33900 block of Pacific Coast Hwy, near Ventura County Line
This lovely 2-mile (3-km) beach is quieter than most in Malibu because of its isolation and distance from the city. It hugs the base of a bluff and is a great place for those seeking solitude and a tan.
32900 block of Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu
Rugged, secluded, and dotted with large boulders eroded by nature, this small cliff-backed beach is one of LA’s finest. Its remoteness, limited parking, and cumbersome access via a gravelly trail keep the crowds at bay. There are no facilities, but you can explore tide pools and caves, or take a dip. Nude sunbathing is illegal in LA County but some does occur.
30000 block of Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu
This 2-mile (3-km) ribbon of fine, sparkling sand is one of LA’s most popular beaches. Its clean water and mid-sized waves are great for bodysurfing and swimming. It teems with families on summer Sundays but is nearly deserted the rest of the week, making it perfect for quiet picnics and walks along the beach.
23200 block of Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu
Wedged in between the Malibu Pier and the gated celebrity enclave, Malibu Colony, this popular beach offers many diversions. Watch surfers shred the waves at Surfrider Beach. The eponymous lagoon is a stopover for migratory birds, while the nearby Adamson House with its idyllic gardens overlooks Malibu Pier and Malibu Lagoon.
A unique horseshoe-shaped pier lined with shops, arcades, and food stands is Rendo Beach’s focal point. Rent a paddleboard or kayak and hit the water, or take a bicycle along the cycle path. Boutiques and art galleries are just a few blocks inland.
Around Pier Ave
South of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa (see South Bay) has a busy bar and restaurant scene right where Pier Avenue meets the sand. Beach volleyball is the local pastime and national tournaments take place throughout the year. Only the paved South Bay Bicycle Trail that runs from Marina del Rey to Palos Verdes lies between the sand and private homes.
West of Highland Ave
The Beach Boys, who grew up around here, found inspiration for their inimitable surf music in the white sands and glorious waves of this upscale yet relaxed seaside town. Longboarders still compete for the perfect ride, especially around the Manhattan Pier, which is home to the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium.
Along Pacific Coast Hwy in Santa Monica
This easy-to-access beach is one of LA’s busiest. Families love the Santa Monica Pier with its pretty historical carousel and amusement park. Fitness buffs can get their kicks from pedaling or skating down a paved path running past the restored Muscle Beach, the birthplace of the Southern California exercise craze back in the 1930s.
Ocean Front Walk between Venice Blvd & Rose Ave
The beach (see Venice Boardwalk) itself plays second fiddle to Venice’s outlandish Ocean Front Walk, which is a magnet for eccentrics and those who love watching them. Against a backdrop of trinket shops and cafés, your encounters may include chainsaw jugglers, hulky musclemen, or even a singing Sikh on roller-blades.
Stephen M. White Dr, San Pedro
The sails of windsurfers flutter like giant butterflies along this beach on the breakwater of LA Harbor. Visit the nearby Cabrillo Marine Aquarium to learn about marine life.