Best Beaches in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is known for long wide sandy beaches with picturesque piers jutting out into Santa Monica Bay. These are world class beaches that draw thousands of visitors every day. They are filled with families playing at the waters edge, building sandcastles, and resting in the sun. Surfers bob in the water next to the piers and volleyball players enjoy the sand courts. All of these fairly homogeneous bayside beaches are excellent destinations, but LA is lucky to have some more diverse options nearby on the Malibu shoreline and on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. There you will find cove beaches with a much different feel.
Our list of the best beaches in Los Angeles puts every beach into a category that it is most associated with. Sunny Southern California is the land of the “endless summer” so these beaches are fun to visit year-round. Some of the smaller beaches are better at lower tides when more sand is exposed and tide pools too.
Here are the Best Beaches in and near Los Angeles. To see our favorite beach in LA, scroll to the bottom of the list.
Best Surfing (and Sunbathing)
Venice Pier Beach
Best Longboard Surf Spot
Best Tide Pools
Point Fermin (the Sunken City is a bonus).
Best People Watching
Best Hidden Beach
Best Kid-Friendly Beach
Best for Beach Walking
Best Beach Cave
Best Beach Worth Fighting For
Best Spot for Kayaking & SUP
Mother’s Beach in Marina Del Rey
Best Shipwreck Beach
Best Beach for Photography
Best Dog-Friendly Beach
North Beach at Leo Carrillo State Park
Best Beach Bike Ride
Best Overall Los Angeles Beach!
Why is Santa Monica State Beach the best? It has a fantastic pier nearby, large grass parks, playgrounds for kids, tons of parking, a wide sandy beach, lifeguards, volleyball nets, a paved bike path in the sand, friendly people, places for picnics, and many hotels and restaurants behind the beach. While there are other excellent beaches on Santa Monica Bay, we feel that Santa Monica tops them all.