At the edge of a sunny cove next to downtown shops and restaurants, Avila's ½-mile stretch of white sand is especially family-friendly, with a playground, barbecue and picnic tables, volleyball and basketball courts, and lifeguards on watch in summer and on many holiday weekends. The free beachfront parking fills up fast, but there's a nearby pay lot ($5 for the day, $1 after 4 pm). Dogs aren't allowed on the beach from 10 to 5. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards (seasonal); parking; showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: sunset; surfing; swimming; walking.