The 5 Best Beaches on the West Coast May 26, 2017 by Nicole (Awesome Escape Blogger)

If you are looking for big waves, warm sand, and gorgeous sunsets than you want to head for the Pacific Coast. You can catch some waves in Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, or California. All of these areas offer incredible beaches, and we've picked some of our favorites.

1. Coronado Municipal Beach, California

Right in front of the well-known Hotel Del Coronado, this sparkling beach is absolute paradise. When we say sparkling, we are not kidding. Particles of the mineral mica in the sand form a glittering expanse from surf to shore. The waves here are as flat as the beach, which makes it a great option for families with young children. There are plenty of tidal pools during low tide and a ton of sand dollars for collecting. One of the coolest parts of this beach is the 1930s shipwreck that is visible during low tide. Between that and the local beachgoer known as Sandcastle Man, who creates seemingly incredible sculptures out of the sand, this is easily one of the coolest low-key beaches in the country.

2. Carmel Beach, California

A picturesque, laid back beach dotted with Monterey cypress trees, Carmel Beach is home to epic views and a jagged, picture-ready coastline. While the water here is a bit chillier and has more severe riptides than other beaches on our list, it is an ideal location for flying kites, taking long romantic walks, and picnicking. Don't forget to check out the annual sandcastle contest to see some true masterpieces.

3. Rialto Beach, Washington

Part of Olympic National Park, Rialto Beach is best known for its scenic sand, offshore sea stacks, driftwood piles, and large, surfable waves. The wildlife here is also a must-see: whales, otters, seals, and even bald eagles can be spotted daily. Make sure to check out the Hole-in-the-Wall, a sea cave and stone arch which is an icon of the Washington coast. Hiking here is also a great activity, but make sure to check on the local regulations, which may require bear canisters and wilderness camping permits. There is even a camp area right by the Hole-in-the-Wall.

4. Cannon Beach, Oregon

In 1806, William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame) first set foot on this now popular vacation destination. The location of Haystack Rock (the third largest rock of its kind in the world), crabs, puffins, and other wildlife, Cannon Beach offers an infinite number of photo opportunities. Don't let the photo opportunities distract you from the four miles of gorgeous beachfront that is available for sunbathing, bird watching, swimming, and picnicking.

5. Hulopoe Bay, Hawaii

If you are looking for white sand beaches and clear-as-glass water, look no further than Hulopoe Bay. The clear water makes it ideal for snorkeling and swimming. It is a public beach with showers to rinse the sand off after your visit, picnic tables, restrooms, and charcoal grills. On the eastern side of the bay, there are tide pools and volcanic rock, where you can check out the sea stars, hermit crabs, and more local sea life.

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