These 7 Charming Waterfront Towns In Southern California Are Perfect For A Day Trip
We just love being by the water. Whether it is a sandy beach, a pristine
mountain lake, or quiet canal that makes us dream of Italy (yes, we have canals!), the water calls to us. If you are looking for the perfect day trip destination, you are in the right place. In fact, we have not one, but seven lovely waterfront towns in Southern California that make for a perfect day.
1. Naples, Long Beach, CA
This small community Long Beach feels like its own little world. Naples is built on three small islands in Alamito Bay, with narrow canals separating them. In the center of the town is La Bella Fontana Park, with tiled paths, manicured hedges, benches, and a large stone fountain. Take a leisurely stroll along the canals, go kayaking, or take a
ride through the canals.
2. Avalon, CA
Escape to Catalina Island for the day. A one-hour ferry ride is all it takes to experience a
mini island vacay
. Dine al fresco with a view of the turquoise water, spend the day shopping, visit the hillside spa, take a glass-bottom boat or submarine tour, get your diving certification at Casino Point Dive Park, or rent a golf cart and drive through the hills for some mind-blowing views.
3. Venice Beach, CA
Venice, California, is a waterfront haven for the free-spirited with a lively palm tree-lined boardwalk and beach park full of tiny shops and eateries, street performers, local artists, a skatepark, sports courts, surfers, and so much more. You can also explore the historic district with its
scenic canals that earned this town its Italian-inspired name
4. Manhattan Beach, CA
Explore boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants of Manhattan Village and stroll down Ocean Drive to the
pier, a local landmark with its free
. Enjoy freshly churned ice cream at
Manhattan Beach Creamery
and dinner at
Love and Salt
, where the philosophy is that food really only needs those two ingredients to be delicious.
5. La Jolla, CA
Fondly known as
"The Jewel" of San Diego County
, La Jolla has it all. The stunning coastline is a mix of pristine beaches, rocky bluffs, sea caves, and the incredible
Torrey Pines State Reserve
. On land, explore the upscale shopping village and enjoy a wonderful meal at one of La Jolla’s many restaurants with a gorgeous ocean view.
6. Lake Arrowhead, CA
is a beautiful mountainside resort town on the shores of a lovely blue lake. The waterfront village, with its collection of shops and restaurants, really has it all and is a wonderful escape any time of year. Enjoy sparkling snow in winter, spring wildflowers, perfect Sumer temps for water activities, and stunning fall foliage.
7. Newport Beach, CA
Maybe the ultimate day trip destination, in
you can explore islands and canals, beach parks and coves, a marine conservation center,
whale watching excursions
, shopping, dining, and way more. Balboa Island’s adorable stretch of colorful shops and quaint cafes is a true SoCal hidden gem where you will find bakeries, juice bars, fabulous boutiques, upscale restaurants, coffee houses, and an amusement park. Take a casual stroll, rent a bicycle, or sit on one of the wooden benches for some great people-watching.
Any one of the waterfront towns is worth a day trip. Which one would you choose to visit first? Do you already have a favorite from the list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.