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California- looking for beautiful and more natural beaches and wildlife

California- looking for beautiful and more natural beaches and wildlife

Old Jun 9th, 2021, 03:28 PM
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California- looking for beautiful and more natural beaches and wildlife

Hello all,

I got some good ideas on my first thread Vegas then on to California- recommendations on beaches, nature, food

but now have more details on a timeframe. We would be going at the end of July for 10-12 nights, into august. Looks like we won’t be starting and ending in Vegas. We prefer beaches that are more about natural scenery then beach chairs, if that makes sense and is possible. We would also like to do some birdwatching and wildlife peeping and hikes. We prefer airbnbs. Laguna beach is on our radar. Any ideas, thoughts, places to look at?
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Old Jun 9th, 2021, 05:31 PM
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Where in California area you going? It's a big state. Will you have a rental car? Just get a map and drive the coast.

What kind of budget? For AirBnB's what town or city are you looking at besides Laguna Beach? Which is fine but does not a California trip make!
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Old Jun 9th, 2021, 05:37 PM
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Yes we will have a car. Airbnb budget about $150 a night. I think besides the Laguna area I am trying to determine what other area may be a good fit.
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Old Jun 9th, 2021, 07:50 PM
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You have found rentals for only $150/night? Near the beach in California?? That's very good. I'm surprised it is that reasonable.

I rarely say this but sounds like a guidebook could be helpful If you really have no idea what to do in the rest of the state. At least try to define what part for starters? Northern, southern, central coastal, inland, national and state parks. I'm assuming you won't have camping gear?


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Old Jun 9th, 2021, 08:17 PM
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Your desire for natural scenery, bird life, wildlife and hikes over beach chairs sounds more to me like the coast north of San Francisco, the Big Sur area and Monterey Bay... not Laguna which will be packed with people and traffic in late July/early August. The only negative for the Monterey area is that Auto Week starts Friday, Aug. 6th. People will begin arriving earlier in the week, and lodging rates (if you can even find availability at this point) will be high. IMO, the only positive for Laguna in high summer, but which would depend on your level of interest in visual art, is the Pageant of the Masters which runs from July 7th through Sept. 3rd. In normal years, performance tickets sell pretty fast. All predictions are that events like this are going to be enormously popular this year.

https://www.foapom.com/pageant-of-the-masters/

I suggest you go to images.google.com and search for "beautiful beaches of Northern California."
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Old Jun 9th, 2021, 08:34 PM
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This might give you some ideas between LA and San Francisco:


https://flic.kr/s/aHsjrq39ia

And for the coast north of San Francisco:


https://flic.kr/s/aHsjCKzAYC

If the first sentence can't be read because of the ad blocking it:

This might give you some ideas between LA and San Francisco:
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Old Jun 9th, 2021, 09:39 PM
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"The only negative for the Monterey area is that Auto Week starts Friday, Aug. 6th. " . . . AND short term rentals are generally illegal on most of the Monterey Peninsula.

Your brief sounds like you want scenic/rural/bird watching/hikes/few crowds. Oh - and under $150 per night in July/August. Laguna would not fit that description for sure - if only because of the costs and crowds. Pageant of the Masters and the arts festival are doing a big push for this summer to make of for the lost season last year. Monterey/Carmel would fit some of it but not that price and it would definitely be crowded.

Your best bet would be much farther north like Mendocino County.
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Old Jun 10th, 2021, 01:38 AM
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Yes, have ordered a guidebook to see what pictures inspire me. Laguna seems to have much more Airbnb availability , but yes may have to go up to about $200 a night.
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Old Jun 10th, 2021, 07:18 AM
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Be very careful when looking at short-term rentals in Laguna. Have the host provide the physical address and make sure it is actually in Laguna. Then confirm that the address provided is on the list of approved properties (link at the city's website).

https://lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall...rm_lodging.htm

You'll need to research the regulations in any other town on the coast where you were thinking of booking an STR. Every town has their own ordinances, and some towns have banned them outright.
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Old Jun 10th, 2021, 01:18 PM
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Jean beat me to it, Laguna Beach has greatly restricted short term rentals like many Southern California beach towns. Here is the ordinance,:
https://www.lagunabeachcity.net/city...rm_lodging.htm
I believe Newport Beach still allows short term rentals so try there but agree that either NorCal or parts of the Central Coast would suit more if wanting nature.
Also check and see if Laguna Beach Pageant of the Masters and Sawdust Festival are still on, they attract large crowds.
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Old Jun 10th, 2021, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jamie99 View Post
. . . I believe Newport Beach still allows short term rentals so try there but agree that either NorCal or parts of the Central Coast would suit more if wanting nature.
Also check and see if Laguna Beach Pageant of the Masters and Sawdust Festival are still on, they attract large crowds.
The Pageant and Arts Festival are definitely running this year. Lots of pent up demand/excitement
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Old Jun 10th, 2021, 04:32 PM
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We live in a SoCal beach town, and I'm already dreading the "pent up demand/excitement" for summer events/travel.
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Old Jun 10th, 2021, 08:36 PM
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I honestly think most anyplace decent in SoCal, and farther north in/near Monterey/Carmel/Santa Cruz will be just slammed because California has been more locked down for longer than many states and there is massive pent up demand by locals finally being able to vacation semi-free.

Even up on the north coast there will likely be more crowds than normal but the area is vast, the population tiny, and 'crowds' is a relative term. Plus a lot more areas where STRs are legal.
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Old Jun 10th, 2021, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Jean View Post
We live in a SoCal beach town, and I'm already dreading the "pent up demand/excitement" for summer events/travel.
I live on the central coast and would also like to find a quiet beach to visit! Oops...

For hiking you may want to download an app such as AllTrails. You will get trails and reviews, sometimes photos, near wherever you are.
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Old Jun 11th, 2021, 05:30 AM
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Look at the Point Reyes NP area, north of SanFransisco for some nice bird watching. I assume you know that the water along the California coats tends to be cold, so many find swimming without a wetsuit difficult.
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Old Jun 11th, 2021, 08:40 AM
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With your time frame the Highway 1 coast north of SF might be a good bet, but given that by all accounts this summer is going to see a massive display of pent-up demand, I'd be a little concerned that any attractive areas in close proximity to big population centers (like Orange County or the Marin/Sonoma/Mendocino coast) are going to be mobbed, particularly at weekends, but possibly for weeks on end.

In view of that I was wondering if you might consider going even farther north, up to Humboldt County. Just west of the glorious Humboldt Redwoods State Park and its famous Avenue of the Giants is California's "Lost Coast," a roadless area that comprises the last wilderness along the mainland California coast. If you want natural and unspoiled beaches, this is the place, but some of them require a bit of effort to access. You can access the north and south edges of the Lost Coast from the charming Victorian village of Ferndale to the north, or the small coastal town of Shelter Cove to the south, but the main part, included in the King Range National Conservation Area, is accessed only on foot.

There's a lot of bird life, plenty of marine mammals around the shoreline rocks, and evidently a big herd of Roosevelt elk that wander around the forest. You could see some of the amazing Victorian architecture in Eureka, have a meal at the marvelous Samoa Cookhouse in Samoa, across the bay from downtown Eureka, and of course spend lots of time in the redwoods.

It's around a 4-5 hour drive from San Francisco via US 101, or you could fly into the Eureka/Arcata airport (ACV) which is served by a couple of airlines including American and United.

Ferndale



Shelter Cove



Avenue of the Giants



Lost Coast



Map - https://goo.gl/maps/ana5ohxuvCquC2Yu9
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Old Jun 11th, 2021, 11:41 AM
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I agree with Gardyloo.

I love Trinidad.
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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 07:06 AM
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I like the Crystal Coves state beach in Newport. Go early in the morning. I haven't been in summer though.
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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 08:47 AM
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Crystal Cove is mid way between Laguna and Newport Beach and would likely be slammed in July.
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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 01:46 PM
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California-looking for beautiful and more natural beaches

We were visiting Healdsburg last month for some wine tasting in Sonoma County. It was perfect mid-80's weather. One of the highlights was driving over to the coast which was only an hour drive away. There is a lovely scenic route to Bodega Bay up the Sonoma coastline. We stopped at Bodega Birdwalk Coastel trail in Duran Park. It was chilly in the morning but beautiful to walk along the boardwalk to the ocean. Saw a few birds and that was fun. There were hikes along the coastal so if you end up going by here it is a good stop. I know it's the opposite direction but incase your plans change and you're considering other options.


Russian River spilling out to the ocean.

Wild flowers were beautiful along the Sonoma Coast.
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