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6 Adorable Small Towns on the Pacific Coast You MUST SEE

Where are you planning to go on your next trip? Consider one of these small towns on the Pacific Coast!

The western region is one of the most unique parts of the US and is famous for its impressive geography, defined by rugged mountain ranges, long coastlines, and vast forest areas.

These outstanding features are best seen in the small towns on the Pacific Coast spread across the area, many of which feature a laid-back atmosphere that other parts of the nation lack.

Each seaside town’s slow lifestyle and distinctive character seamlessly merge into the breathtaking nature. It’s simple to the core yet stunning in its raw simplicity, inspiring a perfectly peaceful escape amid the cries of seagulls, the crashing of waves, and the ocean breeze.

So what are we waiting for? Continue reading as Must See Places presents you with the 6 most charming small towns on the Pacific Coast!

Small Towns On The Pacific Coast
Photo by Robert Mullan at Shutterstock

Pacific Coast gem: Carmel-By-The-Sea, California

Carmel-By-The-Sea is one of the most charming small towns on the Monterey Peninsula. It draws in many visitors yearly with stunning seaside scenery, laid-back streets filled with fairy-tale buildings, and numerous historic and natural attractions.

While here, you’ll enjoy an unforgettable experience by strolling through the bustling Ocean Avenue, eating, drinking wine, shopping, and exploring art galleries on your way to the beach.

Once at Carmel Beach, grab a surfboard to try your hand at the great waves, and then unwind on the white sands at sunset to take in the breathtaking views.

You can also stroll through the town’s residential areas to catch its signature fairy-tale-like structures, including the Hansel and Gretal cottage built by Hugh Comstock.

Before leaving, head to Carmel Mission to marvel at its exquisite architecture and see historic artifacts from the Spanish era in California.

Pacific Coast gem: Pismo Beach, California

Snuggled off the iconic Highway 101, Pismo is one of the most adorable small towns on the Pacific Coast with a grand opening that returning visitors look forward to each year.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised when driving here, and you get a view of the unforgettable moment when the coastal hills open up to the shimmering blue waters.

Hugging the shore along the long stretch of the San Luis Obispo County coastline, this is a classic beach town with a sandy headline that keeps it simple with its surf shops, beach cottages, and clam chowder joints.

The legendary pier, built in 1928, is a historic landmark, reaching out into the sea for 1,200 feet. It’s in the middle of an off-beat “town square” where you can mingle and take in some incredible views.

You can watch surfers at play while the local anglers reel in catch like ling cod, red snapper, and the occasional thresher shark.

The oceanfront boardwalk over the beautiful sands will give you access to an expansive beach, which is one of the state’s most walkable and among the most breathtaking in the entire state.

And there are also plenty of ways to connect with nature, like a horseback ride through the dunes.

Thrill seekers can rent an ATV or a dune buggy for the sandy terrain at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area or explore the picturesque sea caves along the ragged coastline to the north with the Central Coast Kayaks.

This town’s unique environment with treasures on all sides offers memorable experiences for everyone!

Small Towns On The Pacific Coast
Photo by Stas Moroz at Shutterstock

Pacific Coast gem: Florence, Oregon

Florence is a postcard-like town that will remind you of the elegance of its namesake Italian city, flaunting the giant coastal dunes, also known as the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area.

Stretching for an astonishing 40 miles to the banks of the Coos River in North Bend, exploring on horseback or a buggy is a breathtaking experience.

Abounding in the scenery, this town’s gorgeous beaches fire up sensational sunsets, while the Oregon Coast Military Museum adds a bit of extra charm to this all-around magnificent place.

Ensconced at the mouth of the Siuslaw River on the Pacific Ocean, travelers can take in the views over a picnic behind the historic river bridge. And while you’re here, don’t miss the Heceta Head Lighthouse. It’s a clifftop darling gracing “Devil’s Elbow.”

From the mega-popular Three Rivers Casino Resort to golfing adventures and the Fresh Harvest Cafe’s unmissable dinner, this place stands every bit behind its name.

Pacific Coast gem: Cayucos, California

This is another one of our favorite small towns on the Pacific Coast, boasting the slogan “a slice of paradise.” Cayucos maintains an untouched feel and air of the unexplored that allows nature to take center stage.

The mountainous backdrop ensconces Cayucos in a cradle while adding a touch of drama with surrounding headlands and bluffs, like the enchanting Harmony Headlands State Park.

For a leisurely hike, the 1-and-a-half-mile trail allows the whole family to indulge in the visual pleasures of all the Pacific Ocean has to offer.

Intensifying its appeal even more, the impressive Cayucos State Park delights visitors with exquisite miles of sandy beaches and unbelievable sunset views.

The town also has an alluring aura and is a surfer’s paradise, home to the Cayucos Pier, one of the nation’s best for strolls against the aquamarine waters that switch hues with the tide.

Pacific Coast gem: Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach is arguably one of the most unique small towns on the Pacific Coast. This area is where visitors will find the famous Haystack Rock, climbing to 235 feet like a giant guarding the shores.

At sunset, seeing this massive rock formation and other smaller versions around it will fascinate you. While visiting, you’ll want to spend a lot of your time on this beach to watch birds, take pictures, and see some extraordinary creatures in tidepools.

But you can also head to Ecola State Park to go on a hike, picnic, watch wildlife, and relax at the Indian Beach.

And to experience something different, visit the Cannon Beach History Center to look through some unique artworks and artifacts related to the area’s history.

Small Towns On The Pacific Coast
Photo by EQRoy at Shutterstock

Pacific Coast gem: Friday Harbor, Washington

Friday Harbor is a lovely town on the biggest of the San Juan Islands, taking the breath away of anyone taking a leisurely ferry trip to these shores for the slower-paced lifestyle of an island.

Famous for its captivating natural appeal and a historic seaport, visitors can enjoy a handful of family and pet-friendly businesses like local restaurants and shops rather than typical fast food and chain stores and fantastic accommodations like The Orca Inn.

You won’t need a car to get around, a bike rental is best. And as an artistic enclave in the sea, Friday Harbor is incredibly photogenic on a stroll, from decorated streets to many art galleries, including the spectacular San Juan Islands Museum of Art.

The area’s kayaking and whale tour headquarters and The Whale Museum will entertain maritime lovers. And the San Juan Community Theatre features musical events and plays for something different to experience every evening.

There’s even more culture to enjoy at the San Juan Historical Museum and the cute trolleys.

At the same time, shuttles will take visitors around the island to many beautiful places, including Lime Kiln Point State Park, where you’ll find a beautiful lighthouse and a historic rocky landmark with a wooden staircase. So don’t forget to pack some comfy shoes for this one!

Have you ever visited any small towns on the Pacific Coast? If so, be sure to leave us a comment to share your experiences with us.

Meanwhile, Must See Places has many more incredible options for your next trip. For instance, here are 7 Beautiful European-Inspired Places in Florida You MUST SEE

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