Living in Los Angeles, California definitely has its advantages. There’s no shortage of things to do throughout the year, but when summer hits, you will find most people on the beaches. There are 19 beaches along Los Angeles County’s coastline, which means there is at least one that will fit your needs. Whether you’re interested in swimming with the kids, swimming with the dogs or experiencing the touristy side of Los Angeles, there’s a beach for you.
1. Best Beaches for Kids
Marina Del Rey: Marina Del Rey is lovingly nicknamed Mother’s Beach because it’s the best beach in the County for children. The beach offers shaded picnic areas directly on the beach along with playground equipment for the kids who don’t want to swim. Parents say the best part about the Marina Del Rey beach is that it’s set up like a lagoon and as a result doesn’t have surf, which means parents don’t have to worry about their children being overwhelmed by waves. The lagoon is manned by lifeguards during the swim season. This is my favorite beach to take my young niece and nephew to when they visit from the Midwest. They love this place and talk about it all winter long, counting down the days until they get to visit and hit the lagoon.
Malibu’s Zuma Beach: Malibu has some beautiful beaches and Zuma is no exception. Zuma Beach is very family friendly. The beach is huge and offers plenty of showers, changing facilities, restrooms and ample parking. Parking is located all along the beach, which makes the walk to the shore very short. There are volleyball courts set up on the beach for those who like to play beach volleyball. Zuma has some of the cleanest and most beautiful water in the Los Angeles area as well as a breathtaking view of the Malibu Hills. Lifeguards are on duty during the daylight hours during swim season. This beach is great for older kids who want to spend time in the water, swimming and surfing.
2. Best Beach for Dogs
Long Beach Dog Zone: Dog Zone is the only legal off-leash dog beach in Los Angeles County. It’s located on Belmont Shore in Long Beach. The beach is open between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. daily. Here you will find lots of dogs and owners frolicking through the water and running on the sand. Dog owners are encouraged to bring their dog’s toys. Owners are expected to clean up after their dogs and manage any aggressive or hostile behavior. My Labrador is a huge water lover and we spend a lot of time at Dog Zone during the summer. What a great way for you and your dog to beat the heat and get some exercise! If you own a dog and you love the beach, then this is the place for you.
3.Best Beach for Non-Swimmers
Santa Monica Pier: Santa Monica Pier is one of the most recognizable spots in Los Angeles. The Pier is one of the most popular tourist places in the city and has so much to offer for the person who enjoys being on the beach without swimming. Pacific Park is located on the Pier, which is home to the famous Pier Ferris wheel. In addition to the Ferris wheel, you can play carnival games, enjoy the beach food or dine in one of the amazing restaurants at the end of the Pier. You’ll find street performers, fishermen and a small sea life museum here. This was the first beach I visited when I moved to California and is by far one of my favorite places in Los Angeles. When friends and family visit from out of state, the Pier is the first place I take them for a taste of Los Angeles. If you’re visiting L.A., then the Santa Monica Pier is a must see.
Whichever beach you choose in Los Angeles, California you are likely to have a great time. Just don’t forget the sunscreen! Happy Summer!