The Los Angeles coastline is just one beach after another (as our top-12 list can attest), and on a sunny day it can be hard to decide which one to hit. Here’s a few of the most popular, in north-to-south order:
Surfrider Beach, a.k.a. Malibu Lagoon State Beach, is named after its own reputation: one of the best places in the area to ride the waves, it’s a popular destination for casual and dedicated surfers alike. If fishing or bird watching’s more your thing, the Malibu Pier is just a short walk to the east.
Venice Beach is great for anything that’s not surfing: there’s volleyball and basketball, bicycling and rollerblading on the Venice Boardwalk, pumping iron at the famous Muscle Beach or even just tanning and endless people-watching along the beach’s entire length.
Named Mother’s Beach for its gentle waves, the beachfront in Marina del Rey is a great place for kayaking, windsurfing, or just generally messing around in boats. The children’s play area and picnicking opportunities make it an ideal beach for the entire family.
Dockweiler Beach is the ideal seaside stop for a road trip, featuring an RV park and fire rings—this is notable as one of the few places in the area that allows bonfires. With three miles of sand and sun, Dockweiler Beach is one you can’t miss.
It doesn’t get more classic LA than Manhattan Beach, with surfing, sunbathing, volleyball and celebrities. The South Bay Bicycle Trail and nearby jogging path are right here if you feel like moving, and the aquarium at the end of the pier gives a close-up look at local fauna.
And then there’s Hermosa Beach, renowned for competitive volleyball and beachfront bars. Pristine sand, a wide variety of beachgoers, the Strand and the nearby pier make this one of the most enjoyable beaches in the Lost Angeles.