Pelican State Beach

A Serene Northern California Vacation Spot

Pelican State Beach may very well be the loneliest beach in California. Located just south of the Oregon border, it's a bit out of the way; you could easily drive right by and not notice.

That would be a shame, because this beach is wild and lovely, with a long sandy driftwood-strewn beach backed by grass-tufted sand dunes. It’s perfect for solitude, beachcombing, fishing and kite flying. Serious surfers also seem to love this place.

The beach is a good spot for surf fishing, with plentiful surfperch, Pacific sanddab, and starry flounder. Pelican Beach is located on Pelican Bay, and, yes indeed, there are plenty of those fish-loving birds here. There are also seagulls and seals, and during whale watching season, you might be able catch a glimpse of the gray whales cruising by.

All Alone at Pelican State Beach

With 5 acres, there’s plenty of space to roam, but facilities are lacking. (Perhaps that’s one reason for the solitude.) However, if you’re looking for a good Northern California vacation spot, where you can unwind and enjoy the scenery, there are two lodging options right on the beach that just might fill the bill:

  • Casa Rubio is a peaceful spot, located close to the border. A short walk through the garden takes you to the beach. There are 4 units available, with varying amenities. The most popular is The Cabin, with great views, a full kitchen and a private deck. 17285 Crissey Rd, Smith River, CA 95567
  • Sea Escape is just a mile south of the Oregon border. There’s a nice lawn area overlooking the beach where you can sit and enjoy the view. It offers studio and one-bedroom apartments for 2-6 people. All the units have kitchenettes and Wi-Fi. Some have small decks with ocean views. 15370 Highway 101 North Smith River, California 95567

The weather here is changeable, so dressing in layers is a good idea at any time of year. Summer fogs usually burn off by noon, and temperatures are generally mild. Winters tend to be cool and rainy. The sunniest weather comes in spring and fall, and not surprisingly, that's when things are most peaceful.

Pelican State Beach is located right at the Oregon border, off Highway 101. Keep a sharp eye out, because the access is easy to miss. It's 21 miles north of Crescent City, the last road before the agricultural inspection station (or the first road after the inspection station if you’re coming from Oregon). Parking is available.

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Related Pages

Northern California Beaches
Northern California Vacation
Northern California Attraction Guide
Exploring the Redwood Forest
Redwood National & State Parks
Dog Friendly Beaches and Campgrounds in Northern California

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