#beachlife: 5 Favorite Beaches In LA + Bonus

From the length of my hair you may be able tell that this is an older picture, a little throwback action. But one of my absolute favorite shots from many photo sessions at the beach.  And since this post is about my favorite beaches, then why not!  My love for the beach hasn't wavered.

Truth moment:  When I was younger I was NOT a fan of the beach.  Even when I tell my mom I'm headed to the beach for the weekend, she sometimes decides to remind me of this. Something about wet feet and the sand used to not sit well with me.  But hey, when the weather is perfect, I can't stay away!

Here are some of my favorite beaches in Los Angeles.  P.S.  I actually haven't made my way down to the Orange County beaches, but I hear Laguna and Newport beaches are ah-mah-zing!  I'll make the trek down there soon.  Beach and brunch anyone?!

Manhattan Beach

This beach stole my heart the first time I ever visited LA.  Something about the million dollar houses that line The Strand, the Pier, restaurants that offer amazing ocean views, special sunsets, and just the overall vibe of the beach makes this my go-to and favorite beach in LA. It's the perfect place for a workout, beach volleyball, or riding bikes down the bike path.  When the weather reaches a perfect 75-80 degrees by the coast, you can guarantee Manhattan Beach will be packed with beach goers soaking up the sun rays and surfers catching waves.

Will Rogers Beach

If I can get out early enough, Will Rogers is pretty much my go-to beach.  It's right past Santa Monica Beach in the direction towards Malibu (that would be north. Haha can you tell I'm directionally challenged).  Because traffic exists everywhere in the LA area, if I have a planned beach day and can manage to get an early start on the day, I head to Will Rogers.  It's clean and I park up the hill across the street for free, skipping the long line of cars making their way into the parking lot.  The water even seems a tad bit bluer than other beaches.  And for a bonus, I recall the day I spotted a family of dolphins in the water.

Santa Monica Beach

I enjoy relaxing on the non-touristy side, which tends to be not as crowded.  If you are facing the pier, it's the beach on your left side.  Enjoy a full day at Santa Monica with some good food, shopping at Third Street Promenade, relaxing at the beach, and hanging out at the infamous Santa Monica Pier.   Can't beat it.

Playa Del Ray Beach

I consider Playa my home beach as it is only 5 minutes from my apartment (partly why I don't want to move).  Since it's so close it makes it easy to get up in the morning, have some breakfast and lay out all before the crowd arrives.  I can easily find parking and chill and relax for a few hours.  And it makes it just as easy to grab a beach chair in the evening with some wine and watch the sunset. But shhhh... Don't tell anyone as alcohol is not allowed at LA county beaches. Boooooo! 

Malibu beaches

I'll group the beaches in Malibu together because you really can't go wrong with any of them.  Since they aren't as populated with tourists as Santa Monica or Venice, the beaches in Malibu tend to be more cleaner and simply more pleasant and quieter. I've been to Zuma, El Matador, and El Pescador.  Just make sure you find stairs or an easy path to get to the shoreline as the route to get down to some of the beaches can be very rocky and difficult to get to.

Bonus beaches:

Dockweiler Beach - Dockweiler is known as the party beach where fire pits line up and light up the beach come sunset.  You do have to come very early in the morning to secure a fire pit and stay well into the night to light it up!  That's why it makes it into my runner up list.  It's so much fun, but requires a full day of your time.  So once or twice a year it's the place to be. Great for birthdays or any big celebrations.

Cherry Beach - Located in the Long Beach area, I only visited this beach one time, but it instantly became one of my favorites.   It's very clean and offers views of the Queen Mary in the distance.  And I like the fact that the shore line is not too far from the parking lot.  So if you have a lot of beach gear you don't have to lug it very far.

Venice Beach - The infamous Venice beach.  While it's not my favorite or go-to for a relaxing morning or afternoon, I will visit if I'm having a photography kinda day.   Venice Beach is known to have some interesting characters lining the boardwalk, Muscle Beach where people go to workout and show off their 6 pack abs, the basketball courts that's known for street ball, and the famous skatepark.  Basically a photographers dream, offering a plethora of options to get some fantastic shots.  Bonus:  it's near one of my favorite LA attractions, Venice Canals, another perfect spot for photographers.

So there you have it.  My favorite beaches in Los Angeles where I like to be a beach bum, have a little fun, perfect my photography, get some much needed relaxation, and simply get kissed by the sun.  Which one would you visit?