Beaches in Los Angeles

One of the great things about Los Angeles is the Pacific Ocean. The whole surfing and beach culture thing is huge and has been a part of the Los Angeles scene for a long time. You have your choice of beaches to visit including: the city beaches, Malibu to the north, and then South Bay beaches to the south. (For a list of beaches longer than this one, check out this Los Angeles beach guide).

City beaches listed below include Santa Monica State Beach and the famous Venice Beach Ocean Front Walk. Santa Monica is also home to the very popular Santa Monica Pier, complete with a small aquarium and amusement park rides. Just a few blocks inland is the Santa Monica 3rd Street Promendade, known for both its street performers and stores. Going south a little bit is Venice Beach, with its iconic beach walk full with excellent people watching opportunities.

Continuing south, the wonders of the beach cities continue with the long stretch of beaches and beach communities including Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Redondo Beach.

Alternately, you can head up the coast to Malibu. The drive is a little farther (if you are on the coast you can head up the Pacific Coast Highway; if you are coming from the city, Interstate 101 to Las Virgenes road is an advised route). Once there, the parking situation is much easier and the scenery tends more towards the wild and rugged (in terms of parking you can either pay to park in the lots or park on the side of the road, paying careful attention to the No Parking signs!).

Malibu beaches listed here include the famous Zuma Beach. This very popular beach is a classic California destination with a long beach and smaller waves. Also included here is the Surfrider Beach, closer to the Malibu town center and an important site in the modern history of surfing.

Among other Malibu beaches worth checking out is Point Dume. This destination has two distinct locales: the northern one is a conventional beach, while the southern site features cliffs and is a very scenic walking destination. Farther up the coast are three more intimate, smaller beachs: El Matador, La Piedra, El Pescador.

Many more great beach opportunities exist if you head further afield towards either Santa Barbara and San Diego. . .

expert pick

Venice Beach's Ocean Front Walk

user rating

Great people watching, funky stores, and the beach!... read more

Malaga Cove

Along Paseo del Mar at Via Arroyo
(South tip of Torrance State Beach)

Surfing and seashell collecting... read more

Will Rogers State Beach

16000 block of Pacific Coast Highway
(Between Temescal Canyon Park and Santa Monica Beach)

Below the Pacific Palisades... read more
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