This quintessential SoCal beach is 1.8 miles of pure beauty, featuring golden sands and brilliant blue waters made for surfing, swimming, windsurfing, and fishing. With 105 acres of land and eight parking lots, Zuma Beach is also easily accessible and worth the drive along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Don’t worry about the amenities; this Malibu destination has it all—showers, bathrooms, volleyball nets, beach wheelchairs, and a bus stop.
You can even find fabulous restaurants right along the shoreline. Check out Neptune’s Net (located off of the PCH) for scrumptious fresh seafood, or head to the Trancas Country Market (also located off of the PCH), where you’ll find several restaurants and a local market selling organic, gourmet products.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach
Malibu Lagoon State Beach is the place for surfers and swimmers. After all, it’s home to the famous Malibu Surfrider Beach—one of the best surfing spots in L.A. Situated between the Malibu Lagoon and the Malibu Pier, this surfer’s haven has a super long right-hand break that’s perfect for riding waves.
You can also spend the day swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, playing volleyball, lounging on the pristine shore, and admiring the views at Malibu Lagoon State Beach. (Make sure you stay for the fabulous golden hour.) Picnic tables and a nature area for bird watching are found here, too.
If you want to catch your evening meal, the adjacent Malibu Pier offers a prime spot for saltwater fishing. But if you’re a bit of a history buff, take a guided tour of the nearby Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum. Built with Spanish and Moorish influences, this National Historic Site and California State Historic Landmark is decorated with extensive colorful tilework, which has been well-maintained and unchanged from its original glory.
This bohemian, soulful destination is perfect for those who love to people watch, skate, and eat at trendy hot spots. While strolling the Venice Beach Boardwalk, admire the colorful murals and talented street performers. Need to get a workout in? Walk over to Muscle Beach and get your sweat on. For the surfers, the Venice Breakwater is a prominent local surf spot and a wonderful place for beginners to take lessons (check out Go Surf LA).
Like Huntington Beach, Venice has an awesome skate park, so if that’s what you’re into, you should definitely stop by. Thankfully, there are three public parking lots and several private lots by both the popular beach and boardwalk, but come early to get your spot!