Planning your next California vacation? No matter the time of year, one of the most popular things to do in Southern California for locals and visitors alike is visiting beautiful beaches. So grab a margarita and pack up your bags; here are our top Do’s and Don’t’s for an unforgettable beachside vacation!
DO make sure to visit some of the most iconic beaches in Southern California
Check out Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar State Beach, Huntington Beach, and Crystal Cove, and other top beaches. These sandy shores are popular for a reason, and with a little planning you can enjoy family friendly activities like surf lessons and California bike rentals, as well as fun food and plenty of photo opportunities.
DO ask locals for even more recommendations:
We love the popular beaches, but it's also lots of fun to discover hidden gems. When you're out for a meal, ask a local what their favorite beach is. You might discover an awesome new spot like Old Man's beach at San Onofre or Shaw's Cove in Laguna Beach.
DO remember to bring lots of sunscreen and beachside gear.
The California sunshine never stops, and as great as it is to soak up the rays, you need to protect your skin, so be prepared with sunscreen, a beach umbrella, and a classy sun hat. Don't forget beach chairs, water bottles, and plenty of towels. Make a list in advance to keep your family comfortable and safe!
If you book your stay with Beachside Vacation Rentals we'll provide beach chairs, towels, a cooler and more, to make your trip to the beach even easier!
DO be wary of waves and tides.
Strong waves make for great surfing, but may not be safe for kids. If you have young children, visit a beach cove where the waves will be smaller. At most California beaches, there are lifeguards on duty, but it is important to watch your children, and know your swimming limits and abilities! If you're feeling anxious, ask a life guard on duty whether there are any currents to watch out for
: Bring a boogie board! There are also many water flotation devices and other fun gear that will make your family’s beach trip safer and more fun! If you're staying with Beachside, we'll provide boogie boards for you.
DO look for seasonal deals.
If you're planning to rent bikes, book a
tour, or schedule surf lessons, Check Groupon, look for Yelp deals, and call local businesses to ask about group deals or off season pricing.
DO remember to pick up trash and be aware of what your belongings
Keeping beaches clean is one of the reasons California beaches are so beautiful, and losing belongings can turn a relaxing vacation into a nightmare! Take turns in the water and leave one person to watch your stuff. When you pack up to leave make sure to throw away all your trash.
DO try something new.
If you've never surfed before... try it! If you've never had a picnic on the beach... do it now! New experiences force your brain to focus on the moment, which makes time seem to pass more slowly (and makes your vacation seem longer). That's not just our opinion - that's
DON’T forget to pack a camera to document your visit!
California beaches are some of the most picturesque locations in Southern California, and a great place to plan to take that annual family photo! You don't have to have a fancy Go-Pro to take pictures at the beach. Get a waterproof case for your smartphone or invest in a less expensive all-weather camera. The fun pictures will be worth it!
If you're a perfectionist you can always wait and let a pro take your pictures for you. Plan a separate beach day to meet up with a professional photographer to take some family beach portraits.
DON’T get too friendly with local wildlife.
At Southern California beaches you may see fish, crabs, sea anemones, starfish and maybe even sea lions. Watching local wildlife can be a magical experience, but for your safety and theirs, please give these creatures space! And for the best beach day, please don't feed animals at the beach. Seagulls are eager for a bite to eat, but can soon become a nuisance to you and others!
DON’T forget to check out cities surrounding these beaches.
Remember what we said about slowing down your vacation by trying new things? An adventure in one of our
local beach towns
will add variety and flavor to your beach vacation. Visit San Clemente's North Beach area, home of the brand new Outlets at San Clemente, or head over to Costa Mesa, a perfect city for coffee scouts and shopaholics. In Southern California you'll find many other other fun local offerings, like Fashion Island, one of
Orange County's most popular shopping
and restaurant locations, and the Balboa Fun Zone. Whether you're planning
a girls’ day or family outing, you'll find something fun to explore in SoCal!
Check out our Beachside Vacation Rentals app for
for lots of local recommendations!
If all of these do's and don'ts are starting to get overwhelming, don't worry! The most important thing you can take to the beach is a good attitude. Go with the flow. If you forget something... ask someone else on the beach and make a friend! Or send someone back to get the forgotten item, and don't worry about the delay - you're on vacation! If you've picked out a restaurant for lunch but there's a huge line and you don't want to wait... don't stress! Our beach towns are full of great choices, or if you're staying at one of our vacation rentals you can head to the grocery store, grab some favorites, and have a meal at home!
We manage lots of vacation rentals that are a block or less from local beaches, making your beach vacation super duper easy.
Give us a call at 800-408-1822
to find out how we can simplify your vacation planning.
Your best beach day is all about YOU.
Why not make your own list of Do's and Don'ts? What do YOU want to be part of your beach day, and what do you want to leave behind?
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