Cutting Edge Beach Vibes In San Diego
Sleek, fresh, modern, and fun, Tower 23 Hotel sits right on the sand and along the lively three-mile-long Pacific Beach Boardwalk, making it the perfect perch to explore San Diego beach nightlife. Start the evening on the second-floor Tower Deck, the ideal spot to sip sunset cocktails, or head down to the JRDN Restaurant for fresh from the ocean seafood. The ocean-facing deck is also where to catch some rays during the day. When youre ready to cool off, hit the waves, which are just a few feet away. The hotel provides chairs, towels, and even bike rentals to make the most of your shore time.
Rooms have minimalist dÃ©cor and high-end amenities, including chromatherapy jacuzzi tubs in suites private spa services are available for an in-room treat. All rooms have balconies, but book an ocean facing option to be able to hear the waves as you drift off to sleep.
Surf & Sand Resort On Laguna Beach Laguna Beach
The Surf & Sand Resort is located just a few steps away from Laguna Beach, and they have the option of several rooms some with a balcony, but all of them with a view of the ocean.
This family resort on the California coast has a great kid-friendly pool, and children can enjoy special camping-in sessions or free milk and cookies as a treat.
Amenities like free wi-fi and access to the on-site restaurants are also part of the deal, and added services are available on request.
La Valencia Hotel La Jolla
Even at just shy of a century old, La Valencia Hotel remains one of SoCals most stunning Pacific Coast stays. Impressing guests right out the gate with a distinctive pink exterior, the Old World Mediterranean-style estate leans heavily on European influence with common spaces done up in antique furnishings, Spanish mosaics, and plantation shutters. Guest rooms throw modern amenities like Egyptian cotton sheets and whirlpools into the mix, while private balconies capture romantic views of La Jolla Cove.
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What Are The Best Beach Hotels In California
Again, this answer will depend on your preferences. For all-out luxury and pampering, the Rosewood Miramar or Montage Laguna Beach might be ideal picks. Families might love the Terranea, whereas couples seeking a child-free experience might prefer the adults-only Post Ranch Inn. Whatever your specs, any hotel on this list might be considered the best beach hotel in California.
Summary Best Places To Live In Southern California
As you can see, SoCal is filled with many exciting, vibrant places and we think that the ones listed above are the best cities to live in Southern California.
Most of them are clustered around Los Angeles and San Diego, which makes sense since this region offers some of the best weather and easy access to beaches, national parks, and mountains to explore.
There is also quite some diversity of cities on our list, so be sure to review it again to ensure that you choose one that best aligns with what you are looking for. The best city to live in Southern California may be a bit different for you depending on your exact needs, so we hope this list will be able to help you decide.
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Tower23 Hotel San Diego
If a hip scene and ultra-modern aesthetic speak more to you than a secluded, relaxation-centered stay, then turn your attention to San Diegos TOWER23. The Graham Downes-designed Neo-Modernist pad is three stories of glass right on Pacific Beach, just minutes from La Jolla. When it comes to nightlife, the TOWER Deck is a go-to the guest -only cocktail lounge spreads out on the second floor of the hotel under a sea of string lights.
Where To Stay In Los Angeles
For a central, walkable location in one of L.A.s most glamorous neighborhoods, consider a stay at Mr. C Beverly Hills. Neither hip, ultra-modern, nor stuffy traditional, the hotel is a blend of stylish contemporary and classic European. Guests can relax at the rooftop pool overlooking Beverly Hills and beyond while dining poolside on classic Italian fare prepared by the fourth generation of Ciprianis.
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The Waterfront Beach Resort Huntington Beach
The Waterfront Beach Resort is a great one-level beach resort well-known by locals and well-loved by everyone who visits.
Its one of the few resorts that are pet-friendly for small pets, and they offer special programs for kids and plenty for the adults to do in the meantime .
Depending on your chosen package, it comes with the option of an included breakfast, and wi-fi is included in your stay for anyone who wants to stream Netflix whlie lounging by the huge pool.
Is It Safe To Stay In A Hotel
The CDC’s current guidance advises that fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically and experts say guests who exercise proper precautions can stay safely in hotels. Of course, no travel is completely without risk and we recommend following CDC guidelines as well as all applicable local protocols.
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The Surfrider Hotel In Malibu
Best for: Couples
On-site amenities: Roof Deck Bar and Restaurant
Pros: In addition to the prime location and magazine-worthy decor, the Surfrider offers surfboards and stand-up paddleboards, as well as free Wi-Fi and morning coffee, which adds to the value.
Cons: The minimalist rooms might not be for everyone, with critics noting limited storage space to unpack.
The Surfrider Malibu just might be the intimate antidote to other huge resort properties along the California coast. With just 20 accommodations , this boutique hotel has a residential beach house feel. It’s housed in a former 1953 motel building and located directly across the street from Malibu’s beloved Surfrider Beach.
In addition to knockout views and chic, modern decor in soothing, muted tones, the hotel has a vaulted ceiling lobby, second-floor library, and landscaping with native and sub-tropical planting, all designed sustainably using local materials.
Visitors also love the guest-only roof deck bar and restaurant, plus an outdoor shower for post-beach rinses.
COVID-19 procedures are availablehere.
The Resort At Pelican Hill Newport Beach
An enormous circular pool, a world class golf course, and a kids program are just a few of the unique amenities at this beachside resort. The nearby beach provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities such as surf lessons, kayak tours, and Crystal Cove bike tours, all arranged by resort staff. Nearby beach: Crystal Cove State Park
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Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas
Location: Encinitas Beach: South Carlsbad State BeachHotel Class: Luxury
Why Go: Set atop a bluff and positioned to provide the most dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean, Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas has some of the best ocean views on the West Coast.
Choose this luxury resort if you want an experience that is more personalized and intimate. Youll also love this place if eco-friendly features and sustainable design is important to you. All rooms and suites either have private balconies or private decks some with firepits.
- Fully equipped fitness center
- The spa features eco-friendly treatments
- Vaga restaurant features San Diego cuisine and locally sourced ingredients
Good to Know:
- Its a new beach hotel and it had some opening service mishaps
- The heated outdoor pool is small, along with its deck so that it can become crowded quickly
- Youll need your own or a rental car if you want to visit nearby attractions
- The resort attracts couples more than families
Reservations: I can book you in with Hyatt Prive amenities that include the below.
- Daily breakfast for 2 in Vaga
- A $100 property credit
- Traditional Scottish-style oceanfront golf course with pro shop
- A variety of culinary experiences available within and near the resort
Good to Know:
- The resort itself is set back from the beach, which is why they have the tram available
- The fire pit rooms are popular
Reservations: The best way to book is with Virtuoso amenities that include the below.
Best Overall: Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach
Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach
With spacious accommodations, a private beach club, seven dining venues, a world-class spa, and family-friendly amenities, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach hits all the marks.
Rooms are spacious, starting at 535 square feet
Seven dining options to choose from
A family-friendly hotel with plenty of activities for kids
Self-parking not available $60 valet fee per night
Occupying 175 acres on a seaside bluff in Dana Point, the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach tops this list for a few reasons. Formerly known as the Monarch Beach Resort, the Hilton brand transformed this perennial favorite at the start of 2021, adding its signature touch of luxury to the property. All of the bright and airy accommodations are furnished with either balconies or terraces, offering views of the ocean or the resorts lush grounds. The property offers a robust seven dining options, including the oceanfront Monarch Bay Beach Club and Bourbon Steak by celebrity chef Michael Mina.
A block away from the beach
No on-site restaurant
If youre looking for the biggest bang for your buck, look no further than Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort. The property offers a bevy of amenities, including a heated outdoor pool, both family-friendly and adults-only jacuzzis, bike rentals, barbecue grills, and weekly activities . And even though it may not sit right on the sands of Carlsbad Beach, its less than a block away to hit the shore.
Very pricey year-round
No on-site spa
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The Resort At Pelican Hill
This luxury resort in Newport Beach is located on the bluffs overlooking the ocean. The hotel and some of the beautiful rooms and suites have ocean views, but it’s a long walk or a short drive to actually get to the sand .
The hotel has a luxury van, which operates hourly between Pelican Hill and the quaint Crystal Cove State Park beach area. It’s a clean, protected state beach, and the nearby small historic district has some shops and restaurants. Beach chairs and umbrellas are provided for guests.
Back at the resort, the pools are beautiful. The main Coliseum Pool is a round swimming pool, almost 150 feet in diameter, with more than a million, hand-set glass mosaic tiles forming the bottom. There’s a separate children’s pool and another separate pool for villa guests.
The hotel has live music nightly in several lounges and poolside music during the summer season. For dining, there’s Andrea, a fine-dining Italian restaurant the Pelican Grill, with upscale yet casual California cuisine and a pool terrace cafe.
Mediterranean Glamour In Santa Barbara
Set against a backdrop of golden beaches and the lush Santa Ynez Mountains, the elegant Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara feels like youve stepped into a Mediterranean seaside village with white stucco buildings with red tile roofs spread throughout 78 acres of lush gardens that roll down to the sea. This is an outdoor lovers paradise with two natural beaches and three salt-water infinity pools, not to mention access to Santa Barbaras three championship golf courses, and horseback riding, biking, and hiking all arranged on property.
Since the property is spread across multiple buildings, you can stay in everything from a private villa with an outdoor fireplace to a deluxe room with a fire pit, all with outdoor patios or terraces, marble bathrooms, and plush furnishings. The free-standing destination spa and wellness center is worth making time for as is the resorts signature steakhouse, Angel Oak. The latter offers outdoor seating facing the ocean and a 12,000-bottle wine collection that brings Californias wine country right to your table.
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Hotel Del Coronado San Diego
Rich in history and mystery , this beachfront resort was once the largest in the world. Its gone through several major upgrades and retrofits since being built in 1888, but much of its old charm is still there. The Del offers a wide range of restaurants, pools, a spa, and a kids program among other things. Nearby beach: Coronado Beach
Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club In Dana Point
Typical starting/peak prices: $508/$859
Best for: Couples, families, friends, reunions, travelers with pets
On-site amenities: 7 restaurants, private beach club, 18-hole golf course, 3 pools, spa, outdoor fitness classes, family programs, and socially distanced fitness center
Pros: Each of the 400 rooms and suites offer a large private terrace or patio and even the smallest categories are spacious. Rooms are also pet-friendly.
Cons: The $50 resort fee is steep, although Hilton Diamond members receive a $50 property credit, and the fee includes free Wi-Fi. Parking is also expensive, at $60 per night.
Located in Dana Point, the famous and widely loved Monarch Beach Resort rebranded and reopened as the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club. Here, it’s all about views and the feeling of opulence.
There are tons of amenities on the property, including an array of restaurants, shops, and activities. Standout dining experiences include Bourbon Steak Orange County, which is Chef Michael Mina’s American steakhouse experience, offering top-end steak, seafood, and wine selection, plus an elevated whiskey and cocktail program.
COVID-19 procedures are availablehere.
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Dana Point Orange County
Doheny State Beach, Capistrano Beach, and Salt Creek Beach are all set along this scenic part of the coast. Doheny’s one mile of sandy beach offers some of the best swimming, surfing, and tide pooling, as well as a campground and picnic area. Surfers head to Salt Creek for great waves created by a small offshore reef. Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club overlooks the Pacific and is home to a private beach club, oceanfront golf course, pool, and spa.
So Much Here: Beach Walking Cycling Whale Watching
So much here: beach walking, cycling, whale watching, museums, aquariums, Big Sur, Laguna Seca Raceway, and exquisite dining all in a temperate climate. It’s some of the very best California has to offer!We visited two stand-out eateries on this trip: Pavel’s Backerei in Pacific Grove and Lalla Oceanside Grill on Cannery Row.
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Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa San Diego
Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa offers an unforgettable view of the beach from their one- or two-bedroom suites, and a great stretch of beach that you can only access right from the Catamaran.
Amenities included in your stay includes free wi-fi, a complimentary breakfast and the option of drinks by the pool for adults.
For kids, theres also the option of a gaming arcade, a heated pool and a Kei-Kei-Club for younger ones 12 and under.
For planning an outing, Sea World is right outside the resort.
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Foodie Adventures In Rancho Palos Verdes
The luxury Hotel Terranea Resort is perched high on the cliffs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula with unmatched views out over the Pacific Ocean, Catalina Island, and Channel Islands. If youve been dreaming of the ultimate SoCal resort, this might fit the bill, with four sparkling saltwater swimming pools, The Links at Terranea golf course, an award-winning oceanfront spa, and even childrens adventure camps all on 102 acres of unparalleled coastline.
Accommodations range from hotel suites to bungalows, oceanfront casitas to luxurious villas. And the dining here is some of the best in SoCal, with nine dining venues that feature âFork to Terranea cuisine utilizing the resorts own vegetable gardens, eggs, sea salt, olive oil, and wildflower honey. Highlights include including signature restaurant Marsel Asian-inspired Bashi and Nelsons, a cliffside spot ideal for both watching hawks sailing overhead and blue whales migrating below.
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Shutters On The Beach Santa Monica
Cape Cod meets the Hamptons meets California at Santa Monicas Shutters on the Beach. Just a stones throw from the Pier, the shingle-sided hotel reads like a cozy family cottagealbeit on a grand scale. Crisp blue and cream rooms are an eclectic amalgam of four poster beds, needlepoint pillows, lithographs, and coffee table books. Shutters has three restaurants, all to varying degrees of refinery for an inspired meal, dine at Coast, a casual patio eatery which rests under a flower-strung trellis.
What Is The Best Beach In California
This is a question with an answer that will vary by personality. If you love a lively, social scene, and access to restaurants and cultural fare, you’ll love a bustling beach like Santa Monica or Venice. Looking for serenity and isolation? The bluffs over Big Sur might serve you better. For an ultra-posh feel evocative of a European riviera, think Santa Barbara.
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What About Four Seasons Santa Barbara
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, Santa Barbara is one of my favorite luxury resorts in California. Its where we stay when in the area and is located on beautiful Butterfly Beach in Montecito. Like many hotels, they closed in 2020 and were set to reopen in May 2021. However, the resort remains closed indefinitely due to an ongoing legal dispute.
Incredible Weekend Getaways In Southern California For Every Traveler
Iâm riding 130 feet in the air at the top of the worldâs only solar-powered Ferris wheel. From my vantage point, above the Santa Monica Pier at Pacific Park, I have a panoramic view of the surrounding Southern California coastline. Straight ahead, the majestic snow-capped Mount Baldy, the highest peak in California, rises in the distance while blue waves roll onto the sandy shore below me. After sunset, the Ferris wheel is aglow, illuminated with changing colors in a spectacular light show visible for miles.
Variety is the spice of life in SoCal where you can be building sandcastles at the seashore in the morning, and in less than two hours, trekking through rugged mountain trails or lounging by the pool in a desert oasis by afternoon.
Sample a taste of the regionâs diversity with one of these Southern California weekend getaways.
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