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Top Los Angeles Beaches

2013-02-27

Los Angeles beaches can be as iconic for the city as Disneyland or the Hollywood sign. There are about 2 dozen beautiful, white sandy beaches in LA and it may be difficult to choose which one to visit during a short vacation. The guide below points out the best beaches in Los Angeles in terms of comfort, natural beauty and interesting activities, such as surfing, whale watching, rock climbing, fishing and many more.

1. Zuma Beach

Located in Malibu, Zuma is one of the largest beach parks in Los Angeles County and is a great place for swimming, surfing, beach volleyball and whale-watching (in winter). Here you will find plenty of restrooms, playgrounds, volleyball courts, and snack bars. However, on busy days, the parking lot and every inch of roadside parking are packed - and so is the sand. Water is a little colder here than it is further south.

2. Leo Carrillo State Beach

Leo Carrillo is located 28 miles northwest of Santa Monica, on the pacific coast highway. It is one of the most picturesque beaches in Los Angeles with a lot of nice rock formations and beautiful coastal caves. Most of the time it is pretty uncrowded. This beach offers activities like tide pooling, beachcombing, swimming, surfing and windsurfing. The park also offers back-country hiking.

3. Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is situated in Los Angeles County, only 3 miles south of Los Angeles. Here you will find different restaurants, shops, volleyball courts, a bike path and a playground. Manhattan is an excellent place for picnics. There's always much going on at Manhattan Beach, which turns it into a lively, fun and lived-in place. Besides this, the beachfront houses here are one of the nicest along the coast (comfortable for gawking at and daydreaming about).

4. Venice Beach

Venice Beach is a white sandy beach decorated with palm trees and boardwalk. It is best for biking, swimming, sunbathing and people watching. Venice Beach is noisy and chaotic, people usually either love or hate it. On weekends, all the parking lots around fill up early, making it very difficult to get in.

5. Paradise Cove

Paradise Cove is a great place for swimming, fishing, beach volleyball and people-watching. It is located at the west side of Malibu and is accessed through a privately-owned parking lot with a restaurant. You need to pay to get in, and parking places are limited, but the fun offered at this beach is surely worth it.

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