There are several beaches that stand out as gay beaches in Southern California. They are spread along the coast from San Diego to north of Los Angeles. Some of the beaches are quite large so we will try to direct you to the gay sections of the beaches.
West Street Beach, Laguna Beach
West Street Beach is the closest thing to a true gay beach in SoCal, but there will be some straights there too. It’s a busy beach as the cove isn’t huge and it draws people from all over Orange County. In general, the city of Laguna Beach is considered the most welcoming LGBTQ+ city in the county.
Will Rogers State Beach, Pacific Palisades
Will Rogers Beach is a huge beach that spans most of the waterfront in the Pacific Palisades district of Los Angeles. This state beach has a gay section known as “Ginger Rogers Beach” located near lifeguard tower 18 which can be found just north of the last buildings on PCH (north of The Beach Club). Lots of volleyball courts are there and a café called Perry’s on the Beach.
South Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica
The portion of Santa Monica State Beach in front of Dorothy Green Park is a gay hangout. It’s located near lifeguard tower 26. The best parking is in Public Parking Lot 5 South off Bernard Way. You’ll find more volleyball courts and another Perry’s Café which also has rentals including bikes, tandems, surfboards, and beach chairs.
Venice City Beach, Los Angeles
You’ll find the gay section of Venice City Beach in front of the Venice Skate Park near Market Street and Ocean Front Walk. Note that this is the beach nearly a mile north of the Venice Pier. Lots to see at this beach including Venice Muscle Beach (an outdoor workout center), colorful graffiti covered walls (and palm trees), and colorful people. Many shops and restaurants are nearby.
Blacks Beach, San Diego
Blacks is a famous clothing-optional beach located in the La Jolla area north of San Diego. The north end of the beach is considered a gay beach. Hiking down to the beach is a challenge as the route is steep and loose. When you get to the beach at the bottom turn right and walk on the sand to the far north end.
San Onofre Nude Beach, San Clemente
The nude beach in San Onofre State Beach is hidden below the sandstone walls in the Bluffs Campground area. It requires a hike to get down from the bluff top and then a beach walk south to reach the nude zone (outside of state park property). The gay section is said to be near the fence or on the other side in a hidden corner of Camp Pendleton.
The beaches of Malibu are considered gay-friendly. Many of them are hidden in Malibu but others are quite popular. The best-known LGBTQ friendly beaches in Malibu are Zuma, El Matador, La Piedra, and Surfrider Beach near the Malibu Pier. Clothing is required at all Malibu beaches.