It is difficult to find a state in the USA that is more suitable for a beach holiday than California. Sacramento is located in a unique place where you can enjoy the beauty of nature. An integral part of the famous nature of the state of California is the ocean and many picturesque beaches.
In California, you can visit several beaches during the holidays. Each of them is unique! All beaches differ from each other in their landscapes and atmosphere. However, it is quite difficult to choose where exactly to go to relax, stay in silence, and take amazing pictures for Instagram.
We have chosen the perfect option for each of our readers! In addition to the undeniable beauty of the scenery, another advantage is that from the center of Sacramento, you can get to the nearest beaches in just an hour and a half. In addition, thanks to the mild climate, it is hot enough in Sacramento in summer to spend a couple of days by the ocean, where the sea breeze will cool you down. The temperature by the ocean in California is always slightly lower than in the center of Sacramento.
We have compiled our guide to the best beaches near Sacramento to make it easier for you to find a perfect one. In this list, you will find the beach that suits you best according to your interests and goals. For example, you can be a sports fan or an excellent surfer, or prefer a quiet family vacation in seclusion away from the noise of the city.
1. Crown Memorial State Beach
Crown Memorial State Beach is an extremely popular beach near Sacramento, California. It is located in the city of Alameda.
Since this beach is very popular among locals and tourists, you should be prepared for the fact that there are always a lot of people near the ocean. Another reason for the high recognition of this beach is the good condition of the beach. The local authorities keep the beach clean and periodically update it. Moreover, various entertainment events are often held here, where active residents of Sacramento and its surroundings gather.
If you are more interested in nature, then this beach has something to offer you, too. You will be enchanted by the breathtaking views of the high sandy cliffs. This beach is perfect for families with children and for those people who do not like high waves. Here you can let the children play in the water and swim, as the ocean near the shore is not very deep.
2. Sly Park Recreation Area
Remember that near Sacramento, there are not only various beaches by the ocean but also wonderful recreation areas by the lakes. One of the most popular places for recreation among residents of Sacramento is Sly Park Recreation Area.
Here you can spend a weekend in nature near the lake, go fishing, rent a boat, ride a bike, run along numerous routes, and just walk around. In addition, this place is great for an inexpensive vacation for a few days, as there are several campsites with a lot of free places for your tent.
3. Montara State Beach
Montana State Beach was included in our list due to its beauty and crystal clear water. Here you can spend both one day and the whole vacation without going far from Sacramento.
Thanks to the moderate waves here, you can safely swim, surf, or go fishing. Unfortunately, this beach is not suitable for people with disabilities, as the path to the shore involves a rather dangerous descent down a long staircase. We recommend that you care about this detail in advance and take another pair of shoes with you, preferably sneakers.
4. Laguna Beach
This beach is known for its long length, so you can have a good time walking along the coast. Here the sea is calm, which creates an atmosphere of comfort.
Here you can spend time swimming, relaxing with friends, or playing with children. If you’re a sports fan, you can even go for a run here. Thanks to the large area of the beach, there is enough space for all guests of Sacramento not to interfere with each other and relax in silence, listening to the sound of the ocean.
An underwater zone was built here, which now attracts residents of Sacramento and tourists from other states. Indeed, there is something to see here. This area has a rich underwater world, so we recommend diving here at least once to discover a new wonderful world.
Crystal Cove State Park is included in the list of places in Sacramento that have been added to the ecological map, which also indicates the value of this natural object. Don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy a weekend on this unique beach!
5. Baker Beach
One of the most popular views of the state of California is the view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which is located in San Francisco. Surely you have seen a lot of photos of the bridge that were taken from Baker Beach.
From Sacramento, you can get here in just an hour and a half. Unfortunately, due to the waves and rocks, it is impossible to swim here, but you can finish your walk through the center of San Francisco on this beach by having a picnic and meeting the sunset with the best view in the city.
6. Golden Gate National Recreation Area
If you want to spend one or several days alone with nature, then we will recommend you the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
A huge territory belongs to the national recreation area. It may take a week to get around everything and enjoy the scenery, but you will enjoy it even if you come here for just one day. You have a unique opportunity to combine a vacation on the ocean with a visit to other natural and historical monuments.
Get acquainted with everything that is located in the national recreation area in advance and make up your own unique route according to your preferences. In addition to the picturesque coastline, here you will find 37 parks, many routes passing through the entire national park, old buildings, the history of which you can study to make your trip even more intense.
7. Stinson Beach
If you are looking for a classic relaxing beach holiday, then we will recommend Stinson Beach to you.
Here you will find everything you need. Perfect cleanliness, white sand, safety (there is a lifeguard on duty at the beach), necessary equipment, comfortable conditions for swimming, relaxing with children, and surfing. Because of all these advantages, the beach is extremely popular with locals. In addition, San Francisco is located near the beach, so especially on weekends, there may be problems finding a free parking space. Come early to avoid this problem and enjoy an amazing vacation at Stinson Beach.
8. Muir Beach
One of the most picturesque places near Sacramento is Muir Beach. No wonder it is a favorite among the residents of the city who like to spend their weekends here. This place is ideal for those who want to take a couple of beautiful and unusual photos.
Muir Beach combines all the best that you expect to see on the coastline: a clean and calm beach, a bay, and a lagoon. Moreover, an unexpected and pleasant bonus is the forest, which is located very close to the shore. This beach is ideal for a one-day visit, as it won’t take you long to get to this place from downtown Sacramento.
You will be surprised that the beaches and the Muir Forest are even more beautiful in autumn. Firstly, you will get beautiful photos with the trees that will amaze you with their splendor and riot of colors in the background. Secondly, it is in autumn that you can see a unique phenomenon here – a gathering of thousands of colorful butterflies. Just imagine what emotions you can get when visiting Muir Beach!
9. Half Moon Bay State Beach
Half Moon Bay Beach is a public beach, which means that the territory is looked after and guarded. Therefore, this beach is distinguished by clean sand and the large width of the shore.
The advantage of this place for recreation is also that you can quickly and easily get here and find a secluded place even on weekends and holidays. In total, the complex includes four different beaches, so all lovers of beach holidays will find a place to sunbathe and swim. Here you will not have to look for a long time to find a place to put your towel on the sand. Moreover, you will be able to find a place for camping. In addition to sunbathing and swimming, you can go fishing, exercise outdoors, or have a picnic with friends.
10. Goat Rock State Beach
The next beach we will talk about is called Goth Rock. This is probably the most beautiful beach on our list.
When viewing photos of the beach, you might think that it is located somewhere on the coast of England or France. In fact, this stunning rocky shore is only 2.5 hours away from Sacramento. Here, from the top of the cliff, you will be able to observe a breathtaking view of the ocean, large waves, and rocks. This view will not leave anyone indifferent! This beach is not suitable for swimming. Because of the rocks and high waves, it is dangerous to be in the water here. However, you should just enjoy the beauty of nature. There are trails that are ideal for hiking. If you are lucky, you will see seals here.
11. Pacifica State Beach
Pacifica is a famous beach that is located in the city of the same name near Sacramento. This beach is famous for its stunning views and excellent conditions for surfing or swimming.
In this place, a bay was formed, so the coastline has the shape of a semicircle. Due to this, the water near the shore is always a little warmer than in the ocean, and there is no strong wind and large waves. That’s why it’s so comfortable to swim here or even teach your children how to swim for the first time. This place is unlikely to appeal to experienced surfers and fans of extreme sports, but for beginners, the bay at Pacific Beach is an ideal option!
Moreover, on this beach, you will find rental points for sports equipment. You only have to drive an hour and 45 minutes by car to reach your destination. The beach is well-equipped: there are public showers that can be used to wash off the salty seawater. In addition, you can prepare lunch in advance and take it with you or visit one of several cafes located right on the beach.
12. Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach is a unique place in Sacramento. This beach is good because it is located in the heart of Sacramento, near California State University. The location makes this beach perhaps the most accessible among all other beaches.
In addition, this beach is accessible to absolutely all residents and guests of the city 365 days a year. In summer, you can enjoy the silence and beauty of this place, swim here quietly, and relax from the heat of the city. In winter, when it is a little cool for swimming and sunbathing, you will appreciate what amazing fishing is available in this place. Residents of the city often gather here for a leisurely evening walk and morning run.
13. Santa Cruz Beach
Santa Cruz Beach is a little further from Sacramento than most of the beaches we have already covered. However, trust our opinion, it’s worth going on a road trip lasting 2.5 hours to enjoy all the delights of this beach!
Here you will find attractions, many cafes and restaurants, an embankment, and the beach itself. If you cannot lie on the sand for a long time and you get bored with a beach vacation quickly, this beach will be what you need! Here you can combine sunbathing with entertainment, a walk, and a delicious dinner. Obviously, this beach is well equipped, it has everything you need from changing rooms and showers to volleyball courts.
You can park next to the embankment, but we advise you to arrive early in the morning. Santa Cruz Beach is extremely popular, so it can be difficult to find a parking space in the middle of the day. If you plan to stay here for a couple of days, then be sure to explore the city of Santa Cruz, do not limit yourself to the beach.
14. Fort Funston
The next beach we will talk about is called Fort Funston. In the past, it was a real fort, that is, a defensive installation on the ocean. Now this place has lost its original meaning but has become a place of attraction for tourists.
However, do not think that only a historical landmark awaits you here. This place will appeal to both lovers of history and excursions and connoisseurs of beach holidays. This beach is the southernmost on our list, so you can be sure that it is always sunny and warm here. Aren’t these ideal conditions for a great holiday? But we still recommend reading the weather forecast before the trip, as the wind can sometimes be too strong on the coast.
15. San Gregorio State Beach
The last beach we will tell you about is the place where the river and the ocean meet – San Gregorio State Beach.
Here is the mouth of the river next to the ocean, usually they are separated from each other by a thin strip of beach. Here you can also observe the steep rocky shore and the view of the bridge over the river. The beauty of this beach is amazing and makes you come back here again and again.
Now that you have read our list of the best ocean and lake beaches near Sacramento, you should no longer have problems choosing a place to relax. We hope that you will have a great weekend or a short vacation in Sacramento. Even if you live in this city, it will never be too late to discover new places. Especially considering that California has a unique nature.