Video: The Rickenbacker Causeway

Marianela goes wind surfing for the first time at this favorite local spot.

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Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach

Just 5 minutes from San Diego, this family-friendly beach boasts wide stretches of sand, mostly calm surf and ideal whale watching (January through March). The lifeguards on staff, nearby public facilities and free parking along Ocean Boulevard add to its convenience -- and popularity. Couples can take a romantic walk to the luxury beachfront Hotel del Coronado and sip cocktails on its patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean. 960 1280

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La Jolla

La Jolla

You’ll have to leave the surfboards and boogie boards behind, but trust us it will be worth it. La Jolla Cove is the most desired area for swimming, snorkeling and diving; it is ecologically protected, making it a safe home for the bright orange Garibaldi fish (among others species) in the crescent-shaped cove. Called “the jewel” of San Diego, this beach is small, but you’ll find more room to stretch out on the mile-long La Jolla Shores to the north. 960 1280

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Sonoma Coast

Sonoma Coast

Sonoma Coast State Beach comprises 13 miles of coastline, stretching from Blind Beach to Bodega Head. It’s dotted with nothing save hidden beaches tucked between the rocky coves and tall bluffs. Follow the Sonoma Coast Trail to visit these secret beaches and take postcard-worthy pictures, #nofilter necessary. 960 1280

Jairo Leiva/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach, founded by the Chumash Indian Tribe, is located in central California, between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Whichever direction you travel from, there’s plenty of activities to keep you here: fishing on the 1,200-foot-long pier, strolling through the Monarch Butterfly Grove, horseback riding along private trails, and exploring tide pools and caves, to name just a few. 960 1280

JB325/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

Main Beach in Santa Cruz

Main Beach in Santa Cruz

For most beachgoers in Santa Cruz, Main Beach is where the action is -- complete with restaurants, shops, surfing spots, beach volleyball courts and, of course, a scenic boardwalk and bandstand. If you ask us, it’s just the right amount of Americana. 960 1280

Mitch Diamond/ Photodisc/ Getty Images  

Huntington Beach Pier

Huntington Beach Pier

With a location at the end of Main Street and a nickname like “Surf City, USA,” Huntington Beach evokes a time gone by. The pier (one of the longest on the West Coast), the year-round surf (thanks to ocean swells around Catalina Island) and Ruby’s Diner (the milkshakes are a must) will continue to draw crowds here for years to come. 
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Christopher Riddler/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

Venice Beach

Venice Beach

Our resident beach expert, Marianela Pereyra, can attest to its weirdness, but there’s a reason Venice Beach is world famous. It may bring to mind visions of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Muscle Beach of the ’70s, but let us assure you that the 1 1/2-mile-long boardwalk is still the perfect storm for people watching, street performers and souvenir shopping. 960 1280

Christian Kober/ AWL Images/ Getty Images  

Baker Beach

Baker Beach

To the west of the Golden Gate Bridge lies the rocky serpentine shoreline of Baker Beach. Rip currents make swimming unsafe, but you’re here for the panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge … and maybe to picnic. Just don’t venture too far north unless you’re looking for another kind of scene: the northernmost end of Baker Beach, which attracts clothing-optional sunbathers. 960 1280

Jamairani/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

Malibu Surfrider Beach

Malibu Surfrider Beach

Formerly known as Surfrider Beach, Malibu Lagoon State Beach’s famous right point breaks have made it the most-surfed spot in Los Angeles since the ’60s. Arrive early to find a parking spot and pick a point -- some of the perfect swells due to Surfrider Beach will give you a ride all the way to the pier (a couple hundred feet away). And for non-surfers, the historic wooden Malibu Pier offers excellent saltwater fishing, bird-watching and picnicking. 960 1280

Ryan McVay/ Digital Vision/ Thinkstock  

Dockweiler State Beach

Dockweiler State Beach

Located just west of the LAX runway, Dockweiler Beach is where people come to relax and party. That’s because the 3-mile-long shoreline is the only Los Angeles beach that has an RV park and allows bonfires. S’mores, anyone? 960 1280

Jose Gil/ iStock/ Getty Images  

See Episode Guide

Watch It

  • Premiere
    Marianela's Best Beaches California
    Marianela Pereyra discovers unique experiences in the Golden State. She meets skaters, bodybuilders and oddball denizens in Venice Beach. And she travels north to climb one of the tallest lighthouses in California.
    Sunday February 15
    11pm | 10c
  • Premiere
    Marianela's Best Beaches Florida
    Marianela Pereyra explores the Sunshine State via a speed boat in Daytona, and by feeding sharks in Key West, partying in South Beach and defying gravity strapped to a jet lev in St Pete Beach.
    Sunday February 15
    11:30pm | 10:30c
  • Marianela's Best Beaches California
    Marianela Pereyra discovers unique experiences in the Golden State. She meets skaters, bodybuilders and oddball denizens in Venice Beach. And she travels north to climb one of the tallest lighthouses in California.
    Monday February 16
    2am | 1c
  • Marianela's Best Beaches Florida
    Marianela Pereyra explores the Sunshine State via a speed boat in Daytona, and by feeding sharks in Key West, partying in South Beach and defying gravity strapped to a jet lev in St Pete Beach.
    Monday February 16
    2:30am | 1:30c

About the Show

Get the inside scoop on the best beaches in California and Florida with Argentinian model and adventurer Marianela Pereyra.

About Marianela's Best Beaches

About the Host

Welcome Marianela Pereyra, the host of Marianela's Top 10 California Beaches and Marianela's Ultimate Florida on TravelChannel.com.

Marianela's Bio

Marianela's Best Beaches Let Marianela Pereyra be your guide to the best beaches in California and Florida.

Photo Galleries

street performer

street performer

Marianela delights in the tunes from this performer. Venice Beach is known for being an inspiration to many artists and musicians, including Jim Morrison. 960 1280

  

los angeles

los angeles

Even though Venice Beach is in Los Angeles, it’s a whole other world apart from Hollywood. 960 1280

  

performers entertain

performers entertain

From break dancers to musicians to mimes, hundreds of performers entertain on the boardwalk each day. 960 1280

  

skateboarding master

skateboarding master

Marianela meets a skateboarding master. “The rush keeps me alive,” he says. 960 1280

  

modern skateboarding

modern skateboarding

Venice nurtured the rise of modern skateboarding in the 1970s, and with a 16,000-ft. park, it’s skater heaven. 960 1280

  

urban playground

urban playground

The diverse art and culture is what makes this urban playground so special. 960 1280

  

colorful grafitti

colorful grafitti

The graffiti that decorates the public walls adds to Venice’s colorful atmosphere. 960 1280

  

oceanfront boardwalk

oceanfront boardwalk

It’s impossible to be bored with 2.5 miles of an oceanfront boardwalk full of shopping, dining, sports, art and more. 960 1280

  

muscle beach

muscle beach

Marianela checks out Muscle Beach, the outdoor weight room in the sand. 960 1280

  

venice breakwater

venice breakwater

Venice Beach is a popular destination for surfers who want to test out the Venice Breakwater. 960 1280

  

basketball courts

basketball courts

Marianela channels her inner Kobe on the basketball courts. 960 1280

  

asilomar bike trail

asilomar bike trail

Marianela is ready to unwind riding the bike trails of Asilomar Beach on the Monterey Penninsula. 960 1280

  

state park conservation

state park conservation

Asilomar is not only a fun cycling spot, but also a state park working to conserve its beach habitats and wildlife. 960 1280

  

dune restoration

dune restoration

Birds fly over the park’s dunes, which have been restored to a pristine state. 960 1280

  

beach edge

beach edge

The bike trail drops you off right at the edge of the beach. 960 1280

  

white quartz sand dunes

white quartz sand dunes

Loop through the 26 acres of rare white quartz sand dunes along the path. 960 1280

  

plant rehabilitation

plant rehabilitation

To preserve the park’s beauty, sections are closed off to the public for plant rehabilitation. 960 1280

  

white sand

white sand

Marianela gets her hands dirty the best way possible -- playing in the sand. 960 1280

  

mile long beach

mile long beach

Marianela observes the gorgeous mile-long stretch of beach. 960 1280

  

boardwalk

boardwalk

The boardwalk leads visitors right to the quiet coast. 960 1280

  

beach activities

beach activities

Visitors can take a romantic stroll, play football with the family, or surf on the perfect rolling waves. 960 1280

  

preservation

preservation

Asilomar Beach has made environment preservation a top priority since it was established in 1951. 960 1280

  

little refuge

little refuge

A “little refuge by the sea,” Asilomar Beach lives up to its name. 960 1280

  

beach trees

beach trees

The sand and beach sagewort have created unique soil conditions, allowing these trees to thrive near the coastline. 960 1280

  

beach volleyball

beach volleyball

Marianela receives some beach volleyball tips from coach Mark Hull. 960 1280

  

california attitude

california attitude

Marianela embraces the laid-back California attitude of Santa Cruz. 960 1280

  

sand castles

sand castles

Girls are having fun in the sun making sand castles. 960 1280

  

volleyball practice

volleyball practice

Marianela practices her beach volleyball skills. 960 1280

  

santa cruz boardwalk

santa cruz boardwalk

The Santa Cruz Boardwalk is the “Coney Island of California” complete with roller coasters. 960 1280

  

volleyball mecca

volleyball mecca

Santa Cruz is a beach volleyball mecca with over 15 courts. 960 1280

  

marianela learns

marianela learns

Marianela’s ready to learn how to ‘set’ the volleyball. 960 1280

  

volleyball net

volleyball net

These courts are frequented by both amateurs and experts alike. 960 1280

  

volleyball game

volleyball game

After some practice, Marianela is ready to jump into a game with the locals. 960 1280

  

seaside fun

seaside fun

Santa Cruz is the perfect setting for seaside fun. 960 1280

  

santa cruz coast

santa cruz coast

One look at the picturesque Santa Cruz coast and you’ll see why Marianela fell in love with this beach. 960 1280

  

sailboats

sailboats

Visitors take a pleasure cruise in their sailboats. 960 1280

  


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