It's swimsuit season, time to take advantage of one of LA's best features: the ocean. From North to South we've tracked the coast to bring you our favorite beaches. Explore caves, reefs, snorkel, surf, get your tan on. Whatever the reason for heading to the sea, we've got something for everyone in our top picks so dive in and get the most out of your summer!
If you don’t feel like fighting for a spot in the sand, Cabrillo Beach is a good place to start. With a quiet beachfront, and expansive ocean views, the mile-long stretch is popular amongst swimmers, surfers, scuba divers and volleyball players alike. Come with friends or bring the family, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is nearby too. Stop by to visit the tide pool touch tanks!
Not to be confused with Cabrillo Beach, Leo Carrillo State Beach is a good stretch North offering 1.5 miles of beach for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf fishing (yes that’s right, we said surf fishing) and more. Explore the coastal caves and reefs or chill out in the shade from giant sycamores.
Due to the volume and size of its waves, El Porto Beach is a favorite amongst local surfers. Come for the breeze, volleyball courts or paved bike/skating paths. Ditch the crowds and opt for space on your beach day. Don’t forget your quarters for parking! Surfers can monitor the waves here.
A neighbor to Leo Carrillo State Beach, El Matador Beach offers much of the same benefits on its sandy shore and is the closest to Malibu. Park on the bluff, hike trails, picnic on the provided tables and take in the sights. Whether you've noticed it or not, the beautiful scenery has backdropped many LA beach photoshoots.
Dockweiler State Beach features a three-mile-long shoreline with a picnic area and concession stand. The wide beach is beneath the takeoff path from Los Angeles International Airport. While there might not be camping available here, you can still enjoy the beach’s fire pits and walking hiking paths. Pup owners can bring your furry friends on a (maximum 6-foot) leash to enjoy the sand, sunset and seas with you.
Rosie's Dog Beach
From 6AM to 8PM beach visitors and canines alike are invited to visit Rosie’s Dog Beach. The Dog Zones offer bags, pooper scoops and the freedom to let your pups enjoy the ocean as we do. The beach is known for smaller, pet-friendly waves, local shops and restaurants.
Marina Beach, or “Mother’s Beach” as it is referred to by locals, is a family and kid-friendly, man-made beach in Marina del Rey. Visitors get nearly half a mile of sandy beaches, volleyball courts, BBQ’s, showers, restrooms and picnic areas.
One of LA’s most visited destinations, Santa Monica State Beach is a city staple. The 245 acres of sand is home to Muscle Beach, volleyball courts, a winding bike path, Annenberg Community Beach House, the SM Pier and more. Just a stone's throw from Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, you can easily spend an entire day here and want to come back.
As indicated by its name, Malibu Surfrider Beach is popular for its surfable waves. The sandy stretch hosts The Malibu Sports Fishing Pier, Malibu Farm, volleyball courts and a cafe on the pier. The nearby lagoon has trails to trek and birds to spy.
Midway between LA and San Diego, Laguna Beach is an ample seven-mile stretch of sand and surf. Between North, Canyon, Downtown and South Laguna, there’s a hub for everyone. With the exception of South Laguna, you can bring dogs during summer hours (June 15th - September 10th) before 9am & after 6pm as long as they’re on a leash.
Hermosa Beach is an ocean-side community dedicated to arts and culture and its visitors. Come for the waves, stay for the dining experiences and hospitality. Dig into the ultrasoft sand and take in that sun, it’s going to be a great day.
Surf City USA, Huntington Beach is a must on your beach bucket list. Voted Best California Beach by USA Today, Huntington has a lot to offer. The shoreline stretches for ten uninterrupted miles of wide open sandy beaches making it a paradise for families, couples, dogs, and surfers. HB has five distinct public beaches: Huntington City Beach, Bolsa Chica State Beach, Huntington State Beach, Huntington Dog Beach, and Sunset Beach sprawl along the coast, each with its amenities and charm.