Beach vacation guide

From all-to-yourself islands to hidden beach towns to iconic coastal experiences, the West has the beach vacation of a lifetime in store for you

Top 14 unsung beach towns

Enjoy a heaping dose of sand and surf in these quintessential beach towns--but better keep these underrated spots (relatively) secret!

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Carpinteria, CA
Photo by Chris Leschinsky

Carpinteria, CA

Twelve miles south of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria is the kind of place where you wish you’d learned to bodyboard as a kid, with a wide sandy beach and beginner-size waves. Mornings can be foggy, all the better to enjoy the slow pleasures of Linden Avenue—like Esau’s for a chile relleno omelet or Robitaille’s for homemade chocolate—before hitting the beach. Esau’s: $; Robitaille’s:


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