Los Angeles beaches may almost be as much of an icon as Disneyland or the Hollywood sign. With almost two dozen beaches in Los Angeles County to choose from, you may have a hard time picking one or two to visit during your vacation. It can be a daunting task, so we've compiled this guide to the best Los Angeles beaches to help you choose. The list is based on in-person research, but our readers helped, too. They voted on their favorite beaches to create the rankings we use.
The Truth about Southern California Sunshine
The Beach Boys weren't quite telling the truth when they crooned about West Coast sunshine. If you've never been here before, you may find Southern California less sunny than you expected, especially at the beaches. When temperatures rise, so does the air, pulling cool, moist marine air inland onto the beaches like a foggy blanket. It's so predictable in early summer that local residents dub it "June gloom," but it can start in May and sometimes extends into July and August, too. Some days, the fog and low clouds disappear early, but on other days, like a carefree beach bum, the sun may not put in an appearance until mid- to late-afternoon. Don't forget to layer on the sunscreen even on these overcast days because the UV light goes right through the clouds.
10. Point Dume State Beach
Sheltered between sand dunes and the ocean, Point Dume provides not only a nice, sheltered beach but also some nice vistas from the top of the sand. The final scene of the original Planet of the Apes movie was filmed at the location in this photo.
Point Dume Beach is best for: Fishing, swimming, scuba diving, tide pooling, whale-watching (in winter)
Pros and Cons
Point Dume is further out of the LA metro area than the Malibu beaches, so it takes longer to get to - but that may mean smaller crowds.