10 Best Beaches in Los Angeles

Updated On October 4, 2023
Los Angeles

There are so many exciting reasons why people get excited about visiting the best beaches in Los Angeles, California.

If you’re considering visiting LA area beaches, keep reading to learn what local beaches offer and how to prepare for the beach. 

Why People Love Visiting LA Beaches

Abundance of Natural Beauty 

The city of Los Angeles attracts millions of residents and visitors because of its natural beauty and its proximity to amazing natural rock formations and coves along the nearby shoreline. 

Memorable Outdoor Fun 

California’s best beaches attract visitors for more than just swimming.

Many beach visitors enjoy surfing, boogie boarding, rollerblading, beach volleyball, and other fun group-based activities.

Easy Access to Iconic Attractions

LA is home to some of the most iconic attractions and eclectic beaches, like Venice Beach, known worldwide.

Other popular beach-based attractions around LA County include Venice Beach Boardwalk and celebrity sightings at Paradise Cove Beach. 

Cultural and Social Vibes

Los Angeles beaches have a distinct cultural and social vibe, making them a popular hub for LA residents and visitors.

Many LA area beaches match the city’s trendy vibes and offer a taste of one-of-a-kind art and street fare that can only be found at the beach. 

Food and Entertainment

Most Los Angeles beaches are near popular restaurants and entertainment venues, making it easy for beachgoers to transition from a real day at the beach to having a meal at one of the most popular restaurants in town. 

Relaxation and Recreation

LA city dwellers and California tourists have a unique opportunity to enjoy the hustling and bustling sights and sounds of the hectic city and then to relax and unwind in tranquil beach settings that give stressed-out visitors an instant feeling of relaxation.

Things to Do Before Visiting Los Angeles Beaches

  • Check the Weather and Tidal Conditions
  • Pack Sunscreen in Your Beach Bag!
  • Become Familiar with Beach Safety Rules and Regulations
  • Be Prepared to Pay for Parking and Transportation to Secluded Beach
  • Pack Beach Essentials, including Towels, Umbrellas, Cash, and Waterproof Bags for Electronics.
  • Bring or Rent water Toys, like Surfboards, Boogie Boards, paddleboards, and Kayaks. 

10 Best Beaches in Los Angeles

Zuma Beach
Zuma Beach

1. Zuma Beach, Malibu CA

Zuma Beach is located in one of Malibu’s most sought-after zip codes.

This family-friendly beach may be the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon swimming, playing volleyball, or sunbathing with a good book. 

Important Information

Along with calm and somewhat chilly waters, Zuma Beach has an array of onsite amenities that make it easy for beach lovers to spend a day on its sandy shores without having to trek far to find restaurants, showers, and restroom facilities. 

Contact Information 

Address: 30000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, California – 90265

Website: https://beaches.lacounty.gov/zuma-beach/

Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica Beach

2. Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica Beach is famously known for its proximity to the same name pier, attracting millions of tourists annually.

Beachgoers can take advantage of water-based activities, including swimming, fishing, and body boarding. 

Important Information

This famous California beach is also great for land-based beach activities like sunbathing, picnicking, skateboarding, and walking along the boardwalk.

Beach regulars advise you to arrive early to secure the best parking spot and set up your beach camp for the day. 

Contact Information

Address: Santa Monica, California 90401

Website: https://locator.lacounty.gov/lac/Location/3177045/santa-monica-beach-and-pier

Venice Beach, Venice, CA
Venice Beach, Venice, CA

3. Venice Beach, Venice, CA

Venice Beach is known as one of the most famous beaches we k in California and the world.

People flock to this one-of-a-kind beach because they are attracted by its unique flair and eclectic atmosphere that features more than just sand and swimming. 

This beach has a boardwalk filled with street performers, vendors, and an array of local artists who operate nearby souvenir shops. 

Contact Information 

Address: 1800 Ocean Front Walk. Venice, California – 90291

Website: https://www.visitcalifornia.com/places-to-visit/venice-beach/

El Matador State Beach
El Matador State Beach

4. El Matador State Beach, Malibu, CA

El Matador State Beach is one of California’s best beaches in a state park.

People visit El Matador State Beach because it is the closest to Malibu and easy to access. 

A day at El Matador Beach can include tide pooling, beachcombing, observing local marine life, and strolls along the seashore. 

Contact Information 

Address: 32220 E Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, California – 90265

Website: https://www.californiabeaches.com/beach/el-matador-state-beach/

Leo Carrillo State Park,
Leo Carrillo State Park,

5. Leo Carrillo State Park, Malibu, CA

You can find Leo Carillo State Park Beach along the strand of beaches in Malibu that run along the Pacific Coast Highway. 

Along with swimming and water-based activities during the warmer summer, California beach lovers visit Leo Carillo State Park beach to explore its breathtaking coastline, tide pools, sea caves, and natural rock formations. 

Beware of visiting the beach at high tide, as it can be dangerous. 

Contact Information

Address: 35000 West Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, California – 90265 

Website: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=616

Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach

6. Manhattan Beach, CA

Los Angeles area residents and visitors love having access to a coastal beach in such proximity to the city of Los Angeles.

The city of Manhattan houses famous California beaches that are a regular destination for people seeking fun and adventure in LA. 

Important Notes

While Manhattan Beach is known as a local hotspot due to its proximity to LA and nearby shopping, it can be expensive to find parking.

There may also be a long trek to the beach on weekends or holidays when the beach is more crowded than usual. 

Contact Information

Address: Manhattan Beach, California – 90266 

Website: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32678-d261449-Reviews-Manhattan_Beach-Manhattan_Beach_California.html

Hermosa Beach
Hermosa Beach

7. Hermosa Beach, CA

Hermosa Beach in Los Angeles County, California, offers visitors and residents a two-mile stretch of oceanfront where they can frolic and play.

People visit Hermosa Beach to swim, play land-based games like beach volleyball and visit the world-famous Hermosa Beach Pier. 

The Hermosa Beach Pier is a highly rated local attraction where beach visitors can take leisurely strolls and enjoy the coastal breezes. 

Contact Information

Address: 1315 Valley Drive, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Website: https://beaches.lacounty.gov/hermosa-beach/

Dockweiler State Beach
Dockweiler State Beach

8. Dockweiler State Beach, Playa del Rey, CA

Dockweiler State Beach is said to be one of the closest beaches near California’s LAX.

Its location makes it easy for LA visitors who come to Cali for its best beaches to find once they’ve landed at the airport. 

People who visit Dockweiler State Beach enjoy spending time frolicking along its sandy shoreline and taking in the sights of the planes preparing for landing at LAX.

This dog-friendly beach offers almost four miles of coastline for newbies and returning beach lovers to enjoy. 

Contact Information 

Address: 12000 Vista del Mar, Playa del Rey, California – 90293

Website: https://beaches.lacounty.gov/dockweiler-beach/

Paradise Cove Beach
Paradise Cove Beach

9. Paradise Cove Beach, Malibu, CA

Paradise Cove Beach is a well-known yet private beach located on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

This beach is famously known for its Hollywood clientele, including some of your favorite celebrities and actors who regularly frequent it. 

Important Notes

Paradise Cove Beach is a popular natural outdoor venue where people go to celebrate important milestones like weddings and anniversaries.

Unfortunately, accessing the beach at Paradise Cove may be a bit tricky — and pricey. 

Contact Information 

Address: 28128 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, California – 90265

Website: https://www.californiabeaches.com/beach/paradise-cove-beach/

Point Dume State Beach 
Point Dume State Beach

10. Point Dume State Beach 

This gorgeous beach is located along Malibu’s strand of world-class beaches, drawing in millions of fun-seeking beachgoers each year.

Point Dume State Beach is called one of the most popular beaches in Los Angeles because of its dramatic natural features and onsite beach amenities. 

Important Information 

There is an entry fee that may apply per vehicle and person.

Check the beach website to verify costs for parking, entrance fees, and nearby concessions for the best Pont Dume beach experience. 

Contact Information

Address: 29245 Cliffside Drive, Malibu, CA 90265

Website: https://www.californiabeaches.com/beach/point-dume-state-beach/

Los Angeles Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Los Angeles Safety Review

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are the best beaches in Los Angeles located in the city?

Most of the best beaches in and near LA are in Los Angeles County, just outside the city.

However, a few of the best beaches near LA can also be found in famous local coves like Malibur and Playa del Rey, both a short drive from the LA city limits.

Can I swim at Los Angeles beaches?

While some of the family-friendly beaches in LA are ideal for water-based activities like swimming, surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding, other beaches are designed for land-based leisure only.

Pay close attention to posted signs on the beach and visit your favorite beach’s website to learn if you and your beach crew will have a land-based or sea-based adventure at the beach.

Does it cost money to get to LA beaches?


In most cases, there will be a parking or beach entry fee for each person in your beach crew.

So be prepared to pay parking, entry, and concession fees when planning to spend a long day at LA County beaches with friends and family.

Are Los Angeles beaches open year-round?

Many LA area beaches are open year-round due to a temperate climate.

Check your preferred beach website to learn if they are open outside of the summer months.

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