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Yellow flowers and view of Strand Beach from Dana Point Headlands Conservation Area, in Dana Point, Orange County, California

Best California Beach Towns For Raising a Family & Maximizing Outdoor Time

Published Date: Jun 16, 2024

California is a haven for beach lovers, offering picturesque landscapes, a mild climate, and an outdoor lifestyle that’s ideal for families. Whether you are considering a move or already reside in the Golden State, choosing the right beach town can significantly enhance your family’s quality of life. Here are some of the best California beach towns for raising a family and maximizing outdoor time, along with tips on California outdoor renovations to help you make the most of your property.

1. Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is often referred to as the American Riviera, thanks to its stunning coastal views and Mediterranean-style architecture. This town boasts excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, and a wealth of outdoor activities. Families can enjoy the Santa Barbara Zoo, hiking in the nearby Santa Ynez Mountains, or simply relaxing on the pristine beaches.

Outdoor Renovation Tip:

Consider adding a pergola or outdoor kitchen to your backyard. California’s mild coastal climate allows for year-round use, and these features can provide a shaded space for family gatherings and outdoor dining.

Paver stone patio with built-in TV and pergola

2. San Clemente

San Clemente, known for its “Spanish Village by the Sea” charm, offers a family-friendly environment with a strong sense of community. The town features beautiful beaches, a historic pier, and a range of outdoor activities such as surfing and hiking. The excellent schools and safe neighborhoods make it an ideal place for raising children.

View of houses and the beach from a cliff in San Clemente, Calif

Outdoor Renovation Tip:

Create a multifunctional outdoor space by installing a patio with comfortable seating and a fire pit. This will allow your family to enjoy the area’s usually cool evenings and expand your California home living space beyond the walls of your home.

3. Encinitas

Encinitas is a vibrant coastal town known for its laid-back vibe, beautiful beaches and delicious casual dining options. It offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including surfing, biking, and visiting the San Diego Botanic Garden. The town is also home to top-rated schools and a welcoming community.

Outdoor Renovation Tip:

Take advantage of sunshiny days by installing an artificial turf play area for kids and a garden space. Raised garden beds or vertical gardens can be a fun and educational project for the whole family, promoting outdoor time and healthy eating.

kid on swing

4. Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is an upscale beach town with a strong emphasis on family and community. The town features excellent schools, numerous parks, and a picturesque beach with a bustling pier. The Strand, a popular beachfront walkway, is perfect for biking, jogging, and taking leisurely strolls.

Outdoor Renovation Tip:

Create a serene space for relaxation by adding a water feature, such as a small fountain or waterfall into your outdoor space. It’ll gently block out background noises while creating a unique focal point for your yard.

Landcape and hardscape yard with water feature and paver patio

5. Monterey

Monterey is renowned for its scenic beauty and rich history. It offers a family-friendly atmosphere with attractions like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, and numerous state parks. The town’s natural beauty, cooler weather, and outdoor activities make it an excellent choice for families who love the outdoors.

Colorful buildings on the old boardwalk in Monterey California

Outdoor Renovation Tip:

Build a deck or expand your existing one to create a versatile space for entertaining and relaxing. Add comfortable patio furniture and a grill to make it the perfect spot for family gatherings.

Maximizing Your Outdoor Space

To truly take advantage of California’s wonderful climate, consider these outdoor renovation ideas:

• Outdoor Living Room: Extend your California beach home’s living space with an outdoor living room, complete with a patio fireplace or fire pit. A pergola can add shade and turn yours into a protected area that you can enjoy in nearly any weather.

Outdoor fireplace, paver patio

• Landscaping: Invest in landscaping with native plants that thrive in California’s climate. You’ll enhance the beauty of your property while providing a natural habitat for local wildlife such as birds and lizards.

Sitting Walls: Retaining walls can do so much more than simply help with erosion or flooding issues. By building low walls that are just the right height for sitting, you can create casual hangout spots throughout your property with a well-manicured look that’s virtually zero maintenance.

retaining wall

Outdoor Lighting: Professionally-installed LED landscape lighting can do wonders in transforming the look of your home after dark. By illuminating your space, you’ll enhance ambiance and increase the safety of your yard for a space you can enjoy at any hour.

Backyard stone pool deck with putting green and incredible lighting all installed by System Pavers.

Living in one of California’s beautiful beach towns offers numerous benefits for families, from excellent schools and safe neighborhoods to endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. By investing in thoughtful outdoor renovations, you can maximize your enjoyment of your property and make the most of the state’s sunny, mild climate. Whether it’s through creating inviting outdoor spaces or enhancing your garden, these improvements will help you and your family live a more vibrant, outdoor-focused lifestyle.

If you’re considering a move to the Golden State or are looking for a solid place to grow your career, System Pavers is based in Santa Ana, California and hiring for positions all along the West Coast and beyond. Check out our open job listings today!

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