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Quaint/charming town with good beach nearby???

Utah
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Quaint/charming town with good beach nearby???

Looking for a quaint/charming town/city in California away from the big crowds. But maybe not too quiet where there is nothing to do. Also a nice beach nearby would be nice. Looking for beauty in nature and some family fun. I will be travelling with my husband and 2 teen kids. I don't really have a preference for southern, central, or northern yet at this point. Open to suggestions.

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1. Re: Quaint/charming town with good beach nearby???

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Thousand Oaks...
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2. Re: Quaint/charming town with good beach nearby???

Have you looked into Santa Cruz? Fun beach community, relatively close to larger urban areas, and the teenagers would enjoy it.

Another choice, Santa Barbara. More upscale than Santa Cruz, relatively close to LA, and ok beaches.

Carlsbad....Good shopping nearby, fun beach atmosphere, close to Sab Diego

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Dublin, California
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3. Re: Quaint/charming town with good beach nearby???

Away from the big crowds, that may be a problem. Fort Bragg, Mendocino may be a good choice. Carmel is quaint but lots of people.

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Carmel
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Pasadena, California
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4. Re: Quaint/charming town with good beach nearby???

Southern California and Northern California are like different states. If you want warm water and "beachy", locate yourself in SoCal.

For wild and scenic coastline, and very small towns, north of San Francisco is fine...but it isn't going to be "beachy" and you won't want to swim.

Farther south you go, the warmer the water and the air.

Edited: 30 July 2013, 19:46
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Santa Cruz...
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5. Re: Quaint/charming town with good beach nearby???

Here is info on Santa Cruz.

http://tinyurl.com/y4hnbu9

The beaches here are warmer than other northern California ones because they face south. There are several excellent ones in the area. Also things for teens to do, and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

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Santa Cruz
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Los Angeles
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6. Re: Quaint/charming town with good beach nearby???

Yeah, I was thinking Mendocino too (although the water can be cold and filled with currents). Some of the Santa Cruz beaches are less crowded (and of course, Santa Barbara has some less crowded areas - plenty of them - but you'd need to ask on the SB forum for specifics; the main part of SB is crowded).

Is SB quaint? Well, it's beautiful and riviera-like and has its little alleys and some very lovely architecture. Cambria and Carmel are perhaps more "quaint." Ventura is more like 1950's retro than quaint (but has uncrowded beaches, it would probably be my choice - there are so many uncrowded beaches in Ventura/Oxnard, you could explore several). There's also lots of places to rent equipment (bikes, kayaks, surfboards, paddleboats, motorboats; or you can take sailing lessons or surf lessons).

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7. Re: Quaint/charming town with good beach nearby???

I always wonder what "quaint" means in relation to a town?

To me, a town would have to be quite small to be quaint.

Cambria

Mendocino

Trinidad

Carmel - but as mentioned above, very busy

As several posts have mentioned, if you want warm beachy weather, you need to stay southerly.

Is this a different trip than the one to N. Ore coast with small children?

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Trinidad
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Carmel
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Fremont, California
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8. Re: Quaint/charming town with good beach nearby???

Pismo Beach is a fun place for a family vacation (its about 4 hours north of Los Angeles - close to San Luis Obispo area).

http://www.classiccalifornia.com/

lots of fun family places to eat and between Pismo Beach, Morro bay, and Cambria, Pismo Beach would be a good choice for a family oriented vacation (Cambria is more couples); Morro Bay is ok too but I like Pismo Beach more for families

for two possible places to stay

http://www.pismolighthousesuites.com/

http://www.seaventure.com/

Carmel and Monterey may come to mind - but they are larger cities. There is of course lots of beutiful nature such as Pt. Lobos, etc. and whale watch tours and more. Just realize it might be larger than a quanit town. If you are ok without having TV, however you can get the feel by staying at Asilomar

http://www.visitasilomar.com/

Its also close enough to take a day trip to the rather busy Santa Cruz Boardwalk (about an hour drive) and also take in a Elkhorn Slough Tour

http://www.beachboardwalk.com/

http://www.elkhornslough.com/

Personally I would skip staying in Santa Cruz as it will feel more like a larger city than a quaint town.

If into redwoods, Crescent City and Mendocino would be good choices further north. However for Mendocino area, I would probably stay in Fort Bragg area (right next door to Mendocino) such as Shoreline Cottages

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g32400-d1006163…

In Crescent City, you are close enough to take in redwood forests, jet boating on the Klamath River, and more. Its also close enough to drive into Oregon and see some of the spectacular Oregon Coast and take in the Mail boats on the Rogue River

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Los Angeles
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Santa Cruz
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Crescent City
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Klamath River
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Los Angeles...
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9. Re: Quaint/charming town with good beach nearby???

Quaint is really subjective, but I agree with Mini about Pismo. It is "quaint" in a way and there is loads to do in a relatively small area.

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10. Re: Quaint/charming town with good beach nearby???

I'm thinking Pacific Grove would fit the description of "quaint" , "beauty in nature", "near a beach" AND close to family friendly activities.

Pacific Grove is sandwiched between Monterey and Carmel but is less touristy than its neighbors. But you have the option to visit either/or while enjoying PG's beautiful rocky coastline and nearby Asilomar Beach.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, biking the rec trail, hiking Point Lobos, day trip to Big Sur (More "beauty in nature"), Elkhorn Slough Safari Tour or kayaking the Slough or Monterey Bay.

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Monterey
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Carmel
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Big Sur
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