Are you looking for a coastline with a beautiful scenery? How about a coastline that has a bunch of unique historical backgrounds like sunken ships or blowholes? Then the coast of California is definitely for you. Prepare yourself for an epic adventure around The Golden State!
A Beach Cascading Waterfall
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur
The McWay Falls in Big Sur is something that you need to look for, despite it being close to the road. It is extremely rare because this 80-foot fall cascades directly onto a beach.
A landslide in 1983 created a beach, which now makes it cascade onto sand, but it did use to pour down directly into the ocean via steep granite cliff. You can check out the Alamere Falls, if you’d like one that goes directly into the Pacific.
An Elusive Shipwreck
Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Now you’ll have to be very patient with this one. In 1878, the King Philip clipper ship broke and crashed apart on San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. Some parts of the shipwreck become visible during extremely low tides, but they are usually covered in water and sand.
This wonderful shipwreck takes years before it shows itself again, so you should grab the chance while you can. The timeline of its reappearances is very elusive. It made an appearance in 1985, it wasn’t seen again until 2007, and it was last spotted in 2011.
Jump Inside This Magnificent Blowhole
Pearl Street Beach, Laguna Beach
Seasoned swimmers can leap into the blowhole and be carried by the water through the cave and out to the sea, if the rocks are “open.” This blowhole has an underwater cave arch that goes up and down with the tide like an elevator in the water. This happens during the low tides, and it’s up to the lifeguard if they’ll permit people to jump in.
An Isolated Island with Pygmy Mammoth Fossils
Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park
The term “Pygmy Mammoth” may sound like a total oxymoron. However, once you see the proof that dwarf elephants did once roam the earth, you’ll see that it’s completely legit.
To get there, you’ll be taking a three-hour boat ride from Ventura. You’ll then find a spot at Water Canyon Campground, an 84 sq. mi. island, where you’ll be pitching your tent on. Lastly, you’ll hike Lobo Canyon where you will see fossils of a 5-foot-high pygmy mammoth who used to inhabit the place.
One of the World’s Longest Sea Caves
Santa Cruz Island’s Painted Cave, Channel Islands National Park
Once you venture inside, you’ll know why it’s named the Painted Cave. The walls in the cave have a distinct pattern of colors, thanks to algae and lichen that are present on them. It’s very dark inside, so you’ll need a headlamp to clearly see its marvelous sight. There will also be sea lions, seals, and seabirds that will greet you once you arrive. Painted Cave is also one of the largest sea caves in the entire world, at nearly 100 ft. wide and 1,225 ft. deep.
Relax Near San Fernando’s Hot Springs
Steep Ravine Campground, Stinson Beach
If you visit at the perfect moment, the hot springs of Steep Ravine are an amazing place to relax and get soaked in. During extremely low tides, you can experience the waves from the ocean crash on the rock that are surrounding you, while you’re getting refreshed on the hot spring. However, you will need to face a couple of challenges like slippery rocks, a hiking trail that’s full of poison oaks. If you get past those, you’ll be in paradise!
Gaviota State Park, Goleta
If you’re planning to visit this place, just be informed that there will be a lot of wind. What can you expect? The caves are literally made from wind. These sandstone caves were carved by the strong coastal winds have killer views of the ocean that are absolutely worth seeing. Watch out, though, because there are some rattlesnakes; and the trail leading to these caves may be short, but it is steep.
A Shipwreck in Southern California
Lunada Bay, Palos Verdes
The Pacific Ocean once dominated a Greek freighter, which was coincidentally called The Dominator, and imprisoned it on the rocks near Rocky Point in 1961. She was left behind when it was decided that she cannot be recovered after two days of trying. In another fifty years, it’s probable that she’ll no longer be around because she is eroding quickly. But over the course of five decades after she capsized, she can still be seen at low tide.
Another Man’s Is Another Man’s House
Nitt Witt Ridge, Cambria
In 1928, a man known as Capt. Nitt Witt, whose real name is Art Beal, built this hillside house that looks like it could only be found in California. It’s a historic landmark in California and can be visited by appointment.
Utilizing only a shovel and a pick, Art Beal used all sorts of materials from old car parts to old beer cans to conceive what he has called his very own “castle on a hill.”
A Sea Cave in a Secret Beach
Garrapata State Park Beach, Carmel-By-The-Sea
This is very mysterious beach, and it is elusive as well. You’ll have a hard time trying to discover it, but once you do, you’ll feel as though you own the vast stretch of sand for yourself—almost. There are other people who visit this secret beach as well, so expect a few encounters every now and then. You’ll also find caves and coves at the south end of the beach, and you’ll find a small waterfall at the farthest north, available in winter and spring only.
The Black Sand and the Isolated Beach
Black Sands Beach, Shelter Cove
This beach is the most isolated out the of the three beaches with black sands in California. It is part of the 80-mile-long Lost Coast, and it’s generally the easiest beach to access along the Lost Coast. Once you discover the glistening trail of black sand, look out for otters, the occasional surfer, and bear tracks. But firstly, look out for bear tracks.
The Dwarf Trees and Their Home
Jug Handle State Natural Reserve, Mendocino County
Ever wondered what a forest of dwarf trees would look like? You don’t have to wonder anymore. Visit the Hans Jenny Pygmy Forest Reserve and witness trees that are about a hundred years old that only come up to your chin.
The forest itself is made of a staircase of five wave-cut terraces with each tree aging 100,000 years older than the ones 100 ft. below them. The trees are stunted due to the inhospitable soil on the top terrace.
Pacifica’s Castle Situated on the Bluffs
Nowadays, this structure goes by the name Sam’s Castle. People visit it in hopes of seeing a couple of ghosts, as well as the towers and turrets. The castle was erected in 1908 and acted as a brothel, a party area, a Coast Guard outpost in WWII, and an abortion clinic. The castle was built for the purpose of having an “earthquake-proof” home.
The Ocean Waters That Glow in the Dark
Tomales Bay, West Marin County
For this one, you really have to be at the right place at the right time. The Dinoflagellates (single-celled creatures that are older than dinosaurs) are the ones who create the brilliant, fluorescent blue-green light in the waters of Tomales Bay for a couple of months every year. However, you can also capture versions of this all up and down the Californian coast if you can’t visit Tomales Bay.
A Beach with Purple Sands
Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur
The Californian beaches are home to a variety of sands. There are white, gray, red, green, black sands. But the Pfeiffer Beach has a very unique sand color—purple. Due to the large deposits of manganese and quartz coming from the hills and being washed down from the creek, the amethyst-colored sand is then created on this elusive beach. In addition, a Keyhole Arch during a few weeks every year presents a mystical light show.
Amazing? That doesn’t even come close to the word that perfectly describes these beautiful places. They’re elegant, majestic, and each of them has a hint of mystery. Feel free to visit any of them and enjoy the experience to your heart’s content.