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8 of the Most Hidden Beaches in Los Angeles
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8 of the Most Hidden Beaches in Los Angeles

Introducing L.A.’s finest, most exquisite, and (shhh) they’re actually sort of a secret.

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5 min read

September 15, 2021

If you really want to get away somewhere secluded and romantic, it is probably best to skip the rows of sun loungers or spots that look like a bird colony at first until you realize it's people's towels laid too close together. Instead, you should be envisaging which white-sand secluded wonder would make the best wallpaper and calculating how many gourmet dinners you could (reasonably) ask for in a day. Luckily, when it comes to the City of Angels, your choices are aplenty.

Whether you’re after a romantic nature break, an eclectic mix of urban life and coastal activities, or in pursuit of utter elegance, hidden beaches in Los Angeles are guaranteed to be nothing short of spectacular. All that’s left to do, then, is to make that oh-so-difficult choice of where to begin. And we’re here to help—introducing L.A.’s finest, most exquisite, and (shhh) they’re actually sort of a secret.

Sunny days and heatwaves. Less Mondays, more vacay. What happens at the beach stays at the beach.

1. Marina Peninsula Beach

Location: Pacific Avenue and Via Marina, Marina Del Rey
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Parking: Available along a parking strip in Via Marina
Amenities: Lifeguard, restrooms, showers, paved path
Dogs allowed: No
Bike rack: Available

A mere 15 minutes south of Santa Monica and 30 minutes west of Downtown L.A. lies one of the region's best-kept secrets. Despite the fact that it's surrounded by luxury abodes and towering skyscrapers, Marina Peninsula Beach manages to stay tranquil no matter what's going on around. The beachside paths enveloping this white-sand gem are actually quite popular among bikers; however, few of them know about the location of this beach, hence the minimal crowds.

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2. Cabrillo Beach

Location: 3800 Stephen M. White Drive, Los Angeles
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Parking: Available near Cabrillo Beach Park
Amenities: Lifeguard, restrooms, showers, fishing pier, picnic tables, volleyball courts, fire pits, grass park, kids play area, paved bike path
Dogs allowed: No
Bike rack: Available 

Stroll along the gentle beachfront and take in all the hues of ocean and sea, dotted with silhouettes of windsurfers placed against the backdrop of massive cargo ships. But silhouettes are just about what you’re getting at Cabrillo Beach— one of the quietest beaches in Los Angeles. Swim around, enjoy an afternoon of picnicking and solitude, and gaze out far into the sea; you might be lucky enough to spot a majestic whale.

If you're not barefoot, then you aren't in the right place. High tides and good vibes make the perfect day.

3. Big Rock Beach

Location: 20000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Hours: Sunrise to sunset 
Parking: Available on the Pacific Coast Highway
Amenities: None 
Dogs allowed: No
Bike rack: No

Located on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Big Rock Beach has mastered quite the disappearing act. When high tide comes, most of its narrow and rocky stretches go into hiding, concealing themselves under the lapping waves. But at low tide, most beach activities are fair game—fishing, beachcombing, scuba diving, and bird watching are listed among the most popular.

4. Carbon Beach

Location: 22126 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Hours: Sunrise to sunset 
Parking: Available along the Pacific Coast Highway
Amenities: None 
Dogs allowed: No
Bike rack: No

This beach is so secluded, it almost feels as though it’s privately owned. But since it has free (albeit hard to find) public access, going to Carbon Beach is an experience you’re unlikely to forget. If we were to make a prediction for what it looks like right now, we’d say—very few folks, no rocks to hurt your legs, photo op locations you’ll only tell a few people about, and that enchanting feeling of burying your feet in the warm sand.

Dreams are made of sun and sand. Sky above, sand below, peace within. Sandy toes, sun-kissed nose.

5. Sacred Cove 

Location: 5970 Palos Verdes Drive, South Rancho Palos Verdes 
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Parking: Available at the Abalone Cove Shoreline Park parking lot 
Amenities: Trails, toilets, tide pools, caves, rock arch
Dogs allowed: No
Bike rack: Not applicable

When a coastal hike leads to a secluded cove marked by tide pools—you know you’re in for quite a treat. Sacred Cove is one of the best secluded beaches in Los Angeles, with enough exploring to last you a month’s worth of bedtime stories. Wander around, gawk at sea life in the tiny tide pools and try and see if you can spot Catalina Island in the distance.

6. Malaga Cove Beach

Location: Paseo Del Mar and Via Arroyo, Palos Verdes Estates
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Parking: Available at the intersection of Paseo Del Mar and Via Arroyo
Amenities: Lifeguard, restrooms, tide pools
Dogs allowed: No
Bike rack: No

Thanks to an off-the-beaten-track location and a trendy reputation among scuba divers, Malaga Cove usually remains delightfully uncrowded. A scenic trail leads you to the bottom of the bluffs and turns left when you reach Palos Verdes Beach—you’ll find a rocky shoreline dotted with tide pools, primo diving spots, and a left-hand surf break known as Haggerty’s.

May you always have a shell in your pocket and sand in your shoes. Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.

7. Escondido Beach

Location: 27420 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Parking: Available but limited west of Geoffrey's Malibu Restaurant
Amenities: None 
Dogs allowed: No
Bike rack: No

Similar to Carbon Beach, this hidden treasure is tucked away behind expensive homes and shiny estates—probably why so many people drive right by it without realizing. But when you compare it to Carbon, Escondido Beach appears much narrower, meaning that it is probably a good idea to check the tide situation before you go; high tide leaves little space to put a blanket down. With practically no amenities, you’ll experience the raw beauty that Los Angeles is famed for.

“If everyone could just live near the ocean, I think we’d all be happier. It’s hard to be down about anything knee deep in the sand.” — Crystal Woods

8. Point Fermin Park Beach

Location: 807 Paseo Del Mar, Los Angeles 
Hours: Sunrise to sunset 
Parking: Available along Paseo Del Mar
Amenities: Lighthouse, grass park, picnic tables, BBQs, kids play area, walking trail, paved bike trail, restrooms, tide pools
Dogs allowed: On leash in the park, but not on the beach
Bike rack: Available

Nestled in the San Pedro District of L.A., right below the steep bluffs of Point Fermin Park, lies this unique gem. The rocky Point Fermin Park Beach is a beachcombing paradise, with tide pooling abound and hiking aplenty. If you want to bring your furry friend along, you’re welcome to do so, just make sure to keep him on a leash and in the park area.

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