Hotels on the Beach in California

by Lee Grayson Google
San Clemente beach hotels offer sunset views over the ocean.

San Clemente beach hotels offer sunset views over the ocean.

Sunset in San Clemente, CA image by Jodi Kirkwood from

California has over 840 miles of coastline with beaches and bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Golden State beaches are home to a wide range of hotels that welcome singles, couples and family travelers to accommodations that run the gamut from basic to four-star luxury establishments. Many hotels incorporate spas and dining as part of the complex. It is not difficult to find hotels within walking distance of town or village restaurants and bars, and many California hotels on the beach also offer suite accommodations. [reference: AAA map]

Family Hotel Suites

The Pismo Beach Hotel welcomes families to accommodations only 200 yards from the pier. The hotel once hosted Hollywood actors Joan Crawford and Clark Gable, and guests today enjoy restored accommodations that feature continental breakfast and free parking. The hotel's multi-room suites offer space for large families and easy walking distance from downtown eateries and shopping. The Country Inn and Suites by Carlson Ventura overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is a short walk from the Ventura Pier. The inn has several family suites with fireplaces. Pismo Beach is an hour drive from Los Angeles, and Ventura is approximately 200 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

Romantic Beach Hotels

The Casa Tropicana Hotel on the San Clemente beach in southern Orange County features romantic rooms that include breakfast and Jacuzzi bathtubs. Accommodations at this boutique hotel offer a choice of suites with fireplaces or the penthouse suite with fireplace and private deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The exclusive Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Laguna Niguel, also in southern Orange County, has views of the sand dunes from both rooms and suite accommodations. Recreation at the Ritz-Carlton includes surfing, spa treatments, golf and fine dining at the hotel's Raya for a Pan-Latin menu, at 180blu for small meals or at Eno, the hotel's wine tasting room with more than 300 wine choices and a variety of international cheeses.

Historic Beach Hotels

The Grande Colonial Hotel in the downtown beach village of La Jolla in southern California features a blend of the historic and modern. The hotel, constructed in 1912, offers easy access to both Black's Beach and La Jolla Shores Beach, as well as walking access to dining and shopping. Rooms and suites have full kitchens, high-tech media equipment and fireplaces. The historic Cadillac Hotel on the boardwalk of Venice Beach in Los Angeles County offers views of the Pacific Ocean and sandy shores. Bars, cafes and restaurants in both Venice and Santa Monica are walking distance from the hotel location. The renovated Cadillac accommodations include up-scale electronics and a rooftop lounge.

Beach Hotels Featured in Films

Fans of Marilyn Monroe will recognize the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego from the 1958 film "Some Like It Hot," but early Keystone Studio silent films were also filmed at the classic Queen Anne-style hotel complex. The Del, as the locals call the hotel, offers a choice of vintage rooms or new accommodations in its recent addition. Both accommodations have beach and ocean access. The Casa del Mar Hotel on the ocean at Venice Beach, located on what is known as the Gold Coast, was constructed in 1926 and also served as a set for silent films. The recently restored Casa del Mar incorporates the Sea Wellness Spa, a wine bar and a nightclub with live entertainment.

About the Author

*I have written chapters and articles for Oxford and Harvard University Presses, ABC-CLIO, and others. Arcadia Press published two of my local history texts and I have also written for numerous "article sites," including Pagewise in 2002. My "How to become a...real estate agent" is available as an online text from a Canadian publisher. *I taught writing courses at a branch campus of Indiana University. *I held a California real estate license and have remodeled four of my own homes and advised others on financing homes, repairing credit to qualify for loans, and managing construction (including meeting local, state, and federal regulations for restoration and development grants). *I served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer and wrote nearly $75,000 in small education grants (under $1,000). *My travels include frequent road trips in Canada, Mexico, U.S., and Europe. I attended school at Cambridge University and used this as a base to explore the UK and Europe.

Photo Credits

  • Sunset in San Clemente, CA image by Jodi Kirkwood from