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The Top Beaches in Los Angeles

The Top Beaches in Los Angeles

Cedric Thomas
Aug 29, 2023

Table of contents

  • Santa Monica Beach
  • Venice Beach
  • Malibu Point Dume State Beach
  • Manhattan Beach
  • Zuma Beach
  • Pacific Coast Highway Beaches
  • El Matador Beach
  • Hermosa Beach
  • Dockweiler Beach
  • Will Rogers State Beach
  • Cabrillo Beach
  • Leo Carrillo State Park
  • Redondo Beach
  • Paradise Cove Beach
  • Meyer Memorial State Beach
  • Malibu Lagoon State Beach
  • Playa Del Rey Beach
  • Abalone Cove Shoreline Park
  • Billionaires Beach
  • Best beaches in downtown Los Angeles

Hitting the beach is one of the best ways to enjoy the Los Angeles area, with its year-round sunny weather, diverse coastline, and lively beach culture. From the wide expanse of sand at Santa Monica Beach to the surfer-friendly waves at Malibu's Point Dume State Beach, LA offers plenty of options for beachgoers of all tastes.


In this article, we'll explore the best beaches in LA, highlighting their unique features, attractions, and amenities. So, pack your sunscreen and let's dive into the top beaches in LA!

Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Pier at Sunset

If you're looking for a quintessential Southern California beach experience, head to Santa Monica Beach, one of the most iconic beaches in LA. This three-mile-long stretch of golden sand is located just steps from the Santa Monica Pier, a bustling hub of entertainment, dining, and shopping.


The beach itself offers a wide range of activities, from swimming and sunbathing to surfing and volleyball. Lifeguards are on duty year-round, and there are plenty of restrooms, showers, and picnic areas available. Don't miss the chance to catch a sunset over the Pacific from this picturesque spot.



Things to do at Santa Monica Beach

Apart from swimming and sunbathing, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy at Santa Monica Beach. You can rent bikes, rollerblades, or surreys to explore the nearby bike path or take a stroll along the famous Muscle Beach outdoor gym.


The Santa Monica Pier is also a must-visit attraction, with its Ferris wheel, arcade games, and live performances. You can also try your luck at catching fish from the pier or enjoy a seafood feast at one of the restaurants overlooking the ocean.

Venice Beach

Skaters at Venice Beach

Located just south of Santa Monica Beach, Venice Beach is another LA icon that's popular with locals and visitors alike. This two-mile-long beach boasts a colorful boardwalk that's lined with shops, street performers, and artists.


You can rent a bike or a rollerblade to cruise down the boardwalk or join a game of basketball or handball at the courts. The main beach itself itself has a designated area for swimmers and surfers, and there are plenty of lifeguards on duty.


If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try your hand at skateboarding or surfing at the nearby Venice Skate Park.



Things to do at Venice Beach

Apart from people-watching and soaking up the sun, there's always something happening at Venice Beach. You can check out the graffiti art at the Venice Art Walls or take a yoga class on the beach.


The Muscle Beach Gym, located near the Venice Pier, is a popular spot for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. If you're into street performers, you can catch a magic show or a music performance at the boardwalk.


And if you're hungry, there are plenty of food trucks and cafes nearby that serve everything from tacos to smoothies.

Malibu Point Dume State Beach

If you're looking for a quieter, more secluded beach experience, head to Malibu Point Dume State Beach. This beach, located in the upscale Malibu neighborhood, offers stunning views of the cliffs and the ocean, and is a popular spot for surfing and swimming.


The beach is relatively small, so it's less crowded than some of the other beaches on this list. There are restrooms, showers, and picnic tables available, but no lifeguards on duty, so be sure to swim at your own risk.

Things to do at Malibu Point Dume State Beach

Apart from surfing and swimming, you can also explore the nearby Point Dume State Preserve, which offers hiking


Hiking trails that lead to the top of the cliffs, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific and spot whales and dolphins. The preserve is also home to a variety of wildlife, including seabirds, sea lions, and pelicans.


If you're lucky, you might even see a seal pup or a sea otter lounging on the sandy beach below.

Manhattan Beach

Located south of LAX airport, Manhattan Beach is a popular spot for locals who want to escape the crowds and enjoy a laid-back beach vibe. This beach boasts a wide, sandy shore that's perfect for sunbathing and playing beach volleyball.


The water is clean and clear, making it ideal for swimming and surfing. There are plenty of amenities available, including restrooms, showers, and lifeguards on duty. Manhattan Beach is also home to a charming downtown area, with plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops to explore.



Things to do at Manhattan Beach

Apart from soaking up the sun and enjoying the water, there are plenty of things to do at Manhattan Beach. You can rent a bike or a beach cruiser to explore the nearby Strand, a paved path that runs along the beachfront.


The Manhattan Beach Pier is also worth a visit, with its fishing opportunities, panoramic views, and seasonal events like the Holiday Fireworks show. If you're into beach sports, you can join a game of beach volleyball or paddleball, or try your hand at surfing or stand-up paddleboarding.

Zuma Beach

Located in the northern part of Malibu, Zuma Beach is one of the most scenic beaches in LA, with its wide expanse of sand and crystal-clear water. This beach is popular with families, as it offers plenty of space for kids to play and swim.


The waves are also ideal for surfing and boogie boarding, and there are plenty of amenities available, including restrooms, showers, and food trucks. The beach is also a popular spot for beach camping, with several campsites available nearby.



Things to do at Zuma Beach

Apart from swimming and surfing, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy at Zuma Beach. You can take a walk along the shoreline and explore the tide pools, where you can see starfish, crabs, and other marine life.


The nearby Trancas Canyon Park offers hiking trails that lead to stunning views of the beach and the surrounding mountains. If you're into fishing, you can try your luck at catching surfperch or halibut from the beach or the pier.


Pacific Coast Highway Beaches

The Pacific Coast Highway is a scenic road that runs along the coast of California and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Along this route, there are several beaches that are worth visiting for their natural beauty and unique attractions.


El Matador Beach

El Matador State Beach

Located in Malibu, El Matador Beach is a hidden gem that offers stunning views of rocky cliffs, caves, and tide pools. The beach is accessed via a steep staircase, which adds to the sense of adventure and seclusion.


The water is cold and rough, but it's perfect for experienced surfers and swimmers. There are no amenities available, so make sure to bring your own food, water, and beach gear.



Things to do at El Matador Beach

Apart from enjoying the natural beauty of the beach, there are plenty of things to do at El Matador. You can explore the caves and rock formations, which are popular spots for photography and Instagram posts.


You can also hike along the nearby trails and enjoy the panoramic views of the ocean and the hills. And if you're lucky, you might even spot some dolphins or whales passing by.

Hermosa Beach

Located south of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach is a popular spot for beach sports and nightlife. The main marina beach itself offers a wide stretch of sand, with plenty of space for volleyball, paddleball, and sunbathing.


The water at marina and main beach is clean and clear, with gentle waves that are ideal for swimming and beginner surfing. There are plenty of amenities available, including restrooms, showers, and beach rentals.



Things to do at Hermosa Beach

Apart from the beach activities, Hermosa Beach offers plenty of options for dining, shopping, and entertainment. The downtown area is filled with restaurants, bars, and cafes, with live music and events happening regularly.


You can also rent a bike or a scooter to explore the nearby Strand, or take a walk along the Hermosa Beach Pier and enjoy the ocean views.

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Dockweiler Beach

Located just north of Manhattan Beach, Dockweiler Beach is a popular spot for camping, bonfires, and airplane watching. The beach offers a wide stretch of sand, with fire pits available for rent and plenty of space for picnics and group activities.


The water is clean and clear, with moderate waves that are suitable for swimming and boogie boarding. There are plenty of amenities available, including restrooms, showers, and RV camping sites.



Things to do at Dockweiler Beach

Apart from the beach activities, Dockweiler Beach offers a unique experience of watching airplanes take off and land from nearby LAX airport. The beach is located under the flight path, and you can see planes of all sizes and shapes fly overhead.


You can also take a bike ride or a walk along the nearby Ballona Creek bike path, which offers scenic views of the wetlands and the wildlife. These three best beaches in los us are just a few of the many amazing beaches you can explore in LA


Each beach has its own personality and attractions, so make sure to do your research and find the one that suits your preferences and needs. Happy beach hopping!


Will Rogers State Beach

Located in Pacific Palisades, Will Rogers State Beach is a family-friendly beach that offers a wide range of activities and amenities. The beach is popular for its calm waters, making it an ideal spot for swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.


There are also plenty of beach volleyball courts and, picnic areas, and bike rentals available.



Things to do at Will Rogers State Beach

Apart from the beach activities, Will Rogers State Beach is also known for its scenic bike path that runs along the coastline. You can rent a bike or bring your own and enjoy a leisurely ride with stunning ocean views.


The state beach is also adjacent to the Will Rogers State Historic Park, where you can visit the former home of the famous actor and comedian, Will Rogers.

Cabrillo Beach

Located in San Pedro, Cabrillo Beach is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful and secluded atmosphere. The beach is situated in a cove, which provides protection from strong winds and waves.


The water at only beach is calm and clear, making it a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. There are also picnic areas, volleyball courts, and fishing spots available.



Things to do at Cabrillo Beach

Apart from the beach activities, Cabrillo Beach is also home to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, which showcases the marine life and ecosystems of Southern California. You can visit the aquarium and learn about the local sea creatures, or join a guided tide pool walk and discover the fascinating creatures that inhabit the rocky shore.


The beach is also adjacent to the historic Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse, which is a beautiful example of Art Deco architecture.

Leo Carrillo State Park

Leo Carrillo State Park is located in Malibu and is known for its rugged coastline, tide pools, and sea caves. The beach is named after the actor and conservationist Leo Carrillo, who fought to preserve the natural beauty of the area.

The beach is also popular for its excellent surfing conditions.




Things to do at Leo Carrillo State Park

Apart from surfing, Leo Carrillo State Park is a great place for hiking and exploring the tide pools and sea caves. You can also go beachcombing and look for interesting shells and rocks. The park has picnic areas, campsites, and RV sites, making it a great place for a weekend getaway.


Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach is located in the South Bay region of Los Angeles and is known for its wide sandy beach and lively pier. The beach is popular for swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball.


The pier has restaurants, shops, and an arcade, making it a great place for families to visit.



Things to do at Redondo Beach

Apart from swimming and sunbathing, Redondo Beach is a great place for fishing, with several fishing piers and charter boats available for hire. You can also rent a bike and explore the nearby bike paths or take a scenic walk along the beach.


The pier has a Farmer's Market every Thursday, where you can find fresh produce and local crafts.


Redondo Beach is a great destination for a beach day or a weekend getaway. With its lively atmosphere and beautiful scenery, it's no wonder why in redondo county beach, beach and redondo county beach, so many people love to visit.

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Paradise Cove Beach

Paradise Cove Beach is a hidden gem located in Malibu, known for its picturesque setting and calm waters. The beach is surrounded by cliffs and has a private feel to it, making it a perfect spot for a relaxing day on the sand.



Things to do at Paradise Cove Beach

Paradise Cove Beach is a great place for swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking, with rental equipment available on site. The beach also has a restaurant and bar, where you can enjoy a meal or drink while taking in the ocean views.


The private beach club is popular among locals and visitors alike, and its secluded location adds to its charm. If you're looking for a quieter and more peaceful beach experience, Paradise Cove Beach is definitely worth checking out.

Meyer Memorial State Beach

Meyer Memorial State Beach is a secluded beach located in Malibu, known for its stunning rock formations and clear waters. The beach is surrounded by cliffs and is accessible only by a steep stairway, giving it a private and exclusive feel.



Things to do at Meyer Memorial State Beach

Meyer Memorial State Beach is a great place for swimming, sunbathing, and exploring the tide pools. The beach is also a popular spot for surfing, with several surf schools and rental shops available nearby.


The beach's secluded location south bay beach and stunning scenery westward beach make it a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts. It's a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy the beauty of Southern California's coastline.


If you're up for a bit of adventure, Meyer Memorial State Beach is definitely worth the climb down the steep stairway. The secluded beach and stunning rock formations are sure to leave you in awe.

Malibu Lagoon State Beach

Malibu Lagoon State Beach

Malibu Lagoon State Beach is a state beach located at the mouth of the Malibu Creek and is a popular destination for swimming, birdwatching, and nature walks. The beach is surrounded by wetlands and is a designated bird sanctuary, making it a unique and peaceful spot to visit.


Things to do at Malibu Lagoon State Beach

Malibu Lagoon State Beach is a great place to go birdwatching, with over 200 species of birds recorded in the area. The beach also has a walking trail that winds through the wetlands and offers stunning views of the ocean and nearby mountains.


Swimming is also a popular activity at Malibu Lagoon State Beach, with lifeguards on duty during the summer months. The beach is also a popular spot for surfing and has several surf schools and rental shops nearby.


The wetlands surrounding the beach are home to a variety of plants and animals, including the endangered California least tern and the western snowy plover. The Malibu Lagoon Museum offers educational exhibits about the local ecosystem and the history of the area.


Malibu Lagoon State Beach is a unique and tranquil destination in LA, offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. It's a great place to connect with nature and learn about the local ecosystem.

Playa Del Rey Beach

Playa Del Rey Beach is a hidden gem located in the Westside region of Los Angeles. The beach is a quiet and peaceful destination that offers a relaxed atmosphere for visitors looking to escape the crowds of the more popular beaches.



Things to do at Playa Del Rey Beach

Playa Del Rey Beach is a great place for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. The beach is also a popular spot for kite flying and has a designated area for this activity.


The beach area has a paved walking path that runs along the shore and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. The path is also popular with runners and cyclists and is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the beach.


Playa Del Rey Beach is surrounded by wetlands and is home to a variety of birds and wildlife. The Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, located nearby, offers educational exhibits and guided tours of the local ecosystem.


The beach has several restaurants and cafes nearby, making it a great place to grab a bite to eat after a day at the beach.


Abalone Cove Shoreline Park

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park is a hidden gem located in Palos Verdes, just a short drive from LA. The park features two beaches, Abalone Cove and Sacred Cove, both of which are accessible via a steep hike down the cliffs.


Abalone Cove

Abalone Cove is a secluded beach known for its tide pools, abundant sea life, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. The beach is a great place to explore and is home to a variety of marine animals, including sea stars, crabs, and anemones.


Sacred Cove

Sacred Cove is a small, secluded beach located just north of Abalone Cove. The beach is accessible via a steep hike down the cliffs and is known for its peaceful atmosphere and stunning views of the ocean.


The park also has several hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the coastline and the surrounding hills. The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy offers guided nature walks and bird watching tours in the park, making it a great destination for nature enthusiasts.

Billionaires Beach

Billionaires Beach is a stretch of coastline in Malibu that has earned its name due to its high-profile residents, including billionaires and celebrities. The beach is also known as Carbon Beach and is considered one of the most exclusive beaches in LA.


The beach is located between the Pacific Coast Highway and the ocean, with many of the properties lining the beach having private access to the sand. Despite its exclusivity, Billionaires Beach is a public beach, and visitors can access the shoreline from public access points.


Billionaire's Beach is a great spot for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. The beach has a long stretch of soft sand and offers beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. The water is clear and refreshing, making it a popular spot for swimming and surfing.


If you're looking for a luxurious experience, you can rent a private cabana on the beach, complete with lounge chairs and a personal butler. Many of the beachfront properties also offer private dining and spa services.


Best beaches in downtown Los Angeles

In conclusion, the best beaches in Los Angeles is home to some of the best beaches in the world. From the popular and bustling Santa Monica Beach to the serene and secluded El Matador Beach, there is a beach for every type of traveler. Each beach has its own unique attractions and amenities, making it easy to find the perfect spot for your next beach day. 


Whether you want to swim, surf, sunbathe, or simply relax, LA's beaches offer something for everyone.


Remember to stay safe and follow the beach rules and regulations, including keeping the beach clean and avoiding disturbing the wildlife. LA's beaches are a precious natural resource that we should all strive to protect and preserve.


If you're looking for a beach getaway, the best beaches in Los Angeles is the perfect destination. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and head to one of LA's beautiful beaches for an unforgettable vacation.


Living in Los Angeles offers the advantage of being close to the top beaches and Instagram-worthy attractions without spending too much money. This means you can reside in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in LA and do it with flair.


We hope this article has inspired you to explore the amazing sandy beaches off of LA and discover your own favorite spot. Remember to have fun, stay safe, and enjoy the sun and the surf!


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