A Guide to LA's Best Beaches
Jenny Gibson

1.The Novelty Beach: Santa Monica

Santa Monica is an iconic beach in LA beach that draws crowds for its lively pier -  complete with ferris wheel, roller coaster, arcade and trapeze school. If you came for the surf and sand, there are 3.5 miles of golden sand that stretch the Santa Monica beach,  all central and walking distance to some of the city’s best restaurants and shopping on the 3rd street promenade.

2. The Secret Cove: Mother’s Beach

If you’re looking to wade in the water and avoid any currents and crashing waves, Mother’s Beach is a patch of sand that lines the marina of Marina Del Rey. This is somewhat of a local haven where paddle boards and kayaks float alongside sailboats, soaking up the California sunshine. In the summertime, weekend barbecues and beach games take over this marina-front spot, but in the off season or midweek, you’ll have a quiet haven to yourself.

3. Most Picturesque: El Matador State Beach

A cruise up PCH into the iconic Malibu region will bring you to El Matador state beach. The cave and rock formations along the sand at sunset make for a stunning photo opportunity and has been described as a top romantic destination for couples and honeymooners. The secret is out as this has become a popular beach for locals and tourists alike, but be patient finding parking and you’ll have a worthwhile view.

4. Bonfires & Boeing 747s: Dockweiler Beach

The only place on the Los Angeles coastline that you can have bonfires is Dockweiler State Beach. That means it can be competitive to claim a pit, but gather some friends and family, for a classic weenie roast in the sand. With Dockweiler situated in line with LAX international airport- some love to come watch the planes take off and in true wanderlust spirit, guess where it is headed.

5. Something Serene: Abalone Cove

Tucked between Palos Verdes and San Pedro, this is one of LA’s southernmost beaches. Not your typical sandy beach, Abalone Cove Shoreline park features vibrant tide pools and coves in a rockier form. Shoes are recommended for the hike down to the pools and often times if you journey down the beach a bit, you can find a private spot to soak in the beauty of the nature around you.

6. Hot Spot: Venice Beach

Venice Beach is and remains one of LA’s hottest destinations, beach or not. There is a little bit of everything here for everyone- soft sand beaches and surfing are the tamest of activities, but popular street art and performers keep things lively all day long.Stroll down the bustling beach path to the iconic skate park on the sand and muscle beach for body builders. Come one, come all, the Venice boardwalk is not to be missed.

7. Hang Ten: Surfrider Beach

Right off the Malibu Pier, the name gives away that Surfrider Beach is a popular spot to break out your board and catch some waves. The surf conditions here are prime for longboards and shortboards alike, providing a truly classic California experience.

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