Beaches & Islands
Weekly Travel Q&A: L.A. Beaches
I’m taking the family to California this July and we’re hitting up all the usual suspects: Disneyland, Big Sur, Yosemite, Sequoia National Park, Napa, Sonoma, San Francisco etc. We’ll be spending a week in Los Angeles as well and would love to get in some primo beach time somewhere close by. It’s a big city and unfamiliar territory so I could use some solid tips and recommendations.
Thanks a bunch,
Danny L., Sydney
Santa Monica, California – Photo credit
Sounds awesome Danny. Looks like you’ll be picking up a “World’s Greatest Dad” plaque at the end of the year. Your Golden State holiday has the makings of a classic but we’ll do you one better and rundown some of the top beaches in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Dockweiler Beach has one particularly incongruous and bizarre feature. The state park reserve is under the flight path of LAX-bound planes. While not quite Princess Juliana International Airport in Sint Maarten, it makes for some memorable photo ops. Also, Dockweiler is one of the few coastal areas in the county where you can enjoy a real, honest-to-goodness cookout. Best barbie and bonfire beach in L.A., bar none.
Where to stay: Marina Del Rey Marriott Hotel
El Matador Beach
The official name is Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach but hardly anyone calls it that. One of Malibu’s best, El Matador Beach is 60 km from Downtown L.A.
Where to stay: Hyatt Westlake Plaza
Some 34 km from Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach is a tony oceanside community familiar to fans of The O.C.
Where to stay: Residence Inn Los Angeles Lax Manhattan Beach
Paradise Cove, Malibu
Another Malibu gem, Paradise Cove was the perpetual backdrop of choice for ’60s teen beach flics and is still a popular haven for celebs – if that floats your boat.
Where to stay: Malibu Country Inn
Some 65,000 people call the South Bay city of Redondo Beach home. Less than 40 km from DTLA, the area is a big-time beach lifestyle community, with a lot of action on The Strand and Riviera Village.
Where to stay: Crowne Plaza Hotel Redondo Beach and Marina
Santa Monica Beach
Home to Muscle Beach, Santa Monica Pier and Lords of Dogtown lore, Santa Monica beach is a Los Angeles classic.
Where to stay: Holiday Inn Santa Monica Beach at The Pier
Go past Marina del Rey and Culver City to iconic Venice Beach and the Venice Canal Historic District. Watch some of the best streetball on the planet on the basketball courts and catch some good breakwater surf.
Where to stay: The Ritz Carlton Hotel Marina Del Rey
If a wide, expansive beach with stellar marks for cleanliness and surf quality is what you want, zoom to Zuma. The Malibu hotspot is one of the most popular ocean playgrounds in the vicinity of Los Angeles for a reason. The final, decisive scene of Planet of the Apes was shot here.