The best California beach towns for a weekend getaway

Playa del Rey: Situated just 15 minutes from LAX, Playa del Rey offers a nostalgic beach town atmosphere despite its proximity to Los Angeles. Residents enjoy a sense of community, with hidden gem restaurants and a welcoming vibe.

Dana Point: Positioned in Southern California's beach country, Dana Point is an ideal retreat between Los Angeles and San Diego. Renowned for surfing, beginners can practice at Doheny State Beach.

Fort Bragg: Located on the Mendocino Coast, Fort Bragg boasts historical charm and natural beauty. Glass Beach, within MacKerricher State Park, showcases sea glass amidst the rugged coastline.

Cayucos: Cayucos, a quaint beach town in San Luis Obispo County, features license-free fishing off the Cayucos Pier and ideal conditions for surfing and paddleboarding. History enthusiasts can explore antique shops.

Capitola: As the West Coast's oldest beach resort, Capitola charms visitors with its Mediterranean-style buildings and vibrant local shops. Capitola Beach offers opportunities for fishing and live music events,

Cambria: Nestled on the Central Coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Cambria offers scenic attractions like Moonstone Beach and the Piedras Blancas Rookery, home to thousands of elephant seals.

Pacific Grove: Located at the tip of the Monterey Peninsula, Pacific Grove offers a relaxed coastal atmosphere with attractions such as the Point Pinos Lighthouse and Lover Point Beach.