3 Top-Rated California Beaches in the U.S., According to Tripadvisor


Moonstone Beach in Cambria is one of the top 25 beaches in the United States, according to Tripadvisor.

A San Luis Obispo County beach is among the best in the nation for the second year in a row, according to popular travel site Tripadvisor.

Cambria’s Moonstone Beach is one of three California spots that landed on TripAdvisor’s list of The 25 Best Beaches in the United States as part of the Travelers’ Choice Awards 2022.

“White sand, rugged coastlines, construction – these are the beaches travelers dream of year-round,” Tripadvisor said.

Moonstone Beach landed at No. 4 at List of the best beaches in the beachwhile La Jolla Cove in La Jolla took ninth place and Coronado Beach in Coronado took 15th place.

The travel site’s ranking was “based on the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings” from Tripadvisor users.

10-07-21 Peter Tillman sunset.jpeg
Cambria photographer Peter Tillman captured this sunset at Moonstone Beach in Cambria on October 7, 2021. Peter Tillman

Tripadvisor: 3 California Beaches Among the Best in the United States

Tripadvisor called Moonstone Beach a “lovely, natural beach” with sweeping ocean views and a well-maintained boardwalk.

“Wow, what a beautiful beach,” exclaimed one reviewer.

Another reviewer noted that the north shore spot is “a great place to look for moonstones and jade. When the tide goes out you can explore the tidal pools…magical!”

“It’s also a great place to watch the sunset,” said another Tripadvisor user.

Visitors line an iconic La Jolla Cove beach on Friday, June 17, 2022 in San Diego. La Jolla Cove is one of the top 25 beaches in the United States, according to Tripadvisor. Gregory Bull PA

Tripadvisor called La Jolla Cove “San Diego’s most desirable place to swim, dive and snorkel.”

“It’s a great place to see seals and pelicans lounging – in the middle of a very scenic beach line,” said one reviewer.

Meanwhile, Coronado Beacha popular spot for surfers, has garnered praise for its clear waters, cleanliness and picturesque views.

“Miles of white sand and magnificent views!” said one reviewer. “The ends are lined with military property, and it’s great to see Navy SEALS training and drills.”

This isn’t the first time Moonstone Beach has made Tripadvisor’s list of top beaches.

Cambria Beach clinched the No. 3 spot on the list in 2021.

Here is the complete list of the 25 best beaches in the country, selected by Tripadvisor users:

  • Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area – Puako, Hawaii
  • Siesta Beach – Siesta Key, Florida
  • Poipu Beach Park — Poipu, Hawaii
  • Moonstone Beach — Cambria
  • Kailua Beach Park — Kailua, Hawaii
  • Driftwood Beach – Jekyll Island, Georgia
  • Ruby Beach – Olympic National Park, WA
  • Cannon Beach – Cannon Beach, Oregon
  • La Jolla Cove — La Jolla
  • Ho’okipa Beach Park – Paia, Hawaii
  • Pensacola Beach — Pensacola Beach, Florida
  • Henderson Beach State Park – Destin, Florida
  • Ocean City Beach — Ocean City, Maryland
  • Saint Augustine Beach – Saint Augustine Beach, Florida
  • Coronado Beach — Coronado
  • Coligny Beach – Hilton Head, SC
  • Ka’anapali Beach — Lahaina, Hawaii
  • Fort Lauderdale Beach — Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Treasure Island Beach – Treasure Island, Florida
  • Port Aransas Beach — Port Aransas, Texas
  • Panama City Beach — Panama City Beach, Florida
  • St. Pete Beach—St. Pete Beach, Florida
  • Ogunquit Beach — Ogunquit, Maine
  • Clearwater Beach – Clearwater, Florida
  • Waikiki Beach — Honolulu, Hawaii

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John Lynch is a housing reporter for the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Originally from Kenosha, Wisconsin, John studied journalism and telecommunications at Ball State University, graduating in 2022.

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