Image source: Flickr - Patrick Nouhailler
There are plenty of reasons to find yourself visiting Los Angeles. Renowned restaurants, incredible theme parks, a mild climate, endless shopping, and the glitz of Hollywood are all part of what makes Los Angeles stand out among other West Coast cities. Of course being one of only three states in mainland USA touching the Pacific Ocean and the one with the longest coastline, beaches in California are another highlight of any visit. Los Angeles county has roughly 70 miles of coastline, so knowing which beaches to go to can become a challenge. Consider these scenarios to tackle this beach business and make the most of your sandy West Coast experience.
Venice Beach is a great stop to entertain yourself when hanging out with friends. This beach brings out all sorts of beach goers in and around Los Angeles and is a treasure trove for people watching. Cruise along Ocean Front Walk to check out all types of eccentric characters. This is also a great beach for volleyball, handball, basketball, street performers, and of course you can just enjoy the three-mile stretch of sand too.
While beaches like Santa Monica might have plenty of entertainment for children and families, its wealth of options and crowds can also be overwhelming. For a more peaceful family outing, Zuma Beach is a great option for body surfing, swimming, and playing in the sand. There are plenty of life guards and a couple of food stands as well.
For a more romantic beach outing, consider El Matador Beach. This beach is more secluded and tucked away along the rocky shore. Large and small stones sprinkle the sand making it stand out from other less attractive beaches. Go in the evening as the sun sets to add to the mood and avoid families during the day who are also there to take advantage of the seclusion.
Located a bit further from Los Angeles than the other beaches, Laguna is well worth the drive. This gorgeous town offers a stretch of sand popular for both surfing and shopping. The town has great little boutique shops worth checking out as well as surf shops for all of your sporting needs. In addition to traditional retail shops, Laguna is also a good spot for specialty shops be it wines, foods, cigars or clothing.
Santa Monica Beach has it all for the active tourist. Choose from swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, biking, volleyball or outdoor chess to stay mentally and physically active. The Santa Monica Pier is another adventure altogether. Over 100 years old, the pier has its own amusement park with an iconic ferris wheel and a carousel from the 1920's. This two-mile length of sand has plenty to appeal to your adventurous side both in and out of the water.
What's your favorite West Coast beach or beach activity?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Auston grew up in Phoenix before escaping to Chicago in 2008. After 4 years working as an engineer, he sold his belongings and embarked on a round-the-world trip. After traveling non-stop for a year, he finally settled in Spain with his husband where he now calls home. When he's not traveling or writing guides about events, festivals or the best LGBT destinations, he enjoys the long sunny days and nightlife of Madrid. Read Auston's blog at Two Bad Tourists, or follow him on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
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