The California coast offers many lovely beaches where swimming, surfing, and relaxing can be done all year round. In this article, we look at where the warmest beaches in California are located so you can enjoy your next beach holiday in warm Pacific waters.
The warmest California beaches typically lie along the southern coast. The warmest ocean waters are at Aliso Beach, Hearts Desire Beach, Imperial Beach, La Jolla Cove, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Morro Bay, Newport Beach, Oxnard, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Zuma Beach.
You should drive south along the Pacific coast if you want warm water beaches. We help you find the warmest beaches for your perfect California beach holiday. Read on to find out where they are.
The Warmest Beaches in California
Southern California typically has the best temperatures and warm Pacific Ocean current, making it the best place for summer and winter holidays. The best beaches in California with pleasant climates and warm water temperatures are listed below.
Aliso Beach is in South Laguna Beach and is a perfect example of one of the warm beaches in Southern California.
The beach offers restrooms, a kid’s play area, fire pits, and a beautiful white sandy beach. Aliso Beach is a big favorite of families.
North of Treasure Island Beach is the best place for swimming. The beach is protected by substantial rock formations creating a quiet area to swim.
Aliso Beach is a favorite for body surfers and surfers alike. The cute kid’s area, well-kept restrooms, and parking space make this beach a beautiful place to relax.
Aliso Beach Park is the most popular beach of Laguna’s beaches. The nearby creek flows over the beach sand into the ocean at Alison beach.
Aliso Beach’s average sea temperature is 68 °F. You can find the warmest water temperature during July. The coldest water temperatures are in January at 59°F.
Hearts Desire Beach
Hearts Desire Beach is a lovely warm California beach located in Tomales Bay State Park, perfect for family holidays.
This family beach has lots of outdoor activities and areas with grass to have a picnic. Heart’s Desire beach also features many hiking trails to other hidden beaches; some lead to a grove with beautiful bishop pine trees.
Heart’s Desire beach is protected from winds making it a quiet beach for swimming. Many outdoor activities take place at this family beach, like clam digging, boating, hiking, kayaking, and bird watching.
Heart’s Desire beach’s warm ocean water temperature is typically 70°F, even when foggy.
Imperial Beach is in San Diego’s South Bay area, just 5 miles north of Mexico. The 4-mile sandy beach offers many activities like sports fishing, surfing, horseback riding, and beach volleyball.
At the pier at Imperial Beach, you can see panoramic views of the Los Coronado Islands. The Imperial Beach pier is a favorite place for fishing or watching the sun go down.
Imperial Beach connects to Coronado from Silver Strand, a narrow 7-mile-long strip that is a favorite spot for biking, camping, and birdwatching.
Imperial Beach also features the Tijuana River National Estuary. Here the freshwater from the Tijuana River mixes with saltwater from the Pacific Ocean and forms the biggest saltwater marsh in California.
Tijuana River National Estuary is one of the main birding spots with several endangered birds and wildlife. The Living Coast Discovery Aquarium, located near the estuary, is an excellent experience for the whole family.
Imperial Beach annually hosts many events like triathlons and the Sun and Sea sandcastle festival. The Surfboard Museum and outdoor public exhibition of surfing history in Imperial Beach are well worth a visit.
The average ocean temperature at Imperial Beach is 75°F, and 78° F in Summer, 70° F in Spring, 76°F in Fall, and 64°F in Winter.
La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove beach is a lovely beach tucked between sandstone cliffs famous for its warm waters, sandy beach, and breathtaking sunset views. With lots of wildlife, beachfront restaurants, children’s play areas, and outdoor activities, this beach is excellent for a family vacation. With its extraordinary beauty, La Jolla Cove earned the award for the most photographed beach in California.
The ocean surrounding La Jolla Cove makes up the La Jolla Underwater Park, 6000 acres large. The Ecological Reserve at La Jolla Cove has abundant marine life like seals, giant sea bass, opaleye, orange garibaldi, and barracuda to see.
With its protected status, fishing or removing anything from the ocean is prohibited, ensuring the marine life at La Jolla Cove is saved.
With water visibility exceeding 30 feet, La Jolla Cove is perfect for snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving. La Jolla Cove has a permanent lifeguard station serviced by top San Diego Lifeguards. La Jolla Cove Sea temperatures average 74°F during September, and the coldest is January at 61°F.
Laguna Beach is halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego and Orange County’s hidden gems. This California coastal area offers seven miles of beaches and is hidden where beachgoers can explore beautiful sandy beaches, natural tide pools, sea caves, and oceanside bluffs.
Laguna Beach has the most beachfront accommodation available in California, making it a perfect place for a family beach holiday.
The average annual water temperature in Laguna Beach is 66°F, 69°F in Summer, 65°F in Fall, 59°F in Winter, and 60°F in Spring. The coldest months are in March, with water temperatures only reaching 55°F.
The warm water at Long Beach attracts tourists all year with its sandy beaches, state-of-the-art aquarium, boating, kayaking, and kitesurfing. Long Beach is only half an hour from Los Angeles and offers plenty of outdoor activities, fine dining, and boutique shopping to please any vacationer.
The Aquarium of the Pacific at Long Beach is the biggest in California that houses penguins, sea otters, and 350,000-gallon tropical reef habitat with thousands of marine life, fish, sea turtles, coral, and even sharks.
Long Beach has eleven miles of sandy beaches. At Marine Park and Alamitos Beach, you can rent Duffy electric boats, kayaks, boats, and stand-up paddleboards at Rainbow Marina.
Long Beach’s Belmont beach is one of the best places for kitesurfing. Book a trip out to sea on a whale-watching boat from Harbor Breeze Cruises.
You can also rent a sailboat at Sunglow Charters, and the high-speed water taxis offer an exhilarating boat ride from point A to B or book a romantic gondola ride.
Long Beach Seawater temperatures average from 70 to 75°F in August and are the coldest in March at 50°F. Long Beach water temperatures are always warm and at their warmest in August and can reach daily highs of 84°F.
Morro Bay offers three places to enjoy, the harbor, the bay, and the beach. All feature a unique atmosphere, activities, marine life, and warm waters.
The six-mile sandy beach offers plenty of trails to explore near the protected sanctuary bay with abundant marine life and sea otters basking in the sun.
Paddleboard or kayak through Morro Bay’s warm waters or take a hike or a bike ride on the beach with its scenic views.
The harbor at Morro Bay is a busy harbor where fishers return with their catch from the day to sell it to local restaurants that serve the freshly caught seafood in mouthwatering dishes. The average water temperature at Morro Bay is 60°F in August and 54°F in April.
Southern California is well known for its lovely beaches, but Newport Beach is a true gem. Newport Beach is famous for beautiful white sandy beaches, piers, and fun-filled outdoor activities for the family. The art museum at Newport beach features work from local and well-known artists and is well worth visiting.
This area offers lovely beaches, nature reserves, many outdoor activities, and fine dining restaurants to please any holidaymaker.
Enjoy the panoramic views at Corona del Mar State Beach or take a long walk and enjoy the sunset at Newport Pier to end the day.
The water temperature at Newport Beach is warmest in July at 70°F, and the coldest is in January at 58.3°F.
Oxnard Beach Park
Oxnard Beach Park is a family-oriented beach between the Oxnard Shores and the Embassy Suites Holiday Resort.
Oxnard is a beautiful beach with grassy areas for picnics, volleyball courts, children’s play areas, skating, biking, jogging, and public barbecue areas.
The white sandy beach offers spectacular views of the Marine Sanctuary and Channel Island National Park. Oxnard beach is the perfect place to kayak, fish, bodyboard, surf, sunbathe, or enjoy the view.
The water temperatures at Oxnard beach average 65°F in Summer, 64°F in Fall, 58°F in Spring, and 59°F in Winter. Minimum water temperatures in March are 55°F, and in August maximum 68°F.
San Diego is one of the most spectacular places in the U.S, the beaches in San Diego are breathtaking.
San Diego has large sandy beaches that are both secluded and untouched. The public beaches in San Diego offer many outdoor activities like swimming, kayaking, surfing, paddleboarding, kitesurfing, and many other water sports in its warm waters.
Some beaches are only accessible on foot through walking paths. San Diego has many beaches within its city limits and other beach towns in the area to explore.
Most of the beaches are connected by a 28-mile-long boardwalk called The Strand. This boardwalk is filled with restaurants, beach stores, and hotels where you can dine or just relax to your heart’s content.
Surfers prefer beaches like San Clemente, Leucadia, and Encinitas with their big waves, while families and people who just want to enjoy the sun favor beaches like Pacific Beach, La Jolla, and Oceanside.
San Diego has perfect weather and hardly sees much rain, with an average temperature over 70°F year-round making it the ideal beach holiday destination.
The water temperature is warmest in August at 68°F and coldest in February at 59°F, and Spring is 61°F and Fall at 66°F.
Santa Barbara is close to the ocean with miles of sunny white sandy beaches. The warm water of Santa Barbara is perfect for surfing, swimming, kayaking, or paddleboarding. Take a walk on one of Santa Barbara’s famous beaches to unwind and relax, taking in the spectacular scenery.
Most Santa Barbara beaches and Ventura counties are busy year-round with swimmers, surfers, and paddlers who come to enjoy the warm waters. The year-round sunshine and breathtaking beaches make Santa Barbara beaches the best in California.
The beaches most visited are along the Santa Barbara Waterfront, close to Santa Barbara’s main attractions, like the harbor and Stearns Wharf. The palm-lined Cabrillo Bike Path connects East Beach, West Beach, and Leadbetter Beach.
The water temperatures in Santa Barbara are 62°F in Summer, 57°F in Spring, 56°F in Winter, and 62°F in Fall.
Zuma Beach – Malibu
Zuma Beach in Malibu extends for 1.8 miles and is famous for surfing, swimming, and windsurfing; however, at times can have strong rip tides and rough surf during Winter.
Zuma Beach is a great place to watch grey whales make their winter migration along the coastline or watch the seals and dolphins frolic in the surf.
The wide sandy beaches with warm waters, and mild waves, are perfect for any water sports enthusiast. Zuma beach has plenty of parking, food stands, clean bathrooms, and lifeguards on duty and offers anything for a fun beach day, whether you want to surf, swim, climb a rock, hike the ridge, or sunbathe.
The nearby restaurants have great views overlooking the beach and offer mouthwatering gourmet food. The water temperature at Zuma Beach is at its warmest in August at 67°F and coldest in March at 58°F.
The warmest beaches in California are Aliso Beach, Hearts Desire Beach, Imperial Beach, La Jolla Cove, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Morro Bay, Newport Beach, Oxnard, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Zuma Beach.
The warmest beach in California is La Jolla Cove, where the water temperature typically climbs to 74°F in Summer. We hope you found this article informative, and your next beach holiday will be at one of these fantastic warm water beaches.