My childhood was spent in Laguna Beach, California where I was often treated to the joys of seeing dolphins playfully surf the morning waves, where the salty scent of the sea permeated the walls of my home, where tangerine-sangria sunrises and sunsets bookended my days, where tide pools were liquid pockets of wonderment flush with otherworldly life – sea stars, translucent anemones, and urchins that looked like little purple hedgehogs. My first boyfriend was a surfer, my skin was sun-kissed most of the year, and my virtual high school uniform was a bathing suit, so I feel I have some authority on the subject of the world’s most wonderful beaches.
In fact, seeking out the world’s best beaches has been a lifetime pursuit. Yet, I am always drawn back to Diver’s Cove and Crescent Bay, two fabulous beaches that were a mere hop, skip and jump from my childhood front door. So, I begin this list of wonderful beaches with those close to my hometown of Laguna Beach, and I end it with a handful of beaches I still dream of twirling on, bikini-clad and sun-drenched.
In between are a handful of other beaches that I am lucky enough to have visited, and I can speak of from personal experience. Some are the best for swimming while others are best for tide-pooling or snorkeling, but however you size them up, they are all fabulously enchanting beaches that should be on your sand bucket list, if indeed you are a beach-lover like me.
Or you can sit back and enjoy these beaches right at home, by scrolling through the following images.
The Beach Boys made California famous for a reason. While there are dozens of excellent beaches in my home state from San Diego to Malibu to Mendocino, my favorites as noted above are Diver’s Cove and Crescent Bay. Both beaches are great for swimming. Diver’s Cove is cozy and intimate with rocks you can dive off of into a blowhole if you dare. Crescent Bay has a moon arc of sand, great body surfing waves and fun tide-pooling.