With rugged landscapes along the water, picturesque sandy beaches, and amazing wildlife, many coastal towns on the West Coast are desirable destinations for boaters. Whether you recently found a new or used powerboat for sale that you can’t wait to break in, or you’ve been cruising along the coast for years, these communities are worth exploring. Boatline has put together a list of seven of the best coastal towns on the West Coast.
1. Avalon, California
Located on Santa Catalina Island, Avalon is a popular tourist destination for its proximity to Los Angeles while providing boaters peaceful seclusion on the water. Despite its popularity, Avalon maintains its charm and uniqueness. Cruise around Catalina Island on your boat and be on the lookout for dolphins, sea lions, and whales. Dock at one of the marinas, dine at a waterside restaurant, and watch the sunset.
2. Bandon, Oregon
One of the most scenic areas on the Oregon coast, Bandon is an escape from the hectic world, giving boaters a chance to leave their worries behind. The scattered rock formations, pristine coastline, and sunset views are breathtaking. While you’re there, be sure to dine at a local restaurant for fresh-caught salmon, Dungeness crab, prawns, and clams. If you enjoy fishing, cast a line from your saltwater fishing boat and catch some of these amazing marine creatures yourself.
3. Cambria, California
Between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Cambria is a hidden gem along the California coast. Providing incredible coastal views and various opportunities to spot wildlife and marine life, the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk can be enjoyed during all times of the day. Watch the sunset from your boat at one of California’s most picturesque beaches, Moonstone Beach. Explore downtown Cambria and check out their boutiques and galleries in this small beach town.
4. Cannon Beach, Oregon
Home to the iconic Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach is a great West Coast destination for those seeking an up-close view of marine life. With large tide pools and dramatic low tides, be sure to dock your boat and stroll along the shoreline to discover the remarkable beauty surrounding you. Starfish, anemone, and crabs are among the various marine life you’ll find along the beach. And if you are feeling adventurous, hike through Ecola State Park, with nine miles along the coastline.
5. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Simply known as “Carmel”, this coastal town is a well-known retreat for musicians, artists, writers, and boaters. Dock your boat and enjoy the many natural amenities the beaches have to offer. With a rugged coastline featuring both sandy and rocky areas, this destination for popular water sports and activities has diving, kayaking, and surfing. If you’re an avid golfer, grab your clubs, and check out the iconic Pebble Beach golf course during your visit.
6. Port Townsend, Washington
Dock your boat and enjoy the serenity of Port Townsend with its rich history you won’t want to miss. Its Native American roots mixed with old Victorian architecture create a unique beauty in this small lake town. This area has two national landmark districts: Olympic National Park and Fort Worden Historical State Park that provide a beach getaway and scenic hiking trails. Kayak along the coastline to see native aquatic wildlife, including orca whales.
7. Westport, Washington
Located outside of Seattle, Westport is an ideal getaway from city life. Renowned as both a popular surf town and a fishing destination, Westport caters to various types of boaters, including recreation and sport. Anglers should boat out in the Pacific Ocean for a chance to reel in some noteworthy fish, including salmon, halibut, and tuna. For surfers, Westport boasts great waves, especially at The Jetty.
Charming towns, scenic waterways, incredible wildlife—these coastal communities are some of the most appealing places you’ll find on the West Coast, and are among the top summer boating destinations. Along with the best coastal towns on the East Coast, these destinations on the water are wonderful for boating. If you’re ready to shop for your next new or used boat, be sure to see all the listings on the nationwide marketplace, Boatline.com.