top of page

The best California beach hotels

California’s coastline is an iconic stretch of sun-kissed beaches, dramatic cliffs, and charming seaside towns. With over 800 miles of stunning coastline, it's no wonder that beach lovers flock to the Golden State for a taste of paradise. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or just a solo retreat by the sea, here’s a list of some of the best California beach hotels that promise an unforgettable coastal experience.

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Let’s start with luxury. The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is a jewel on the Northern California coast. Perched atop a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this hotel offers breathtaking views, world-class amenities, and an atmosphere of serene elegance. Imagine sipping a glass of wine by the fire pit as you watch the sunset over the waves. Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the two championship golf courses, while the on-site spa offers rejuvenating treatments inspired by the sea. It’s a splurge, but one that’s well worth it for a special occasion.

Shutters on the Beach hotel in Santa Monica
Credit: Shutters On The Beach

Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica

Shutters on the Beach is quintessentially Southern California. Located right on Santa Monica Beach, this charming hotel combines the casual elegance of a beach house with the sophistication of a luxury resort. The airy, white-washed rooms with their cozy beds and breezy balconies are perfect for unwinding after a day of exploring Santa Monica Pier or biking along the boardwalk. Don’t miss dining at the hotel’s restaurant, 1 Pico, which offers delicious coastal cuisine with panoramic ocean views.

Malibu, California

The Surfrider, Malibu

For a more intimate and laid-back vibe, The Surfrider in Malibu is a fantastic choice. This boutique hotel, housed in a revamped 1950s-era motel, is directly across from Surfrider Beach, famous for its surf culture and picturesque scenery. The Surfrider’s rooftop deck is a highlight, offering stunning views of Malibu’s coastline, cozy seating, and a delightful menu featuring local ingredients. With just 20 rooms, this hotel provides a personal touch and a truly immersive Malibu experience.

Hotel Del Coronado
Credit: Hotel Del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego

No list of California beach hotels would be complete without the iconic Hotel del Coronado. This historic landmark, affectionately known as "The Del," has been a favorite retreat since it opened in 1888. Located on Coronado Island just off the coast of San Diego, the hotel boasts a stunning Victorian architecture, a pristine beachfront, and a rich history. Guests can enjoy luxurious accommodations, an array of dining options, and family-friendly activities. The Del's beach, with its gentle surf and golden sand, is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and beach volleyball.

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur
Credit: Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

If you’re looking for a secluded retreat with dramatic coastal views, Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur is the place to be. Nestled high on the cliffs above the Pacific, this adults-only hotel offers a serene escape with luxurious, eco-friendly accommodations. The rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, private decks, and some even have outdoor hot tubs. Guests can enjoy complimentary yoga classes, guided nature walks, and stargazing sessions. The award-winning Sierra Mar restaurant serves up farm-to-table cuisine with breathtaking ocean views.

Dillon Beach Resort
Credit: Dillon Beach Resort

Dillon Beach Resort, Dillon Beach

Nestled along the scenic coast of Northern California, Dillon Beach Resort offers a tranquil and picturesque retreat just a short drive from the San Francisco bay area. This charming resort, located in the small town of Dillon Beach, provides guests with cozy accommodations, including charming tiny cottages and beachside cabins. The resort also boasts a farm to table restaurant called the Coastal Kitchen, as well as a general store with grab and go goodies. The resort's prime location offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and easy access to a pristine beach, perfect for beachcombing, picnicking, or simply soaking in the serene coastal ambiance.

Pebble Beach

The Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach

Golf lovers will find their paradise at The Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach. This luxurious resort is set amidst the famous Pebble Beach golf courses and offers stunning ocean views, especially at sunset when the bagpiper serenades guests from the links. The rooms are elegant and spacious, many with fireplaces and private patios or balconies. Guests can indulge in fine dining at several on-site restaurants, unwind at the spa, or take a leisurely stroll along the scenic 17-Mile Drive. It’s a perfect blend of relaxation and recreation.

Jenner, California

Timber cove resort, jenner

Perched on the rugged cliffs of the Sonoma Coast, Timber Cove Resort in Jenner, California, offers an idyllic escape where nature and luxury seamlessly blend. This iconic mid-century modern hotel, renowned for its striking A-frame architecture and panoramic ocean views, provides guests with a serene and sophisticated retreat. The resort’s signature restaurant, Coast Kitchen, serves locally sourced, farm-to-table cuisine, enhancing the sensory experience with flavors as fresh and invigorating as the surrounding scenery.

Oceanside, California

The Seabird Resort, Oceanside

A newcomer making waves on the California coast is The Seabird Resort in Oceanside. This modern beachfront hotel offers a fresh and vibrant atmosphere with a touch of coastal luxury. The rooms are bright and airy, with stunning views of the ocean or the charming Oceanside Pier. The resort features a beautiful pool, a full-service spa, and several dining options that highlight local flavors. The Seabird is perfect for families, couples, and solo travelers looking for a stylish and comfortable beachside getaway.

From luxurious cliffside retreats to charming beachside inns, California's beach hotels offer something for every type of traveler. So pack your bags, grab your sunglasses, and get ready to soak up the sun at one of these incredible coastal escapes. Your perfect beach vacation awaits!

bottom of page