15 Warmest Beaches in California to Visit in December

If you are looking for a perfect beach location for summer vacations, the answer is California. As you can find the warmest beaches in California, tourists from all around the world fly down to California to get the best advantage of the beaches.

Are you looking for the perfect beach destination that too in the Golden State? Then look no further. In this article, I will guide you through some amazing sun-soaked beaches along the California coast, each offering a delightful beach climate and warm coastal areas.

Warmest Beaches in California to Visit in December

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From beaches with high temperatures and with the best rides in California, I got them all checked. So, pack your sunscreen and get ready to explore the best warm beaches in California as I unveil the top beach vacation spots for a truly unforgettable experience.

1. Huntington Beach

Average sea temperature: 68°F (20°C)

Huntington Beach is a paradise among the beaches with high temperatures in California. This beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and experiencing the vibrant beach culture due to its year-round warm climate and an average sea temperature of 68°F. Even the city is known as Surf City USA due to the popularity of this beach for surfing.

On the Huntington Beach trip, you can enjoy miles of golden sands, beachfront restaurants, and a lively atmosphere that truly embodies the spirit of Southern California. Also, playing sand games like beach or water volleyball is one of the perks of visiting this beach.

Thus, owing to its pristine sandy shores, ideal surfing conditions, and vibrant beach culture, Huntington Beach is among the best warm beaches in Southern California.

Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach

2. Santa Monica Beach

Average sea temperature: 66°F (19°C)

Santa Monica Beach offers a beautiful stretch of coastline with a mild and pleasant California beach climate. The beach provides a refreshing escape on hot summer days. On my recommendation, you must surely visit Santa Monica Pier, a major attraction near the beach.

It offers various adventurous rides and a lovely high-end view from a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, and an array of amusement park rides. Furthermore, a bike ride along the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, also known as The Strand, stretches for miles along the beachfront. Take full exposure to the mesmerizing scenery of Santa Monica Beach with a bike ride.

Once you have spent a day on the beach having fun, head to Third Street Promenade. It is a famous location as it is a pedestrian-only shopping district. It is extremely nearby to the beach and will hardly take ten to fifteen minutes.

Besides the beach, you can also explore other things like restaurants, shops, and other entertainment options. Due to all these options, Santa Monica Beach is also known as one of the best sun-soaked beaches in California.

Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica Beach

3. Laguna Beach

Average sea temperature: 64°F (18°C)

This beach is among the hottest beach destinations in California. It is nestled along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. You must know that Laguna Beach is renowned for its stunning cliffs, pristine coves, and warm coastal charm.

Laguna Beach is also a heaven for art lovers like me. There are numerous art galleries and outdoor art installations throughout the town. You can explore the vibrant art scene and visit the picturesque tide pools or take a stroll through the charming downtown area.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park provides breathtaking views of the coastline and opportunities for opportune seeking adventure and hiking trails nearby. Don’t forget to catch the breathtaking sunset views that make Laguna Beach a romantic warm beach getaway.

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With its artistic ambiance, natural beauty, and warm beach climate, Laguna Beach is a true gem along the California coast.

Warmest Beaches in California_Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach

4. Coronado Beach

Average sea temperature: 68°F (20°C)

Located near San Diego, Coronado Beach is famous for its warm coast and sandy beaches. It attracts tourists from across the world because of its beaches with warm water in California. Coronado Beach offers a tranquil and family-friendly atmosphere, ideal for a relaxing beach getaway.

The beach is known for its sparkling sand, which reflects a silvery sheen due to the presence of mica minerals. Due to such an illusion, the beach is also counted among the romantic warm beach getaways in California.

If you are planning to visit Coronado Beach, recommended place to stay is the historic Hotel del Coronado. It is a classic Victorian-style beachfront resort that adds charm to this beach town.

What makes it unique is the hotel’s beautiful architecture and placement. You can dine in its beachfront restaurants or simply relax on the beach and soak up the warm California sunshine.

Coronado Beach
Coronado Beach

5. Zuma Beach

Average sea temperature: 65°F (18°C)

Zuma Beach is nestled in Malibu and is a favorite of visitors and locals who are seeking a sun-soaked escape. The average temperature here reaches up to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature makes ideal conditions for swimming, picnicking, and beach volleyball.

The shoreline at Zuma Beach is quite expansive, along with the soft sand and amazing facilities. The beach provides ample parking spaces, picnic tables, and lifeguard towers for visitor convenience.

Enjoy a leisurely swim in the warm coastal waters, build sandcastles with the kids, or simply relax and soak up the sun. Zuma Beach is also popular among beach volleyball enthusiasts, with several courts available for public use.

If you are interested in water sports and activities, you can opt for paddle boards or even kayaks to explore the nearby coves and rock formations. Zuma Beach is a fantastic choice for people who are in search of a natural and beautiful beach with exceptional activities to try.

Zuma Beach
Zuma Beach

6. Newport Beach

Average sea temperature: 64°F (18°C)

Newport Beach is known for its coastal cities with warm climates in California. With an average sea temperature of 64°F, this beach offers a refreshing retreat for both locals and tourists.

Newport Beach boasts several distinct beaches, each with its charm and character. One of the famous destinations that you must try is Crystal Cove State Park. It is situated towards the south of Newport Beach. You can find a scenic coastline with tide pools and sandy coves.

Then there is Corona Del Mar State Beach, which provides a more secluded atmosphere perfect for couples. It offers beautiful views of rock formations and cliffs. There is also a waterfront amusement park nearby called the Balboa Fun Zone.

It is a prominent attraction for families, where one can enjoy rides, games, and delicious food. At the beach, Newport Beach Film Festival and Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade are held. Immerse yourself in the beach lifestyle of Newport Beach, where a warm beach climate meets coastal elegance.

Newport Beach
Newport Beach

7. Pismo Beach

Average sea temperature: 59°F (15°C)

Pismo Beach is also renowned among the warmest beaches in the state. It is located near the central coast of California, which is easily accessible for tourists.

Despite its slightly cooler average sea temperature of 59°F, Pismo Beach offers a delightful beach experience that caters to a variety of interests.

It is also one of the best pet-friendly beaches in California, offering ideal vacation spots to have fun with your furry friends. So now, whether you want to enjoy long walks on the sandy shores or explore the iconic Pismo Pier, which extends 1,200 feet into the ocean; you can do both with your doggo.

Pismo Beach is renowned for its vibrant dining scene, offering a wide range of fresh seafood options. Additionally, adrenaline junkies can embark on thrilling ATV rides on the nearby dunes, creating an exciting and memorable adventure.

Pismo Beach
Pismo Beach

8. Manhattan Beach

Average sea temperature: 65°F (18°C)

Located just south of Los Angeles, it is a popular beach destination that showcases the fun coastal life of California. Manhattan Beach offers the best beach weather in California, with a perfect setting for a variety of outdoor activities and water sports.

It is because of its mild Mediterranean climate, characterized by warm, sunny days and cool breezes. The beach boasts a lively atmosphere, attracting both locals and visitors alike.

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Here, you can have fun while doing various activities like playing in the sand or swimming, or surfing. You can also try playing beach volleyball or simply bask in the sun on the sandy shores. It’s the ideal spot for a leisurely bike ride or a refreshing walk.

From street performers to live music, the atmosphere here is lively and captivating. Whether you’re looking to catch a wave, enjoy beachside dining, or explore the local shops, Manhattan Beach provides a perfect blend of relaxation and coastal fun.

Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach

9. Carpinteria State Beach

Average sea temperature: 62°F (17°C)

The sense of serenity that Carpinteria State Beach offers makes it like a hidden paradise. The mild beach climate and the soothing sea breeze created the perfect atmosphere for relaxation.

You can enjoy the coastal charm as you stroll down the shore. You can feel the gentle breeze because of the palm trees. Moreover, you will also get a panoramic view of the ocean. You can feel nature in its true sense with the breathtaking view.

If you’re interested in outdoor activities, Carpinteria State Beach offers opportunities for volleyball, beach soccer, and even outdoor yoga classes. You can explore the nearby town of Carpinteria, which was a delightful experience for me.

You can roam around the city and find many shops if you are in the mood for some shopping. Besides, there are eateries offering amazing cuisine that will leave you speechless.

Carpinteria State Beach
Carpinteria State Beach

10. La Jolla Cove

Average sea temperature: 66°F (19°C)

A beach destination that mesmerizes visitors with its stunning natural beauty is La Jolla Cove which is situated in San Diego. It is one of the hottest beaches in California, as the temperature rises in the summer to a great extent.

However,  crystal-clear waters and taking a refreshing dip will make you feel relaxed. The beach surely gives you an inviting and refreshing beach experience.

One of the highlights of this beach is its protected marine sanctuary, where you can encounter an array of colorful fish, playful sea lions, and even leopard sharks during certain seasons.

Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts will find themselves immersed in an underwater paradise, exploring the vibrant kelp forests and observing the diverse marine ecosystem.

For those who prefer to stay on land, La Jolla Cove offers scenic coastal trails that provide breathtaking views of the cliffs and the sparkling blue ocean.

La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove

11. El Matador State Beach

Average sea temperature: 63°F (17°C)

El Matador State Beach is simply exceptional, to say the least. This hidden gem is nestled near the warmest beach towns along the California coast. It is a haven of dramatic cliffs, secluded coves, and pristine sandy beaches.

It offers the perfect balance of refreshment and comfort. The unique rock formations, caves, and arches scattered across the beach created a picturesque backdrop, urging you to capture every moment with my camera.

When you visit this beach, ensure to take a long and romantic walk as the experience is just exquisite. The beach is out of the world, and the time seems to come to a halt when you are on this beach. So, join the fun and visit El Matador State Beach on your next vacation.

12. San Clemente State Beach

Average sea temperature: 63°F (17°C)

Rooted in Orange County, San Clemente State Beach is a famous destination that has captured the hearts of visitors thanks to its warm coastal climate and relaxed vibes.

Beach enthusiasts flock here to revel in its average sea temperature of 63°F, creating an inviting and rejuvenating experience. The beach provides numerous amenities such as cycling, jogging, or leisurely walks, allowing one to soak in the invigorating ocean breeze.

The beach has excellent surfing conditions, attracting wave riders from around the world. If you’re new to surfing, like me, you can also take lessons from local surf schools from the experts to add an adventure skill to your portfolio.

San Clemente State Beach offers a serene coastal sanctuary where people of all ages can unwind, surrounded by stunning scenery and a range of recreational activities.

San Clemente State Beach
San Clemente State Beach

13. Moonstone Beach

Average sea temperature: 60°F (16°C)

Moonstone Beach, located in a charming town, is a scenic beach known for its tranquil ambiance and stunning coastal views. On average, the sea temperature remains near 60°F, which makes for a pleasant beach experience.

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It provides a peaceful retreat for beachgoers seeking relaxation and natural beauty. You will also get to discover the beach’s namesake—beautiful moonstones that are scattered throughout the coastline.

You will also be able to find a picturesque boardwalk that stretches along the cliffs, giving panoramic views of the ocean and the opportunity to spot migrating whales during certain seasons.

Whether you’re searching for moonstones, capturing stunning coastal photographs, or seeking a peaceful retreat, Moonstone Beach is sure to leave you feeling rejuvenated and inspired.

14. Pfeiffer Beach

Average sea temperature: 59°F (15°C)

It is nestled in the rugged beauty of Big Sur, making it an exquisite place to have a great beach time. It is among the beaches with mild winters in California, and its stunning beauty makes up for the rest.

Shielded by rugged cliffs and surrounded by natural beauty, the beach experiences less wind and enjoys a milder winter climate compared to other coastal areas.

One of the beach’s most iconic features is Keyhole Rock, a massive rock formation with a distinctive arch that frames the setting sun, creating a mesmerizing and picturesque scene. This beach is a must-visit if you are looking to enjoy the mesmerizing coastal view and take in the peace.

Pfeiffer Beach
Pfeiffer Beach

15. Cayucos State Beach

Average sea temperature: 59°F (15°C)

Cayucos State Beach is situated in the charming town of Cayucos, which offers a peaceful and idyllic getaway for beach lovers. Cayucos State Beach is known for its wide and sandy shores, providing ample space for leisurely walks, beachcombing, and building sandcastles.

From my personal experience, Cayucos itself is a quaint beach town, providing a laid-back and friendly vibe. Explore the town’s local shops, sample fresh seafood at waterfront restaurants, or try your hand at surfing in the gentle waves.


California is home to some of the most exotic beaches in the world. From the iconic Santa Monica and the tranquil Coronado to the lively Huntington Beach, these coastal gems provide sun-soaked shores, ideal swimming conditions, and a plethora of outdoor activities.

Whether you seek relaxation or adventure, California beach towns promise unforgettable experiences for beach lovers of all kinds. However, ensure to respect the natural environment and follow any rules or guidelines provided by the beach authorities to help preserve these beautiful warm coastal areas in California for future generations.

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1. What is the best time to enjoy the warmest beaches in California?

A: The best time to enjoy California beaches is July, August, and September, as they are the warmest. During this period, the temperature remains pleasant, and tourists visit California for a fun vacation. It offers ideal conditions for beachgoers seeking warm waters and sunny weather to enjoy their time along the coast.

2. Are there any beaches in California with warm water year-round?

A: Descanso Beach is well-known for its reliably warm water temperatures that remain pleasant all year round, making it a popular choice for swimming and water activities regardless of the season. Additionally, certain Southern California beaches like Newport Beach and La Jolla offer consistently warm waters throughout the year, thanks to the influence of the warm California current. So, beach lovers can enjoy a dip in these inviting waters whenever they visit.

3. Can you swim in the ocean at California beaches year-round?

A: While the majority of people may find the ocean too cold for swimming in the winter months, dedicated enthusiasts equipped with wetsuits can enjoy year-round ocean swimming at California beaches, albeit with fewer fellow swimmers during colder seasons.

4. What are the average water temperatures at the warmest beaches in California?

A: Newport Beach and Santa Catalina Island have the warmest ocean waters in California during August. During this time, their average water temperature is around 70°F (21°C), providing an inviting coastal experience for visitors. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy the delightful ambiance and indulge in the beauty of California’s coastal paradise.

5. What beach has the warmest water in the Bay area?

A: For those seeking the warmest water in the Bay Area, several notable beaches stand out, including Crown Memorial Beach, Coyote Point Recreation Area, Baker Beach, China Beach, and Ocean Beach. The visitors can relish in the inviting waters of these beaches and bask in the region’s delightful coastal scenery.

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