LA's Best Beaches

She’s a dazzling drawcard all year round, but LA’s at her beach-babe best come summertime. Each strip of sand has its own vibe – read on for our lowdown of what’s hot along the golden coast.


Muscles, murals, dancers, diners, skaters, surfers, and any and all in between – Venice Beach is a hotbed of art and culture, sea and scene. The boardwalk bustles from early morning until late night with performers, shoppers and people-watchers. When the crowds and conviviality grow tiresome, nearby Abbot Kinney Boulevard has stellar dining and retail ready and waiting.

Santa Monica

The quintessential grown-ups patch of sand, Santa Monica is the more laidback, upmarket neighbour of colourful Venice. Once you’re ocean-dipped and refreshed, stop by Coast diner for a sea-themed, rosé-tinged lunch, then hop on a bike and cruise up to the iconic Santa Monica Pier for rides, games and all manner of old-fashioned fun.

Malibu Surfrider

As the name suggests, this particular stretch of northern LA coastline favours the boardriders (and the odd billionaire), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a bunch of activities for the less athletically inclined. Malibu Farm is your pier-perched organic eats one-stop, or else bow down to the master of raw, Nobuat his fabled oceanfront celeb stronghold. Sundowners, Brad?

Leo Carillo

Bypass crowded Paradise Cove and Zuma and instead head up to Fido-friendly Leo Carillo beach, where tidal pools, caves, reefs and the occasional cetacean visitor makes exploring all the more inspiring. If you’re feeling pecky, a quick scoot up to the highway delivers you to Neptune’s Net, where quaint picnic tables and gnarly Harley bikers mesh with surprising ease.

Originally written by LUXE for PenCities

For more outdoor Cali adventures, nab a copy of the LUXE Los Angeles guide...

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Jane Michael

She's got ten years in Hong Kong and a two-year London stint under her belt, but Jane prefers life on the go, be it whooshing down the ski slopes of Japan, road-tripping along California’s PCH, haggling with Grand Bazaar vendors in Istanbul, or sailing Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. 

  • Jane LOVES... Food, flowers, a stiff drink, a good book  

  • Jane LOATHES... Pollution, global chainstore-itis, bad service

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