Family Travel: L.A. Beaches for Families, Flickr: neekohfi

Los Angeles' Manhattan Beach!

No matter what time of year you visit Los Angeles; you can hit the beach and enjoy some of California’s sunshine filled overcast beaches, just right for family play time!

Best for teens:  Venice Beach

Venice boasts some beautiful shoreline, but the real action is at the Ocean Front Walk where people watching, eclectic personalities and street entertainers are at their best.  You can spot everyone from scantily clad bodybuilders to palm readers, hippie-esque artists, chainsaw jugglers and plenty of other characters.  Parking can be tricky to find, and parents should take note that the loud and extremely in-your-face beach can sometimes be a bit obnoxious to non-youthful eyes and ears.

Best for beginner surfers: Zuma Beach

Although Malibu is extremely famous for surfing and Santa Monica offers a slew of surf lessons, some of the best mellow beginner waves are located at Zuma Beach, located just north of Malibu.  The water is clear, the crowds are limited and the waves are perfect for little ones hoping to catch their first wave. 

Best for swimming: Will Rogers State Beach

Voted California’s best beach for ocean swimming by the Nature Conservatory, Will Rogers State Beach is a great place to take the family and splash in the mild waves.  Dockweiler State Beach also boasts great swimming conditions, but Will Rogers is by far a much less crowded and calmer experience.  Less kids in the sand means more focused time watching the ones you love.

Best for Nature Lovers: Leo Carrillo State Park

If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle (and traffic) of LA’s core, head 30 miles north to Leo Carrillo State Park for a more natural and organic ocean getaway.  Guided nature walks are available at the visitor center and camping facilities are on hand if you want to lengthen your stay.  On the beach, you can enjoy a wide variety of terrains including tidepools and sea caves ripe for exploration. 

Best overall for Families: Cabrillo Beach

Located in the Southern part of LA County near San Pedro, Cabrillo Beach is the perfect beach to hit up for a day trip with your family.  A thin peninsula gives kids the chance to swim in either the calmer harbor side or the surf crashing side with a bit more action. Tidepool touch tanks and other marine mammal information are available at the nearby Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, which is free to visit.   


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photo: neekohfi

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