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California Beaches
North Coast Beaches

Del Norte County / Humboldt County (Eureka) / Mendocino County / Sonoma County

North Coast Beach, Sonoma, CA
                                                    (Beaches listed from North to South)

California's North Coast Beaches offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy the rugged beauty of the coastal landscape, as well as the awe-inspiring grandeur of the nearby redwood forests.  Visiting the North Coast beaches is a back-to-nature experience that's entirely different than visiting the beaches of Southern California.  Fortunately, much of the area has been protected for posterity through the national, state and regional park systems. 

While it's wetter, cooler and less-developed than the rest of the California coast, the North Coast Region offers a unique blend of natural, ecological and cultural diversity that affords many unexpected benefits.   

Of course, you'll find long sandy beaches, rocky headlands and  a craggy coastline with naturally-formed arches and hidden coves... but you'll also find a rich culture of art, theater and architecture, along with wonderful inns, resorts and wineries.  The region is rich with opportunities to camp, hike, kayak, fish, tide-pool, immerse yourself in nature and get-away-from-it-all.  And it's a bonanza for both amateur and professional photographers. 

However, the North Coast beaches are not good for swimming.  Rip currents, heavy surf and sudden swells can make the beaches dangerous.  And the shale formations on the bluffs and rocks above can be unstable.  So a few words of caution:  Never turn your back to the ocean if you're at the beach -- and stay on the marked trials if you're hiking.

Map of North Coast Beaches & State Parks

Map of North Coast Beaches & State Parks

Del Norte County Beaches & Parks 

Smith River, Smith River, CASmith River Beaches 

Pelican State Beach

Crescent City Beaches & Parks 

Jedediah Smith Redwoods

This spectacular park is one of the oldest parks in the State Park System. It's located 9 miles east of the coast (Crescent City) and 34 miles south of the Oregon border.  It's bisected by the Smith River -- the last major free-flowing river in California, which makes it very popular with fishermen.  You'll also find nearly 20 miles of nature and hiking trails, river access and a visitor's center.  It tends to be rainy up here from November through May, but is very popular during the summer months. 

Download Printable Map and Brochure of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Play Video of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
by California State Parks (4 min)

Redwoods National ParkRedwood National Park

Download Printable Map Redwood National Park

Humboldt County Beaches & Parks  
(Trinidad, McKinleyville, Arcata, Eureka, Loleta, Ferndale)

Humboldt County Parks & Beaches

Download Printable Map & Brochure for Humboldt County Beaches and facilities

Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, Crescent City, CAPrairie Creek Redwood State Park

Located off Highway 101 (25 miles south of Crescent City and 50 miles north of Eureka), Prairie Creek is a sanctuary of old-growth coast redwood.  It offers hiking, beach-combing, picnicking and a great place to observe the natural habitat of both plants and animals.

Download Printable Map & Brochure of Prairie Creek Campground

Play Video of Prairie Creek Redwood State Park
by California State Parks (1:39 min)

 Trinidad Beaches & Parks 

Patrick's Point Beach, Trinidad, CAPatrick's Point

Patrick's Point is located in the heart of the California coastal redwood country (25 miles north of Eureka).  The dramatic shoreline ranges from broad sandy beaches to steep cliffs that rise high above the Pacific.  It offers opportunities to explore tide pools and watch whales, sea lions and dramatic sunsets. 

There are several miles of lush green hiking trails, a re-created Yurok Indian  Village and several campgrounds (which are packed during the summer months).  Morning and evening fog are common all year round.  And even during the summer, the temperature only ranges from 40-65 degrees.

Download Printable Map & Brochure of Patrick's Point State Park

Play Video of Patrick's Point State Park
by California State Parks (4 min)

Trinidad State Beach

Little River State Beach

Mendocino County Beaches & Parks 

Hardy Beaches 

Westport-Union Landing State Beach

Cleone Beaches 

MacKerricher State Park

Download Printable Map & Brochure of MacKerricher State Park

Caspar Beaches 

Jug Handle State Natural Reserve

Caspar Headlands State Beach

Mendocino Beaches 

Russian Gulch State Park

Download Printable Map & Brochure of Russian Gulch State Park

Mendocino Headlands, Mendocino, CAMendocino Headlands State Park

This State Park encircles the quaint and historic Village of Mendocino (located off Highway 1).  The park's 347 acres include two beaches (Big River Beach and Portuguese Beach); areas for picnicking and sunbathing; plenty of natural open space; and 3 miles of trails, which you can take up to the bluffs for spectacular vistas and and excellent vantage point for whale watching during the winter and spring months. 

The Big River area is especially popular for kayaking and canoeing and you can rent equipment for exploring the coastline and sea caves. This park is for day-use only.  But you can camp at the nearby Russian Gulch or Van Damme State Parks.

Download Printable Map and Brochure for Mendocino Headlands State Park

Play Video of Mendocino Headlands State Park
by California State Parks (2 min)

Van Damme State Park, Mendocino, CAVan Damme State Park

Van Damme State Park has both beach and highlands.  Of all parks along the Mendocino coast, Van Damme has the richest historical resources, as it was connected with the redwood lumber industry. Its story illustrates struggles and eventual demise of an independent lumber operation.

Download Printable Map and Brochure for Van Damme State Park

Play Video of Van Damme State Park
by California State Parks (1 min)

Manchester Beaches 

Greenwood State Beach

Manchester State Park

Schooner Gulch State Beach

Sonoma Coast CaliforniaSonoma County Beaches & Parks 

Printable Map of Sonoma County Regional Parks

Gualala Beaches 

Gualala Point Regional Park

Sea Ranch Beaches 

Pebble Beach

Black Point Beach

Plantation Beaches 

Salt Point State Park

Download Printable Map and Brochure for Salt Point State Park

Play Video of Salt Point State Park
by California State Parks (3:31 min)

Stillwater Cove Regional Park

Fort Ross Beaches 

Fort Ross Historic Park, Fort Ross, CAFort Ross State Historic Park

Download Printable Map of Fort Ross State Historic Park

Download Printable Brochure of Fort Ross State Historic Park (10 pages)

Play Video of Fort Ross
by California State Parks (4 min)

Jenner Beaches 

Sonoma Coat State Park, Sonoma, CASonoma Coast State Park This park is actually a collection of parks located along the 17 miles of Highway 1 coastline that extends from Vista Point (a few miles north of Jenner) to Bodega Point. There are over a dozen wonderful places to stop along the way.

Download Printable Map & Brochure of Sonoma Coast State Park

Play Video of Sonoma Coast State Park
by California State Parks (3 min)


View Slide Show of Sonoma Coast State Park

Bodega Bay Beaches 

Westside Regional Park

Doran Beach Regional Park

 California Beaches

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