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Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Old May 5th 2009, 9:12 pm
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Default Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Judging by one or two of the recent posts, looks like people are thinking about summer vacations - and we're no exception.

We've got a few things that we're considering, but one thing that we're all agreed on is that we want to relax for a few days on a beach at some point. Having moved from the Dorset coast to Dallas last year, we're all missing the Sea a wee bit!

We've always enjoyed beaches on the Gulf coast of Florida - Sarasota, Sanibel Island, that kind of place.

One of the vacation options we're considering is California, and I was wondering how the beaches in Southern California compare to the Florida Gulf Coast? Is the Ocean warm? Is it fine sand? Will the temperature be good and hot? I'm sure there are plenty of beaches to choose from, but given that we really like the Gulf coast beaches are we likely to find something we like, or might we be disappointed??
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Old May 5th 2009, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Originally Posted by rebs View Post
One of the vacation options we're considering is California, and I was wondering how the beaches in Southern California compare to the Florida Gulf Coast? Is the Ocean warm? Is it fine sand? Will the temperature be good and hot? I'm sure there are plenty of beaches to choose from, but given that we really like the Gulf coast beaches are we likely to find something we like, or might we be disappointed??
I can't compare for you as I haven't been to any beaches on the Gulf coast. But California beaches are beutiful. The sand is fine, the sea is warm enough to swim in (if you are here during the summer). It is hot, need to always where shoes on the beach otherwise you burn your feet.

There are lots of different beaches, busy Santa Monica beach with the pier and shopping very close, Malibu has rockpools which are cool for younger kids, Venice Beach has entertainers along the boardwalk. You can rent bicycles and cycle along the boardwalks from one beach to another.

Lots of other great things to do besides the beach here too.
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Old May 5th 2009, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
There are lots of different beaches, busy Santa Monica beach with the pier and shopping very close, Malibu has rockpools which are cool for younger kids, Venice Beach has entertainers along the boardwalk.
Thanks for the info - love rockpools
Don't think we're likely to get as far North as Santa Monica or Malibu - looking around San Diego / La Jolla region I think.
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Old May 5th 2009, 10:06 pm
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Originally Posted by rebs View Post
Thanks for the info - love rockpools
Don't think we're likely to get as far North as Santa Monica or Malibu - looking around San Diego / La Jolla region I think.
San Diego is lovely too, tons to do, cooler than LA. Some beaches are nice, but as its a port I think you have to pick and choose a little bit. La Jolla has lots of rock pools.
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Old May 5th 2009, 10:15 pm
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
San Diego is lovely too, tons to do, cooler than LA. Some beaches are nice, but as its a port I think you have to pick and choose a little bit. La Jolla has lots of rock pools.
Cooler as in trendy, cooler, or literally temperature cooler? Less likely for good beaches then? Not too bothered about stuff to do - the main event is the beaching, IYSWIM
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Old May 5th 2009, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Originally Posted by rebs View Post
Cooler as in trendy, cooler, or literally temperature cooler? Less likely for good beaches then? Not too bothered about stuff to do - the main event is the beaching, IYSWIM
Cooler temperature, average high around 80 in the summer I think.

Shame to go to such great places and not see stuff, but each to their own.
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Old May 5th 2009, 11:01 pm
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Originally Posted by rebs View Post
One of the vacation options we're considering is California, and I was wondering how the beaches in Southern California compare to the Florida Gulf Coast? Is the Ocean warm? Is it fine sand? Will the temperature be good and hot? I'm sure there are plenty of beaches to choose from, but given that we really like the Gulf coast beaches are we likely to find something we like, or might we be disappointed??
San Diego has miles and miles of great beaches and I'd be very shocked if you couldn't find something you liked. Pacific Beach and Mission Beach are bustling and touristy, but the ones that immediately spring to mind when thinking of the SoCal beach scene. Beautiful and more family oriented are La Jolla Shores and Torrey Pines. One of my favorites is Coronado - a huge wide open beach that is relatively uncrowded. There are also loads more good options going further north up the coast. For the warmest weather and ocean temps, look at mid July onwards. Cloudy days can be quite common in May and June.

BTW - I'm from Dorset too
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Old May 5th 2009, 11:15 pm
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Originally Posted by Socal Local View Post
One of my favorites is Coronado - a huge wide open beach that is relatively uncrowded.

BTW - I'm from Dorset too
I've seen that one and it certainly looks a possibility - like the relatively uncrowded part!

Don't know why I'm bothered about the temps - bound to be warmer than swimming in the sea on the beach at Poole

Where in Dorset are you from?
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Old May 5th 2009, 11:19 pm
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
Cooler temperature, average high around 80 in the summer I think.
Gotcha - thanks

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
Shame to go to such great places and not see stuff, but each to their own.
Fair point - always nice to be somewhere with plenty to offer. Just for this particular element, I'm really concerned about the beach.
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Old May 5th 2009, 11:23 pm
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Originally Posted by rebs View Post
Gotcha - thanks



Fair point - always nice to be somewhere with plenty to offer. Just for this particular element, I'm really concerned about the beach.
In that case Coronado would probably be perfect. We stayed there as part of a 3 week road trip in Southern California a few years ago. It was the only place we actually 'chilled out'. The beach is lovely and super clean, its definately warm enough to sunbathe and swim, its uncrowded and you can see your kids (if you have any) for what seems like miles so they can have a bit of freedom.
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Old May 5th 2009, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
In that case Coronado would probably be perfect. We stayed there as part of a 3 week road trip in Southern California a few years ago. It was the only place we actually 'chilled out'. The beach is lovely and super clean, its definately warm enough to sunbathe and swim, its uncrowded and you can see your kids (if you have any) for what seems like miles so they can have a bit of freedom.
Yeap - that sounds perfect! That's exactly what we want to do - will have done some road tripping / hiking on the way - just want to chill and enjoy the ocean!

Thanks to both you and Socal Local for you help and advice - much appreciated
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Old May 5th 2009, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

What kind of beaches do you want?

If you like urban beaches with all the facilities then San Diego is fine.

As you move north towards LA it oscillates between nice beaches and navy-induced industrial blight.

Eventually you'll get to Malibu (Baywatch), which is okay although perhaps a little stuffy.

Once you head north of Malibu though it starts to chill out a lot. Along Highway 1 you can find all sorts of secret coves and surfer spots. That's my preferred choice - a little cove all to myself.

It's a cold current that hits California, so be under no illusions, in general the water is not especially warm.


The advantage that California has over Florida of course, is that there are a bunch of other landscapes to see that are neither beach nor marsh.

I vote California every time.
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Old May 5th 2009, 11:59 pm
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Also, for the record, The Isle of Harris in Scotland has the best beaches EVER.

FACT.



Sunshine is overrated.
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Old May 6th 2009, 12:03 am
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Originally Posted by caleyjag View Post
What kind of beaches do you want?
Ones like on the gulf coast of Florida

It's a cold current that hits California, so be under no illusions, in general the water is not especially warm.
Hmmm, that could be an issue....


The advantage that California has over Florida of course, is that there are a bunch of other landscapes to see that are neither beach nor marsh.

I vote California every time.
Agreed when looked at holistically, but if all we are interested in is lying on a beach and swimming in the warm sea.....
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Old May 6th 2009, 12:05 am
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Default Re: Beaches in California / Florida - compare & contrast..

Originally Posted by caleyjag View Post
Also, for the record, The Isle of Harris in Scotland has the best beaches EVER.

FACT.

http://www.hirtahouse.co.uk/beach-large.jpg

Sunshine is overrated.
Beautiful!

I spent my teens on the North East Coast of Scotland (between Peterhead & Aberdeen) some lovely beaches there too. Sea was pretty cold for swimming though!
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