13. Grover Beach
Grover’s Beach is situated smack in the middle of California’s Central Coast; it offers a convenient middle ground if you love the beach lifestyle but also want to be in close proximity to mountains and colder weather.
The local climate is incredibly mild, according to the city’s official website; its weather resembles the seaside Mediterranean region, with refreshing ocean breezes all summer long, only 20 inches of rainfall per year, and twelve months of golden California sunshine.
With weather that nice, there are plenty of great opportunities to inhale the area’s genuinely fresh air. According to the Arroyo Grande Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce, beachgoers in Grover Beach can choose between an off-highway riding and camping site that promises some serious adventure in the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.
You can even run the annual “Dune Run Run” through this site; choose between a 5k or 10k to run across both soft and hard-packed sand, as well as the city’s historic streets and beach boardwalk.
The Chamber of Commerce also points out that Grover Beach officials make valiant efforts to keep housing affordable and their community diverse. If you’re interested in living in this beach town, you can find a job in its bustling but hidden agricultural district, and you’ll still be minutes away from beautiful natural scenes such as Lopez Lake and from the Arroyo Grande Valley wine region.
Monarch Grove lures visitors from across the state; the famous North Beach sanctuary is Grover Beach’s walk-in retreat for Monarch butterflies, who come out of their cocoons between November and February to surround you with a lightweight flurry of bold Halloween colors.
The Stone Soup Ethnic Music Faire is another one-of-a-kind attraction, according to the city government, which teams up with the chamber of commerce every year to throw this free festival in sunny Romona Garden Park. You can also attend free concerts in the same park, which includes a gazebo and amphitheater, during Grover Beach’s Summer Concert Series.