The Best Beaches to Visit in L.A.

When people dream about L.A., they think about the sun, the stars, and of course, the sandy beaches. The always-warm weather and coastal status LA boasts makes it one of the world’s best cities for hitting the beach. Travel experts and local beach-goers have weighed in with us on their favorite beaches: take this advice into account when planning your next beach trip! 

Venice Beach LA


VENICE BEACH

L.A.’s most tourist friendly beach has a reason for its reputation. “There are endless things to do and you get a real idea of LA’s mixed cultures,” says Corey Doss, onsite consultant for Oz Moving in Los Angeles. The beach attracts an endless slew of merchants, eateries, attractions, and like minded fun and sun-loving angelenos. Just as many people head to Venice to skateboard, ride bikes, or play carnival games, as people who visit the sand and tread water in the ocean.  Prepare for a crowd when headed to Venice Beach, but keep an open mind for a chance at a really good time.

El Matador Beach LA


EL MATADOR BEACH

A little further north of Venice Beach, up in the mountains of Malibu, a triad of small beaches known as “El Matador Beach” serves as an enclave away from some of Los Angeles’s most crowded beaches. “This is one of the best beaches in Los Angeles… the gorgeous rock formations make it a popular spot for proposals, filming and photo shoots.” says Gwen Lane, founder of Los Angeles lifestyle blog The LA Girl. El Matador Beach’s rock foundations directly next to the sand offer the beach a uniquely tranquil and effervescent atmosphere, a definite sea change from the frantic pace of a touristy Venice Boardwalk. The only downside is its distance from the beach: “It takes about one and a half hours to get there from Downtown Los Angeles. It can get pretty crowded on the weekends, so it's best to go on weekday mornings,” Lane continues.

 

Manhattan Beach LA


MANHATTAN BEACH

Manhattan Beach, in-between Orange County & downtown L.A. offers some of the best of both worlds to its visitors. Not too far from the city center, but further away than Santa Monica beach and Venice Beach, the beach offers many of the same perks without the crowds. “Manhattan Beach is geographically more difficult to access via the freeways, so this leads to a less crowded beach, compared with Santa Monica Beach a few miles north.” says Chandler Sterling, owner of California Beard Company. The relative isolation also keeps the beach a little more pristine, as Sterling will say: “It is clean enough to go swimming, which isn't true for all of LA's coast.”

 

Huntington Beach LA

 

HUNTINGTON BEACH

Orange county sometimes gets a bad rap. One of its best towns must be “Surf City USA”: Huntington Beach. Huntington Beach isn’t only for watersport athletes, though.
"If you're looking for an amazing beach to kick-back and relax at, then I'd highly recommend taking the drive down to Huntington Beach.” says Dave Anderson, travel blogger & photographer at jonesaroundtheworld.com. Huntington Beach has one of Los Angeles’s best dog friendly beachestoo. “There's an amazing vibe around the city, excellent food, and really fun nightlife.  There's plenty of parking that isn't too expensive, tons of volleyball nets, and has plenty of space to set-up anything you'd need for a solid day at the beach" continued Anderson. Huntington has cornered the market in Southern California for surfers who own dogs and enjoy good food: plan accordingly!

Point Dume Beach LA

 

POINT DUME

Near previously mentioned El Matador beach in the Malibu Montains, Point Dume offers much of the same escapism, with the lovely mountain backdrop intact. Plus, there’s plenty of free parking for those who get there early enough. “We love Point Dume for it's soft sand and local surfer vibes but it gets busy quickly in the summertime so try to get there by 10am to get a close (free) parking spot,” says Summer Davis, Manager of Los Angeles Urban Adventures. For those in the north side of L.A. who appreciate a good surf, Point Dume is a good visit.

 

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BOLSA CHICA

Right around Huntington Beach, Bolsa Chica state park’s 6 mile long strand of beach offers another retreat from the crowded beaches closer to downtown. “Bolsa Chica’s gentle surf in shallower waters makes it good for families” says Daisy Cropper of insightguides.com. For those less inclined to go in the water, the Huntington Beach bike path that goes across the Bolsa Chica  beach offers a uniquely peaceful and serene ride. Bolsa Chica isn’t just a nice place to frolic in the daytime: “If you’re spending the day here, stick around for sunset - the view and rainbow of colours are sublime," Cropper says.


 

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