Surfing in Los Angeles
Surfing in Southern California is world-famous. The waves at Malibu, Huntington Beach, and San Diego are easily reached from L.A., Santa Barbara, or even San Francisco. The waves are great, the water is warm, and the people are super friendly. The beach lifestyle, combined with the year-round surf, makes Southern California an ideal destination for surfers and beginners alike.
Santa Monica State Beach
The beach of Santa Monica located around the pier and heading north is technically a state park area. Visitors and locals flock here for the gorgeous sand, fun waves, and sunshine. The beach itself is quite wide, with plenty of room for everyone. It's a family-friendly area and somewhat crowded in the warmer months. Naturally, the activities on the pier bring a crowd, too. While the beach is free, you might have to pay for parking. Along the beach and within the nearby blocks are bike paths (part of The Strand), shops, restaurants, and hotels.
Santa Monica, California, 90401
Venice Beach is a famous tourist destination for its narrow canals and one-lane bridges. The community has grown into one of the wealthiest parts of the city, but it still has it's original surfing town charm. Today Venice has an excellent restaurant scene, impressive shopping, and plenty of opportunities for celebrity sightings. Head to Main Street to see the eclectic architecture of the area, but the famous Ocean Front Walk is where you'll have the quintessential Venice Beach experience. With it's Mardi Gras style street performers, the area is sure to entertain.
466 Sherman Canal Ct. Odd Numbers) / Howland Canal Ct. (Even Numbers), Venice, LA, California, 90291
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
Many visitors enjoy staying in the beautiful Santa Monica area. This region has some of LA's best beaches, cooler summer temperatures, and an escape from the smog of the city. Many of the communities in the area are connected by a bike path. In the heart of Santa Monica, you'll find the Santa Monica pier as well as many oceanfront hotels. The community has a charming, artsy vibe and Santa Monica is famous for its shopping. Head to the Third Street Promenade to make the most of the experience. This a a pedestrian-only outdoor mall that is filled with shops and restaurants. Throughout Santa Monica you'll find a number of famous restaurants as well with each offering its own style and cuisine.
Laguna Beach is a high-end beach town in the southern area of the Los Angeles metropolitain region which features gorgeous beaches, nice homes, mountain views, hiking, family-friendly activities, water sports, and more. Visitors to this accessible town on the coast can shop at boutique stores and browse art galleries, dine at nice restaurants, enjoy boat rides into the Pacific Ocean, experience the nightlife, go surfing, and plenty more.
Greater Los Angeles, California
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
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
Belmont Shore Beach
On the southeastern end of Long Beach, the Belmont Shore neighborhood is a family-friendly area. Here you'll find a nice beach with a nearby dog park, a public pool, public parking, bike and walking trails, public bathrooms, and more. In the Naples area where the inlet leads to the marina and the canals, visitors can also find docks for kayaks and paddle boarding, more beaches for swimming in the calm inlet waters, as well as a public playground and more bathroom facilities.
5411 E Ocean Blvd, Belmont Shores & Naples, Long Beach, California, 90803
Huntington City Beach
South of Long Beach is the town of Huntington Beach, and here you'll find a very long stretch of wide, sandy beach. The Huntington Pier is a good place to start, and on either side you'll find family-friendly beaches that are also very popular with surfers and other surf-related sports. A variety of shops, restaurants, and hotels surround the streets and blocks near the pier and down the beach, too.
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
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
Alamitos Beach, Junipero Beach, and Long Beach City Beach
In the city of Long Beach, visitors can find a very nice stretch of sand and waves that are very popular in the warmer months. Plenty of activities can be found at and near these beaches including the art museum and the Aquarium of the Pacific, as well as a pier. Lifeguard stands, public bathrooms, bike and walking paths, and plenty of shops and restaurants are either right on the beach or within a few blocks. Public parking is also available.
Long Beach, California
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
Playa Del Rey & Dockweiler Beach
This stretch of beach south of Santa Monica is a California State Park. As such, you'll find a nice stretch of sand with public restrooms, picnic areas, walking and running trails, an RV park area, parking, and more. It's a family-friendly spot with a nice outdoor feel without a lot of development. In the northern area around the town of Playa Del Rey are some cafes and restaurants, too.
7313 S Marine Ave, Playa Del Rey, California, 90293
The town of Malibu lies on the coastline northwest of L.A. and Santa Monica, and here you'll find some gorgeous views along with some gorgeous stretches of beach. Some of the beach areas are not possible to get to, as they are blocked by private land, but other areas are easily accessible. A few of these beach areas are found in small coves where a set of stairs leads down from the surrounding cliffs. In other spots, you'll find longer and wider sections of beach, such as by the Malibu Pier by Malibu Lagoon State Beach. A number of restaurants and shops can be found in this area, too. Further west is Point Dume and its beaches (Dume, Zuma) surrounded by a few walking trails with nice views.
Bolsa Chica State Beach
This 3-mile long beach is a state park, and as such visitors will not only find a nice wide sandy beach with nice waves, but also plenty of natural areas. Lifeguards are on staff, and there are public bathrooms, and fire rings, too. Surfing, fishing, swimming, volleyball, birdwatching, and other activities are popular here. It's a fun, family-friendly spot to come to the beach right near L.A.
18000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, California, 92648
The Original Muscle Beach
The "Original" Muscle Beach is a park just south of the Santa Monica Pier where, in the 1930's and 1940's, the exercise and fitness boom took off. Visitors here can find a variety of exercise and strength training equipment such as ropes, rings, and bars. Then, head to the beach to show off your muscular body. (Another spot in Venice Beach also has the name "Muscle Beach", but this one was first.)
Santa Monica, California, 90401
Where to Stay in Los Angeles
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