Is a getaway in a sleepy coastal town calling your name? Would you prefer a vacation in a peaceful, scenic environment instead of a bustling, loud city? Then you’ll be pleased to find an array of quaint destinations along the West Coast in California. In this post, we’ve included four of the top cozy coastal towns in the state.
1. Santa Barbara
Luxury spa treatments. Kayaking through the Channel Islands. Basking in the sun on Shoreline Park. These are a few of what are sure to be your favorite things in Santa Barbara. This iconic, quintessential Californian town sits on the central coast and draws out-of-towners in with its stunning backdrop and Mediterranean-style houses. A vacation in Santa Barbara is all about indulgence. Let your cares melt away as you bike along Butterfly Beach at sunset, cool off with gourmet ice cream at any of the artisanal shops in town, and gallery hop through the downtown district.
Whether you’re traveling solo or with friends and family, a drive down Chase Palm Park, a tree-lined region by the Pacific Ocean, is a must. For wine enthusiasts, treat yourself to a guided wine country bike tour for exquisite views of the countryside and even more exquisite glasses of wine. When you’re in the mood for something adventurous and scenic, try paragliding over the ocean or paddleboarding on the water. And for the free-spirited, outdoorsy travelers, forgo a luxury hotel and instead camp under the stars at El Capitan Beach.
2. Bodega Bay
A sleepier, cozier, quieter alternative to Santa Barbara is Bodega Bay, home to charming beaches and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean’s deep blue waters. For whale-watching, drive over to Bodega Head. For surfing, visit Doran Beach Road. And for seclusion, layout at Bodega Dunes Beach. Aside from its beaches, Bodega Bay is known for its impressive hiking trails. Some of the most popular options include Bodega Bay Trailhead, Shirttail Gulch Trail, and Birdwalk Coastal Access Trail.
As far as dining options in Bodega Bay, seafood is the way to go. This coastal town is home to plenty of waterfront eateries, so you’ll have no trouble finding a first-rate place for dinner. For no-frills, good old-fashioned seafood fare, go to Squad Point Crab Company. When you want an ambiance as good as the food, dine at Lucas Wharf Restaurant & Bar. And when you’ve finally eaten enough seafood to last you for a lifetime, switch it up with Italian cuisine at the Bay View. As you might have guessed from the name of the restaurant, dinner is served with beautiful views of the water.
Carmel-by-the-Sea truly is as enchanting and charming as it sounds. It’s ethereal and quiet and designed to aid visitors in their quest to rejuvenate their souls. Spending lots of quality time on Carmel Beach is an obvious must. It’s there you can drink in the majestic views of the purple sky as the sun sets and burrow into the soft white sands of the beach. This coastal town is also a prime spot for active folks itching for a jog on the trails and a yoga class on the beach. Visitors will find a plethora of boutique shopping options to pick up fine jewelry, gardening supplies, and home décor as well. And, of course, we can’t forget to mention the many wine tasting opportunities at venues like Vino Napoli and Dawn’s Dream Winery.
Now becoming more of a household name thanks to Big Little Lies, Monterey is as inviting and luxurious a place as the HBO television hit makes it out to be. Spend an afternoon shopping and dining at Cannery Row before hiking up to the iconic lookout, Lone Cypress. Monterey is also a great spot to whale watch and observe sea lions at the Coast Guard Pier. For a picnic, pack some sandwiches and cold drinks and drive to 17-Mile Drive before going for a dip in the ocean. To further bulk up your itinerary, plan to do some stand-up paddleboarding, gourmet ice cream sampling, and deep-sea fishing. Finally, don’t leave Monterey without first biking along the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail and scuba diving at McAbee Beach.
Ready to explore everything these Californian coastal towns offer? Don’t wait any longer! Buy your bus ticket from BusTickets.com today!