Best Places to Take a Summer Vacation in California

Carmel-by-the-Sea

Located on the spectacularly beautiful Monterey Peninsula south of San Francisco, Carmel-by-the-Sea combines water fun, eclectic shopping, absorbing sightseeing, and fine dining. Carmel Beach offers soft white sand for swimming, sunbathing, beach volleyball, and water sports. The Scenic Bluff Path above the beach has a panoramic view of the rugged coastline. Visit Carmel Plaza, and explore the diversity of shops. Don’t miss a visit to lovely 17-Mile Drive and Pebble Beach. In nearby Monterey are fascinating attractions such as Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Historic Cannery Row, and the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Mission Beach, San Diego

Mission Beach is a vibrant coastal neighborhood that sits on a sandbar northwest of downtown San Diego. A soft white sand beach that’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and beach volleyball runs the entire length of the neighborhood. A two-mile boardwalk full of pedestrians, cyclists, and skateboarders runs parallel to the beach. Check out Mission Beach Rentals for the equipment you need such as bikes, skateboards, and surfboards. Be sure to take the kids to Belmont Park, a historic amusement park full of rides and activities.

Encinitas

The city of Encinitas lies north of San Diego on the beautiful southern California coast. Among its pristine white sand beaches is family-friendly Moonlight State Beach, which features extensive shallows for swimming and water play as well as a wide flat beach area that is ideal for volleyball, Frisbee, and other sports. The lovely San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas has 37 acres of awesome bamboo groves, tropical forest, and desert gardens with plants from all over the world. For some mouthwatering fresh seafood, check out the Pacific Coast Grill, where every seat has a panoramic ocean view.

Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg is on a breathtakingly beautiful stretch of the northern California coastline in Mendocino County. Among the city’s unique attractions is Glass Beach, a singularly beautiful beach in MacKerricher State Park whose pebbles are composed of lovely smoothed-over pieces of glass. On the south side of town, the lovely Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens provide 47 acres of flamboyant flowers, fern canyons, streams, and pine forests. Liquid Fusion Kayaking takes you on tours to explore the lovely coves and sea caves along the rugged coast. Take the famous Skunk Train into the interior to view rivers, streams, and redwood forests.

South Lake Tahoe

The city of South Lake Tahoe lies at the southern end of sapphire-blue Lake Tahoe in the midst of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in northeastern California. Rent a boat for water fun at Lakeside Marina, or explore the coastline in luxury aboard the Windsong Sailing Yacht out of Timbercove Marina. The Lake Tahoe Water Ski School offers children and adults the opportunity to learn a fun summer water sport. Rent a bicycle at South Shore Bikes, and head out onto the many trails through the emerald-green forests and hills. During the summer, nearby Heavenly Mountain’s Epic Discovery has exciting activities such as zip lines, rope courses, a climbing wall, and the thrilling Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster.

South Lake Tahoe

The city of South Lake Tahoe lies at the southern end of sapphire-blue Lake Tahoe in the midst of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in northeastern California. Rent a boat for water fun at Lakeside Marina, or explore the coastline in luxury aboard the Windsong Sailing Yacht out of Timbercove Marina. The Lake Tahoe Water Ski School offers children and adults the opportunity to learn a fun summer water sport. Rent a bicycle at South Shore Bikes, and head out onto the many trails through the emerald-green forests and hills. During the summer, nearby Heavenly Mountain’s Epic Discovery has exciting activities such as zip lines, rope courses, a climbing wall, and the thrilling Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster.

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