6 Best Beaches in Los Angeles for Locals

Written by: Grace Gray

If you are moving to a new neighborhood in LA, you should figure out which beaches will be closest to you and if they are worth visiting. California is full of sandy shores stretching for miles and intimate, secluded cove beaches just waiting to be explored. So check out this list of 6 best beaches in Los Angeles to find your go-to spot once you’ve completed your moving to-do list and settled in.

What’s the Nicest Beach in LA?

It’s hard to single out just one out of 15 beautiful sandy beaches with pristine water and picturesque piers in LA County. And then there’s more in Orange County to the south and Ventura County to the north – the shore on the Pacific Ocean sure is long! But the good news is they all have their charms that appeal to different kinds of people, you just need to choose the one for you.

Seaside, California
Each of these seashores has its own charms, you just need to choose the one for you.

#1 Venice City Beach – for People-Watching

The most popular and the most touristy, Venice City beach is for those who are looking for excitement and entertainment. The colorful characters you’ll meet on the Ocean Front Walk, the boardwalk, can even outshine the Pacific Ocean. Besides people-watching, there are many facilities for you to enjoy – a skatepark, volleyball court, a free open gym, a long bike path from Venice to Santa Monica, and others. If you’re living in Beverly Hills, it’s only a 30-minute ride.

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It’s Not All About the Beaches – Don’t Miss out on Venice Canals

While here, explore the Canals, as well. It’s a neighborhood with upscale houses situated on four canals, and it has a European feel to it, as it was built to mimic the appearance of the Italian canal city.

#2 Santa Monica – the Most Iconic and a Landmark in LA

Santa Monica is the most iconic seashore and a landmark of the city known for its endless summers. Therefore, it only makes sense that it’s pretty crowded throughout the year and parking can be a struggle, so if you are living in Downtown LA, choose public transport instead.

The 2-mile long soft, sandy shore has an ever-lasting summer holiday atmosphere with lots of people surfing, playing volleyball, riding bicycles, and swimming in the Pacific Ocean. You can also go for a drink or grab a bite to eat in nearby restaurants.

Amusement Park on the Santa Monica State Beach Pier

The center of activity is the entertainment zone on the Santa Monica Pier. It includes The Pacific Park, aquarium, Ferris wheel, game booths, and cotton candy stands for a full Santa Monica experience. However, If you want to swim in the ocean, head further north from the pier for cleaner water.

Ferris Wheel
The pier is the center of activity.

#3 The Picture-Perfect Manhattan Beach

Located in one of the top suburbs of Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach embodies the quintessential Californian lifestyle – the seashore, nice weather, beautiful people, and cute, little, family-owned restaurants. It’s very relaxed, family-friendly, and not crowded. It also has some of the best playgrounds in Los Angeles making it one of the best beaches in Los Angeles for families.

Seaside, California
Manhattan is for those looking to have a relaxed day.

#4 El Matador State Beach – The Hidden Gem of Malibu

This secluded spot is a favorite of nature-loving Angelenos and a hidden gem of Malibu only accessible if you hike down one of the steep trails. The scenery features pristine water, rocky shores, caves, hidden coves, and some strong waves. It’s great for romantic picnics or any other occasion when you would like to enjoy nature by yourself or in the company of your loved ones. You should know that there are no facilities – so it’s better to bring something to eat and use the toilet in the parking area before heading down the trail.

Rocky formations
The beauty of El Matador in Malibu is a secret well-kept from tourists.

#5 Point Dume in Malibu – a Popular Whale-Watching Spot

The crescent-shaped Cove Dume is the main beach in Point Dume at the end of Malibu. This is one of the best beaches in Los Angeles for swimming with sea lions, whale-watching, scuba diving, and rock-climbing. The last scene of ‘The Planet of the Apes’ was shot at Point Dume. Be there early if you want a parking spot on the weekend or you’ll have to park at the paid lot ($15) at the end of the beach.

Learn to rock-climb at Point Dume.

#6 Rosie’s Dog Beach – a Pooch-Friendly Paradise in LA County

If you are moving with pets, this is the best (and only) dog beach in LA. While the surrounding parks in Los Angeles are pet-friendly, this is the only seashore where you can hit the waves with your furry friend. Parking is 1$ per hour and it can get pretty crowded during the weekend. There are restrooms and waste bags on-site and even though there’s no fence or sign marking the start of the off-leash area, you’ll know you are at the right place when you see the ‘Dogs at Play’ sculpture.

Huntington Dog Beach in Orange County

If you are looking for more space for your pooch, head to OC. Huntington Dog Beach is known as the dog-friendliest seashore and is not that far away, really. Your puppy can swim in the water and play in the sand with you and even make some furry friends.

A dog with a ball in the ocean
Dogs at play!

If You Need Help With Your Local Move, Hire the Best Movers in Los Angeles

If you want to give all that moving stress a miss, consider hiring the best LA moving company – All In Moving. If you book our full residential moving service, we’ll do it all – from packing, loading, and shipping to unloading your valued possession with utmost care and professionalism. And if you choose to DIY your move and rent a truck, our professional Los Angeles movers can help out with labor services. So, if you still don’t know where to live in LA, check out our Los Angeles neighborhood guide, choose wisely, and give us a ring if you’re in need of moving services in Los Angeles.

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