5 Best Beaches in Los Angeles – Updated Guide

5 Best Beaches in Los Angeles – Updated Guide

Los Angeles, the city of dreams, is not just known for its glitzy entertainment industry and cultural diversity but also for its stunning coastline adorned with beautiful beaches. Whether you’re a sun-worshiper, surfer, or someone seeking a leisurely seaside stroll, Los Angeles has a beach for you. Let’s explore the Best Beaches in Los Angeles that make the City of Angels a coastal paradise.

1. El Matador State Beach

El Matador State Beach

El Matador State Beach stands as a hidden gem, offering visitors a serene escape from the bustling city life of Los Angeles. Known for its dramatic landscapes and picturesque seascapes, El Matador is a must-visit destination for those seeking a more secluded and natural beach experience.


El Matador State Beach is located at 32350 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, providing an easy escape for both locals and tourists looking to explore the beauty of Southern California’s coastline.

Natural Wonders:

What sets El Matador apart are its unique rock formations and sea caves, sculpted by the relentless waves over time. These natural wonders create a captivating backdrop for beachgoers, making it a haven for photographers and nature enthusiasts. As you descend the stairway from the bluff to the shore, you’ll be greeted by towering cliffs and the rhythmic melody of crashing waves.

Secluded Atmosphere:

While some of Los Angeles’ beaches can become bustling hubs, El Matador maintains a more intimate and secluded atmosphere. The limited parking spaces contribute to a less crowded experience, allowing visitors to enjoy the sounds of the ocean and the feel of soft sand beneath their feet without distraction.


El Matador offers more than just stunning scenery. During low tide, visitors can explore tide pools teeming with marine life. The beach is also a favorite spot for couples seeking a romantic sunset stroll, and the rocky terrain provides an ideal setting for capturing memorable photographs.

Tips for Visitors:

  • Footwear: Sturdy shoes are advisable for navigating the rocky terrain and exploring the caves.
  • Timing: To fully experience the beauty of El Matador, plan your visit during low tide when the tide pools are more accessible.
  • Sunset Magic: The beach truly comes alive during sunset, creating a magical atmosphere. Arrive a bit earlier to find the perfect spot and witness the sky ablaze with hues of orange and pink.

2. Zuma Beach

Zuma Beach - Best Beaches in Los Angeles

Zuma Beach stands as a sun-soaked haven, inviting beachgoers to relish in the beauty of Southern California’s coastline. With its expansive sandy shores, excellent facilities, and breathtaking views, Zuma Beach holds a well-deserved reputation as one of Los Angeles’ premier beach destinations.


Located on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Zuma Beach is easily accessible, making it a popular choice for locals and tourists looking for a quintessential California beach experience.

Wide Sandy Shores:

Zuma Beach is renowned for its long and wide sandy shores, providing ample space for beachgoers to spread out and enjoy a day of sun, surf, and relaxation. The beach’s vast expanse makes it an ideal spot for various beach activities, from picnics to beach volleyball.

Excellent Facilities:

Equipped with well-maintained facilities, Zuma Beach ensures a comfortable and enjoyable visit. Restrooms, ample parking spaces, and lifeguard stations provide a safe and convenient environment for families, solo visitors, and beach enthusiasts alike.

Activities for Everyone:

Zuma Beach caters to a diverse range of interests. Beachgoers can engage in beach volleyball matches, build intricate sandcastles, or simply bask in the sun while listening to the rhythmic sounds of the Pacific Ocean. The gentle waves make Zuma Beach suitable for swimming, and the beach’s size allows for peaceful walks along the water’s edge.

Scenic Beauty:

Beyond its recreational offerings, Zuma Beach boasts stunning coastal views. The expansive horizon, framed by the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, creates a tranquil setting for visitors to unwind and appreciate the natural beauty of Malibu’s coastline.

Tips for Visitors:

  • Arrive Early: Zuma Beach is popular, especially during weekends and holidays. Arriving early ensures a choice spot and allows you to enjoy the peaceful morning atmosphere.
  • Sunset Spectacle: While Zuma Beach is known for its daytime charm, take advantage ofdon’t the opportunity to witness a spectacular sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

3. Leo Carrillo State Park

Leo Carrillo State Park

With its pristine beaches, unique rock formations, and diverse recreational opportunities, Leo Carrillo State Park promises an immersive and unforgettable experience for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


Situated at 35000 W. Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, Leo Carrillo State Park is conveniently located for locals and tourists seeking a scenic retreat along the Pacific Ocean.

Tide Pools and Sea Caves:

Leo Carrillo is renowned for its captivating tide pools and sea caves, offering a chance to discover the vibrant marine life that thrives along the rocky shoreline. Exploring these natural wonders provides a hands-on and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Coastal Trails:

For those who love to hike, Leo Carrillo State Park boasts a network of scenic trails that wind through the coastal bluffs and provide panoramic views of the Pacific. The trails offer a perfect opportunity to connect with nature, spot local wildlife, and enjoy the fresh sea breeze.

Camping Amidst Nature:

Leo Carrillo State Park features a campground where visitors can immerse themselves in nature overnight. The campground provides a unique opportunity to fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the ocean and wake up to the beauty of the coastal landscape.

Beachcombing and Relaxation:

The park’s beaches are ideal for strolls, beachcombing, or unwinding on the sandy shores. The expansive coastline allows for both active beach activities and tranquil moments of relaxation.

Tips for Visitors:

  • Footwear: Sturdy shoes are recommended for exploring tide pools and navigating rocky areas.
  • Camping Reservations: If planning to camp, it’s advisable to make reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons.
  • Sun Protection: As with any outdoor adventure, bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water to stay protected and hydrated.

4. Rosie’s Dog Beach

Rosie's Dog Beach

Tucked away along the sun-kissed coastline of Long Beach, Rosie’s Dog Beach stands as a unique haven where furry friends and their human companions can share the joy of sea and sand. This canine-friendly stretch of shoreline is more than just a beach; it’s a vibrant community hub where tails wag, waves crash, and the bond between humans and their four-legged companions is celebrated.


Situated at 5000 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, Rosie’s Dog Beach offers a dedicated space where dogs can enjoy the freedom to roam, play, and splash in the Pacific.

Off-Leash Paradise:

Rosie’s Dog Beach holds a special distinction as one of the few off-leash dog beaches in Southern California. Here, dogs are not just welcome; they’re encouraged to run, fetch, and socialize without the constraints of a leash. The expansive shoreline provides ample space for dogs of all sizes to partake in the ultimate beachside adventure.

Community Atmosphere:

Beyond being a beach, Rosie’s is a community hub for dog lovers. It’s where like-minded individuals gather to share stories, tips, and the joy of watching their canine companions revel in the sand and surf. The sense of camaraderie among dog owners creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Safety and Amenities:

Rosie’s Dog Beach prioritizes safety and enjoyment for all visitors. Lifeguards are on duty, ensuring a watchful eye over the frolicking pups. The beach also provides dog waste bags, water stations, and showers to comfort dogs and their owners.

Water Play and Fetch:

The beach’s gentle waves make it an ideal spot for water-loving dogs to take a refreshing dip. The joyous sight of dogs chasing balls into the surf is a common scene, creating a lively and entertaining environment for everyone present.

Tips for Visitors:

  • Leash Rules: While Rosie’s Dog Beach allows off-leash fun in the designated area, keepingit’s dogs on a leash when entering and exiting the beach is essential to ensure safety.
  • Dog Etiquette: Owners are encouraged to be mindful of their dogs’ behavior and to clean up after them to maintain the beach’s cleanliness.
  • Peak Times: Weekends and evenings can be busier, so early mornings or weekdays might offer a quieter experience.

5. Santa Monica State Beach

Santa Monica State Beach

Basking in the sun-drenched glow of the California coastline, Santa Monica State Beach emerges as a quintessential coastal haven, offering a perfect blend of vibrant energy and serene beauty. Stretching along the picturesque shores of Santa Monica, this iconic beach beckons locals and visitors alike to partake in many activities, from strolls along the iconic pier to the thrill of catching Pacific waves.


Nestled at the Pacific Coast Highway and Colorado Avenue intersection, Santa Monica State Beach is conveniently located, making it a beloved destination for those seeking a sun-soaked escape near Los Angeles.

Santa Monica Pier: An Iconic Landmark:

The world-renowned Santa Monica Pier graces the beach, a historic landmark that adds charm and character to the shoreline. Visitors can stroll along the pier, enjoy amusement park rides, and indulge in delectable treats at the various eateries that dot this iconic structure.

Endless Sandy Shores:

Santa Monica State Beach boasts miles of golden sandy shores, providing ample space for beachgoers to spread out and savor the coastal ambiance. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil sunbathing spot or an energetic game of beach volleyball, the beach caters to diverse interests.

Bike Path and Recreation:

A bustling bike path runs parallel to the beach, offering a scenic route for cyclists, joggers, and rollerbladers. Rental shops along the boardwalk make it easy for visitors to embark on two-wheeled adventures and explore the coastline at their own pace.

Water Activities:

The Pacific Ocean’s gentle waves at Santa Monica State Beach make it an inviting space for water enthusiasts. From surfing and paddleboarding to simply wading in the refreshing waters, there’s an aquatic activity for every level of sea lover.

Art and Culture:

Santa Monica State Beach isn’t just a natural wonder; it’s a hub of art and culture. The Annenberg Community Beach House, located nearby, hosts cultural events, art exhibitions, and educational programs, adding a touch of sophistication to the beach experience.

Tips for Visitors:

  • Sunset Bliss: Catching the sunset at Santa Monica State Beach is a must. The horizon transforms into a canvas of warm hues, creating a magical atmosphere.
  • Pier Attractions: Explore the amusements on the Santa Monica Pier, from the historic carousel to the Pacific Park Ferris wheel.
  • Beachfront Dining: Indulge in beachfront dining at one of the many restaurants along Ocean Avenue for a delightful culinary experience.

Whether you’re seeking excitement, relaxation, or a bit of both, these Best Beaches in Los Angeles showcase the coastal splendor that makes Los Angeles a must-visit destination for beach enthusiasts. So, pack your sunscreen and towels, and get ready to experience the beauty of LA’s coastline.

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