Skip to content

Millions of personal and business travelers fly through Los Angeles International Airport each year and many have time to stop at the beach before or after their flights. LAX Airport is one of the largest and busiest airports on the west coast. Luckily, it is right on the shores of Santa Monica Bay and has many excellent beaches nearby.


The closest beaches to LAX are in Dockweiler State Beach. This state park has several different day-use access points. North to south they include Playa Del Rey Beach, Dockweiler Main Beach, and Dockweiler South Beach. If you don’t have a lot of time these beaches will suffice. We hit Playa Del Rey Beach before a recent flight out of LAX and it worked great for getting some rays and walking barefoot in the sand. That said, better beaches can be found farther up and down the coast.

South of LAX and just west of Highway 1 (Sepulveda Blvd) you’ll find El Segundo Beach, El Porto Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Hermosa Beach. Of these, we recommend you drive a little farther to Manhattan or Hermosa. Both of these beaches have excellent piers to walk out onto, lots of shops, and well-known restaurants. These two beaches will be noticeably more densely packed. If you want a little more space, head to El Porto.

The pier at Manhattan Beach

North of LAX and just west of Highway 1 (Lincoln Blvd) there are several good options too. The best beach to the north is probably Santa Monica State Beach, but it’s also the longest drive which can be significant during rush hour. Santa Monica Beach has a family-friendly pier, nice parks, and loads of people. Venice Pier and Venice Beach are closer to LAX and are fun places to check out. Venice has clean sandy beaches, lots of food options, and a funky vibe.

Below you’ll find a list of the best beaches near LAX in the order mentioned.