It’s no secret that L.A. has some of the best weather on the planet. It’s pretty much sunny and 70 year round, which means there’s no limit to the amount of relaxation. And what’s more relaxing than a day at the beach — or, shall we say, 365 days at the beach?
With so many sandy spots, from Leo Carillo to Redondo, there are endless opportunities for swimming, surfing, tanning, and people watching. Especially during the summer months, when beautiful men from all over the globe bring their swimwear to L.A. for a fun-in-the-sun vacay.
Here are six L.A. beaches you must see on your next trip west…
Venice beach has one of the busiest boardwalks in Southern California. What makes it special are the numerous street performers and inexpensive souvenirs. And let’s not forget Muscle Beach, where the serious bodybuilders do their workouts in broad daylight — just for your viewing pleasure (or so it seems). Venice is a great place to grab a beer, ride a bike, or just sit and watch the people go by.
While the real estate in Manhattan Beach is among the most expensive in L.A. County, what sets this seaside community apart from other L.A.-area beaches are its dining options. There are so many good, casual restaurants that it’s often tough to pick just one. Manhattan Beach also has an excellent volleyball and surfing community. Spend a day strolling the Strand and have a bite (or a nibble). It’s simply gorgeous here, and so are the men. (So what if most of them are straight? Who doesn’t appreciate a friendly ogle from an appreciative stranger?)
Zuma Beach in Malibu is where the hills meet the ocean. Here, the surf is mesmerizing, the sand is clean and seemingly endless, and the surfers provide plenty of delicious eye candy. One of the largest and most popular beach spots in all of Los Angeles. Better yet, free parking is available on Westward Beach Road, off the Pacific Coast Highway.
And while you’re in Malibu, be sure to check out Paradise Cove for the ultimate in L.A. beachgoing. It’s expensive and exclusive — but you’re in L.A., so don’t be afraid to splurge a little. Besides, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience. Enter through the privately-owned parking lot, eat at the restaurant, and watch the waves crash along the shore. This is not the place for throwing down a towel; this is how the elite get their rays.
The City of Angels may not have a designated beach for homos, but the section of Will Rogers State Beach known affectionately by locals as “Ginger Rogers” is the next best thing. Here you’ll find plenty of reasons to relax as well as all the amenities (restrooms, parking, volleyball courts, bike trails) you need. Plus, it’s less crowded than Santa Monica, which is just 10 minutes away. Pack a cooler, enjoy the sun, and keep your eyes peeled for a little summer lovin’.
And lastly, even if you’re not a beach person, if you’re visiting L.A. you must go to the Santa Monica Pier. It’s iconic, touristy, and worth every minute. (Yes, we heard you snicker at the word “touristy,” but get over yourself. You’re on vacation; be a tourist.) In addition to food and drinks, there’s an amusement park featuring a state-of-the-art solar-paneled Ferris wheel (considered one of the world’s coolest), a 1920s carousel, an aquarium, video arcade, and a trapeze school. There’s even a shop where you can get a souvenir and learn some history about the pier.