Beaches in California, for the most part, have a very different feel to beaches back east. A classic beach for me is one with sand dunes, sea oats, a fairly wide sandy area and a gentle slope into the water.
Most of the beaches we have visited so far are somewhat rocky with no dunes, occasional cliffs, and a fairly steep descent into the water. Pacific beaches are still definitely beautiful, but they just have a different feel.
I was happy when we visited Oxnard and found a beach that made me feel a little more like I was at home. The killer waves and cold temperature remind me that I'm not, but I loved the wide, flat beach and dunes that made it feel more remote.