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

30 iconic beach experiences

Ignite your love for the shore with these classic beach icons. From boardwalks to bonfires, here are our favorite ways to dive in

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The beach cottage
Loren Mooney

The beach cottage

Retro cabins. Near Newport, Oregon, Alpine Chalets’ 9 old-school A-frames (each with 2 bedrooms) line a bluff near Beverly Beach—a 5-mile stretch just right for strolling, surfing, and romp­ing with the dog. From $135 (pets $10/night); 2-night min.;

5-star camping. The 7 new pine cabins (pictured) at popular Jalama Beach near Santa Barbara have ocean views that would cost 3 times more at a resort. They sleep 4 to 6, with kitchens and baths. Walk 15 minutes either way and the beach is all yours. From $100, plus $20 reservation fee; 2-night min.;

New England style. Cozy 2-unit Fitzgerald’s Cottages in Gearhart, Oregon, have kitchens, cruiser bikes, clamming tools, a firepit, and an uncrowded beach 5 minutes away. Unit #14 sleeps 6, and #15 is a studio with a kitchenette. From $140; 2-night min.;

Cliff-hangers. Nine weathered cabins cling to the edge of the world at Steep Ravine Campground in the Bay Area’s Mt. Tamalpais State Park. Each sleeps 5, with platforms for sleeping bags, picnic tables, woodstoves, and Bolinas Bay views. $100, plus $8 reservation fee;


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