The coast west of the city has seen commercial and rather tacky tourist development all the way from Kato Stalos to Platanias, though it thins out after there.
The road stays pretty close to the sea all the way to the Rodhopou Peninsula, and, while there are beaches, there is also wind and rough seas, and the water is not so clean.
The village of Galatas, has a small Battle of Crete museum, with a memorial outside. There's a marshland outside of this town with a reservoir with a large birdlife population.
Aghia Marina has a small brick factory, lovely beach with a campsite and an islet, Aghia Theodori, the latter a kri-kri (indigenous Cretan wild goat) sanctuary.
A cave in the islet may have been a Minoan sanctuary. The islet was also a Venetian fortress. Platanias to the west has an old town with cliffside tavernas, some of them very atmospheric and as you can see from this photo left a rather nice beach.