A coastal town
Visit These West Coast Beach Towns For A Budget-Friendly Vacation
Near the Oregon border, Crescent City has surf, national and state parks, and Redwood forests without the crowds and costs of more popular destinations.
Crescent City, California
The town has three beaches, all offering different landscapes and activities, from stand-up paddleboarding in the calm waters of South Beach to beachcombing tidal pools.
Affordable accommodations include camping and RV parks, both on the edge of the sand and in the forest, and classic, low-cost roadside motels along Highway 101 near the harbor.
Two hours north of Los Angeles, the iconic beach town Santa Barbara has a glamorous reputation but is also a surprisingly budget-friendly college town.
Santa Barbara, California
The renowned farmers' market has luxury fresh produce that the region is famed for six days a week. Franceschi Park offers some of the best views over the stunning coastline.
The historic courthouse has free movie nights, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, hosts free events, including outdoor cinema screenings in July and August.
Beach and nature lovers can revel in the wonders of the Pacific Northwest in the San Juan Islands on a budget with cheap hostel and camping options.
San Juan Islands, Washington
Park admission is free, and you can spot sea otters, orcas, whales, and porpoises on a sunset stroll along the rugged cliffs to the lighthouse.
The ferry rides between islands are always free for walk-on passengers. The islands are small enough to travelerblog by bicycle or on foot, so you can leave your car behind at the port.
La Jolla boasts crystal-clear waters, gentle surf, and sandy coves, so, unsurprisingly, it often appears on lists of the world's top beaches.
La Jolla – San Diego, California
Miles of picturesque coastline offer exploring, snorkeling, kayaking, and diving in the warm waters. Watch seals and sea lions frolicking and sunbathing in La Jolla Cove.
Fly kites in Ellen Browning Scripps Park and wander through free galleries and museums. The best deals on accommodation are in La Jolla Village, around the UC San Diego campus.
With its mild coastal weather, clear water, and rugged coastline, this beach town is a hidden gem with various hotels, rentals, and campsites.
Coos Bay, Oregon
The beautiful rocky beaches and lush forests create an unforgettable setting for plenty of free outdoor activities, including hiking, kayaking, bird watching, and clamming.
You can buy fresh fish and wild seafood from local fishermen at the market under the boardwalk or from a roving food cart, serving fresh fish and chips and homemade clam chowder.