The Best Beaches in LA

A list of LA’s sandy destinations — rated

June 21 marked the official start of summertime. You know what that means. It’s finally warm enough to go to the beach. And maybe get into the water if you want to be all Patrick Swayze-like a la *Point Break*. The original one. Not the monstrosity that is the 2015 revival.

The thing is, not all LA beaches are created equal. You need to factor in things like crowds, parking, beachside facilities, neighborhood amenities, surfers, tourists... Did we mention parking? After spending countless hours at the beach, we learned some things. We also learned that even if you pay to park, you can still risk getting ticketed if your registration isn’t up to date. So, make sure you do that unless you feel like paying an extra $70. You're welcome for taking one for the team.

Anyway. In the spirit of making your beach day even easier and breezier, we put together this at-a-glance guide. Choose your destination wisely!

The Legendary Legend
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ = Awesome
⭐⭐⭐⭐ = Pretty good
⭐⭐⭐ = Meh
⭐⭐ = Not so great
⭐ = Nope

redondo-beach

Redondo Beach
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This fairly quiet beach spot is known for older crowds and families, posh beach homes that honestly just make us envious and paved bike and walking paths. It’s one of LA County’s three beach cities and located in the South Bay. Redondo Beach Pier is home to shops, restaurants and free events like outdoor yoga and live music.

Parking: ⭐⭐
Parking fees: ⭐⭐⭐
Metro transportation: ⭐
Beach facilities: ⭐⭐⭐
Nearby amenities: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dogs: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (at the designated beach dog park)
Crowd: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommended Joymode bundle: Family Beach Day

manhattan-beach-min

Manhattan Beach
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Also part of the South Bay, this laid-back beach is known for frat bros (hey, they have to go somewhere), all of the volleyball and Baywatch. It gets a little rowdy on weekends, but you can easily spend a whole day here. Dinner with an ocean view, anyone?

Parking: ⭐⭐
Parking fees: ⭐⭐⭐
Metro transportation: ⭐
Beach facilities: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Nearby amenities: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Crowd: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dogs: ⭐
Recommended Joymode bundle: Beach Games

venice-beach-min

Venice Beach
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Grit and glam make Venice Beach so oddly special. The area is known for low-key boardwalk kooks, a legacy skateboard culture and countless tourist traps. Sometimes it’s better to just come here less-so for the beach and more-so for the people-watching. If you want an elevated sunset spot, head to the rooftop at Hotel Erwin.

Parking: ⭐⭐
Parking fees: ⭐⭐
Metro transportation: ⭐⭐⭐
Beach facilities: ⭐⭐
Nearby amenities: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Crowd: ⭐⭐
Dogs: ⭐
Recommended Joymode bundle: URB-E Scooter

santa-monica-pier

Santa Monica Beach
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Welcome to the heart of Silicon Beach. Santa Monica is known for the local tech bros, expensive ferris wheel rides and lots of beachside athletics. The amusement park on the pier adds to the excitement of this sandy destination. But, it also means crowds. Big, big crowds.

Parking: ⭐⭐⭐
Parking fees: ⭐⭐⭐
Metro transportation: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Beach facilities: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Nearby amenities: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Crowd: ⭐
Dogs: ⭐
Recommended Joymode bundle: Ultimate Beach Day

point-dume

Point Dume
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Somewhat off the beaten path, Point Dume is known for rock climbing, shoreline hiking and nosey beach cops looking to give out tickets. If you’re into activities, this is your spot. Start off with a quick morning hike then cool down in the ocean.

Parking: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Parking fees: ⭐⭐⭐
Metro transportation: ⭐
Beach facilities: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Nearby amenities: ⭐⭐⭐
Crowd: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dogs: ⭐
Recommended Joymode bundle: Portable Kayak

zuma-beach

Zuma Beach
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Zuma Beach is one of the largest and most favorite beaches of LA residents and visitors. This 1.8-mile stretch is known for expansive beach-towel real estate (seriously, it’s on point), whale and dolphin sightings and extra-soft white sand. We don’t know how it’s so soft, but we’re not complaining.

Parking: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Parking fees: ⭐⭐⭐
Metro transportation: ⭐
Beach facilities: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Nearby amenities: ⭐⭐⭐
Crowd: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dogs: ⭐
Recommended Joymode bundle: Boogie Board & Beach Games

surfrider-beach

Surfrider Beach
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Malibu Lagoon State Beach, also called Surfrider Beach, is known for boho beach bums, legendary surfers and really good seafood nearby on PCH. Surfers flock here for the consistent waves, but there’s plenty of space for sunbathers. You really can’t beat the mountainous backdrop either.

Parking: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Parking fees: ⭐⭐⭐
Beach facilities: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Nearby amenities: ⭐⭐⭐
Crowd: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dogs: ⭐
Recommended Joymode bundle: Inflatable Paddle Board

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