you make time to visit the beach too!


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4. Laguna Beach

Location: 505 Forest Avenue Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Located in Orange County, Laguna Beach is well known for its beauty, palm trees, and famed history with MTV ( “Laguna Beach” fans anyone?). Besides the obvious, Laguna Beach is a widely popular California beach town to visit and has one-of-a-kind dining options. We loveBroadway by Amar SantanaThe restaurant evokes the culinary venture and ambiance of New York City, within one block of the Pacific Ocean and by Forest Ave where there are tons of places to shop. If coffee shops are your thing, this cute beach town has them. While in town, check out Bear Coast Coffee, a dog friendly cafe, and MoonGoat Coffee Roasters who offer seasonal drinks (their Strawberry Brûlée Matcha is so yummy!). Stay at a Sonder in Woods Cove, its a pretty quaint and boho hotel. Check out Heisler Park Stairway to get the blood pumping and enjoy breathktaking views of the ocean. Laguna Beach is also known for its art scene and and The Laguna Art Museum is a great place to get plugged in. 


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5. Pismo Beach

Location: 581 Dolliver St, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Located in San Luis Obispo County aka SLO, Pismo Beach is a dreamy and gorgeous town with plenty of water sports activities, wine country tours, kayaking, hummer dune tours, and bus tours to take you along California’s Central Coast. When visiting this cute beach town in California, be sure to walk the Pismo Beach Pier Plaza for a photo op and check out the strip of restaurants offering ocean views and outdoor dining. Their sandy beaches are so soft and smooth on the feet and the new renovated pier is a treat for the senses—the 360-degree view calms the mind and refreshes the spirit. 


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For more travel in California, check out these lovely Airbnb’s in Palm Springs here.