Whichever season you visit Los Angeles in, the beaches are full of sunshine and the water is inviting. There are many beautiful beaches in Los Angeles where the scenery is beautiful, the people are gorgeous, and the atmosphere is laid back. The Santa Monica Mountains meet the end of the Pacific Coast and the beaches that come along with it are natural landmarks that are perfect for fun family outings in the sun and waves or an outing by yourself to relax and catch some rays. Below are the best beaches in Los Angeles that should be on your vacation bucket list.
1- El Matador State Beach
El Matador State Beach is small, amazing and is full of rugged outcrops; it looks similar to beaches in Europe. You should wear shoes and do not bring an excessive amount of things with you; you can only get to this Malibu beach via a gravelly path. You will want to spread your towel on top of the stones–just look out for high wave. If you stay late or come before dawn you will see an amazing sunrise. El Matador and neighboring El Pescador along with La Piedra beaches are considered to be the Robert H. Meyer Memorial Beaches.
2- Zuma Beach
Take a long scenic drive past Will Rogers and Surfrider beaches and you will find a wide patch of sand that is kept immaculately clean. This is known as Zuma beach. This beach is very popular on the weekends among the local folks. This beach has plenty of parking , which does cost a little bit of money. Or you can park for free along the PCH. There are ample lifeguards on duty and surfers can catch some amazing waves. The waves have a tendency to close out, which does make this a better spot for boogie boarders and body surfers. Point Dume is close by so you can do some hiking and repelling.
3- Leo Carrillo State Park
Leo Carillo State Beach has a nice stretch of sand and has gorgeous scenery. It is the perfect place for longboarders to paddle outside of the shallow waves. The waves become no more than chest-high at this area. There is something for everyone here. Nature lovers can explore the rock dotted coastline, the tide pools and even go hiking nearby. There are on-site camping grounds, RV lots, showers and a picnic area. Also, this is one of the only beaches that allows leashed dogs to roam about.
4- El Porto Beach
Try to ignore the chevron refinery and the plains that are taking off and landing from LAX. Instead, pay attention to the nonstop waves this beach has to offer. The waves make this beach a hot spot for surfers who come from different parts of Southern California. Parking is a little tough. Make sure to bring plenty of coins for the metered parking. The parking along 45th street allows a 5 hour limit. If you come early then you maybe able to snatch free parking before 8am. For those who don’t prefer to surf, there are plenty of areas to ride bikes or play volleyball.
5- Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve
Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve isn’t your typical beach destination. You will have to hike down a steep cliffside path from the parking lot and the beaches are known to be rocky. If you are ok with this bit of a hike you will be rewarded by the most beautiful sight you have ever seen in the south bay. There are hiking trails that go through the bluffs, and tide pools that go next to the shore and caves carved into Portuguese point. The beach is known to close down due to destructive storms. So before you head to Abalone Cove make sure to check to see if it is open.
6- Surfrider Beach
For those who just want to escape with the love of their life will want to avoid this beach destination. It is very crowded, but the sand and the water has become famous for surfing by many surf legends. This is a quaint Malibu beach in a prime location which is a perfect place for people watching. The 3 point breaks that the beach has makes it amazing for short boarders and long boarders. There is plenty of parking along the PCH close to the Adamson House. You can hike past the Malibu Country Mart, Malibu Pier and the lagoon to get to the beach.
7- Santa Monica State Beach
Santa Monica Beach is the full length of the city of Santa Monica. It is a great spot for shopping, food, and it has carnival rides. It is the perfect spot to take your family. It is usually on the crowded side, but the beach is worth fighting through the crowds. The sand is nice and the view of the Santa Monica mountains are gorgeous.
8- Dockweiler State Beach
Dockweiler State Beach is a wonderful spot for families and for those taking a road trip. This beach is located in the south bay and has everything you will need for an entire day at the beach. The beach is positioned at the end of LAX’s runway so you can hear and see airplanes up above. The beach is perfect for swimming and surfing. You can also have a bonfire or a picnic here.
9- County Line Beach
County Line Beach is the beach that is the most north and borders Ventura County. Parking here is definitely more accessible as the PCH has plenty of parking. This beach tends to be less crowded. The water is so immaculately clear and clean. You can spot fish and tiny reef sharks in the water alongside you. There is a playground for kid surfers and surfers in general. The winds are fantastic at County line Beach and you can fly kites. It is also known for having a tasty seafood stand and lots of beachside food.
10- Venice Beach
Venice beach is a very famous beach in Los Angeles. It is the ideal beach to go to people watch. This beach continues from the southern end of Santa Monica Beach with no break in sight. Attached to Venice beach is an amazing boardwalk filled with shops, pick up basketball, pick up volleyball, gym enthusiasts who work out at Muscle Beach and lots of folks who are out for a stroll on their skates or bikes. This beach is not the best place for surfing. Parking is always a problem, but there usually are some lots that you can find parking at.
11- Rosie’s Dog Beach
Looking for a beach to take your dog? Rosie’s Dog Beach is a heaven for dog lovers. Los Angeles beaches are not the friendliest when it comes to dogs. Rosie’s Dog Beach is the only beach destination that allows dog owners to take their pooches and not have to wear a leach. The beach is named after the famous Rosie the English bull dog. You can find a sign that has a “Dogs in Play” shape and know that this beach is mainly for your pooch.