The local guide to the best beaches in Los Angeles

Recommended by the local Cool Cousin community
Malibu, CA 90265, USA
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If you're looking for a beach not too far from the city, and Temescal Canyon's hiking park, Malibu Beach is a pretty beach to stop at. From the mountains across Pacific Coast Highway, you can get a nice view of the beach also. Just park your car and enjoy the view from atop, or drive down to the beach, park your car and go for a walk.
Sharona, 27 Cultural Ambassador
Cool Cousin Los Angeles
Malibu Beach
4200-, 4298 Ocean Front Walk, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292, USA
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Secluded beach tucked away from the crowds of Santa Monica and Venice. Water is clean and the vibe is super relaxed—everything a beach should be. Parking is almost non-existant, so your best bet is Ubering or grabbing a Lyft.
Arion, 32 Art Director / Photographer
Cool Cousin Los Angeles
Lighthouse Beach
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Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA, USA
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The place to go if you're a Street Photographer, or just like to see interesting and weird people. Venice Beach is like Hollywood Blvd with sand and the ocean, minus the characters in costumes and stars on the sidewalk. There's so many things to see here, Muscle Beach where big guys are working out, the basketball courts from White Men Can't Jump, the graffiti wall, skateboard park, crazy homeless people, street vendors selling weird stuff, street performers, and a few regular people who live nearby. It's a nice place to walk along the boardwalk get a coffee or snack at one of the restaurants right on the beach.
Todd, 40 Entrepreneur
Cool Cousin Los Angeles
Venice Beach
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The Strand, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254, USA
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The Strand in Hermosa Beach has lots of restaurants, bars and shops. It's not usually as busy or as dirty as Venice Beach, and has some cool places to hang out. Parking can be an issue, so if you're going on a weekend get there early. If you go North on the boardwalk to the edge of Manhattan Beach you can see the 90210 house where Kelly and Donna lived, you can't miss it, if you've ever seen the show.
Todd, 40 Entrepreneur
Cool Cousin Los Angeles
The Strand
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Manhattan Beach, CA, USA
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This one would probably be the best when it comes to the mainstream beaches - if you're looking for the miles of perfect sand to meet clean ocean water as well as to have all the civilization amenities in walking distance - this one is for you. Great for families, friends gatherings and beach volleyball tournaments. Can't go wrong with this one.
Daniel, 34 Film Producer
Cool Cousin Los Angeles
Manhattan Beach
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9000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
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One of the greatest beaches in SoCal. By keeping it's "wild" side along with the modern amenities this beach holds a special place in my list. Perfect sand shore line, great waves for body boarding through the whole summer along with the view of the cliff that the sun sets behind - it's a Californian postcard no less.
Daniel, 34 Film Producer
Cool Cousin Los Angeles
Sycamore Cove Beach
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Carbon Beach, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
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My favorite semi private beach in Malibu thats is NEVER crowded. Unlike other beaches in the area you can always park around for free and feel very calm and relaxed even during the weekend when all other beaches are packed. It has just one low key almost not visible coastal access from PCH, there are NO toilets or cafes/markets, so you may want to stay there for a couple of hours and then keep on exploring Malibu further towards El Matador beach or Zuma.
Elena, 33 Film Producer & Fitness Buff
Cool Cousin Los Angeles
Carbon Beach
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Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, USA
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Manhattan Beach is my favorite beach in South Bay. There's a great strip of shops with food on food on food. The pier itself is great for catching sunset or watching surfers do surf things from above. If you're looking for a beach day, but not up for the trek to Malibu, I'd definitely recommend making the journey south. Also there's pizza delivery to the beach so that's a thing you should do!
Andrew, 25 UX designer, Barbie Global Brand
Cool Cousin Los Angeles
Manhattan Beach Pier
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El Matador Beach Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
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This is my favorite beach since we moved here. You drive on the famous 101 north till getting off on Kanan Rd, turn left and continue on a beautiful road with an amazing mountain and ocean view. Just the drive is worth the trip! With one lane each way sometimes traffic can be slow, but you really don't care because that means more view time. Check the weather before you head out, sometimes it gets a bit chilly. Parking is easy, sand is clean and it's not crowded most days. looking beck you see Malibu mountains, forward is the ocean view and you're in the middle of heaven.
Dafna, 31 Yoga buff, former retail manager
Cool Cousin Los Angeles
Zuma Beach
7313-7351 S Marine Ave, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293, USA
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This is my favorite beach in LA for when I just want to spend some time with the ocean. The Santa Monica and Venice beaches are usually super crowded, but not this little gem. There is usually a fair amount of street parking, and I love stopping by Playa Provisions for some ice cream and then enjoying it on the beach. This beach is also close to the Balloona Wetlands, and LAX, so you can also enjoy watching artificial and natural flying creatures up above while taking in the ocean views. If you tire of the beach, there is also the Del Rey Lagoon meters away, where there are picnic tables to enjoy a nice lunch.
Lili, 33 IT Educational Specialist for a museum
Cool Cousin Los Angeles
Playa Del Rey Beach
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