Best beaches in LA

It never rains in Southern California, or that’s what the song promises at least. How convenient, then, that there’s nowhere quite like Los Angeles to enjoy an endless summer; frolicking on the sand, enjoying a sunset stroll with your sweetheart and getting those beachy waves the old-fashioned way with a dip in the ocean.

Yes, you should see the Walk of Fame and sure, you can put your hand inside Marilyn’s handprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, but the true stars of Los Angeles are the beaches. No trip to LA is complete without visiting at least one, but when you see just how many patches of paradise are on offer, you’ll be beachy keen to visit as many as you can.

Leo Carrillo State Park, the one for love birds:

Sprinkled with sea caves and tidepools, this beautiful beach stretches for more than a mile. Set in Malibu, this is the kind of beach where you’re invited (or should that be compelled?) to spend the day simply being. Walk along the soft sand with your significant other, take photos of the picture-perfect scenery and surprise your date with a picnic.

Address: 35000 West Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265

Malibu Surfrider Beach, the one to get wet and wild at:

Sizzling in the sun isn’t the only way to enjoy a beach day in LA. Zip up the wetsuit, wax the board and hit the waves at Malibu’s Surfrider Beach. A favourite amongst adrenaline-addicts, expect to come up against roaring waves and crystal-clear water. If high-octane sports aren’t your thing, you should still consider this place a must. You might not be about the rippling waves, but you can still appreciate the rippling bodies on display.

Address: 23050 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265

El Matador Beach, the one which requires #NoFilter:

Every vacation needs that perfect ‘Insta’ spot. The #wishyouwerehere factor of El Matador Beach has to be seen to be truly believed. Just 10 miles north of Malibu, this oasis offers some of the clearest water in LA, picturesque shores and secluded serenity. Hidden coves make perfect picnic spots, and the rocky shores contrast with the delectable skyline and expansive ocean to create utter picture perfection.

32100 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265

Santa Monica, the one you’ve seen on TV:

Near the famous Santa Monica Pier, this beach is one of the most popular in L.A. With the pier’s boardwalk and Ferris wheel appearing in plenty of films and TV shows, you might feel like you’ve been here before, but as you walk down the two mile stretch of beach, you certainly won’t be thinking ‘same old.’

Expect to see plenty of life happening at this beach. From kids riding on bikes to games of volleyball, tourists riding the Ferris wheel to people indulging in some sickly-sweet confectionary, everyone comes to Santa Monica for some good old-fashioned American fun in the sun.

Address: 380 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, 90401

Venice Beach, the one for people watching:

Perhaps the most iconic beach on the West Coast, Venice Beach is the beating heart of LA. Perhaps the only place where what’s on solid land upstages the neighbouring Pacific Ocean, here you’ll see all walks of Los Angelean life intersect, from the professionals on a business lunch to the muscled marvels flexing. Folk artists, psychics, palm readers, jugglers, skaters – stroll along the boardwalk and you’ll be immersed in the vibrant, varied and vivacious life of L.A.

Address: 3100-2700 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, 90291