Basking in the Beach: Eight of the Best Beaches in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a city so glitzy that sightings of superstars are commonplace. It is home to Hollywood, itself a must-see destination. It also boasts of an assortment of attractions, like Universal Studios Hollywood, Griffith Park, and Getty Center. It is even a certified sports city, with several professional sports franchises calling Los Angeles their home. That list includes the Lakers and Clippers of the NBA, the Sparks of the WNBA, the Dodgers and Angels of the MLB, the Galaxy and FC of the MLS, and the Rams and Chargers of the NFL, which is, of course, a staple of American society itself. 

The City of Angels is also known for its beaches, each of which is described by Culture Trip as having its “own style and flare.” That being said, here are eight of the best beaches in Los Angeles:

Santa Monica State Beach

The busy Santa Monica State Beach

The busy Santa Monica State Beach

IMAGE CREDIT: Wikipedia



The busy Santa Monica State Beach

A favorite among both tourists and locals, this expansive beach boasts of a historic pier that signals the end of Route 66. It has a classic, retro vibe, with great surf spots along a three-mile stretch. It is quite popular, and can be overcrowded at times, though the many resorts can handle the trove of visitors coming over. It also helps that there are plenty of other things to do here aside from swimming and sunbathing. A walk downtown, for instance, can be quite gratifying, as is relaxing under the shades provided by Tongava Park.

El Matador Beach

A view of El Matador Beach

A view of El Matador Beach
IMAGE CREDIT: Pinterest



A view of El Matador Beach

Nestled deep in Malibu is the El Matador Beach, which is known for its extremely rocky terrain. It can be a pain to get there, but it is worth checking out nonetheless. The views are breathtaking, the water is crystal clear, and the place is pretty much all yours. That it is one of the cleanest beaches in Los Angeles is a plus. Without doubt, El Matador Beach is perfect for those seeking to take a clear break from the hustle-bustle of life.

Venice Beach

The famed bike path in Venice Beach


IMAGE CREDIT: Pinterest

The famed bike path in Venice Beach

The famed bike path in Venice Beach

Like Santa Monica State Beach, Venice Beach is also quite popular, and like the former, it can get crowded, too. But that is actually one of the inherent charms of this beach. With the plethora of people visiting Venice Beach, there is this palpable energy that never seems to run out. It is a surfer’s haven according to CBS Los Angeles, and it boasts of a host of other attractions apart from the beach. There’s a bike path, for instance, that will take you all the way to the aforementioned Santa Monica State Beach.

Paradise Cove Beach

Paradise Cove Beach

Paradise Cove Beach
IMAGE CREDIT: Pinterest



Situated beneath the cliffs of Malibu is the public-private Paradise Cove Beach. This understated beauty is mostly under the auspices of Paradise Cove Beach Café, which offers all necessary amenities. Swimming and surfing, though, are free; but for a full appreciation of Paradise Cove Beach, it is best that you rent a private terrace (or even just a beach bed or lounge) and just pass time away in arguably one of the coziest, most relaxing spots in Malibu.

Carbon Beach (Billionaire’s Beach)

Carbon Beach (Billionaire's Beach)

Carbon Beach (Billionaire’s Beach)
IMAGE CREDIT: Pinterest


There’s a reason Carbon Beach is also called “Billionaire’s Beach”: It is a public beach that looks and feels like a private one. It is home to the homes of some of the city’s wealthiest locals, and is as secluded an area as there is in all of Los Angeles. It offers a long, tranquil, yet scenic stretch of fine sand and clear waters, where you can swim and relax with little to no disturbance. It is, in a way, similar to El Matador Beach, only with a more private beach feel.

Malibu Lagoon State Beach / Surfrider Beach

Malibu Lagoon State Beach / Surfrider Beach

Malibu Lagoon State Beach / Surfrider Beach
IMAGE CREDIT: Pinterest


Los Angeles’s beaches are by and large surfers’ havens, and that is exactly the case with Malibu Lagoon Beach, otherwise known as Surfrider Beach. The latter designation is much deserved, as this beach is known as a great place to surf — all throughout the day! But like beaches of Santa Monica and Venice, Surfrider Beach can get overcrowded at times. Then again, people go here because it is one of the city’s very best.

RAT Beach

RAT Beach

RAT Beach
IMAGE CREDIT: Pinterest


Before anything else, RAT here stands for “Right After Torrence”, and not for that nasty rodent. It is located just south of Manhattan Beach and boasts of the scenic Palos Verdes Cliffs. Moreover, it is a silent stretch of sand and crystal-clear water, which means it is perfect for those who want a quiet getaway away from the crowd.

Point Dume State Beach

Point Dume State Beach

Point Dume State Beach
IMAGE CREDIT: Wikipedia


Right at the end of Malibu and just jutting out into the Pacific is Point Dume. It is home to a dramatic cliff’s edge that descends to a stunning crescent-shaped beach overlooking the mighty Pacific Ocean. The turquoise-colored water is crystal clear, and the horizon is an endless view of the ocean, with its cascading waves. It is known as a great scuba spot, with sea lion encounters commonplace. It is also a great spot to learn the basics of rock climbing.

Los Angeles, again, isn’t all about Hollywood. It offers an assortment of attraction for everyone, including several spectacular beaches. They are certainly perfect for getaways, though you can choose to live in the beach if your heart so desires, as in the case of Carbon Beach’s affluent residents. In that case, just feel free to check out all the California Beach Houses for Rent and for Sale at Beachhouse.com. We’ll help you get the beach house of your dreams!

5 of the Best Beachside Cities in California

5 of the Best Beachside Cities in California
By: James Witts

Every beachside area will have the same key ingredients: sun, sand, and water. It’s no wonder residents in SoCal move from city to city within California to experience these beachside towns. It is the charm of the local town or city that makes a beach trip great? Check out these best beachside cities in California for your next beach getaway.

1. Santa Cruz
Located off of Highway 1 in Northern California, Santa Cruz offers a laid back and retro environment. Step back decades as you stroll down the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and peruse the many vintage shops that line the way. You’ll see a historic carousel as well as plenty of good old fashioned family fun with coasters and arcade games. Santa Cruz is one of the best beachside cities due to its proximity to other forms of nature. You’ll be able to catch a glimpse of whales from the ocean as well as tour nature at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Wineries also dot the countryside near Santa Cruz offering their other version of perfection by the bottle. Rent a beachhouse in Santa Cruz here.

2. Carmel
Officially known as Carmel-by-the-Sea, this quaint little town sites on the south side of the Monterey Peninsula south of San Jose. It’s tucked in location offers a quiet and relaxing beach getaway. You’ll enjoy time on the white sandy beaches as well as the windy conditions of the Point Lobos State Reserve. The Mission Trail Nature Preserve is also located nearby with many trails to explore. The town of Carmel itself offers a more mature beach trip with streets full of galleries and fine dining establishments. Rent a beach house in Carmel here.

3. Malibu
There is a reason why this beach is so famous for both residents and visitors. Malibu is a beautiful beach that stretches out for more than 30 miles making this an excellent option for those wanting to take a long run along the water. Malibu is the prime spot for surfing and is well known as one of the significant places that celebrities and athletes call home. The ocean waves are well suited for both beginner and advanced surfers making this a great spot to learn more about the sport as well as see professional surfers in action. You’ll also find amazing fresh seafood dishes at the many restaurants that are located on the pier or right off the beach as well. Rent a beach house in Malibu here.

4. Catalina Island
If you’re a California resident looking for a vacation that is easy to get to but feels a million miles away, Catalina Island is the place for you. This island located just 22 miles off the coast of California feels like an entirely different world with its peaceful community and magnificent sunsets. There isn’t even a traffic light on the entire island making this a common getaway destination for many residents who spend hours a day sitting in traffic. Catalina Island boasts beautiful beaches as well as a casual atmosphere that is sure to put you on island time.

5. Venice Beach
Known for its eclectic style, Venice Beach is a favorite spot for those looking for some far-out beach time. You’ll find piazzas and canals much like its Italian counterpart as well as quaint little shops that line the boardwalk. Venice Beach is a great spot to be entertained by street performers as well as spend an afternoon watching all of the diverse people stroll by. Chic boutiques and food trucks are favorite stops for both residents and tourists alike as well.

California is full of great little beachside towns and cities that create the perfect backdrop to a beach getaway. From the laid-back atmosphere of Santa Cruz and Venice Beach to the surf-loving area of Malibu, to the peaceful getaways of Carmel and Catalina Island, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from for your next beach vacation. Consider all of these best beachside cities in California for your next trip.

James Witts is an eco-conscious home improvement writer. He is constantly trying to find new ways to live off the grid while living in a tiny home with his wife, Andie.

Top Southern California Beaches

Venice Beach

Venice Beach

Southern California is known for its beautiful people, great weather, and gorgeous beaches. All along the most southwestern tip of the USA are an assortment of beaches with surf and sand to enjoy at almost all times during the year.

Whether you’re looking for surf, excitement, a family beach, or the prettiest views on the coast, there are plenty of options to fulfill every desire you have.

Newport Beach offers decent waves and a relaxed atmosphere. Newport’s beaches aren’t too crowded despite the beautiful surrounding, making the area a great place to skim or just read a book while soaking in some sun. Newport also offers several oceanside cottages for rent, making staying there an attractive option for people looking to “get away” at a more affordable price.

Huntington Beach is known for its excellent surfing. The beaches tend to get more crowded, but offer the excitement of a social atmosphere as people throw footballs, play volleyball, and walk the enjoyable Huntington Beach Pier. Huntington is a great place to start an exciting weekend off right.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach offers secluded, beautiful beaches. There are family-friendly areas that tend to be more crowded, but travel further down the surf and you can find beaches where you can isolate yourself and enjoy some gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. The sand is hard-packed and easy to walk on, making a romantic walk on the beach a great idea for blossoming Southern California lovers.

Santa Monica is one of the most popular beaches in Southern California, offering a nearby amusement park and an enjoyable volleyball scene. The world renowned Muscle Beach can also be found in Santa Monica, along with the newly renovated Chess Park.  During the summer you can also find free live concerts on Thursday nights.

Venice Beach is featured in movies such as White Men Can’t Jump and the TV show Pacific Blue. Street performers litter the coast, offering entertainment for all who are willing to watch and participate. You can also find small beachside shops that make shopping while enjoying some rays an easy endeavor.

Santa Monica Pier

While these five offer some of the most diverse and enjoyable locations for spending your day on the coast, there are several other beaches to enjoy in the Southern California area. Generally, you can’t go wrong. Beautiful weather and clean beaches can be found almost everywhere, so pack up your towel, a smile, and a pair of swim trunks, and you’ll most definitely enjoy your day in the sand.

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Ross Hudgens is a travel writer for Low Fares Blog. Lowfares.com is the number 1 travel website for cheap flights and discount airfare.