Los Angeles Beaches


No visit to Los Angeles is complete without a stop at one of the local beaches. LA has always been one of the epicenters of beach life and culture, and Los Angeles beaches attract all kinds: surfers, sun worshipers, bathers, athletes, and more.

Of course, this comes with a downside. Los Angeles beaches can be overcrowded, noisy, and poorly maintained, with tourists and locals fighting for elbow room. However, there are enough beaches in LA that you can probably get the beach experience you want if you’re willing to spend some time looking around.

Before you go, be sure you know the rules. LA beaches don’t allow alcohol consumption or glass containers. Smoking is also not allowed. Dogs, except for service animals, cannot be taken onto beaches. Parties may require a permit, and cookouts and bonfires are allowed only on beaches with a designated fire area. When in doubt, ask a lifeguard.

Here are some top Los Angeles beaches:

* Santa Monica. This beach is very convenient to downtown LA, but that comes with a price: it’s usually jammed in the summer. Still, the Santa Monica Pier, with its amusement park, is a Los Angeles icon.

* Venice. The best beach to go to if you like people-watching. The Venice Beach boardwalk has more weird, eye-catching, and wonderful people and performers than anywhere else in LA. And the beach isn’t bad either.

* Manhattan. The former home of the Beach Boys is still the place to go if you want to surf in Los Angeles. Manhattan Beach is also the home of beach volleyball, and the courts there are always busy.

* Leo Carrillo. This state park is somewhat out of the way, but it’s also much less crowded than urban beaches. Leo Carrillo is a rocky and scenic beach, with caves and tidepools to explore, which makes it a great place for a walk.

* Will Rogers State Beach. A little way north of Santa Monica, Will Rogers tends to be less crowded and more relaxing. One of the best places to go if you just want to go for a swim without a lot of distractions.

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