With so many miles of coastline California has no shortage of beaches and the city of Los Angeles is no exception. Family fun, seclusion, water sports, biking, blading, arcade games, restaurants, roller coasters, bonfires and sand castles; LA's beaches have a little something for everyone. Here is a list of some of our favorite beaches in and around Los Angeles County.
Dockweiler State beach
Address: 12000 Vista del Mar Playa del Rey, CA 90293
Best Known For: Fire Pits
Dockweiler is a favorite among locals and adventurers. Located on the back side of the Los Angeles Airport you can both learn to hang glide here or spend the night roasting marshmallows at one of the beaches fire rings. The beach is quite expansive with more than 3.5 miles of beach. With ample parking and more than 100 full RV hookup sites this beach can get quite busy especially in the summer months and evenings. Its proximity to the airport makes it a little noisy, but all that is forgotten when you're watching the sunset at your fire pit. Several days a week you can also learn to hang glide on the beach for a nominal fee.
Santa Monica Pier & Beach
Best for: Families
The most well known beach area in Los Angeles, is the Santa Monica Pier. A fantastic place for a family outing. The pier offers an arcade, rollercoaster, restaurants and aquarium. Its also a great place for family photos, souvenirs and bike rentals. The beach stretches out for miles in both directions for those looking to relax in the sun, surf, bike, rollerblade or walk.
Best For: Bike Rentals & Entertainment
Venice Beach is a colorful and eclectic area, full of artists, unique shops and street performers. Rent a bike or walk from Santa Monica Pier and follow the beach path south about 15 minutes and you will reach Venice Beach. Venice is a great place to shop. Artists sell their hand made crafts on the pathway every day of the week. Dozens of shops are on the route as well where you can find bathing suits, t-shirts, souvenirs and much more. Venice is also home to Muscle Beach, a skate park, and dozens of street performers that draw in a crowd everyday of the week.
Mother's Beach: Marina Del Rey
Best for: Swimming & SUP/Kayak Rentals
Located in Marina Del Rey, Mother's Beach is one of the best places in the Los Angeles area to learn to paddleboard. The harbor inlet seldom has any waves and always has a plethora of kayaks and boards available for rent, as well as a boat launch for those bringing their own. The beach has lifeguards on duty and a roped off swimming area where you can get in the water and not worry about the surf. Hopping on a paddle board or kayak you can paddle through the marina's boats, yachts and houseboats while looking for sea lions.
Pirate's Cove Beach on Point Dume
6800 Westward Beach Rd. Malibu, CA
Best For: Seclusion
Pirate's Cove is a secluded beach north of Malibu with a stunning cliff that juts out over the ocean. Accessible by a long metal staircase that leads down onto the beach below, it is one of LA's most beautiful beaches. With less than a dozen parking spaces this beach is rarely crowded. Come in the spring time and walk among the wildflowers before heading down to the beach.
El Matador State Beach
Best for: Stunning photographs
Located north of Los Angeles along the PCH, El Matador State beach is most famous for its rock arches that stand prominently on the beach. Making a fantastic backdrop for a photoshoot, kids also love exploring the rock formations and tide pools along this small stretch of beach. If you plan on staying for long bring a picnic, the beach has no services or lifeguards on duty.
Have you been to one of these beaches or have another LA favorite that isn't on the list. Let us know in the comments section.
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