(Beaches listed north to south)
Beaches in Los Angeles County
In Los Angeles, the beach is far more than just a place to swim or sunbathe -- it's actually a way of life and a defining influence in residents' lives.
With more than 100 miles of beautiful white sandy beaches, the coast of Southern California is known as one of the world's premier destinations for the quintessential beach vacation. It's a top spot for yachting, sailing, surfing, wind surfing, body surfing, body boarding, skim boarding, kite boarding, wake boarding, skateboarding, rollerskating, roller blading, sailing, boating, jet skiing, water skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, volleyball, biking, hiking and fishing, as well as numerous other recreational and boating activities.
The consistently mild weather at the Los Angeles beaches makes them a viable option all year-round. Although the water can be chilly even during summer (see our Water Temperature Table), the beaches in Los Angeles County are still fairly crowded year-round -- and definitely packed at the most popular spots during the peak season. To avoid the largest crowds, you might try visiting in the late spring or early summer and consider some of the smaller, less well-known spots mentioned below.
Los Angeles County Beaches - General Info
Printable Los Angeles County Beaches Guide - This is a handy guide (in pdf format), which you can print and take with you.
Los Angeles Beaches - Weather and Water Conditions (Web cams)
Average Water Temperature Table
Best Beaches in Los Angeles for...
Best Sandy Beaches: Hermosa Beach; Santa Monica State Beach; Manhattan Beach
Best Los Angeles Beaches for Surfing: Malibu Surfrider Beach; Dockweiler State Beach; Zuma Beach
Best Kid's Beaches: Marina or Mother's Beach; Manhattan Beach, Marine Park/Mother's Beach; Alamitos Bay
Most Famous Beaches: Venice Beach; Santa Monica State Beach; Malibu Beach
Map of Los Angeles Beaches
Malibu Beaches (listed from north to south)
Beaches in Los Angeles - Listed north to south
Malibu has many lovely beaches along its 21 miles of coastline. In addition to public access to many of the private beaches, there are a number of popular public beaches. You can get more info on the official City of Malibu website.
Leo Carillo State Park
Location: 36000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Description: Campground encompasses two sections of beach with 127 sites for tents and vehicles. Provides coin-operated laundry facilities, propane, video game room and spa.
Directions: 1 mile south of Ventura County line on Pacific Coast Highway between Mulholland Highway and Decker Road.
Nicholas Canyon Beach
Location: 33850 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Description: Less crowded than many Malibu beaches. Twenty-three acres of property.
Directions: 1 mile South of Leo Carrillo on Pacific Coast Highway between Mulholland Highway and Decker.
Robert H. Meyer State Beaches - Limited parking available.
La Piedra Beach
El Pescador Beach
Location: 30050 Block of Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Description: A "top surf spot." The ultimate Southern California beach. It's wide and extends for 4 miles along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Directions: On Pacific Coast Highway between Kanan Dume Road and Encinal Canyon Road. Plenty of parking. Fee charged.
Westward Beach - Also known as "free Zuma." Limited parking available.
Point Dume State Beach
Location: 7103 Westward Beach Rd., Malibu
Description: Beach is bordered by cliffs and is one of the most beautiful along the LA coastline.
Directions: On Pacific Coast Highway between Kanan Dume Road and Encinal Canyon Road. Accessed from Westward Beach Road. Parking is fee based.
Big Dume State Beach - Accessed from Cliffside Drive. State operated.
Dan Blocker Beach
Location: 26000 block of Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Description: Sandy, narrow beach. Draws surfers and divers and is a great spot for scuba enthusiasts. Limited amount of free roadside parking.
Directions: On Pacific Coast Highway between Solstice Canyon Road and Corral Canyon Road.
Malibu Surfrider Beach
Location: 23050 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Description: A "top surf spot," world-renowned as an excellent surfing area. Swimming areas exist but are limited. This is the location of the world-famous Malibu Pier.
Directions: On Pacific Coast Highway between Malibu Canyon Road and Rambla Pacifica Road.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach
Location: 23050 and 23200 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. Just west of the Pier, where the Malibu Creek meets the ocean.
Description: This is one of the area's "most famous beaches." The 167 acre beach includes Malibu Lagoon, the The Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum and the Malibu Pier.
Directions: On Pacific Coast Highway between Malibu Canyon Road and Rambla Pacifica Road.
Location: 19444 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Description: A narrow beach beneath the bluffs. Free parking lot.
Directions: On Pacific Coast Highway between Tuna Canyon Road and Las Flores Canyon Road.
Topanga State Beach
Location: 18700 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Description: The first real beach in Malibu is rocky and narrow. A popular surfing spot, but too rocky for safe swimming.
Directions: On Pacific Coast Highway between Topanga Canyon Blvd. and Tuna Canyon Road.
Los Angeles County Beaches (Listed from North to South)
Los Angeles County Beaches
Malibu Beaches (see above for Location, Description and Directions):
Location: 17700 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades
Description: Sandy three mile long beach that is the starting point for a wonderful bicycle trail.
Directions: On Pacific Coast Highway between Temescal Canyon and Sunset Blvd.
Location: 100-2900 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica
Description: This is one of the area's "most famous beaches" and a "favorite sandy beach." It's divided by the Santa Monica Pier.
Directions: Take the 10 Freeway west (Santa Monica) to Pacific Coast Highway and head north.
Location: 2700-3100 Ocean Front Walk, Venice
Description: One of the area's "most famous beaches." It's a popular street performer beach, and the north end is home to "Muscle Beach."
Directions: North or south on the 405 Freeway (San Diego) exit Washington Blvd. west to Venice Beach parking lot.
Marina or Mother's Beach
Location: 4135 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey Description: One of the "best kids' beaches." This non-ocean facing beach is well-suited for children and windsurfers.
Directions: North or south on the 405 Freeway (San Diego) exit the 90 Freeway (Marina), make left onto Mindanao Way, turn right onto Admiralty Way.
Marina del Rey
Marina del Rey is located between Long Beach and Santa Barbara. It is the home port of over 5,000 pleasure boats, and is considered to be the ultimate yachting marina.
Location: 12501 Vista Del Mar, Playa del Rey
Description: A "top surf spot." Newly renovated beach facilities located near LAX airport. There are 3.7 miles of ocean frontage and 255 acres of beach.
Directions: North or south on the 405 Freeway (San Diego) exit Imperial Highway, then west to Vista del Mar Blvd.
Dockweiler Beach Hang Gliding Facility
Dockweiler Beach Recreational Vehicle Park
Location: 12001 Vista del Mar, Playa del Rey
Description: Beach front RV campsite located near LAX. Hours: Sunrise to 10 pm. Call 800.950.7275 for RV parking fees. No tent camping. RV limit 37 feet.
Directions: North or south on the 405 Freeway (San Diego) exit Imperial Highway west to the entrance of the RV park.
Location: 400-4500 The Strand, Manhattan Beach
Description: A favorite "sandy beach" and a "best kids' beach. Classic sand volleyball beach nets extend to Hermosa Beach. Metered street and lot parking.
Directions: North or south on the 405 Freeway (San Diego) exit Manhattan Beach Blvd., make right onto Highland.
Location: Hermosa Ave. and 33rd St., Hermosa
Description: A favorite "sandy beach." Two mile stretch that runs along the Santa Monica Bay before running into the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Metered street parking available.
Directions: North or south on the 405 Freeway (San Diego) exit Artesia Blvd. West, make left onto Hermosa Avenue.
Location: 400-1700 Esplanade, Redondo Beach
Description: A 1.5 mile beach that runs south from the pier to the other side that becomes Torrance Beach.
Directions: From Pacific Coast Highway exit Knob hill Avenue west, make left onto Esplanade.
Location: 387 Paseo de la Playa, Torrance
Description: Flat swath of sand that widens between pier and peninsula.
Directions: Take the Harbor Freeway South (110) exit Pacific Coast Highway, beach located along Paseo de la Playa.
White Point - Royal Palms
Location: 1799 Paseo del Mar, San Pedro
Description: Rugged, rocky shoreline popular with shell collectors and surf casters.
Directions: Take Harbor Freeway South (110) exit Gaffey Street south, turn right onto Paseo del Mar.
Location: 40th St. and Stephen M. White Dr., San Pedro
Description: Stillwater beach inside the San Pedro Breakwater, and surf beach on the ocean. Public boat launching ramp on harbor side.
Directions: Take the Harbor Freeway (110) south to Gaffey Street, make left onto 30th Street, right on Pacific to Stephen M. White Drive.
Long Beach Beaches
Location: Along Ocean Blvd. from Belmont Pier to Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach
Description: Wide, sandy beach seaward of Ocean Blvd. Launch ramps for small boats at Claremont Ave. and Granada Ave. Bike rentals available.
Directions: North or south on the 405 Freeway (San Diego) exit Cherry Avenue west, make right onto Ocean Blvd.
Location: Along Ocean Boulevard from Cherry Ave. to Belmont pier
Description: Narrow, sandy beach
Directions: North or south on the 405 Freeway (San Diego) exit Cherry Avenue west, make left onto Ocean Blvd.
Location: Along Ocean Boulevard from 54th Place to Belmont pier
Description: Wide sandy beach. On-site dog beach.
Directions: Ocean Boulevard between 54th Place and Belmont pier.
Location: Appian Way and 4th St., Long Beach
Description: 40 acres of water and land. Features a sandy beach, floating causeways and a marine science center.
Directions: From Pacific Coast Highway turn south on Bellflower Boulevard and then right on Colorado Street.
Marine Park - Mothers' Beach
Location: 5839 Appian Way, Long Beach
Description: One of the "best children's beaches." Narrow, sandy beach with calm bay waters, a marked swimming area and grassy areas. Kayak rentals available.
Directions: From Pacific Coast Highway exit Second Street west, turn right onto Appian Way.
Location: Bayshore Drive at Second Street, Long Beach
Description: One of the "best children's beaches," this is a narrow, sandy swimming beach south of 2nd St. on the bay side. It contains several marinas with berthing capacity for 2,000 boats. Water-skiing is permitted only in Marine Stadium. Kayak rentals available.
Directions: From Pacific Coast Highway exit Second Street west, make left onto Bayshore Ave.
Location: Along Ocean Blvd., 54th Pl. to 72nd Pl., Long Beach
Description: Moderate width, sandy.
Directions: From Pacific Coast Highway exit Second Street west, make left onto Bayshore Avenue and left onto Ocean Blvd.
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