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The Top 10 Best Beaches in LA

A person emerging from the ocean waters at dusk

It’s hard to find a day throughout the year that isn’t in the 80s here in LA, which pairs perfectly with the city’s vast array of beaches. From the Northridge luxury apartments, you’re never far away from an ultimate day of fun in the sun. With so many beaches to choose from, though, how can you tell which ones are the best of the best?

It’s a tough decision. No one wants to enter a tourist trap or travel miles only to find a rocky shoreline (especially with LA traffic). Luckily, there’s a seemingly endless coastline of picturesque beaches to choose from. These, however, are the absolute ten best spots in LA.

1. El Matador State Beach

Dominated by rocky outcrops, El Matador is small beach with beautiful scenery to take in as you enjoy the waves. This western Malibu beach is only accessible via a narrow, rocky path. So, make sure to you bring the appropriate attire if you’re planning a visit.

The benefit of that trek is that this beach is a definitive no-go for LA tourists. After you arrive, you’ll be privy to crystalline waters and one of the most memorable sunsets the city has to offer. Best of all, parking is only $10.

2. Zuma Beach

Past Will Rogers and Surfrider lies Zuma, a wide patch of sand with beautifully clean water. This is a popular weekend destination for LA locals, so plan your visit accordingly if you hate crowds. Due to the busy nature of this beach, lifeguards are always on duty and parking is offered free on Westward beach Road.

If you don’t mind the crowd, then this stretch of sand is one of the best places to throw out a towel, pitch your umbrella, and enjoy the quintessential west coast beach experience. The waves are perfect for bodysurfers and boogie boarders, while nearby Point Dume provides one of the most scenic hikes in the area.

3. Leo Carrillo State Park

Secluded and scenic, Leo Carrillo offers plenty of sand amidst its rocky shores. Nature lovers should head for the tide pools and nearby trails, while wave lovers should head out and enjoy one of LA’s more mellow point breaks.

Even better, there’s an on-site campground that’s perfect for picnics. It has an RV lot, token operated showers, benches and more. If that isn’t enough, this is one of the city’s few beaches where dogs are allowed to enjoy the ocean with you (so long as they stay on a leash).

4. El Porto Beach

El Porto’s waves are a surfer’s paradise, so much so that they travel from across SoCal to reach them. The beach offers a pleasant, sandy break alongside overhead waves in the winter. Get here early enough, and you’ll also find free parking before 8 a.m.

If surfing isn’t your thing, then kick back and enjoy this sandy beach’s volleyball courts and bike paths. El Porto is an idyllic paradise if you can ignore the nearby Chevron Refinery and the occasional plane flying out of LAX. Once you hit the waves, though, none of that matters anyway.

5. Abalone Cove

Abalone isn’t for everyone, but those that do enjoy this type of beach are privy to the most scenic spot in all of the South Bay. You won’t find a sandy shore, umbrellas, or beach sports here. Instead, there’s a cliffside path that leads to a rocky shoreline and various hiking trails.

Stick with a pair of boots and you can enjoy everything here from the tidepools to the caves. It’s an adventurous location that is constantly reshaped by passing storms (save the bluffs), making it a unique journey every time.

6. Surfrider Beach

A short distance from the Northridge area, you’ll find Surfrider. This locale is crowded and at times crazy, but what else can you expect from a World Surfing Reserve? This stretch of sand is where surfing legend Gidget used to tear up the tides in not one, but three point breaks.

If you’re not a surfer, then this beach remains a quintessential amongst Malibu’s shorelines. Whether you’re walking the pier, checking out the Spanish-style Adamson House, or just people watching, it’s a fun time all around. Plus, there’s plenty of beach to walk as you soak in the sunshine.

7. Santa Monica State Beach

When most people envision a Californian beach, they think of Santa Monica State Beach. Enormous in size, this beach spans the length of Santa Monica itself and maintains a festive, holiday vibe. The sands are plentiful, the waves excellent for a leisurely day, and there’s plenty of room for everyone despite how crowded this spot becomes.

After soaking in the sun and catching a picturesque view of the Santa Monica Mountains, head over to the pier. Three city blocks long, there’s an abundance of stands, shops, and carnival rides to enjoy. Plus, you can take advantage of the city’s restaurants and go on a shopping frenzy.

8. Dockweiler State Beach

Dockweiler is a well-known family hot spot thanks to its various amenities and accommodations. The beach offers plenty of room to lay out on a towel or take park in your favorite water sport. Picnic areas and bonfires make for memorable moments, while palm trees and mountain views add to the scenery.

The only downside to Dockweiler is its location at the end of the LAX runways. If you can handle a few planes, however, you’ll enjoy one of the most equipped beaches in all of SoCal. From well maintained restrooms to parking and bike paths, this beach has it all.

9. County Line Beach

Head to the northernmost part of Malibu and you’ll find County Line Beach at the border of Ventura. There’s plenty of parking, virtually no crowds, and the water is crystal clear. The width of the beach allows for numerous point breaks, offering surfers of all skill levels a chance to hit the waves.

That makes the park memorable is the ecosystem itself. Wade out into the water and you’ll be swimming alongside dolphins and tiny reef sharks. The winds flowing through the area are perfect for kite flying, while the daily harvest brings in delicious meals at the seafood stand.

10. Venice Beach

A continuation off the southern end of Santa Monica Beach, Venice remains a popular spot for one main reason; people watching. From skaters at the boardwalk to gym fanatics at Muscle Beach, there’s an endless supply of interesting individuals to watch.

There are plenty of volleyball and basketball courts here and the sands are plentiful if you want to sit out and relax. As for the waters, they’re relatively calm. That’s underwhelming for a surfer but something the leisurely beachgoer may enjoy. Street parking is tight here, but you can always find a decent beachside lot.

Northridge Luxury Apartments

Experience what vibrant, beautiful, living looks like with Adler. With a central Northridge, CA location, you’re never far away from a beach excursion or the city. This collection of brand-new apartment homes is adorned with modern interiors, designer-selected finishes, and signature style. Packed to the brim with amenities that cater to every facet of life, this is luxury redefined.

Welcome to the radiant life. Welcome to Adler.