As the saying goes, "West Coast, best coast." The glitz and glamour of Hollywood, year-round warm weather, and the best beaches in Los Angeles help give the City of Angels top rankings. The city’s beaches are meant for soaking up the sun and swimming in the ocean (unlike San Francisco’s, which tend to be too chilly for that sort of thing).
But don't be fooled into thinking all you can do is take a dip in the water or lay out to read a book. Yes, you certainly can do all of that, but there are hikes to be completed, bonding to be done with your pet, and even sand castles to be built. Ahead, see the five best beaches in Los Angeles for every type of activity (sunbathing included).
Build a Sand Castle at Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach in L.A.'s South Bay is the perfect place to bring the kids for some fun in the sun. Build a sand castle together as you take in some beach volleyball matches. It’s all about family-friendly food here: Try buttermilk pancakes and sticky buns at Manhattan Beach Post (but be sure to make a reservation). When the little ones want a change of pace, take them to the 100-foot sand dune at the nearby park.
Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles
Host a Bonfire at Dockweiler State Beach
Dockweiler Beach in Playa del Rey is the perfect spot to have a get-together with friends. Although you can't reserve one of the fire pits, there are 40 of them up for grabs. Bring any of your favorite foods to roast over the open flames—but we like the idea of having a s'more party with all of your favorite people. PS: Be sure to bring your own charcoal or wood to get your fire started.
12001 Vista del Mar, Playa del Rey
Picnic at Point Dume State Beach
You likely know the nearby Zuma Beach in Malibu, but Point Dume is even more remote and idyllic. It's worth paying for parking to have a picnic on the waterfront while you watch for dolphins and gray whales. After your meal, take a hike up to the summit for out-of-this-world views.
6800 Westward Beach Road, Malibu
Let Fido Roam Free at Rosie's Dog Beach
We're not the only ones who like to sunbathe, which is why we're sold on this dog beach in Long Beach. You can let your pooch run wild in the sand and water, plus he can make some new friends. (We especially like how the waves aren't quite as strong here, in case he wants to go for a dip.)
4800 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach
Go Surfing at County Line Beach
Venture up to north Malibu on the border of Ventura County to enjoy some quiet at County Line Beach. Whether you're a novice or a pro, the wide beach break makes it the ideal spot for surfing. (You can also kitesurf if you're not up for hanging 10). Enjoy the clear water, and then hit up the iconic Neptune's Net across the street for some seafood when you get hungry.
Pacific Coast Highway and Yerba Buena Road, Malibu
What do you think is the best beach in Los Angeles? Up next: where to stay in L.A.