15 Charming Coastal Towns on this Northern California Road Trip

Who’s ready for a road trip? Not the boring kind along endless highways. We’re talking about a road trip to the most amazing Northern California coastal towns.

Unlike the clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean – which these coastal towns hug – the borderline between Southern California and Northern California is pretty muddy.

However, the one thing about the Northern California coast that everyone can agree on is the natural beauty. It’s unparalleled and prime for a summer road trip.

Morro Bay

Morro Bay is a charming little coastal town of about 11,000 people. The bay is a protected harbor and marine sanctuary, so its wildlife spotting opportunities are endless.

It may be small, but this quaint coastal town is big on personality—and one of the cutest Northern California beach towns. It’s like stepping back in time.


San Simeon

San Simeon is home to the iconic Hearst Castle, a symbol of fame and fortune. With 123 acres of gardens and 165 rooms, it’s easy to spend a good part of a day there.


The extraordinary landscape and ocean views along the Pacific Coast Highway, especially near Big Sur, are breathtaking. You can’t help but stop for pictures.

Santa Cruz

It’s got an old-school beach town vibe, blended with a happening brewery scene populated by the university crowd. One of the best things to do in Santa Cruz is hang out on the boardwalk.

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