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The Best Beaches in Los Angeles
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The Best Beaches in Los Angeles

When it comes to the City of Angels, there’s no such thing as the end of summer (well, not until November that is).

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6 min read

September 13, 2021

Consider yourself an avid beach bum? L.A. is bound to change your mind. And before you say you’ve seen Point Break enough times to give you a general idea—the “sand surf sun” holy trinity and all that jazz—highlighting the area’s most important asset is a must. When it comes to the City of Angels, there’s no such thing as the end of summer (well, not until November that is). That’s right, Angelenos are actually in a position to take a sun-filled summer’s day for granted (imagine that). So where does that leave you? Oh yes, at the beach.

We’ve put together a list of the best beaches in Los Angeles; whether you’re a dog owner, hang-glider, a snorkel junkie, or a bird-watcher, there’s a beach you're bound to love. So pack your all-time favorite swimsuit and retreat to the sandy paradise, where whiling away the hours and listening to the surf roll is pure joie de vivre.

Everyone should believe in something, and we believe we'll go to the beach. Shell-abrate good times, come on!

These Are the Los Angeles Beaches to Visit Next

Venice City Beach

Location: Windward Avenue and Ocean Front Walk, Venice

Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Parking: Available at the west end of Hollywood Boulevard 

Amenities: Grass park, skatepark, tennis, basketball, volleyball, and handball courts, restrooms, showers, lifeguard, children's play area 

Dogs allowed: No

Bike rack: Available

This Los Angeles beach is silky sands galore. The perfect place to lay down on a blanket and gaze out at the Pacific, Venice Beach is where all SoCal subcultures congregate. Street performers showcase their craft, vendors busk and sell their wares, and muscle men flex their strength—hence, the iconic name Muscle Beach.

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El Porto Beach

Location: 45th Street and The Strand, Manhattan Beach

Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Parking: Available near the entrance

Amenities: Lifeguard, restrooms, showers, bike path, volleyball courts

Dogs allowed: No 

Bike rack: Available

One of La La Land’s finest, El Porto Beach boasts waves that are significantly larger than most of its neighbors—must be why surfers love this spot so much. But if you’re not particularly into the sport, fear not, because the bikes, skates, and volleyball courts await.

How to get a beach body: Step 1: Have a body. Step 2: Go to the beach. Congratulations, you've made it!

Paradise Cove Beach

Location: 28128 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu

Hours: Sunrise to sunset 

Parking: Available near Paradise Cove Cafe 

Amenities: Fishing pier, restaurant, restrooms, showers, tide pools, beach chairs

Dogs allowed: No

Bike rack: Not applicable 

Squeezed tight beneath the towering cliffs of Malibu, Paradise Cove is one of the best beaches near L.A. for introverts. It’s tiny and semi-private, filled with terraces, beach beds, and lounges; all of which are available for rent. If you want to get a great beach walk in, stroll from Escondido to Paradise Cove—the hues will take over from there.

Life takes you down many paths, but the best ones lead to the beach. The ocean's roar is music to the soul.

Carbon Beach

Location: 22126 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu

Hours: Sunrise to sunset 

Parking: Free along the Pacific Coast Highway

Amenities: None 

Dogs allowed: No

Bike rack: Not applicable 

While this beach isn’t private, it certainly feels like it could be. Visit Carbon Beach and you’ll encounter only a few other folks enjoying their day on the long, stranded stretch—it’s about as secluded as Malibu gets. The water is tailor-made for relaxing dips and since there are no rocks, the sand is perfect to laze out on all day long.

Dockweiler State Beach

Location: Imperial Highway and Vista Del Mar, Playa Del Rey 

Hours: Sunrise to sunset 

Parking: Available at the Dockweiler RV Park Campground

Amenities: Lifeguard, restrooms, showers, volleyball courts, paved bike path, fire pits, picnic tables, BBQs

Dogs allowed: No 

Bike rack: Available

This long sandy gem south of LAX is one of the most easily accessible in La La Land. With gentle breezes running through your hair and tickling your neck, swimming (and also hang gliding) here will prove an absolute treat. The water itself is crystal clear, so everything you do, you’ll see reflecting—photo op much?

Be grateful for good friends, hot sun, and clear water. When a walk on the beach gets rocky, there’s always a wave to jump into.

Manhattan County Beach

Location: Manhattan Beach Boulevard and The Strand, Manhattan Beach

Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Parking: Metered street parking available along Manhattan Avenue 

Amenities: Pier, lifeguard, restrooms, showers, bike path, volleyball courts, kids play area, restaurant

Dogs allowed: No

Bike rack: Available

If you ever want to witness California’s quintessential beach scene in action, this is the place to go. A stretch of sand dotted with year-round tans and beach cruisers galore gliding with dogs in their baskets—the whole scene looks straight out of a paradisiacal Hollywood series.

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." —Jacques Yves Cousteau

Malibu Surfrider Beach

Location: 23200 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu

Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Parking: Available along the Pacific Coast Highway

Amenities: Fishing pier, lifeguard, restrooms, showers, volleyball court, museum

Dogs allowed: No

Bike rack: Not applicable 

Though small, Malibu Surfrider Beach is an irreplaceable gem. Its wooden pier looks like it was made for romantic strolls and selfies, and the water is practically begging for a dip. Stroll the pier, and admire the rad surfers killin’ the righteous waves. And just as you thought things couldn’t get any better, Malibu Lagoon appears just to the west. The Lagoon Is located within the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, so birdwatching and trail exploration will keep you hooked on majestic Malibu. Regardless if you have time to spare, visiting the estuary is a must.

Lechuza Beach

Location: 31712 Broad Beach Road, Malibu

Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Parking: Free on Broad Beach Road 

Amenities: Tide pools 

Dogs allowed: No

Bike rack: Not applicable 

This lesser-known beach near Los Angeles has sparkling rock formations similar to the ones you’ll find along neighboring stretches of the coast; only this one is crowd-free. It’s so much less crowded, in fact, the beach practically qualifies as private. And while tide-pooling is rampant here, the beach is still sandy enough to lounge and disconnect from the outside world—with a good book in hand, of course.

Take all your worries to the beach and wave them goodbye. The best memories are those the waves can never wash away.

Will Rogers State Beach

Location: Temescal Canyon Road and Pacific Coast Highway, Los Angeles 

Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Parking: Available along the Pacific Coast Highway

Amenities: Lifeguard, restrooms, showers, volleyball courts, paved bike path, accessible features, picnic tables

Dogs allowed: No

Bike rack: Available 

Sandwiched between the Pacific Palisades and Topanga, Will Rogers State Beach is sort of a no man’s land, which is weird considering how close it is to the ultra-hip Santa Monica. There’s plenty of room for everyone to soak up the sun, without stealing each other’s sunlight or treading on someone else’s towel. And if you’re into beach sports, Will Rogers is all about the volleyball courts (tip: the pros play here).

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 

Get in touch with your adventurous spirit and hike along the coast via the Sacred Cove and Abalone Cove Shoreline trail until you reach a secluded cove marked by tide pools and rock formations—no you’re not dreaming, paradise does exist here on earth. Mother Nature was totally living it up while creating this gem; sunsets, sea life, and (on occasion) the faraway Catalina Island make for a postcard-worthy shot.

Bury your worries in the sand, let the tides wash them away, and feel the sun on your nose.

Leo Carrillo State Park

Location: 35000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu

Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Parking: Available along the Pacific Coast Highway west of Mulholland Highway

Amenities: Campground, lifeguard, restrooms, showers, picnic tables, caves

Dogs allowed: On leash north of Lifeguard Station #3

Bike rack: Not applicable 

With rocky crags projecting into the ocean, coastal hikes a plenty, and life-teeming tide pools, Leo Carrillo State Park is a force to be reckoned with. It’s also one of the best dog beaches near Los Angeles, so make sure to bring your furry friend along for a fun-filled day spent under the splendid California sun.

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