What's your favorite beach for families in SoCal?
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I LOVE, and I mean absolutely adore the White Point cliffs in San Pedro. When it's low tide you and your family can traverse the rocks and beachy area and check out all the amazing sea life (anemones, star fish, fishes, mussels, clams, etc... so much to see and learn and so fantastic to be able to be within arms reach of such intricate life, it's awe inspiring). Just remember, technically, people aren't allowed to "touch" or "hold" the sea creatures (oh so many little miniature crabs scuttling about) but the local Fish and Game Enforcement don't take it very lightly, so use caution and ENJOY!!! If you need directions, send me a note and I'll direct you there!
We love all beaches, but the SoCal beach our family visits the most is Santa Monica's famous beach. It's a ten-minute drive from our house. It's easy to find parking (there's even a convenient parking lot next to the beach, making it easy to unload all the sand toys for the day). We set up shop just south of the pier and enjoy digging, wading, and running. And after tiring of surf and sand, we walk or bike to the pier where our son enjoys the people watching, parrots, and carousel. Sometimes on the way back to the car, we treat ourselves to a lemonade and fries from Hot Dog on a Stick or a more refined snack from the Hotel Del Mar (the lobster club sandwich is delish).
My family and I love Sycamore Cove Beach in Point Mugu State Park. It's the perfect blend of rocky bluffs, giant, climb-able dunes and soft sand stretches so everyone can find their favorite spot to play. The water is calm enough for body surfing and wading, and there are always great rocks and shells to find on our beach walks. Picnic tables are a great place to have lunch without getting sand in our sandwiches, and a generous parking lot makes hauling all that kiddo beach stuff a lot easier!
We love SoCal beaches because many have a lot more to offer besides a nice place to catch a wave. We're huge fans of Leo Carrillo in Malibu. It offers up a family-friendly blend of beach fun – think tide pools, coastal caves, views to die for and water exploring galore – with campgrounds and hiking trails to boot.
Great question! My absolute favorite beach in So Cal is Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach. The beach is perfect for families for many reasons. The walk from the parking lot to the beach is just a few steps. There is a playground for the kiddos to play with. There is also restrooms and a snack shack in the summer. There are plenty of tidepools for the kids to explore. The best part is there are a few firepits that are perfect for a bonfire or to wrap up your perfect beach day. It is truly the quintessential Southern California Beach!
I love taking kids to Seaside Lagoon I. Redondo Beach. It's perfect for small kids to play in the water without worrying about a big wave knocking them down. There's a playground. And there are many activities offered throughout the season.
I absolutely love Venice Beach - and so does my family! We head straight out to the end of Washington Blvd. in Venice and walk down to the sand to the south of the Pier. The waves break out far enough that my kids can get a great long boogie board ride in. Then, when you're ready for a stroll, you can walk along the famous Venice Boardwalk and see all kinds of people, plus there's just about anything you'd like to eat at one of the many cafe's. There's a great play structure right off the bike path, and if your kids are big enough, a fantastic skate park right there as well. Check it out!
My absolute favorite beach in SoCal is Salt Creek Beach in Laguna Niguel. It is a gorgeous beach and not one that many tourists go to like Laguna, Newport or Corona del Mar. It is tucked away right below the Ritz Carlton which gives it a beautiful view both towards the water and behind you. I have been going there since I was a little girl and continue to visit each summer with my family.
I love treasure Island Beach in Laguna Beach. Its just down from the Montage and it is absolutely beautiful. It is very kid friendly and there are tide pools! There are a few rocks for the kids to climb and explore. I also really like it there because the shore is not rocky so little feet won't get hurt.
La Jolla Shores. To me, it's the quintessential California beach. Soft sand, surfing, bonfire pits, and showers to rinse off before you trek it all home. There's even a grassy area with a playground, and trees for shade make this beach perfect for the little ones as well.
Coronado has some of the best beaches in Southern California, if not the entire United States. I especially love the beach in front of the historical Hotel Del Coronado Hotel and Resort. We love it there!
San Buenaventura State Beach - since we're in northern LA County, this is not that far to drive -- and it is amazingly uncrowded, even in the heat of summer.
I asked my facebook friends for suggestions and found some great beaches that are geared towards families. There's a bigger list on my blog post, but here are the top suggestions:
Mother's Beach in Newport: A quiet beach that's geared towards families with a playground and other activities nearby.
Baby's Beach in Dana Point, a quiet family beach with low waves and sand, a marina, a playground, the Ocean Institute, and has a kids swim area and boundary markers for the kiddos.
Hope that helps!
Sadly, after living in LA almost 9 years we have not found a favorite beach, so I look forward to seeing the other responses!
We love going to the Moonlight Beach in Encinitas and Oceanside Beach
Years ago we spent a week or two camping at Doheny Beach every summer. ;D