Find your perfect beach hotel getaway along California’s spectacular coastline. From historic icons to secluded bungalows, and luxurious spas to family-friendly resorts, the state offers stunning oceanfront accommodations for any seaside vacation. The best beach hotels in California deliver your ideal oceanfront escape.
Wake up to sweeping Pacific views, fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves, and discover premier beach destinations from San Diego to Mendocino. Keep reading for some of the top picks including coastal gems in charming beach towns, opulent cliffside retreats in Big Sur, and exclusive resorts with amenities galore. Whether you seek surf and adventure or relaxation and luxury.
Top 14 Best Beach Hotels in California You Need to Visit
Here is a table showing estimated prices for a 4-day vacation at some of the beach hotels mentioned in the article:
|Starting Price for 4-Day Stay
|Montage Laguna Beach
|Post Ranch Inn
|San Ysidro Ranch
|The Ritz-Carlton Bacara
|Ventana Big Sur
|Beach House at Lovers Point
|Inn at Newport Ranch
|Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Lodge
|Casa del Mar
Prices are rough estimates for a standard double occupancy room during high season at each hotel. Rates will vary based on room type, seasonal demand, and additional services or amenities. Luxury hotels like Post Ranch Inn and San Ysidro Ranch command premium pricing, while more budget-friendly options like Pfeiffer Lodge or Oceanic Inn offer lower nightly rates. This table gives an overview of the relative price points for a 4-day California coastal hotel vacation.
Hotel del Coronado – Coronado
The Hotel del Coronado is a historic beach hotel near San Diego. It has a beautiful red-roofed Victorian-style building right along Coronado Beach. The Del has hosted many famous people since starting in 1888.
There are different room choices spread out over the huge property. Guests can lounge by the pool, play tennis or golf, get spa treatments, or eat and drink at the on-site restaurants. With direct beach access, it’s fantastic for swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, or making sandcastles along the shore.
Montage Laguna Beach – Laguna Beach
For a classic Southern California beach vacation, the Montage Laguna Beach is a top pick. This lavish Craftsman-style resort overlooks the Pacific in artsy Laguna Beach.
The large, richly decorated rooms mostly offer ocean views. Five sparkling pools, a beach, and an oceanfront spa mean plenty of ways to relax. Guests can also enjoy fine dining, shopping, golfing, whale watching, and exploring Laguna’s famous art galleries just steps away.
Post Ranch Inn – Big Sur
The Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur is a luxurious oceanfront hotel. It’s built into a cliff 1,200 feet above the Pacific with amazing views. This exclusive Big Sur resort combines fancy cottages and suites with the area’s beautiful nature.
The private guest rooms have huge soaking tubs and sweeping views of the ocean or mountains. There are two cliff-top infinity pools, a spa, and an award-winning restaurant. Guided hikes, stargazing, and other activities complement the peaceful setting.
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows – Santa Monica
In coastal Santa Monica, the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows has a classic California beach house feel. The elegant hotel is tucked into a garden area just blocks from the Santa Monica Pier and beachfront park.
Stay in a private bungalow with patio views of the gardens or ocean. Guests can relax poolside in luxury cabanas, get spa treatments, or eat and drink outside on the fig tree patio. The hotel also offers beach butler service with chairs, umbrellas, and refreshments.
The Ritz-Carlton Bacara – Santa Barbara
Near Santa Barbara in Goleta, the Ritz-Carlton Bacara combines small village charm with world-class amenities. This large resort has beautiful guest rooms, suites, and private homes, many with ocean-view balconies.
Guests can relax around the lush landscaping by the pools or get spa treatments. There’s also yoga, surf lessons, tennis, kayaking, fine dining, and direct access to a quiet stretch of beach.
Ventana Big Sur – Big Sur
Ventana Big Sur is a luxurious eco-friendly resort that blends into the area’s forests and coastline. The rooms all have big windows or skylights with views of the woods or ocean.
Guests can soak in the outdoor clothing-optional hot springs or eat at the on-site Sur House restaurant. The resort also offers guided hikes, beachcombing, stargazing, and forest glamping suites with soaking tubs. It’s located right next to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
San Ysidro Ranch – Montecito
For over 100 years, the private San Ysidro Ranch has been a hideaway for wealthy travelers. It has cottages scattered across 500 acres of gardens, meadows, and woods with outdoor rain showers, fireplaces, and hot tubs with amazing views.
The Stonehouse restaurant on site serves food grown in the ranch’s organic gardens. With rooms starting over $1000 per night, this peaceful retreat offers exclusive accommodations.
Beach House at Lovers Point – Pacific Grove
The Beach House at Lovers Point provides reasonably priced oceanfront stays on the Central Coast. Located above Lovers Point Beach, this cute inn overlooks the Monterey Bay marine sanctuary.
The contemporary rooms have fireplaces, comfy beds, and private balconies, many with bay views. Guests can bike along the scenic waterfront trail right outside or easily access the beach and nearby attractions like the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Inn at Newport Ranch – Mendocino
For a peaceful Northern California coastal retreat, book the Inn at Newport Ranch. This luxurious B&B sits on 115 scenic acres with Pacific Ocean views near Mendocino.
The serene cottages have huge windows, ocean vistas, and private hot tub decks. Guests can explore the nearby Mendocino Headlands State Park or stroll through downtown Mendocino’s galleries, shops, and cafes just 5 miles away. In the evenings, unwind around the inn’s cozy fire pits with local wine.
With its miles of beautiful shoreline, famous coastal drives, and fun beach towns, California offers awesome oceanfront hotels across the state for an unforgettable beach vacation.
The Beach Cottages – Carmel-by-the-Sea
The charming Beach Cottages in Carmel-by-the-Sea provide storybook accommodations right on the beach. The historic 1920s cottages have a breezy, nautical vibe with whitewashed walls, blue shutters, and beach decor.
Private patios let you enjoy the fresh ocean air and hear waves crash along Carmel Beach. Take an easy walk to downtown Carmel’s shops and galleries before relaxing under the cottage’s outdoor showers. With their quaint feel and fabulous beachfront location, the cottages offer a quintessential Carmel getaway.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Lodge – Big Sur
The rustically elegant Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Lodge is nestled within the area’s redwoods and river. Though rooms are simple, the real appeal is the location in one of Big Sur’s most scenic state parks.
Fall asleep to the soothing river sounds before exploring the many nearby hiking trails. Visit Big Sur Beach or drive up the coast to see McWay Falls, California’s most famous waterfall. End your days relaxing on the Lodge’s patio around the large fire pit under the stars.
Casa del Mar – Santa Monica
In lively Santa Monica, Casa del Mar provides upscale accommodations with a modern beach house vibe just steps from the sand. This luxury hotel pairs early 20th-century Spanish-style architecture with sleek, contemporary interior design.
Unwind in your peaceful room with ocean views and rich textures. Sip cocktails poolside or indulge in a seaweed wrap at the beachfront spa. Santa Monica Pier, the Third Street Promenade shops, and great dining options are right outside, perfect for experiencing this classic beach city.
Highlands Inn – Carmel-by-the-Sea
For an intimate Carmel-by-the-Sea stay, Highlands Inn offers charming cottages against the bluffs of Point Lobos State Park. Evoking Carmel’s artistic appeal, the quaint cottages have antique decor, fireplaces, and whirlpool tubs.
Many rooms open to private patios overlooking the cove. Dine at the award-winning on-site restaurant before cozying up around the glowing fire pits with complimentary s’mores. With its storied history and tranquil atmosphere, the Highlands Inn provides an enchanting seaside escape.
Oceanic Inn – Pacific Grove
In Pacific Grove, the affordable Oceanic Inn sits perched above the oceanfront trail on a quiet street. The bright, breezy rooms have mini-fridges, microwaves, and coffeemakers.
Wake up to sea sounds before strolling downtown or biking along the bay. With its comfortable accommodations, the Oceanic Inn makes enjoying Pacific Grove’s coastal beauty simple.
With its diversity of landscapes and towns, California’s coast has an amazing collection of memorable beachfront stays to discover. Find your perfect seaside escape, whether seeking luxury, charm, seclusion or an affordable beach vacation.
With stunning diversity, California’s coast offers the best beach hotels in California – from Big Sur luxury to family resorts and cozy bungalows. Wake up to ocean sunrises and beach town adventures. In Southern California, iconic spots like Hotel del Coronado provide glamour. Up north, Big Sur boasts cliffside retreats and bohemian cabins. Quaint towns like Carmel and Laguna Beach brim with artsy charm. Whether you want to surf and whale watch or relax at a spa, California beach hotels fit any lifestyle.