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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SCU chapter.

Anyone who’s lived in Santa Clara for long enough can vouch for the fact that some of the best beaches are located in the area. However, I’m always looking for different places to go. Though the classic Santa Cruz and Monterey are nice, I’ve compiled a list of unique beaches along the coast that provide more than just a pretty shore.

  1. Glass Beach

This beach gets its name from the iconic pieces of rainbow glass that decorate its shore. Apparently, locals used to throw their trash on the beach and over time the glass eroded and became polished, creating a lovely colorful display.

  1. Rockaway Beach

Rockaway beach is located in Pacifica, so it’s not too far of a trip. Its uniqueness is displayed through the dark brownish-black sand that is on the coast. There are dozens of hikes, a cute restaurant-downtown area, and great waves.

  1. Bowling Ball Beach

The name of this beach tells you a lot about its uniqueness. Large round rock formations that look just like bowling balls are scattered all around this beach.

  1. Pfeiffer Beach

This beach is located in Big Sur. If the beautiful cliffs and arches of Big Sur weren’t enough for you, the sand is known for its purplish color. It’s a huge sight for photographers and is surrounded by a redwood forest, so there’s beauty all around.

  1. Hole in the Wall in Santa Cruz

This beach gets its name from the fact that the only point of entry is through a “hole in the wall,” an arch that provides access from the main Panther Beach to its coast. It’s also often called Neptune’s looking glass because of the lovely contrast between the rocks and the water. Be careful if you choose to go here, though, because changing tides can be a concern.

  1. Alamere Creek Beach

Alamere is located in Point Reyes National Park, one of my personal favorites. This is a rare beach where you can see a waterfall pour directly into the ocean.

So there you have it, a collection of some of the most unique beaches in California, perfect for a weekend visit.

[Photos Courtesy of roadtrippers.com, californiabeaches.com]


Bethool is in her second year studying Biochemistry and Philosophy. She loves reading all kinds of books, photography, exploring the great outdoors, and playing music.
Laurel Fisher is a senior at Santa Clara University. She is double majoring in math and French. She loves traveling, scrapbooking, and anything to do with France. In her free time, she loves taking photos of just about anything, watching Netflix, eating delicious food, going to the gym, and spending time with her friends.