5 Great Los Angeles Beaches

It’s summer in L.A. and of course our thoughts turn to the beach. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, Los Angeles offers some of the best beach time in the whole world. Many of our Los Angeles tours will take you to the beach — Santa Monica and Venice being the most common — but there are some other beaches that deserve your attention as well. We would be happy to take you to any of these beaches on request — or you can make your own way there if you like.

Surfrider Beach

Surfrider Beach
One of the best point breaks on the West Coast, Surfrider Beach is famous for, you guessed it, surfing. The waves peel off the point so perfectly it’s almost like the were man-made. Walk the Malibu Pier for a perfect view of the action. Even on small days this place is crowded with surfers — but don’t worry, the Pier is usually blissfully crowd-free.

For real fun watch “Gidget” before making your way over here — you’ll recognize this as the beach the show made famous.

We can take you there if you request it in a Build Your Own Tour.

Longboarding on Surfrider Beach

Longboarding on Surfrider Beach

Salt Creek Beach Park

Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point.
Salt Creek in Dana Point is one of the more scenic beaches in this area — crystal clear turquoise water surrounded by classic California cliffs on three sides. It’s so picturesque that it’s often used for surfing photos and videos of Southern California. It is also very family friendly and surrounded by a public park.

If you really love this spot consider staying at the Ritz Carlton, which stands as a sentinel right over the beach with great views of the water.

Surfing at Salt Creek in Dana Point, Southern California

Santa Monica Beach and Venice

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier


Santa Monica’s and Venice’s beaches are really one big beach running together. The beaches are impressively wide and there’s always plenty of open space to enjoy the sand.

Santa Monica is especially family-friendly. The Santa Monica Pier has an amusement park just at the right speed for little ones, an arcade, and even a trapeze for beginners. A great option to see the whole beach is to rent a bicycle and ride the flat bike path along the sand. See the parade of California’s collection of colorful characters as you whiz by.

Venice is more touristy and interesting, but not as family-friendly. This is where you see the truly eclectic (some might say bizarre) California scene. It’s not to be missed if you’re OK with a little bit of off-color scenery including many marijuana dispensaries. Street performers, souvenir shops, and snack counters abound. If you have skateboarders in your group there’s a fantastic skate park with a view of the beach.

We take you to these beaches on our All LA in a Day and Teens and Tweeners tours, our you can request them in a Build Your Own Tour.

King Solomon at Venice Beach

King Solomon at Venice Beach

Zuma Beach
Zuma Beach in Los Angeles County
Zuma is a favorite with locals. It doesn’t all of the built-up attractions and commercialization of a lot of the tourist beaches — just beautiful sun, sand, and California golden cliffs.

It also has a Hollywood history — at the end of the beach behind a rock outcrop is the location where they filmed the final scene of Planet of the Apes — where Charlton Heston sees the Statue of Liberty sticking out of the sand.

Planet of the Apes Beach

Where’s the statue?

Leo Carillo State Beach

Leo Carillo State Beach

Secluded and beautiful, Leo Carillo is another local favorite. There’s hardly ever a crowd but you can also get a lot of essential facilities — RV parking, showers, campsites and picnic areas. There’s hiking in several trails just off the beach and the kids can explore the tide pools in the rocks. It’s also dog friendly!

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    ~ Kelly T

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    ~ Michele G, El Segundo, California

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    I can recall doing a bus tour of LA a number of years ago, and that tour did not remotely compare to what we experienced with our number one guide Rivers. Our family of four, including two boys aged 13 and 10, had the best day possible.

    ~ Lindsay O, Hepburn Springs, Australia

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    Eight hours seems like a lot of time, but the day just flew by. It was so fun and interesting. I would do this again with no regrets.

    The Kozars, Lethbridge, Canada

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    A big thank you to Scott for our fantastic LA tour!! We got all the sights in, in one day including a last minute shop @ Dash!! Scott was full of information and my family including my 3 year old had a fantastic day!! Highly recommend !!

    ~ Nicole9Aust

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