WRITTEN BY Alejandra Saragoza
Alejandra is the managing editor of California.com. She's a California native based in the Bay Area and enjoys writing about all things food and travel related. Her work can also be seen in Diablo, T…See full bio
As communities across the world and in California mitigate health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are shifting our content focus and not encouraging any travel or social activities during this time. We will, however, continue to shine a light on and celebrate the many beautiful aspects of our State with the intention of being a source of inspiration and joy during this difficult period. Thank you for reading, and stay safe.
With summer fast-approaching and beaches slowly reopening, many Californians have beach days on the brain (and new swimsuits in their online shopping carts). But the Golden State boasts 840 miles of spectacular coastline with dazzling beaches, so it’s not always easy to decide where to lay down your beach towel.
Believe it or not, your zodiac sign often reveals a lot about your personality, making it a helpful guide for determining the California beach best suited to your interests and desires. From swoon-worthy beaches in Southern California to hidden coastal gems in Northern California, there’s a perfect swath of sand for your astrological sign. So, if you’re trying to get your (mineral sunscreen–covered) tan on soon, put a little trust in the cosmos and prepare to discover the beach of your dreams.
Mattole Beach, Petrolia
As the first of the zodiac signs, Aries are fearless trailblazers and adventurers, facing all challenges head-on. (Can you see why the Ram is the symbol for this sign?) So, thrill-seeking Aries are likely to enjoy off-the-beaten-path outdoor excursions that entail plenty of exploration and activities—sitting on a popular beach reading a classic California-based book all day isn’t really their jam.
That’s why an Aries is bound to delight in a journey along the rugged, remote Lost Coast to Mattole Beach. This sandy spot takes some effort to reach, but it’s worth it. (Plus, Rams thrive in the face of a good challenge.) The uncrowded beach boasts breathtaking sunsets, stunning scenery, and blissful tranquility that can only be found in a place that’s been largely untouched by human hands.
Discover more: Traversing Trails: The Lost Coast
Treasure Island Beach, Laguna Beach
The Taurus is all about the finer things in life—this sign doesn’t shy away from self-indulgence and pampering. World-class food, high-end spas, posh hotels, and beautiful environs are their love language. So when it comes to the great outdoors, the more majestic and elegant the setting, the better.
With glittering Pacific views, secret coves, looming cliffs that provide a sense of seclusion, and idyllic coastal scenery, Treasure Island Beach is one of California’s most romantic beaches—and is on par with the high expectations of a Taurus. Situated along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, just over two miles south of Laguna Beach, this long strip of pristine sand is a perfect combination of nature and luxury (especially if you stay the night at the five-star Montage Laguna Beach resort overlooking the water).
Huntington State Beach, Huntington Beach
Frequently flitting from one place to the next, Geminis are social butterflies with energetic, fun-loving personalities. Appropriately symbolized by the celestial twins, they are deeply curious and juggle a wide variety of passions, so they appreciate diversity and crave spontaneity. Indeed, this sign is not one to simply lounge on the beach all day—a Gemini wants to explore and learn things.
Huntington State Beach is one of the best beaches in Southern California, boasting a buzzy social scene and array of activities that are sure to satisfy a Gemini’s numerous interests. Situated in “Surf City USA,” this 121-acre stretch of coast offers prime waves for surfing and boogie boarding, beach volleyball courts, a paved bike path, and fire rings that are perfect for sundown s’mores and cookouts. Plus, the famed Huntington Beach Pier, Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum, and downtown Huntington Beach are a stone’s throw away, so Geminis can rest assured they’ll be at the center of all the action.
Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur
With the crab as their spirit animal, Cancers naturally love the ocean. But due to their sentimental, emotional character, they can easily become overwhelmed by the stresses of daily life and need time to rejuvenate their spirits, making a tranquil beach escape essential for their well-being. They definitely don’t want to spend their vacation days jockeying for blanket space on a crowded beach.
While the ruggedly beautiful Big Sur region draws summer crowds, Pfeiffer Beach remains free of the typical tourists on most days and features an ideal combination of beauty and comfort. Between its large rock formations, fascinating caves, purple-streaked white sand (thanks to its unique mineral deposits), this serene beach will surely soothe a Cancer’s worried mind.
Relax on the sand with some healthy California snacks, catch views from the iconic Bixby Bridge overlooking the shore, or snap pics at the natural arch of Keyhole Rock. Linger until sunset, then indulge in the creature comforts of Post Ranch Inn for a true hideaway experience.
Discover more: Getaway Guide: Big Sur
Coronado Beach, Coronado
Bold, social, and energetic, Leos love to be in the limelight and tend to set their sights on places with an air of exclusivity. They enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences that garner gasps from their many friends and Instagram followers, so their beach getaways must be equal parts beautiful and awe-inspiring.
Set on a peninsula in the San Diego Bay—against the backdrop of the storied, high-end Hotel del Coronado, featured in Marilyn Monroe’s film Some Like it Hot—Coronado Beach literally shines bright like a diamond, thanks to its high concentration of mica. The mile-and-a-half of silvered shoreline is known around the world and is consistently voted as one of America’s best beaches, making for a quintessential San Diego postcard experience.
Indeed, there’s no shortage of photo ops here, appealing to a Leo’s attention-seeking side. Lounge on the soft sands, learn to surf in the gentle waves, admire the seaside mansions along the neighboring Ocean Boulevard, take in the picturesque views, and walk in the footsteps of Hollywood legends at “The Del.”
Discover more: San Diego Destination: Coronado
Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea
Ever the perfectionist and master planner, a Virgo lives off of to-do lists and spreadsheets, even when it comes to vacation. Like everything else, Virgos certainly take their time off seriously and delight in destinations that combine feel-good vibes with intellectually stimulating pastimes. This sign loves to do research before any trip, often planning a detailed itinerary that includes the top restaurants and can’t miss activities.
Carmel Beach ticks off everything on a Virgo’s list, with its various activities and magical setting along the Central Coast. Considered one of the best beaches in California, this famous spot features soft white sands, world-class surfing, and a scenic seaside path that meanders past lush gardens and Monterey cypress trees.
Make sure to walk up Ocean Avenue to explore Carmel-by-the-Sea, too. The charming, European-inspired village is home to several museums, historic sites, and art galleries that are bound to satisfy a Virgo’s inherent curiosity and intellect. The dreamy, fairytale-esque environs will demand that Virgos escape the “real world” and simply revel in their surroundings.
Discover more: Spend a Day (or Three) in Carmel-by-the-Sea
El Matador State Beach, Malibu
Ruled by Venus—the love planet attributed to beauty and romance—Libras are happiest in idyllic, swoon-worthy settings. Like the Taurus (which is also Venus-ruled), the Libra appreciates alluring locations, high-end hotels, gourmet food, designer clothes, and cultural attractions. So when it comes to a beach getaway, it’s all about the charm and beauty for Libra travelers.
Undoubtedly one of Malibu’s most spectacular landscapes, El Matador State Beach boasts incredible ocean views from the rugged cliffs above, which you can simply perch upon, or you can venture down the dirt trail leading down to the shore. Admire the magnificent bluffs and distinct rock structures, explore the hidden sea caves, and watch the mesmerizing sunset before leaving this iconic beach to experience the luxuries of Malibu. From art galleries and upscale boutiques to farm-to-table eateries and oceanfront resorts, there’s plenty for Libras to love.
Discover more: Getaway Guide: Malibu
Butterfly Beach, Montecito
Scorpios are passionate, intense, and determined—but they do need to kick back and relax from time to time. While Scorpios savor their peace and quiet during vacations, they also crave some excitement to stay satisfied, so they aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zones and get social when exploring a new place.
A slice of paradise just south of Santa Barbara, the stunning Butterfly Beach speaks to a Scorpio’s soul. With gorgeous coastal scenery and pristine golden sands, this local favorite attracts residents and tourists alike every day of the week. (Insider tip: Get there early to snag a spot.) It’s easy to while away the day swimming, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and sunbathing, but no matter how you spend your day at Butterfly Beach, don’t leave before golden hour. This beach has a unique east-west orientation that makes for truly majestic sunsets.
While you’re in the area, check out the laid-back town of Santa Barbara, also known as the “American Riviera” for its pleasant Mediterranean climate. Throw in an internationally renowned food scene, elegant beachfront hotels, ample opportunities for outdoor adventure, and buzzy nightlife destinations—and a Scorpio will be in heavenly sensory overload.
Discover more: Getaway Guide: Santa Barbara
Glass Beach, Fort Bragg
Worldly travelers and fearless dreamers, Sagittarians often embody the ultimate free spirit: optimistic, open-minded, and ambitious. They’re most joyful in wide-open spaces with plenty of adventure and exhilaration. Indeed, this sign loves the thrill of something new—especially when it’s a bit off the beaten track—so a Sagittarius won’t want to travel to any ordinary white-sand beach. Sags seek destinations where they can witness something extraordinary.
The pebbly sand of Glass Beach is sure to capture their attention. Situated on the edge of Fort Bragg and inside MacKerricher State Park, almost 200 miles north of San Francisco, this unique beach is covered with layers of rounded sea glass—residue from years of the nearby city using the coastal location as a dumpsite. But Mother Nature has a way of correcting for man-made mistakes; the rough ocean waters here have smoothed the glass and covered the coves with it, and the results are truly striking.
Keep an eye out for rare red pieces from tail lights or sapphire pieces from apothecary bottles, but be prepared to take only photographs here, as the state park has banned the removal of sea glass.
Discover more: Getaway Guide: Mendocino
La Jolla Shores, La Jolla
Capricorns are wildly ambitious and hardworking, but they also tend to follow tradition and play by the rules. (There’s a reason why a Capricorn is symbolized by a mountain goat climbing up a rocky hill, taking one cautious step at a time.) Success, stability, and structure are important to Capricorns, and they deserve an unforgettable beach vacay with a balance of both fun and relaxation.
There’s no better place for Caps to unwind from all their hard work than at La Jolla Shores. This popular beach is tucked away in the upscale enclave of La Jolla, a hilly neighborhood on the northwest edge of San Diego. La Jolla Shores’ mile-long crescent of soft, sandy beach sits between ocean-carved sandstone cliffs, beckoning to active beachgoers of all interests.
Anchored by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography pier, this is a busy area with temperate waters made for swimming, surfing, scuba diving, paddleboarding, and kayaking. La Jolla Shores also boasts the only beachfront boat launch within San Diego’s city limits, making it perfect for would-be sailors. At night, watch as the locale comes alive with the glow of bonfires, or head to the nearby La Jolla Shores Hotel for a delicious dinner in elegant environs.
Venice Beach, Los Angeles
Avant-garde Aquarius is ruled by Uranus—the only planet in the solar system that spins on its side—so it’s not surprising that Aquarians like to do things their own way, moving on a path different from everyone else’s. They may be known for their progressive personality, cutting-edge originality, and authentic style. So when it comes to a beach vacation, Aquarians want more than just to get a great tan.
Individualism and independence are super important to Aquarians, and quirky Venice Beach is known for embracing eccentrics of all stripes (and for being one of the best beaches in Los Angeles). The diverse, boho-spirited destination has long been a haven for creative types, attracting artists, poets, musicians, and street performers with its carefree atmosphere. Find a spot on the three-mile-long beach to sunbathe, ride some rad waves, and watch the local skaters perform wild stunts from afar.
Once you’ve had your fill of the beach, stroll along the Ocean Front Walk for some of the best people-watching in California; entertainers flood the walkway, and locals preserve the neighborhood’s legacy of housing vibrant artists and writers. Between the world-famous Venice Boardwalk and the historic Venice Muscle Beach gym to the Italian-inspired, man-made canals and the eclectic restaurants and shops along Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice offers something for everyone—but Aquarians, in particular, are bound to feel like they’ve found their happy place.
Discover more: California Coastal Spotlight: Venice Beach
Fort Funston, San Francisco
Pisces are dreamers and creatives at heart, often seen as spiritual visionaries. On a beach trip, they need to indulge those head-in-the-clouds daydreams that make them so imaginative and compassionate—their minds are the perfect hideout when they want to escape. Right up their alley? The beautiful and fascinating Fort Funston Beach.
As soon as you step foot upon the golden sands here, you’ll understand why Fort Funston is one of the best beaches in San Francisco (not to mention one of the most dog-friendly beaches in California). Nestled in the southwestern corner of the city, this former military fortress boasts breathtaking ocean vistas, rolling sand dunes, and fragrant eucalyptus groves, serving as an urban oasis for city slickers and visitors alike. Walk through ruins and along the water as you watch the waves crash against the shore, then venture up to the bluffs to explore the various coastal trails overlooking the beach—and watch the hang-gliders and parasailers soaring overhead.
Discover more: Getaway Guide: San Francisco
If you enjoyed discovering your dream beach based on your zodiac sign, see which California road trip is best for you based on your Enneagram type and let us know about your other favorite beaches in the comments below.
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