The Los Angeles area has some of the finest wide sandy beaches in all of Southern California. The majority of these popular strands are on Santa Monica Bay.
This nearly continuous sandy shoreline spans the gap between the Palos Verdes Peninsula and the Eastern Malibu Coast below the Santa Monica Mountains. These beaches are in several different cities including Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, and of course Los Angeles. The city districts of LA that have bay access include Venice, Pacific Palisades, and Playa Del Rey. The other areas of Los Angeles County such as Malibu, Palos Verdes, and Long Beach each have worthy beaches of their own, but they have a different character than the beaches on the bay.
The beaches on Santa Monica Bay are known for consistent waves and a gradual shore break which makes for excellent surfing conditions. In addition to surfing, the bay beaches are tops for sunbathing, beach walking, and volleyball. Sand volleyball courts are numerous and come with nets already set up and ready to use.
Iconic light blue lifeguard towers line the shoreline here making it safer for swimming when they are staffed.
Long public fishing piers with grand city views can be found in Santa Monica, Venice, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach.
Behind all these beaches there’s a continuous paved bike path that meanders through the sand. Ambitious bikers can start at either end and ride the entire 22 mile length to see every one of these beaches. This trail is known as the Marvin Braude Bike Trail and it runs from Will Rogers State Beach at the north end to Torrance Beach at the south end. Runners, walkers, and skaters also share this trail.
Below is a complete list of the beaches on Santa Monica Bay. All are a manageable drive away from LAX Airport and most of the Los Angeles area.