12 Quiet, Uncrowded Beach Retreats in California

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SACRAMENTO, CA [July 8, 2021]—Hundreds of beaches stretch along California’s 840 miles of coastline. While many of the state’s beaches attract throngs of tourists, there are still lesser-known swaths of sand to be found. The California Association of Boutique & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) has compiled a list of under-the-radar beach retreats for travelers seeking solitude by the sea.

Elk Cove Inn & Spa
The population of Elk, California hovers just above 200, making it an ideal destination for a secluded beach getaway. Perched on a bluff overlooking Greenwood State Beach and its majestic rock outcroppings, guests of the Elk Cove Inn & Spa can be lulled by the waves in peaceful solitude. Most of the rooms offer ocean views. A private path from the inn’s gazebo leads down to the driftwood-strewn sand below.

Howard Creek Ranch
Remote and rugged, Howard Creek Ranch is a 60-acre oceanfront farm on the Mendocino coast bordered by miles of beach and wilderness. Far north on Highway 1, the historic farm sits in splendid isolation, with direct access to the sandy beaches and tide pools at Westport Union Landing State Beach. The beach is wide and sandy near the mouth of the creek but features rock outcroppings stretching in both directions. 

Mar Vista Farm + Cottages
Just across Highway 1 from the Pacific Ocean, Mar Vista Farm + Cottages is a working small farm along the southern “secret coast” of Mendocino County. 10 bright and airy vintage cottages are scattered around the property, and most offer ocean views. The property features a private path down to the secluded sands of Fish Rock Beach which is an idyllic spot for picnicking, tide pooling, and relaxing on the sand.

Inn of the Lost Coast
On Northern California’s fabled Lost Coast, the town of Shelter Cove (population 580) is a remote outpost of civilization. The well-appointed, oceanfront Inn of the Lost Coast serves as an outstanding base camp for exploring the town and its isolated and beautifully rugged coastline. The inn is just a short walk toBlack Sands Beach, which is the southern trailhead for the 20-mile Lost Coast Trail.

Alegria Oceanfront Inn & Cottages
As the only oceanfront B&B in Mendocino Village, Alegria Oceanfront Inn & Cottages offers secluded views of the sea with a private garden path down to the driftwood-strewn Big River Beach. The inn itself consists of a charming main house and a collection of quaint cottages which are nestled on a bluff overlooking the ever-changing river mouth and a large expanse of sand.

Colonial Terrace
Tucked away in a residential neighborhood south of downtown Carmel, the historic Colonial Terrace is just 72 steps from the white sands of Carmel Beach. The stretch of cypress-lined beach across from the inn is far less crowded than the main beach entrance near the village. The inn provides beach umbrellas, beach chairs, beach blankets, and sandcastle building toys for enjoying a lazy day on the sand.

Flora Vista Inn
Flora Vista Inn is located on a rural stretch of road 13 miles south of Santa Cruz. From the inn, guests can walk along quiet roads toManresa Uplands State Beach or follow the railroad tracks toManresa State Beach. Both beaches are connected by one long, uninterrupted expanse of sand and are a short trek (less than three-quarters of a mile) from the inn. It's the ideal destination for a reflective and meditative stroll.

Back Bay Inn
The waterfront Back Bay Inn is hidden along the backwaters of Morro Bay. The calm waters offer a laid-back place perfect for paddle boarding or kayaking while admiring the abundance of local wildlife. Here, visitors may dozens of species of birds and encounter a playful group of otters. The secluded beaches of Montana del Oro State Park are also just minutes away.

The Pelican Inn
North of San Francisco in Marin County, this 16th-Century English-inspired Tudor-style country inn is just a short walk from the secluded, sandy cove at Muir Beach. A network of trails through Golden Gate National Recreation Area also connects The Pelican Inn with Pirate’s Cove and Tennessee Valley. Marin County’s moody coastal weather only adds to the romanticism of the inn and the isolated beaches.

Ocean Echo Inn
The serene Ocean Echo Inn is tucked away at the end of a quiet residential street, just 100 steps from the sands of Santa Cruz’s little-known Sunny Cove Beach. Even though the beach feels isolated, it's within walking distance to neighborhood coffee shops, markets, and restaurants. Guests will feel as if they’ve discovered a secret oasis with easy access to the creature comforts of an urban destination.

Seal Cove Inn
South of San Francisco near Half Moon Bay, Seal Cove Inn borders a marine reserve featuring secluded beaches, tide pools, and windswept ocean bluffs. A trail from the inn leads directly to the J.V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, where guests can catch sight of seal pups frolicking on the shore between June and March. The inn is also just 500 feet from the staircase leading down to the secluded Seal Cove Beach.

On the Beach Bed & Breakfast
Nestled along the Pacific Coast Highway in San Luis Obispo County, the sleepy seaside village of Cayucos is home to On the Beach Bed & Breakfast, which proudly lives up to its name. The inn overlooks the sands of Cayucos State Beach and the town’s historic pier. Many of the inn’s rooms offer ocean views. Guests will also find a rooftop sundeck with lounge seating and a hot tub for watching the sunset over the Pacific.

For more information about these or any other CABBI-member inns, visit www.cabbi.com.



California Association of Boutique & Breakfast Inns
414 29th Street
Sacramento, CA 95816-3211

Media Contact: Ranee Ruble-Dotts
ranee@papermooncreative.com or 503-395-0023

The California Association of Boutique & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) is the largest and most influential bed & breakfast and boutique inn association in the nation and is the only California bed & breakfast association affiliated with the California Hotel & Lodging Association. CABBI was formed in 1991 to promote the bed and breakfast experience to the traveling public and to educate, support and encourage CABBI members to provide a quality stay for inn travelers.