Did someone say BEACH DAY? We may prefer a sun-free tan, but here in L.A. we’re all about finding a spot to stake a beach umbrella and spending a full day swimming, lounging, and soaking in our hometown’s laid-back vibes. Here’s an insider’s guide to our top swim spots; which one’s your fave?
Insta-perfect scenery & romantic sunsets
If you’re looking for a swoon-worthy sunset, you can’t do much better than El Matador: Incredible views, rocky outcroppings, sea caves, and a secluded location make it Malibu’s most dramatically beautiful beach. So bust out your fave sundress, prep with a little salt spray, and prepare for some seriously gorgeous snaps. (Pro tip: the path down to the beach is steep and rugged, so wear comfortable shoes!)
Nail the look: a soft-focus flush with glossy lips
L.A.’s best bonfire locale
Want to channel your inner Blake Lively with a dawn-’til-dusk beach day, complete with s’mores? Dockweiler is the only beach in LA that has it all! Get there early to grab one of the coveted fire rings, stay all day for the gentle surf and bike-friendly paved path—and when the sun sets, break out the marshmallows.
Nail the look: Simple, glowy and beach-proof (think waterproof mascara)!
Your one-stop people-watching shop
Street performers, rollerbladers, a skate park, the infamous Muscle Beach, and even an actual sideshow: If you’re looking for LA’s best people-watching, you’re in the right place. The scene is weird, wild, and fun, so now’s the time to strut your boardwalk best with some Gaga – or Kardashian-inspired looks. Take a full afternoon to explore Venice Beach’s sandy shores and infamous boardwalk; it’s unlike anywhere else!
Nail the look: Go bright with neon shadow, glossy lips and plenty of shimmer.
The classic L.A. beach experience
With a pristine white-sand beach that’s ideal for swimming, surfing, and volleyball, Manhattan Beach is postcard-perfect—so arrive early to stake out the perfect spot. The beach scene here goes from day to night, so bring a breezy sundress and heeled sandals to hit the dance floor after dark!
Nail the look: Start with a simple glow, and add a smokey eye after dark.
LEO CARRILLO STATE BEACH
A beachcomber’s paradise
Leo Carrillo might truly have it all. With mellow waves and over a mile of sea caves and tide pools to see, you’ll want to stay all weekend long (and you actually can: there’s a beachside campground complete with showers & a picnic area). There’s a lot of exploring to do, so break out the crop tops and go sport-chic for this one!
Nail the look: High SPF, low-maintenance, and sunny neutral hues.