These lists give you a different way of looking for the best beach for what you want to do. It also includes a few beaches that have enough negatives to keep them out of the top ten but that are nevertheless good for specific activities.
Best for Surfing
Best for People-Watching
Venice Beach Los Angeles' quirkiest beach can be its most interesting, attracting a cast of characters fit for any Hollywood movie
Best for Walking
The long, paved walking path with Santa Monica Bay views makes Manhattan Beach our favorite place to take a walk
Best for the Beach Experience
Paradise Cove is a small, private beach that offers a charming, old-fashioned beach experience and a beachside restaurant
Best for Beach Volleyball
Best for a Bonfire
Dockweiler Beach is the only Los Angeles beach where you can have bonfire.
Best for Tide Pools
Best for Romantic Walks
A secluded, little pocket beach north of Malibu, El Matador Beach is a great place to watch the sunset with your sweetie
Best for Families
Redondo Beach offers lots of sand to play on, a pier full of amusements and a long, paved path for biking or skating making it a place you can take the kids to and let them run until they're exhausted
Best for Amusements
Santa Monica Beach is home of a lively amusement park on the pier and summer concerts
Best for Ocean Swimming
Swimming in the ocean at a Los Angeles beach is a chilly dip any time of year. Water temperatures vary from 60°F in winter to 68°F in August, the warmest month. If you're determined to give it a try, The Nature Conservancy gave Will Rogers State Beach an "Ocean Oscar"in 2010 as the best California beach for ocean swimming, saying it's "one of the nicest beaches in California to take a dip in the ocean and bask in sunshine on a beach towel."
The Los Angeles Times rates Zuma Beach north of Malibu as a good place for swimmers, saying "frequent visitors are no longer surprised to find themselves swimming among dolphins" - and a quick search on YouTube will yield lots of videos to back them up.
Best for a Weekend Getaway
The beach, pier and marina in Redondo Beach serve up plenty to keep you busy all weekend