SOCAL'S BEST BEACHES
Curated by Trina Hendry
Try as you might, you'll be hard pressed to find a more soul-nurturing experience than a day soaking up the sun on one Southern California's many beaches. And, because Los Angeles is, in our humble opinion, the best city to experience an endless summer of sun and surf, we've rounded up some of the best beaches in the area, from Malibu to San Diego.
EL MATADOR STATE BEACH
A leisurely drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, El Matador is located 10 miles northwest of Malibu. While this secluded beach is best known for its stunning rock formations, hidden coves and robust waves, we love that is has some of the clearest waters in all of L.A. and the views from the rugged path above will literally take your breath away. If you're looking for a little slice of heaven, you've arrived at El Matador State Beach.
SANTA MONICA BEACH
Santa Monica, CA
Situated just north of the famed Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Beach is likely the most popular beach in Los Angeles. While especially crowded on the weekend, its two miles of sandy beach offers plenty of space for sun worshipers to stretch out. If sunbathing is not your thing, rent a bike, enjoy spectacular views from the solar-powered ferris wheel or grab a bite on Ocean Avenue.
Venice Beach, with its world famous Ocean Front Walk, is a place like no other. Yes, the beach itself is great for swimming, surfing and sunbathing, but it's the colourful characters on the boardwalk that keep you wanting more - buskers, bodybuilders, daredevils, guitarists on rollerblades - you name it, you will find it in Venice Beach. INSIDER TIP: Venture off the boardwalk and stroll through the Venice Canals.
Manhattan Beach, CA
Manhattan Beach, with its beautiful people, top-notch dining establishments and bustling bars, is just as much about the social scene as the beach volleyball being played on the sand. As you stroll along the Strand, you will see how the other half lives, with some of L.A.'s priciest real estate lining the path. Don't forget to check out the aquarium at the end of the pier. INSIDER TIP: Swimming is prohibited immediately adjacent to the pier and surfing is limited to the south side.
ROSIE'S DOG BEACH
Long Beach, CA
Sadly, most of Southern California's beaches are off-limits to our fur babies, with the exception of a few - Leo Carillo State Beach in Malibu, Rosie's Dog Beach in Long Beach, and Huntington Dog Beach in Huntington Beach. While all of the beaches are fantastic, our favorite is Rosie's Dog Beach. Here, dogs run free (some beaches require them to be leashed), the surf is tame, making it ideal for retrieving balls and sticks, and it's easily accessible from LA. Pack a canine-worthy picnic and spend an afternoon frolicking in the waves with your dog. Rover will thank you!
TABLE ROCK BEACH
Laguna Beach, CA
Undoubtedly the most beautiful public beach in Laguna Beach, Table Rock Beach feels like your own private oasis. Accessible only by a steep wooden staircase tucked away in an exclusive neighborhood enclave south of downtown Laguna Beach, the small cove is completely secluded - surrounded by tall rock formations to the north and sandstone walls and rock outcroppings to the south. Paradise found!
LA JOLLA COVE
San Diego, CA
They say good things come in small packages. This definitely holds true for La Jolla Cove, a very small beach located within the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve. Because of its location, small surf and crystal clear waters with visibility up to 30 feet, it is ideal for swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers alike. And, if you're looking for that perfect beach shot for Instagram, La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed beaches in Southern California because of its unparalleled beauty.