Beaches with a real heartbeat

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

A romantic beach is one of those can’t-miss Valentine’s Day standbys — the more pristine the better. And no one knows pristine like Heal the Bay, which has released this guide to the West Coast’s most romantic sand. All have received an “A” for water quality.

Encinal Canyon, El Matador in Malibu — The secluded cove won Heal the Bay’s online poll, which asked supporters to share their favorite romantic beach along the West Coast.

Abalone Covein Rancho Palos Verdes — A perfect picnic spot as well as a fine location to watch the migrating whales, this beach was another top vote-getter among Heal the Bay’s ocean-loving supporters.

Laguna Beach — From Blue Lagoon to Victoria Beach, this Orange County stretch is known for soft sand and a great setting for watching sunsets.


Stinson Beach in Marin County (North and South) — Sparking beach with proximity to the majestic Muir Woods.

Windansea in La Jolla — Watch surfers catch perfect waves.

Morro Strand Beach along the Central Coast — Spectacular views of Morro Rock.

Ocean Beach in San Francisco — Located along the 49-mile Scenic Drive, a stone’s throw from Golden Gate Park.


Neskowin Beach in Oregon — Features views of “Proposal Rock” island.

Westport Beach in Washington — Uncrowded sandy beaches, a 100-year-old lighthouse.

Sunset Beach in Santa Cruz County — This rugged beach features pine trees and sand dunes.

Get the latest water-quality grades for more than 650 beach-monitoring locations in California, Oregon and Washington at