Among the many allures of the City of Angels are its beaches, serving up a Baywatch vibe of "endless summer" all year round, and here are eight choice examples, from Malibu to South Bay.
A favourite both among both locals and visitors - especially families with kids - this peaceful spot is located in the L.A. coastal community of San Pedro, on a small peninsula close to Point Fermin Park. Cabrillo has two sides, one outside the breakwater and open to the sea, and the other on the harbour and much calmer. Popular activities besides swimming include kayaking, scuba diving, and thanks to stiff breezes, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Another major local attraction is the Frank Gehry-designed Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
A 15-minute drive north of Malibu and marked by dramatic sea stacks, caves, and rock arches, this petite beach (above) is quiet, boasts some strong surf, and is accessible via a steep set of steps down from the parking lot (we´d recommend using the restroom at the top before making your way down!). .It´s especially scenic around sunset.
In South Bay, about a half hour from downtown L.A., there's a distinct style prevalent in this town of just under 20,000, with shops, restaurants, and bars full of the tanned and toned before and after enjoying the two miles of beachfront and activities including volleyball, surfing, paddleboarding, biking, rollerblading, and jogging. One of the main landmarks is the Hermosa Beach Pier at the end of Pier Avenue, where many of said shops, restaurants, and bars can be found.
Twenty minutes up the coast from Malibu and just under an hour from downtown L.A., it´s named for the 1950s actor and preservationist who was a longtime fixture on the California Beach and Parks Commission. There´s a mile and a half´s worth of swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf fishing, beachcombing, as well as tidepools and sea caves to explore. On land, the visitor centre has interpretive nature exhibits, and you´ll also find hiking trails picnic areas, and sites for tent and RV camping. .
Surfin´ USA! Time to haul out on the board, put on a fresh coat of wax, and zip into your wetsuit. This lagoon has been part of a 72-year-old, 110-acre state park was a cradle of SoCal surfing culture in the 1960s, with a famous right break and three main surfing areas (above) suitable for beginners as well as experts. You can grab food and drink at the famous Malibu Pier, and there´s actually other intersting stuff to see/do around here, too, including nature trails, the landmark Spanish-Revival Adamson House, dating back to 1929, and the next-door Malibu Lagoon Museum. Then of course there are all the allures of tony Malibu, around a half hour from downtown.
Also in South Bay just north of Hermosa and just south of LAX airport, with a population around 36,000, here too it's all about gorgeous people, shiny rides, huge sunglasses, and cutesy lap dogs. The in-town dining scene is classy (though to be sure, there´s something for everyone), and out on the more than two miles of sand - a backdrop over the years for countless TV shows and movies (like Point Break) - the swimming and surfing are superb. Plus at the end of its own iconic pier you´ll find the Roundhouse Aquarium.
Just 15 minutes from downtown, this 3½-mile sandy stretch is one of SoCal´s most famous, with a slew of the usual beachy activities - particularly surfing and sand volleyball courts ((SMB is considered to be where beach volleyball originated), and divided into a north and south section, linked by a paved path known as tthe Strand and divided by its own iconic pier, which is home to an amusement park, Heal the Bay Aquarium, shops, and restaurants. Notable south of the pier are the Original Muscle Beach and Carousel Park. There´s also the Annenberg Community Beach House, open to all with a pool and a variety of activities on offer.
At perhaps the most famous (and certainly the most colorful) on this list, just to the south of Santa Monica, the excitement involves as much crowd as surf and sand.. Stretching more than two miles, the world-famous, much photographed Ocean Front Walk *above( often upstages the Pacific for its offbeat character (and characters); Be on the lookout to see Harry Perry, the turban-wearing guitarist often seen rolling across the boardwalk (and he´s featured in myriad TV shows and films). Bodybuilders, street vendors, chainsaw-jugglers, breakdancers, musicians as well as palm readers and all sorts of performers keep things plenty lively and often more than a bit kooky..Away from the beach, You can also take walking tours and check out the canals which give the neighborhood (founded as a town in 1905) its name.
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