Best Small Towns In California

California is mostly known for LA and San Francisco, but believe it or not, there are thousands of small towns all across the state. Despite the fires, many (in fact most) small towns are perfectly safe and up for a visit.

Golden Gate Bridge

Capitola, CApopulation: 10,080

Capitola Beach

Capitola, located near the larger Californian city of Santa Cruz is a great and picturesque destination. It is mostly known for Capitola Beach, which is a great, calm watered beach, but I honestly don’t think that the ocean is the best part about this beach. On one side of the beach, there’s a small neighborhood of colorful houses, and walking through them is amazing, and all the pictures taken there are awesome as well.

In front of the houses, there’s a lake/pond sort of thing, and it’s also shown in the photo. It’s amazing to see the colorful reflections the houses make in the pond.

If you are planning to go to Santa Cruz or anywhere near there soon, you should definitely check out Capitola.

San Clemente, CApopulation: 64,000 (so not exactly that small of a town)

San Clemente

San Clemente, known for having some of the best weather in the world, is a small city in coastal Orange County. The town has a long, sandy beach and a pier (as shown above) and as for scenery and the town itself, hills and Spanish architecture.

This city is also great for hiking, with its 2 mile long San Clemente trail that has amazing views of the coast.

Saratoga, CA- population: 30,000

Saratoga, located west of San Jose, is a great tiny city. It has a wonderful location right between Santa Cruz (for a beach trip) and San Francisco (for a trip to the city).

But, this town also has things that sets it apart as well. Saratoga is known for having a very villagey feel (after all, its downtown is called Saratoga Village). The architecture is known for being very old fashioned, and there are basically no chain fast food restaurants in Saratoga. The whole town is pretty much fully made of small bussinesses.

Saratoga’s scenery include a backdrop of green hills and vineyards and a blue sky. And its attractions include Hakone Gardens, one of the oldest Japanese gardens in the western hemisphere, and another attraction is the downtown, a great place for taking photos as well as going to tiny boutiques or cafes.

Avalon, Ca- population: 3,700


Avalon is the only incorporated city on Catalina Island, the famous island that sits on the California coast. Avalon has a beautiful beach and pier, as well as a stunning background of hills. Ships come here all the time to drop of tourists who want to see the island. Even the town’s streets are cool, being narrow and filled with shops.

There’s also lots of hiking atractions near here, as well as a botanical garden.

Sausalito, CApopulation: 7,100


Just north of San Francisco, Sausalito is there if you ever need a break.

The city itself is really small, so if you want a lot to do, then this isn’t for you, but those looking to just sit around and relax will love this place.

The whole town is full of trees, and sitting on a bench under one and watching the water will be amazing.

Newport Beach, CA- population: 85,000 (OK, so not that small)

Newport Beach

Newport Beach, like San Clemente, is a beach town in Orange County. The beaches here are amazing and super long, so there’s usually enough space for you to at least lay out your blanket.

The coolest houses there are the ones built in through the cliffs- they look huge, but not too huge from the back, and then once you get on the beach and take a look, they’re giant.

Newport Beach is a great place to relax and just hang out at the beach.

To wrap this post up, some of the best small towns in California are Capitola, San Clemente, Saratoga, Avalon, Sausalito, and Newport Beach.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed! If you did or had any feeback, make sure to post it in the comments below.

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Published by Dhatri, the Voyager

Hi! I'm Dhatri, the Voyager. Voyage the World is my travel blog, where I post itineraries, travel tips, and top ten lists. Join me on my voyages of the world!

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