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.
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.
Salt Creek Beach Park
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.
Santa Monica Beach and Venice
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.
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.
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!