Ultimate Guide to Los Angeles Beaches: Top 10 Must-Visit Coastal Gems!

The Best Beaches in Los Angeles for Fun in the Sun

Los Angeles, a city known for its glitz and glamour, is also home to some of the most diverse and captivating beaches along its 75 miles (120 km) of shoreline.

From the iconic Santa Monica Pier to the secluded coves of Malibu, each beach offers its unique charm and activities.

Let’s dive into the top 10 beaches in Los Angeles that you don’t want to miss on your next visit to the City of Angels.

1. Malibu Surfrider Beach

  • Location: Malibu, CA
  • Highlights:
    • Surfer’s Paradise: Embrace the spirit of surfing as you watch skilled surfers conquer impressive waves.
    • Spectacular Views: The picturesque Malibu coastline offers breathtaking vistas, perfect for a scenic stroll.
    • Post-Beach Treat: Head to SunLife Organics in the Malibu Country Mart for a refreshing smoothie after a day in the sun.

2. Santa Monica State Beach

  • Location: Santa Monica, CA
  • Highlights:
    • Iconic Pier: Explore the historic Santa Monica Pier with its Ferris wheel, arcade, and dining options.
    • Activities Galore: From sunbathing on the wide sandy beach to enjoying thrilling rides at Pacific Park, there’s something for everyone.
    • Shopping Paradise: Wander over to the Third Street Promenade, an outdoor shopping haven near the beach.

3. Venice Beach

  • Location: Venice, CA
  • Highlights:
    • Eclectic Boardwalk: Experience the vibrant energy of Venice Beach’s boardwalk with its street performers, shops, and cafes.
    • Skate Park Thrills: Skateboarding enthusiasts can show off their skills at the famous Venice Skate Park.
    • Unique Finds: Browse through crystal shops, jewelry kiosks, and tattoo parlors for a taste of Venice’s eclectic culture.

4. Paradise Cove Beach

  • Location: Malibu, CA
  • Highlights:
    • Hidden Gem: Featured on a Beach Boys album cover, Paradise Cove is as beautiful as it gets.
    • Beachside Cocktails: Unwind with a drink in hand as this beach allows the consumption of beer, wine, and champagne.
    • Scenic Dining: Indulge in a meal at Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, offering delicious fare just steps from the sand.

5. Manhattan Beach

  • Location: Manhattan Beach, CA
  • Highlights:
    • Room to Relax: Enjoy the spacious sandy shoreline, perfect for jogging, volleyball, or simply soaking up the sun.
    • Pier Pleasures: Explore the long pier and its surrounding attractions, including beachside dining and lively nightlife.
    • Nearby Delights: Venture to Hermosa Beach for a taste of its vibrant atmosphere and seaside charm.

6. El Matador State Beach

  • Location: Malibu, CA
  • Highlights:
    • Romantic Retreat: Escape to the serene beauty of El Matador with its dramatic cliffs, hidden caves, and natural rock formations.
    • Sunset Spectacle: Watch the sun dip below the horizon for a magical end to your day.
    • Photography Paradise: Capture stunning shots amidst the picturesque backdrop of this Malibu gem.

7. Leo Carrillo State Park Beach

  • Location: Malibu, CA
  • Highlights:
    • Nature’s Playground: Explore the sequestered coves, striking cliffs, and large rock formations at this hidden gem.
    • Adventure Awaits: Hike the trails, comb the tide pools, or simply relax and soak in the peaceful ambiance.
    • Away from Crowds: Located off the Pacific Coast Highway, Leo Carrillo offers a quieter beach experience.

8. Redondo Beach

  • Location: Redondo Beach, CA
  • Highlights:
    • Watersports Haven: Dive into a world of watersports including paddleboarding, jet skiing, and kayaking.
    • Pier Perks: Walk the scenic pier and explore nearby restaurants and bars for a taste of local cuisine.
    • Family Fun: Families will love the Seaside Lagoon, a saltwater pool perfect for young children.

9. Newport Beach

  • Location: Newport Beach, CA
  • Highlights:
    • Whale-Watching Paradise: Embark on a whale-watching tour and catch a glimpse of majestic gray whales and humpbacks.
    • Coastal Charm: Explore the upscale dining options, boutiques, and marinas in this quintessential beach town.
    • Balboa Peninsula Excursions: Visit the Balboa Fun Zone for rides and games, ideal for a day of family-friendly fun.

10. Alamitos Beach

  • Location: Long Beach, CA
  • Highlights:
    • Beachside Biking: Cycle along the impressive 6-mile bike path from Shoreline Village to Alamitos Bay.
    • Downtown Delights: Walk to downtown Long Beach for waterfront restaurants, shops, and attractions.
    • Nearby Adventures: Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific or explore the historic Queen Mary after a day of beachside relaxation.

Whether you’re seeking thrilling surf, serene sunsets, or lively beachfront activities, Los Angeles beaches have it all. Each of these top 10 beaches offers a unique experience, inviting you to create unforgettable memories under the California sun.

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