If you’re ever lucky enough to be in Los Angeles during the summer, you’ll have the opportunity to explore some of the best beaches in the United States. There’s dozens of spectacular beaches that dot the coastline and to be honest there’s no such thing as a “bad” beach in the City of Angels. Yet with the rising number of tourists over recent years, some of the most popular beaches in L.A. have become increasingly more crowded, making it difficult to find that perfect spot.
To help you avoid the crowds and to help you get closer to the essence of the City of Angels, below is a list of the 5 best (and less-visited) beaches in Los Angeles. Remember that if you are not a U.S. citizen, you will need and ESTA visa for the United States to visit any of these amazing places.
One of the best beaches in Los Angeles is also one of the less-known. Redondo Beach and its famous pier have been a popular vacation spot with locals and tourists alike. Located about 35 kilometers from downtown L.A., Redondo Beach offers visitors the opportunity to shop, swim, and sample some of the best seafood in California – and all in one place. Its circle-shaped pier (that gives the beach its name) also provides loads of entertainment, including arcades, boat rides, and seaside concerts in the summertime. It’s the perfect beach for families or groups of friends looking for a variety of activities in one day.
610 Torrance Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
El Matador State Beach
A part of Robert H. Meyer Memorial Beach, El Matador State Beach is well-known by locals, who oftentimes come to take pictures of its craggy shores. Among the most rugged beaches in the state, El Matador State Beach is also one of the most romantic: its steep cliffs, endless stretches of fine white sand, and epic sunsets invite lovers from all over the world to contemplate each other on its shores. You’ll need to take a car and then hike down a 150-foot bluff to get to the water, but once you arrive, you won’t regret it.
32350 El Matador Beach Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
If you are looking for a place to practice your surfing, kayaking, and swimming, make sure you head to Zuma Beach. The 4-mile stretch of white sand is dotted with a dozen iconic lifeguard stations. And if those lifeguard towers look familiar, it’s for good reason: many scenes from the classic series Baywatch were filmed on this very beach. Zuma Beach also consistently has some of the cleanest water in Southern California. But if you do decide to swim or surf, be careful. Rip currents – strong, narrow channels of fast-moving water – are common here, so make sure to swim only when a lifeguard is present.
Zuma Beach Access Rd, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
Corona del Mar Beach
Though technically in Orange County, this beach is only about 45 kilometers from downtown Los Angeles – close enough for a daytrip. “Corona del Mar” – which means “Crown of the Sea” in Spanish – is one of the less-transited gems in the general L.A. area. It is split up into 2 main beaches: Big Corona and Little Corona. At these beautiful beaches you’ll be able to surf and skimboard or simply relax on its long stretches of sand. One of the main attractions are the tide pools, where at low tide you can see all kinds of native aquatic life like sea anemones and hermit crabs.
3001 Ocean Blvd, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
Little Dume Beach
One of the smallest, most hidden gems in Los Angeles is Little Dume Beach located near Malibu. Though it’s popular with surfers and swimmers alike, locals know it best for the stunning coastline and relatively quiet beaches. Although part of the beach is privately-owned, there are public beaches located a short walk from Paradise Cove Beach or Big Dume beach. Make sure to respect the signs and the property of the neighborhood, as to get to the water you may need to cross some private property. But once you arrive, you’ll have a host of activities to keep you busy, including tidepools, beachcombing and scuba diving.
Whitesands Place, Malibu, CA 90265
So there you have it: while everyone is fighting over the same plot of sand at Santa Monica, you have many options to explore the many other beaches that the City of Angels has to offer.