Credit: Niki Cram

9 Beaches in California Where You Can Legally Drink on (or Near) the Sand

Crack Open a Can of Your Favorite Brew or Booch at These Alcohol-Friendly Beaches

Sparkling waves, warm sand beneath your toes and a refreshing drink in hand—these are the things that dreams are made of. And at these California beaches where you can *legally* sip on your favorite adult beverage, these daydreams can become a reality. Now, not all California beaches are created equal when it comes to alcohol, so we’ve created a list of some of the best spots along the California shoreline that allow you to enjoy your tipple of choice (responsibly, of course). Looking for a place where you can take in some sun, surf and sips? Here are nine of our favorite booze-friendly beaches in California.

Note: Before you rush to fill your cooler, please remember to be responsible and respectful while enjoying alcoholic beverages on or near these beautiful beaches. Each of these beaches and beach clubs may have different policies regarding alcohol consumption, so be sure to check their specific websites before you crack open a can!


Paradise Cove Beach

What We’re Drinking: An Ice-Cold Corona

Best Alcohol-Friendly Beaches in CA
Credit: Paradise Cove Beach Cafe

Want to be a little bit extra on your beach day? Head to Paradise Cove Beach in Malibu, where stunning ocean views meet grandiose cocktails and bites. We suggest heading right over to Bob Morris’s Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, where you can pull up a chair on the sand and order some of the biggest, most jaw-dropping tropical drinks you’ve ever seen. After your meal, it’s time to explore! For your beach day portion, meander along the dreamy shoreline, take a walk down the charming pier and marvel at the towering cliffsides that give this beach its peaceful atmosphere. You are allowed to bring your own alcohol to Paradise Cove; however, you can only bring wine, beer and champagne—no hard booze!

Location: Paradise Cove Beach, Malibu


Descanso Beach Club

What We’re Drinking: The Original Buffalo Milk 

Best Alcohol-Friendly Beaches in CA
Credit: Catalina Island Company

Did someone say “beachside bottle service?” Catch a ride on the Catalina Express and pay a visit to the one and only Descanso Beach Club, where you can rent a private cabana or pair of chaise lounges on the sand and experience one of the finest luxuries in life: beachside cocktail service. Don your best beach day outfit and prepare to enjoy plenty of people-watching, views of the passing boats and of course, unforgettable libations. It’s giving resort; it’s giving relaxation; it’s giving everything you need to make this visit to Catalina the best one yet.

Location: Descanso Cove, Catalina Island


The Beach Society

What We’re Drinking: Champagne, of course!

With The Beach Society rental experience, you never need to worry about stressful beach party planning again. Simply reserve your desired rental (they can accommodate experiences for parties of two to 15), then arrive at your selected location and time to start enjoying your gorgeous sunbed or daybed rental. Each experience has the option to book for high sun, sundown or all day and comes with sweet, thoughtful additions like a pretty macrame umbrella, pillows, towels and an ice bucket. No matter the occasion, we definitely think a Beach Society party calls for popping some bubbly! 

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Local Insight: The Beach Society does not provide any alcoholic beverages (and is not responsible for monitoring). According to California beach rules, alcoholic beverages are not allowed, but if you’d like to have beachside beverage deliveries, you can contact Juicefly.

Location: Santa Monica State Beach and Will Rogers State Beach, Santa Monica


Beach House

What We’re Drinking: A Spicy Watermelon Margarita

Experience 30,000 square feet of pure enjoyment under the radiant San Diego sun—all while sinking your toes into the warm sand, snacking on some mouthwatering tacos and sipping on a refreshing cocktail. At Beach House, a breathtaking oceanfront setting awaits you—complete with outdoor tiki bars, cozy fire pits and swaying palms—creating the idyllic backdrop for an unforgettable San Diego experience. Relax and unwind in a shady cabana, take a seat at a beachfront bar or get up and join the vibrant weekend party atmosphere by dancing along to live music, concerts and DJs.

Location: Belmont Park, San Diego


Carmel Beach

What We’re Drinking: A Bottle of California Wine

Carmel-by-the-Sea is quite possibly one of the most charming beachside destinations along the California coast, and there’s no better way to experience this scenic spot than with a sunset picnic on Carmel Beach. During the day, wander through town and enjoy the shops, galleries and delicious eateries, then around golden hour, grab a bottle of wine and a sandwich from Bruno’s Market & Deli and take a walk along the scenic pathway to enjoy views of the bluffs and statuesque Cypress trees. Once the sky begins to change its hue, make your way to the sand, pour a glass and enjoy the peaceful views that have inspired countless landscape paintings.

Location: Carmel-by-the-Sea


Kehoe Beach

What We’re Drinking: A Canned Kokomojito

Credit: Avi Naim on Unsplash

Tucked into the western side of Point Reyes National Seashore, Kehoe Beach is a serene and secluded hidden gem that can only be reached via a pleasant, half-mile hike down a dirt trail. The last leg involves crossing sandy terrain, requiring a bit more effort, but the beauty of this beach makes it all worthwhile. Kehoe Beach is an ideal destination for family and friends (furry or otherwise) to take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, dunes and rugged bluffs, then snuggle up under a blanket on the sand and enjoy a refreshing Kokomojito!

Location: Point Reyes National Seashore, Inverness


La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club

What We’re Drinking: Club Mai Tai

A sunkissed ambiance, salty air, a soft, warm shoreline and five-star service—this may be your new favorite way to enjoy oceanfront dining! At La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, dining on the sand is a cherished club tradition, and the best ways to experience it is by grabbing a table at the Beach Hut during the summer season or opting for a famous La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club’s beach party barbecue! The club provides the grills, food, drinks and decor so you can cook up an amazing meal (or have one delivered) for you and your friends.

Local Insight: This beach is part of La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club (it’s private property!), so feel free to take your cocktail on the sand!

Location: La Jolla


Back on the Beach Cafe

What We’re Drinking: A Michelada With Corona

If you’re heading to Santa Monica State Beach for a fun (and buzzy) day on the sand, we recommend making a stop at Back on the Beach Cafe. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this beachfront eatery serves up tasty, seasonal California cuisine with some truly breathtaking views of the ocean, the famous Santa Monica Pier, Catalina Island and more. The cafe offers indoor seating, but honestly, who would pass up sitting on their sandy patio? Back on the Beach Cafe also offers beach chair, umbrella and bodyboard rentals so you don’t need to worry about lugging around your equipment all day!

Location: Santa Monica State Beach, Santa Monica


SeaLegs at the Beach

What We’re Drinking: Bolsa Chica Peach Iced Tea

With the nickname of Surf City, USA, it’s no surprise that Huntington Beach is known for its sparkling ocean waves, and there’s no better place to take it all in than SeaLegs at the Beach. Part concert venue, part event space, SeaLegs is a local hangout set on the sand of Bolsa Chica State Beach that serves delicious bites and even more delicious libations. Whether you’re drinking wine, beer, seltzer or a classic cocktail, SeaLegs’ upbeat, inviting vibes and stellar views are a surefire way to enhance your beachgoing experience.

Location: Bolsa Chica State Beach, Huntington Beach

Writer | Website | + posts

Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.




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