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America's Most Beautiful Coastal Walks

California Coastal Trail

JaSon / Getty Images

California Coastal Trail, CA

A preservationist dream as ambitious as Teddy Roosevelt’s creation of our National Park System, the California Coastal Trail aims to unite 1,200 miles of Pacific coastline by public footpath. Stretching from Santa Barbara to the Oregon border, the CCT encompasses arid views toward Tijuana, raging surf at Big Sur, and mellow seascapes in Mendocino County.

Challenge Level: Strenuous.

Essential Gear: On a shore hike, your most consistent safety risk is from the sun. We like a sunscreen with a dry texture and a seal of approval from the Skin Cancer Foundation. (Peter Thomas Roth; $26.)

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