Conservation areas need all the love they can get these days. California has a magnificent network of state parks, protecting an array of California’s unique landscapes, from beaches to high mountains to parched deserts and even an inland sea. Check out their many sites here. There are nearly 300 to choose from and 63 are right on the Pacific Ocean.
If you are looking for beachfront property you can actually afford, plan a camping trip. My picks in SoCal are San Elijo State Beach, though the proximity to the road makes tent camping a bit of a noisy proposition, and San Clemente State Beach where you can pitch a tent right on the bluff under the main lifeguard tower. You’ll have views to eternity, but watch out for the wind which comes in strong along this stretch of the coast.
Want to pitch in? The california state parks foundation is an independent advocacy group that schedules volunteer days for the public to help out with important resource management projects. Share the love here.