Los Angeles has just about everything you could ever want—fine dining, expensive shops, and celeb sightings galore—and millions of tourists visit each year to get a taste of the Hollywood lifestyle. However, not all LA tourists are interested in this type of experience, and there are certainly those looking for houses for rent in Los Angeles are looking for this type of experience. Many families who live nearby or who are visiting family in the area may be looking for a slower-paced, kid-friendly experience.
While Disneyland is just a quick drive from downtown LA, there are so many more fun things to do with the family than spending a pretty penny on a wristband, not to mention the valuable family time spent waiting in line. For a more laid-back time bonding with the family, spending the day on a beach in LA is the perfect way to spend a day.
Los Angeles is known for having some of the swankiest beaches in the country, but there are plenty of family-friendly spots that your kids are sure to love. Here are a few of the best beaches in and around Los Angeles that are great for kids.
Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica is hands-down the most popular beach in the Los Angeles area, and for good reason. You get a little family-friendly fun, a little luxury, and a whole lot of sun and surf—the perfect combination.
If you’re traveling with a group of mixed ages, Santa Monica Beach would be ideal, as it has a little bit of something for everyone. The pier has plenty of attractions perfect for children, including the famous ferris wheel and other carnival rides located in Pacific Park, but it also has some popular fishing spots the whole family can enjoy, and a great nightlife for the adults who aren’t left back to babysit.
Located in the small community of Marina del Rey, Mother’s Beach is a man-made beach geared toward families. It is called “Mother’s Beach” because there is no surf in the swimming area, making it an incredibly safe space for children to learn to swim and get comfortable in the water. This is the ideal beach for toddlers and young children just getting their bearings. Aside from splashing around, there are fun restaurants, kayak rentals, and volleyball courts that’ll keep kids busy all day long.
Venice Beach is one of the most popular beaches in LA, which also makes it one of the busiest. The real draw of Venice Beach is the experience you get exploring the shops, walking along the boardwalk, and seeing the colorful characters that frequent the area. It’s truly an iconic LA experience.
While it’s not geared toward children as many others on this list are, it’s a great place to visit, especially with older children who are interested more in the culture and the experience than making sandcastles and splashing around in the water. Here, you’ll see street performers, vendors, and plenty of locals sporting only the most eclectic fashion. Venice Beach also has bumping nightlife, but that’s best left to just the adults. Since it is a tourist area, there is the risk of getting pickpocketed, so stay alert.
A great laid-back beach destination, Manhattan Beach is ideal for families who want to take it slow and enjoy the beauty of the ocean. The area is safe, peaceful, and has plenty to do with the family, such as exploring the aquarium or taking a bike ride along the trail. For some food and shopping, the downtown area of Manhattan Beach is quaint and less crowded than many other LA-area destinations.
Consistently ranked one of the most beautiful beaches in LA, Zuma beach is just about an hour west of downtown LA, making it the perfect day-trip destination if you’re living in or visiting Los Angeles. In addition to the beauty, it’s also one of the cleanest beaches in California. While it’s one of the most popular beaches in the area, it’s certainly less busy than others on this list, such as Venice Beach or Santa Monica Beach, which may be more enjoyable for your family.
The highlight of Zuma Beach is getting to watch the dolphins splash around in the water or, if you’re lucky, you may even spot a whale or two. The water here can be a little more rough and unpredictable, so this may not be a beach for children to learn to swim or surf. Instead, take a guided boat tour to take you up close and personal with marine life.
Playa Del Rey Beach
Playa Del Rey Beach is located right along the Playa Del Rey neighborhood of Los Angeles, just west of the airport, making it the perfect vacation destination for those looking to get off the plane and get right to the beach. The area is small and quiet, providing a more quaint experience than other popular local beaches. In fact, Playa Del Rey beach is one of the less developed areas of Los Angeles, giving you a better look at what the shoreline was like before big resorts and chain restaurants took over. Here, you’ll find low-key spots to spend time with the family. If a slower speed is the perfect pace for you, Playa Del Rey is an ideal destination.
Nicknamed “Surf City,” Huntington Beach is one of the most iconic surfing destinations in the entire country. Just over an hour’s drive from downtown LA, Huntington Beach is the perfect destination for a day out with the family. Here, you’ll find a ton of family-friendly resorts right along the ocean, such as The Waterfront Beach Resort. With two outdoor pools, equipped with waterslides, how could you not have a great time? Huntington Beach is also a great spot for parents who are looking to get their child surf lessons. As the surfing capital, there’s no better place to learn from the masters.