Best Beaches In L.A. For....
With so many beaches in one city it can be difficult for an outsider to figure out which one best suits their needs, especially when work or vacation time constraints are at play. Even L.A. locals get overwhelmed in this second most populous city in North America and tend to stick to what's closest and most convenient, while missing out on what could be a stretch of ocean front tailor made for their lifestyle. Therefore YAHglobal.Com has put together a list of the best beaches in Los Angeles to do what ever it is you like to do, and take some of the guess work away when figuring out this city which is as synomous with sand as it is celebrity.
Family - Redondo Beach
Redondo Beach has all of the appeal you could desire in a Southern California beach. From white sand and surf to high flip flop and bike traffic promenades all within near proximity to a harbor and pier packed with amenities, Redondo makes for the perfect family day at the beach.
The ocean shore break at Redondo Beach is mellow enough casual swimming and you don't have to worry too much about the tots being swept away by incoming waves, although every parent should keep a watchful eye (along with the lifeguards) regardless the conditions. A playground is nearby in case sand and shovel isn't enough to keep the little ones entertained. Ramps and wheelchair access to beach fishing and the pier serve double duty for strollers as well. All of this in conjunction with the fact that Redondo Beach is renowned in the area as being a family friendly destination means that you don't have to worry about stares and sneers from the “unencumbered” public should your heirs show their enthusiasm for the beach in high pitched tones.
Surfing - Manhattan Beach
Although Malibu Beach is more world recognized as being the go-to surf spot in the Los Angeles area, Manhattan Beach nabs the title here on YAHglobal.Com. Malibu is great, but the traffic in the "line up" is beyond description. We're not talking about the car pile up on PCH here, we are referring to the number of surfers in the water fighting to get priority on the next incoming wave. Actually, we might as well consider it to be the same as L.A. freeway traffic in that tempers flare up just the same and you could easily spend an hour waiting to make your move. Some of the boards out there are about as big as SUVs and there is the ever growing presence of SUPs (stand up paddling) which tends to put many traditionalists on edge even further. Anyhow, enough about why this beach didn't make the grade, it's Manhattan Beach that gets our recommendation.
There are numerous surf shops and rentals in the area, the beach break surf is fairly consistent providing both "lefts" and "rights" (for the novice, this refers to your favored direction which depends upon which foot you place forward on the board). It does still get crowded at Manhattan Beach so stay away from the clusters of surfers (mostly locals) in the water and opt for the smaller breaking waves further down either side of the pier. Your skill level will dictate your place in the "pecking order" so please be honest with yourself and your comfort level. Manhattan Beach can be an LA surf paradise for beginners and intermediates alike, as long as everyone respects one another and knows their role.
People Watching - Venice Beach
To be honest, Venice Beach will never land on a cut and dry "Best Beach" list. If Venice finds itself as the finalist, then the "Best Beach" portion will always precede a qualifying word or phrase such as "for shopping", "for entertainment", or in this case "for people watching". While Venice Beach does not incite visions of pristine coastline, it conjures up images of the most eclectic compilation of eccentric characters, street performers, fitness enthusiasts, vendors and the people that come there to witness it all, into one graffitied and palm tree laden pathway. Venice Beach is the "all of the above" beach of the world.
Bonfire - Dockweiler Beach
Dockweiler Beach is the best bonfire beach in L.A. for one very specific reason, it is the only beach in L.A. county that allows bonfires. It's always a shock for first timers coming to the area beaches to find out that they wont get to partake in a tradition that they assumed was so prevalent to Los Angeles beach life, no thanks to countless of TV and theatrical releases depicting scene after scene of worry free hipsters strumming away on guitars and swapping witty dialogue with crackling logs serving as their only light. Hopefully they find this list first and save themselves the disappointment of setting up camp (and fire) at the likes of Malibu only to get fined by parks and recreation personnel.
Romance - El Matador Beach
Located outside of the cluster of above Los Angeles beaches is El Matador Beach. Its remoteness (relative to L.A.) from the higher traffic tourist area beaches creates the perfect setting for a romantic evening stroll along the shoreline.
El Matador is picturesque to say the least, so much in fact that you would be hard pressed to find an image not owned and copywritten by ShutterStock when performing a Google photo search of “El Matodor Beach”. The cliff side rock formations wade in the incoming tide and appear organic when illuminated by the rising and setting sun, making this stretch of sand look more akin to Cabo San Lucas than Los Angeles. There is no questioning El Matador Beach's ability to lure every romantic soul in sight to its shores to celebrate the affairs of the heart with a loved, or soon to be loved, one.
Celebrity Spotting - Malibu Beach
Malibu is tied with Waikiki in being the most recognized name in beach worship. Its famous, and thus it is also the beach you will most likely find famous people frolicking in the sand. Which came first is debatable. Did Malibu's beauty and reputation lure celebrities to its shoreline or did it become famous because celebrities were there first? It most likely has something to do with the exuberantly inflated beach front real estate market.
We easily could have named this item “Best Beach in LA for Matthew Mcconaughey Spotting” as he is probably the most recognized on-site celebrity, but a day at Malibu can have you snapping TMZ photos of Cameron Diaz, Jessica Alba, Demi & Ashton and even the loveable Tom Hanks paddling out on a longboard.
Photo: Although Matthew Mcconaughey is shirtless in every other aspect of his life, he is known to stroll the Malibu coastline in full tuxedo, for no apparent reason whatsoever. Photo courtesy of WENN.com
Cruising - Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica Beach is perfect for cruising, be it on foot or bike along the sand dusted concrete path or shuffling along the shoreline, due to its its backdrop painted by white and pastel toned homes and nearby cliffs textured by wind and earth. At one bookend, rises the over 100 year old Santa Monica Pier with its world famous ferris wheel and carousel, while the other descends into the Pacific Coast horizon. If you want “busy” you can find a hub of activity near the pier, if you want “laid back” you can pick your spot along the remaining 2 mile coastline that makes up this landmark beach.