California is so much more than Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. With 840 miles of coastline, this beautiful state is full of hidden gem beach towns that you might not have ever heard of. Getting a little off the beaten path in California brings you to charming smaller towns along the coast. If you’ve only ever been to one of the mega cities in this state, you’ve missed what makes it special. Here’s our collection of the best hidden gem beach cottages along the California coast, we will start in Southern California and work our way North.
A 2BR San Clemente Beachfront House Rental with Stunning Views
San Clemente is located in Orange County, on the coast between Los Angeles and San Diego. San Clemente stakes it’s claim to the “World’s Best Climate” with 300 days of sunshine a year and an average temperature of 73* F. While this claim might not be 100% official, there’s no denying this SoCal beach town does have beautiful weather year round. San Clemente has tons of locally owned restaurants and shops. You can’t go wrong with The Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar (https://www.thefishermansrestaurantsanclemente.com/), located right at the heart of San Clemente off the pier.
The San Clemente beach house rental we picked for this area is a two bedroom townhouse with panoramic views of the beach and ocean. This San Clemente rental is perched above the beach and has ocean views from every room in the house. The high end kitchen is equipped with Sub Zero and Viking appliances, and makes prepping a meal or two during your stay an enjoyable experience. The owner, Lynn, maintains this property with the utmost attention to detail, which shows from it’s perfect reviews. This is the perfect secluded San Clemente beachfront house rental. Check Rates and Availability: San Clemente 2BR Beachfront Townhouse Rental VRBO Listing
The Green Cottage, a Romantic Waterfront Cottage for Two on the Peaceful Morro Bay
Morro Bay is a very small laid back beach town located 15 miles west of San Luis Obispo along Coastal Highway 1. This is truly a hidden gem California beach town, that you won’t find on many tourist guides or popular destination lists. The calm bay off the ocean is perfect for kayaking and paddle boarding, and if you are into fishing, this is one of the best spots in California. Seafood is king here, the many seafood restaurants of Morro Bay have their own docks where fresh catches come in daily. If a lively night life is what you are looking for, this is definitely not your town. But, this secluded California beach town is about as peaceful and laid back as it gets.
The Green Cottage on Morro Bay isn’t as over the top fancy as some of the other houses and cottages on this list. Originally an early 1900’s fisherman’s cottage, this home is perfectly situated on a quiet stretch of the bay. One of only 4 properties left on the bay with it’s own dock, the views here are unbeatable. The privacy and peacefulness of this cottage are second to none. With over 200 VRBO reviews, this house has managed to maintain a flawless 5.0/5.0 review score. That is incredibly hard to do and a testament to how much guests love The Green Cottage on Morro Bay. Check Rates and Availability: The Green Cottage on Morro Bay VRBO Listing
A Luxury Pebble Beach Oceanfront House Rental with 4 King Suites
Pebble Beach is one of the most exclusive stretches of beach in the United States, yet most people only know of the golf course. This is in our opinion the most picturesque area of California other than Big Sur. The house rentals in the Pebble Beach area are not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but they are perfect for a once in a lifetime trip with a larger group. Most of the houses are on the bigger side, like the one we’ve featured below. The restaurant options for Pebble Beach and next door Carmel-By-The-Sea are some of the best in the entire country. Even if you don’t stay in this area it’s definitely a place everyone should try to visit once.
The Pebble Beach house rental we picked to feature is one that is perfectly set up to accommodate a group of adults. With 4 ocean view king suites, everyone in the group has a great room. It is often difficult to find houses set up like this, usually at least one bedroom is set up with multiple small beds. The views from the dining area of this luxury home are breathtaking. This is one of those places you just have to see pictures of to believe. Check Rates and Availability: Luxury 4BR Pebble Beach Oceanfront House Rental VRBO Listing
A 2BR Sereno del Mar Beachfront Cottage Rental
Sereno del Mar is a tiny beachfront community in Sonoma County, California. With a population of 196, this is as hidden gem of a California beach town as it gets. Located about an hour and a half north of San Francisco, this area could not be more opposite than the big city. Most restaurants and shops will be located about 5 miles south of Sereno del Mar in Bodega Bay. In Bodega Bay you absolutely can’t miss the fresh cooked crabs and clam chowder at Spud Point Crab Co. (https://www.spudpointcrabco.com/). The Bodega Bay area is full of incredible fresh seafood markets and restaurants, as the bay is a major fishing port.
This Sereno del Mar beachfront cottage is the quintessential Northern California beach cottage. With a private staircase down to the quiet beach, it doesn’t get any more NorCal than this. The views from the house are incredible, it sits just high enough off the beach to have panoramic views of the beautiful coast. The walls of floor to ceiling windows in the great room take full advantage of the perfect scenery. The wood fire pit overlooking the beach is the perfect place to grill fresh fish caught with the included fishing gear (tips and pointers are included as well). You can’t go wrong with booking this cottage. Check Rates and Availability: 2BR Sereno del Mar Beachfront Cottage Rental VRBO Listing