Surely people the world over know that California cliché of sun, sea and surfing? Well, while it’s perfectly reasonable to see California that way, but don’t doubt it, there’s much more to the Golden States most golden beaches than merely that.
Yes, for anyone booking at great Californian accommodation (like, say, a Good Nite Inn), they’ll discover the state’s best beaches are a haven for wildlife spotters, nature lovers, muscle-builders, sandcastle-builders and, yes, surfers and sun-worshippers, of course …
Venice Beach (Los Angeles)
Vibrant, colorful and brimming with sights, sounds, smells and activity, Venice Beach is the beach as a true destination; not just one for catching the rays and frolicking in the waves. Indeed, many flock to this iconic location as much for the street life that fills its two-plus miles of sands and boardwalk as for anything else. You can enjoy street entertainers, watch bodybuilders pump iron at the legendary outdoors Muscle Beach Gym and catch thrashers performing tricks at the famous Skate Park.
Unmissable, too, is all the art on display. Here, graffiti is king, what with the Venice Art Walls covered with colorful cartoon-like murals, while stunning street art adorns the door-fronts of the shops and boutiques of the boardwalk (between 17th Avenue and Market Street, as well as between Abbot Kinney and Lincoln boulevards). At Venice Beach, then, there really is something for everyone staying nearby – at Good Nite Inn Calabasas or anywhere else.
Baker Beach (San Francisco)
Finally, much further north and stretching along the San Francisco Presidio’s western shoreline, Baker Beach doesn’t just deliver sensational vistas of the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge and rugged Marin Hills beyond, but is simply terrific for those who’ve a thing for marine wildlife. Yes, here, you’ll come across everything from harbor porpoises to dolphins to sea lions, while young ones’ll be beguiled by sea stars gleaming in the shore at low tide.
It’s worth pointing that, yes, fair dos, this one isn’t necessarily an all-comers-friendly beach, given its waters tend to be chilly and choppy, so swimming for guests at hotels in Rohnert Park Ca may not be big on the agenda. That said, it’s ideal for strolling, nature-observing and picnicking under cypress trees all-year-round – so long as the weather’s playing ball, of course!
Moreover, it offers one or two interesting historical features. For instance, situated at Battery Chamberlin (at the north end of the beach’s parking lot), you’ll find the ‘disappearing gun’; a 97,000-pound cannon that was installed more than a century ago to defend the nearby coastal minefields. Fascinating to say the least!