You may not be able to live feet from the sand. And your house may not be filled with beachside trinkets—carved pieces of driftwood, jars of sea glass, or bathrooms filled with seashell décor, but that doesn’t mean that a cozy, beachside escape is out of your realm of possibility.
In fact, there are plenty of beach cottage destinations that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
If you wish for the ocean at your doorstep and are down for a little rugged, but roofed, getaway, then the Steep Ravine Park Cabins, located 2 miles from the crowds of Stinson Beach at the base of Steep Ravine Canyon in Mount Tamalpais State Park. These ten, rustic and all wood cabins offer sweeping views of the Pacific and are one of the best deals for an oceanfront stay. You can be as secluded as you please, immerse yourself in books, wine, or other pleasures, and leave all your troubles a world away.
You can reserve The Steep Ravine cabins up to seven months in advance through Reserve America; they cost $75 per night.
If you’re prone to the slightly more luxurious side of beach life, check out newly restored Crystal Cove Beach Cottages in the Crystal Cove State Park Historic District. You can choose to stay in Individual or Dorm-Style cottages, but all offer ocean views, preserved historical details and a charm of a Southern Californian beach town. You will be greeted every morning by Crystal Cove’s 3.5 miles of gorgeous coastline. It’s quaint and possibly just what the doctor ordered.