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The 5 Best Boardwalks in California

The 5 Best Boardwalks in California

Explore the top 5 California boardwalks for unforgettable experiences, stunning ocean views, and coastal vibes. Team


2 min read

April 17, 2023

California is known for its sun-kissed beaches, vibrant culture, and laid-back lifestyle, and there's no better way to experience it all than by visiting the state's iconic boardwalks. From nostalgic amusement parks to bustling piers brimming with fresh seafood, these coastal gems offer a little something for everyone. In this article, we'll explore the five best boardwalks in California that promise unforgettable experiences, stunning ocean views, and an authentic taste of the Golden State.

Santa Monica Pier's iconic Ferris wheel is known around the world.

Santa Monica Pier: The Iconic Seaside Experience

One of the most recognizable landmarks in California, the Santa Monica Pier has been enchanting visitors for more than a century. With its colorful amusement park, complete with a vintage carousel and the world-famous Pacific Park Ferris wheel, there's no shortage of fun to be had. Take in the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean as you indulge in mouthwatering treats from various food stands, ranging from classic funnel cakes to savory seafood dishes. In the evenings, the pier comes alive with live music, outdoor movie screenings, and vibrant street performers, making it an unforgettable destination for visitors of all ages.

There's no shortage of things going on at the Venice Beach Boardwalk.

Venice Beach Boardwalk: A Vibrant Cultural Hub

The Venice Beach Boardwalk is a must-visit destination for those seeking a vibrant and eclectic atmosphere. As you walk along this bustling boardwalk, you'll encounter an array of colorful murals, street performers, and funky shops selling everything from vintage clothing to handmade jewelry. Venice Beach is also a hub for Southern California's active lifestyle, boasting a bustling skate park and the iconic Muscle Beach outdoor gym. Whether you're people-watching or joining in on the fun, this boardwalk offers a truly unique experience.

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Newport Beach Boardwalk: Upscale Relaxation

For a more refined coastal experience, head to the Newport Beach Boardwalk. This elegant seaside destination is lined with upscale boutiques, waterfront dining options, and picturesque marinas, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely day of sun, shopping, and relaxation. Rent a bike or take a leisurely stroll along the three-mile stretch, enjoying stunning views of immaculate beaches and luxury yachts. Don't forget to stop for a bite at one of the many oceanfront eateries, offering everything from fresh seafood to gourmet pizzas.

Enjoy amusement park thrills at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: Vintage Amusement Park Fun

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk transports visitors back in time with its vintage amusement park, which has been delighting guests since 1907. Home to classic rides like the Looff Carousel and the iconic Giant Dipper roller coaster, this nostalgic destination offers a charming mix of old-fashioned fun and modern attractions. Spend the day playing arcade games, indulging in cotton candy, and taking in the breathtaking ocean views. If you're looking for a more serene experience, the nearby Santa Cruz Wharf offers stunning vistas, waterfront dining, and opportunities for wildlife watching.

Grab some delicious seafood at the Redondo Beach Pier.

Redondo Beach Pier: A Seafood Lover's Paradise

Finally, head to the Redondo Beach Pier for a culinary adventure like no other. This bustling boardwalk is a seafood lover's dream, with a variety of restaurants, bars, and food stands offering everything from fish tacos to clam chowder. The pier is also home to a thriving fish market, where you can purchase fresh seafood caught daily by local fishermen. Beyond the dining options, Redondo Beach Pier boasts lively events like summer concerts, art festivals, and holiday celebrations. Don't forget to explore the adjacent marina for a glimpse of California's thriving boating community and the opportunity to embark on whale-watching excursions or deep-sea fishing adventures.

Each of these five fantastic boardwalks in California offers a unique experience, capturing the essence of the state's diverse coastal culture. Whether you're seeking thrilling rides, leisurely strolls, artistic inspiration, or scrumptious seafood, you're sure to find your perfect match among these coastal gems. So pack your sunscreen, grab your camera, and get ready to embark on a memorable adventure along California's picturesque shoreline.

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