Rustic little oases with a charm all their own, the beachy cottages may lack some of the amenities of comparably priced hotels, but you're paying for character and proximity to the ocean—these lodgings are literally on the pier. Crystal Pier, a Pacific Beach landmark, had its grand opening in 1927; 10 years later, the first of the blue-and-white cottages were built. The well-maintained units sleep two to six people; most have kitchens and private decks. Call 8 to 10
months in advance for reservations. There's a minimum-stay requirement of three nights from mid-June through September, two nights the rest of the year.