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The best time to visit Southern California Beaches

A few things to note…

The idea of a trip to California can leave you starry eyed. But, there’s a few things to know before planning your dream trip to the Pacific Coast…

Water Temps

If you’ve never been to the Pacific Ocean, let me tell you… It’s COLD. In comparison to the Atlantic, it’s FRIGID (total personal opinion). In the summer, at its warmest, the water reaches 68 degrees, in early Spring, at its coolest, you can count on water temps around 57 degrees. Not exactly “bath water” if you ask me…. This being said, water sports are still wildly popular all year long. Just plan accordingly if you come in the Winter or Spring. A wet suit may be a necessity!

May Gray and June Gloom

Southern California geography is extremely unique and diverse. It’s part of what makes it so special to experience. There are mountain ranges that separate coastal areas and inland deserts. This gorgeous geographical phenomena causes drastically different weather and temperature conditions. In the summer air temps can range from well over 100 degrees, 20 miles inland, and hover around 70 degrees near the coast. If you plan to visit in May or June, know about a phenomenon Southern Californians call “May Gray” and “June Gloom”. These are the months it’s starting to warm up in the desert and inland cities, and the hot dry air from these areas push out over the cold Pacific creating a thick and COLD marine layer. It tends to burn off by late afternoon most days (by late June anyway), but until the water temperature rises (by 4th of July most years), you can plan on coastal temps being in the 60’s and very overcast, in the late Spring/ early Summer. In July, August and September beach temps rise to well into the 70’s creating the PERFECT conditions for dreamy beach days!

Sunsets and Tides

There’s no secret that So Cal has some of the best surfing on the planet… Well, in the United States for certain. It’s also an idyllic place to capture mystical sunset photos. Personally, I love when the tide is out, and the dusk sun is reflecting off the sand. DREAMY! If you’re wanting to plan the perfect time to go to the beach to experience any of this, check out the sunset/ tides chart to help you plan the best time to visit: