Summer is heading to an end as we have seen a huge number of visitors and tourists alike visiting the Southern California beaches and towns. We are often asked about the various beach towns here in Southern California and which one's we think are the best. Well that depends on what you are looking for and the type of vacation you want to have. Some beach towns are more geared towards vacation rentals with thousands of visitors lining the boardwalk and enjoying the surf and sand. Others prefer a more sophisticated atmosphere and enjoy high end shopping. No matter what you are looking for their is a perfect spot for you.
When it comes to real estate, some cities command more in price than others. In general, the most expensive beach towns consist of La Jolla & Del Mar in the San Diego counties and Laguna & Newport Beach in Orange County. These beach towns also receive a huge amount of traffic in the summer time from visitors so be aware of this if planning to visit Southern California.
Some of the best locations in Southern California are typically the towns that don't get a lot of publicity. These small beach towns have the unique feel of old California that many fall in love with when they visit. Beach towns like Mission Beach, San Clemente and Manhattan Beach have the charms of going back in time with quaint shopping and a real relaxed atmosphere. These towns are also rich in history with lots of historic homes and landmarks that still remain today.
If you are looking for beautiful and natural scenery by the beach it's really hard to beat the La Jolla area. Located just 20 minutes from the downtown San Diego area and just over an hour to Los Angeles is the beautiful city of La Jolla. Here you will find vintage houses from the early turn of the century built in the Spanish style along with stunning oceanfront estate properties. The beaches in La Jolla seem to go on forever and if you love to shop then La Jolla is the perfect place for you.
The neighboring town to the North of La Jolla is Del Mar. If you love a natural setting of older trees and breathtaking cliff views of the ocean then Del Mar is the place for you. The main street of Camino Del Mar is lined with beautiful shops and some of the best restaurants in the area. You can also watch the horses race at the Del Mar race tracks which is always a treat if you have never done that before. Keep in mind this area can be very busy during the summer as Del Mar is one of the hot spots to visit in San Diego.
Mission Beach is located south of La Jolla and is like going back in time. The shopping on the main street is reminiscent of the kind of stores you would see from the 1950's from small unique antique stores, small intimate bars and restaurants and vintage clothing stores. The true "Mom and Pop" store essence can be found in this location. The great thing about this location is the beach and sand is never too far away.
In Orange County, you must visit the small village town of San Clemente by the beach. San Clemente history dates back to the 1920's so expect to find older historic homes mixed in with newer construction homes. Similar to Mission Beach, San Clemente has numerous shops that line the main street "Avenida Del Mar" that takes you down to the Pier. One of the newest additions to this area is the many higher end restaurants that are opening up. Before, San Clemente was just a town you would pass through on your way to San Diego or LA and never was a final destination. Thanks to many new developments and affordable ocean view housing San Clemente has become an ideal place for buyers to call home.
Laguna Beach is located north of San Clemente and is another must visit location in Orange County. During the summer months expect a lot of traffic here due to the many festival and pagents that take place every year during the summer. It's also best to take Pacific Coast Hwy and avoid the Laguna Canyon if at all possible. The beaches have some of the most breathtaking views as the waters tend to be an emerald color and gentle waves hit the sandy beaches. It's important to keep in mind that Laguna Beach has many private gated communities that don't allow public access to the beach so plan accordingly when visiting Laguna. This is particularly true in the North Laguna area where communities like Irvine Cove & Emerald Bay have no public access to the beach.
Although not located in Orange County, Manhattan Beach which is located just north of Huntington Beach has the same charm and personality as these other beach towns and is worth noting. Manhattan Beach is known as a smaller suburb of Los Angeles but far enough away to keep the characteristics of a small town. Real Estate in Manhattan Beach can be expensive due to the large demand of people who want to live there. A recent study has found that those who live by the beach are better in shape and live a more healthy live and Manhattan Beach is a perfect example of this. If you get a chance to visit a Beach town on your way down from Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach is worth a visit.
Southern California is a great place to visit, no matter if it's just for a small weekend vacation or a permanent move to the area. Each of the beach towns are very different and unique and it's important to understand the lifestyle you will be living. Living in Huntington Beach for example is much different than neighboring towns of Newport Beach & Laguna Beach. Finding the best town that suits your style and personality is important before deciding on a home to buy. We encourage you to explore the many beach towns on our Southern California coastline and contact us with any questions you may have.