What Beaches Can You Drive On In California?

Beach driving in California offers visitors opportunities to visit less crowded areas that people rarely visit and allows them to get up close and personal with nature.

Respectfully they should always be aware of wildlife and avoid wildlife nesting areas and other parts of the delicate natural ecosystem.  

Knowing where you can and cannot safely drive on the beach in California is, of course, paramount.

What Beaches Can You Drive On In California?

There are not very many beaches in California that you can drive on. Fiesta Island in the Southern Region, Pismo Beach and Chadbourne Gulch Beach in the Central Mid Region, and numerous beaches in the North Region do allow beach driving, though.

These beaches offer visitors an up-close and personal Pacific Ocean experience for those travelers who have a four-wheel-drive vehicle. 

Other visitors who have all-wheel drive or two-wheel drive may also use these beach areas but with caution.

Anyone wishing to visit and travel on the beach in California or anywhere in the United States should keep a close eye on the tide tables, so there is less risk of issues with going on the beach during rising tide and having your vehicle stuck in high tide.

Northern Region

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Lake Earl Wildlife Area

This area is located in Del Norte County. It is a very remote area that can be difficult for visitors to locate. 

This beach area offers a deep connection with nature and the solitude and remoteness that many a seasoned beach driver seeks.

Table Bluff County Park, Sand Split in the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area, and Eel River Wildlife Area

These two beach locations are joined, and beach drivers can travel the span from either direction. Both are located in Humboldt Bay County.

In Sand Split, vehicles are only allowed to drive in the wave slope from Mid-September to the end of February.

There is no camping allowed in these areas. Still, suppose visitors travel south through Table Bluff.

In that case, they will reach the Eel River Wildlife Area and parking lot for another great adventure.

This area also offers hunters, anglers, and bird watchers access to enjoy their sport. 

Visitors must follow all driving and other rules while visiting the Eel River Wildlife Area for safety reasons.

Central Region

Pismo State Beach

This area is noted for beach driving access. 

Visitors will enjoy Southbound and Northbound driving when they access this beach area.

This area is popular with beachgoers who want to camp for the night, use their dune buggies, and have numerous family adventures.

Motorcycles are allowed to the south, but they must have paddle tires. 

The Oceano Beach Access area allows visitors to drive north or south. 

You will find more exciting adventures in the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area to the south.

Driving north is allowed but only as far as the North Beach at Pismo State Beach, where vehicles are not allowed.

Chadbourne Gulch Beach

This beach access area is located in Mendocino County and is thought of as a secret gem to be discovered. 

Locals call it the Blues Beach, and it is very easy to miss and drive past this beach access area while driving through Westport, where it is located.

The beach area doesn’t notify whether beach driving is allowed, but many locals drive their four-wheel-drive vehicles right on the sand. 

At the far end of the beach area, a rock arch shouldn’t be missed by those visiting this area.

Southern Region

Fiesta Island

This beach access area located in San Diego is the only drivable section of beach in the Southern Region of California. 

This area isn’t your typical drive on the beach area due to its location and restrictions. 

Still, the convenience of doing so and its fun make it something not to be missed.

This manmade island in the middle of Mission Bay is beautiful and a spot many locals enjoy. 

Visitors who wish to drive this area can drive the perimeter and then use a pull-off spot to get comfortable and enjoy the day.

What should I bring for driving on the beach?

You should bring a tire gauge, cable, or chain for towing, a strong shovel, a jack, and a jack stand for driving on the beach.

These are just the basics for safety and yours, or someone else’s, in an emergency.

These essential safety and emergency tools should always be in your vehicle when driving on any beach, wherever you may go. 

They can prevent the need for an expensive tow if your vehicle gets stuck.

Of course, other essentials for camping, fishing, and other beach gear are a must.

While visiting these beach areas, those travelers who need a place to stay for a night or two might enjoy renting a house through www.vrbo.com.

Beach Getaway

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This beautiful rental property in Mission Bay offers two bedrooms that sleep up to six people with two bathrooms.

This condo property is located above a bakery which makes for the wonderful smells at breakfast to awaken the senses and the beauty of the sounds of the ocean.

With California Style kitchen and tile flooring, this tastefully decorated condo will provide visitors with everything they need during their stay, including air conditioning, for an additional fee.

The property offers a great perk of offering travel guests their garage to park their car and is centrally located close to all the fun and activities.

As with any vacation, rental fees for this condo can change based on days, weeks and months, or seasons when visiting the area. 

Final Thoughts

California offers many beach areas where visitors can drive on the beach.

Most of them are in the Northern Region, but a few can still be found in the Central and Southern Regions.

Proper planning should be a part of any trip to the beach, as should following all rules while driving on the sand.

With so many locations to take advantage of this fun activity, California is a great place to drive on the beach while you still can!