The great thing about living in LA is we’re right next to the beautiful Pacific Ocean. That means we also have the best view of the sunset! However, with most of the beaches being free, it’s hard to decide where we’ll spend time this summer. The 5 best free beaches in Los Angeles, however, are known for having the most picturesque landscapes, turquoise water, and glistening sands.

Here are the best free beaches in Los Angeles.

5 Best Free Beaches in Los Angeles For Your Next Adventure

1. Hermosa Beach

The name Hermosa alone is a giveaway of what the beach looks like. (Hermosa, meaning “Beautiful” in Spanish.) This majestic 2-mile-long stretch of the coastline is a paradise for surfers and swimmers. Furthermore, this Memorial Day weekend, Fiesta Hermosa will take place; it’s an arts and crafts festival where over 200 vendors will showcase a variety of their works.

If you’re going to Hermosa Beach with your loved ones, you can relax there with them and view the sunset that’s akin to a cotton candy — where gradient colors of pink, purple, orange, indigo, and blue are waiting for you to snap a photo of.

2. Manhattan Beach

The Beach Boys’ music is a testament to how splendid Manhattan Beach is — as this is the beach that inspired their music! Moreover, Manhattan Beach is also famous for beach volleyball tournaments. Therefore, if you’re looking for a recreational activity to take part in, volleyball may just be the way to go!

But Manhattan Beach is known for its charming pier. If you want to stroll Manhattan Beach, you can do it by foot or you can bike along the boardwalk. On the other hand, if the beach gets too crowded, you can visit Polliwog Park nearby.

3. Venice Beach

Venice Beach is an iconic LA landmark. Venice Beach is perfect for those who prefer a bohemian feel to their beaches. This place is also where artists frequent. But not too far from the shoreline is the skate park — that’s why if you own a skateboard, it’s best that you bring it! Even if you’re not going to show off your tricks, just stroll the boardwalk (or Ocean Front Walk) using it!

Venice Beach is also one of the best free beaches in Los Angeles — the fine sand and sound of the fairly mellow waves are the perfect spot to get your skin glowing and golden.


best free beaches in los angeles venice beach

Sunset on Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California — Image via Adobe Stock

4. Santa Monica State Beach

If you don’t want to go too far from downtown, you can check out — yet another — iconic LA beach: Santa Monica State Beach. The silhouette of the pier alone is instantly recognizable due to the Pacific Park’s Ferris wheel that you ought to ride!

However, if you’re looking for things to do in Santa Monica State Beach that’s free, you can ride your bike down the bike paths until you find a quieter spot — or quiet enough for you, if that’s what you prefer. Not too far from the pier is the original muscle beach that fitness enthusiasts like Arnold Schwarzenegger popularized. You can also check that out to see what these calisthenics mavens are doing!

5. El Matador State Beach

In 2022, Randall Kaplan aka “Mr. Beach” ranked El Matador State Beach as the 11th best beach in his “Top 50 Beaches of the United States.” El Matador State Beach is sometimes fondly called “El Mat” by locals. And if you haven’t been in this hidden haven before, you probably already have an idea of what this beach looks like — you just didn’t know it! Because El Matador State Beach is the beach that was featured in The Notebook.

If you visit El Matador State Beach, you’ll instantly be welcomed by the beautiful cliffs that hide the equally beautiful clear waters of the ocean. This spectacular Malibu gem has no shortage of activities for you and the rest of the gang can do: swimming, surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and a whole lot more! However, if you just want to admire the panorama, you might chance upon some whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions!

Good Vibrations!

You and your loved ones can enjoy the best free beaches in Los Angeles — as the variety of beaches can cater to the “beach vibes” that you’re planning to experience. Whether you’re looking for a boho and artsy appeal, or you want to meet and hang out with fellow fitness enthusiasts, you can find the perfect LA beach for you. So grab your swimsuit, skateboard, and sunscreen — and fall in love with the City of Angels’ enchanting sunset!

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