The Best Places to Enjoy the Water in Los Angeles

Take Advantage of Los Angeles's Bay and Ocean

Los Angeles is one of the premiere locations for watersports and ocean activities in America, with a number of beaches and bays that offer opportunities for surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, fishing, and more. We've put together a list of the best places to enjoy the water in L.A., so check it out for your next trip.
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier
This large and vibrant pier is an iconic destination in Los Angeles. It's located at the foot of Colorado Avenue along a beautiful golden sand beach in Santa Monica. The pier is more than just a pier - there's a small amusement park, concession stands, and plenty of places to take in the views or enjoy some fishing. Perhaps the most notable attraction at the pier is the iconic Ferris wheel.
200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California, 90401
Redondo Beach
Redondo Beach
This beach, which has the same name as the town Redondo Beach, is a beautiful and popular stretch of coastline. It's popular for a number of reasons. The family-friendly beach and pier area has plenty of shopping and restaurant options at the north end of the beach. It's more of a wharf, marina, and shopping center than an actual pier, but there are plenty of activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, glass bottom boat tours, live music, dining out, ice cream, and more. The beach itself stretches to the south of the pier area, and it's a wide, sandy, clean stretch with comfortable waves all the way down (2.5 miles) to Torrance County Beach and Rat Beach. This stretch of beach is at the end of the Green Line of the metro, making it a popular spot for locals to get to easily. It's also popular with visitors, as plenty of affordable hotels are in the area, along with bike paths and kid-friendly activities.
Fisherman's Wharf, Redondo Beach, California, 90277
Los Angeles has plenty more to offer, so see also our other articles: The Best Parks in Los Angeles and The Best Places To People Watch In Los Angeles.
Malibu
Malibu
Malibu is one of the most expensive and posh parts of the city. It has about 27 miles of beaches that offer dramatic views of beachfront cliffs and rolling hills. Malibu is the home of many celebrities who enjoy the relative quiet of the setting. The area is filled with oceanfront shopping and large luxury mansions. There's also lots of green space, great surfing, and dramatic beauty.
CA
Venice Beach
Venice Beach
If there's a beach that embodies that stereotypical L.A. beach, Venice Beach is it. With a wide beach and relaxing waves, along with a number of activities such as volleyball, tennis, bike riding, a kid's playground, a skateboard park, basketball courts, and more, this is a fantastic spot to enjoy both the beach and the overall atmosphere and vibe of people watching, cafes, high-end beach houses, and more. The Venice fishing pier is a nice spot for a view, or head inland a few blocks to see the canals, the marina, and shops and restaurants.
2300 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, California, 90291
Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach
Centered around the Manhattan Beach Pier and the town of Manhattan Beach, this is a gorgeous stretch of wide sand with fun waves. The environment is clean and family-friendly, partially thanks to some high-end housing and hotel prices in the area, as well as a small aquarium at the pier. The Strand bike and walking path runs along the beach and is lined with some restaurants, shops, and hotels, and more can be found as you travel a few blocks back around the pier area. Lifeguard stands and public restrooms line the beach, too.
2 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, California, 90266
Third Street Promenade
This high end pedestrian area is perfect for shoppers looking for everything from the quirky to the posh. There are boutique shops, fine dining restaurants, and plenty of entertainment options in the area. The district attracts locals and tourists alike and it is easily accessible from Downtown Los Angeles. There's also a 26 mile bike path that runs along the waterfront. The promenade is famous for its street performers and fascinating people-watching.
Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, California
Palisades Park
This famous park in Santa Monica offers beautiful views and a lovely setting where you can enjoy a relaxing walk along palm-lined paths. This park is popular with tourists for its bluff-top trail that provides stunning views of the California coastline and the Santa Monica Mountains. You'll feel like you're wandering through a postcard.
Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA, 90401
Newport Beach & Balboa Beach
The town and beaches at Newport Beach is family-friendly, beautiful, and relaxed. In addition to the main stretch of beach around the Newport Beach Pier and Balboa Pier, the inlet and marina side of the water also has a few small beach areas if you want to swim in calmer waters. This is a great option for the little ones, as well as for anyone interested in kayaking or paddle boarding. With playgrounds, parking, public bathrooms, and plenty of shops and restaurants, this area offers plenty for visitors.
70 Newport Pier, Newport Beach, California, 92663
Planning a trip to Los Angeles? You might also be interested in Kayaking and Stand Up Paddling in Los Angeles and Waterfront Destinations in Los Angeles.
Marina del Rey
To the south of Venice, Marina del Rey offers a quiet waterfront setting that's very family-friendly and perfect for anyone who enjoys being on the water. This is an upscale area with it's own man-made harbor and there's a very active sailing community. This is also the place to go to book fishing trips, boat tours, dinner cruises, or any kind of private charter.
CA
Huntington State Beach
Located on the southern end of the stretch of beach in Huntington Beach, this California State Park is a gorgeous stretch of sand and waves. It's not as developed as other beaches in the L.A. area, and it's popular with families, surfers, fishers, walkers, joggers, and pretty much everyone in the area. Along the beach, visitors can find fire-rings, lifeguards, beach volleyball courts, parking lots, and walking paths. At the very southern end is the start of the Santa Ana River Trail.
21601 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, California, 92646
Hermosa Beach
The beach at the town and the pier around Hermosa Beach is a fun, clean, and family-friendly place to enjoy the sand and waves. Like many of the other beaches in the area, the sand is wide and clean with lifeguard stands and various shops and restaurants nearby. The fishing pier is also a nice spot for a good view or to catch some fish. The blocks around the beach is also a popular nightlife spot.
Hermosa Beach, California
How much does it cost?

Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $99 to $214. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $144. A few of the best options are below.

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Interested in more travel advice for Los Angeles? Check out Waterfront Destinations in Los Angeles and The Best Fishing Spots in Los Angeles and Kayaking and Stand Up Paddling in Los Angeles.
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