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Top 5 LA Beaches For Your Family Vacation or Trip!

When planning a family vacation or a trip, many parents think immediately of a trip to the beach. Kids love the sand and surf, parents enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, and the entire family can have fun together with a variety of activities.

Southern California offers an abundance of vacation opportunities, but we think the very best destinations are the beaches. Take a look at the top five L.A. beaches for your family vacation or trip, and decide which one suits you the best.


Best for: Relaxing in a beautiful setting.

Malibu welcomes families for the ultimate Los Angeles beach vacation. Picture long stretches of sand, big waves, and gorgeous scenery in every direction. Nature lovers will find plenty to appreciate in Malibu’s tide pools and marshes.


  • Explore the tide-pools, rocks, caves, and marshes.

  • Lodging options range from campgrounds to boutique hotels.

  • Zuma Beach offers lifeguards, plenty of parking, and food and drinks for purchase.

  • Leo Carrillo State Park is perfect for swimming, fishing, shell hunting, and surfing.

  • Planning a winter trip? See whales from Malibu beaches from December to March.

Santa Monica

Best for: Family fun

Santa Monica is famous for its iconic pier, warm beach, and luxurious resort hotels. Families will find plenty to do. Plan your vacation here if you want to relax on the sand, ride roller coasters, and shop at unique stores all in the same trip.


  • The Santa Monica Pier is a fun, historic destination with thrill rides, an antique carousel, street performers, and more.

  • Santa Monica State Beach is a popular 3-mile stretch of sand and surf with walking and bike paths.

  • Third Street Promenade is an open-air shopping center featuring a range of high-end shops and restaurants.

Long Beach

Best for: Kids who love animals

If your kids are crazy about sea creatures, a trip to Long Beach, will give them an amazing opportunity to get up close and personal with an array of ocean life. The Aquarium of the Pacific is a must-see destination, but Long Beach offers enough diversions to please the entire family.


  • The Aquarium of the Pacific is a world-class aquarium that showcases all the wonders of the Pacific Ocean. For an extra special visit, book a behind-the-scenes tour or sleepover event.

  • The Queen Mary, a historic ocean liner turned hotel, gives visitors a taste of history. The brunch is fabulous, too.

  • Rosie’s Dog Beach is the best place for pups to play in the surf.

  • Take a boat ride on the Pacific Ocean. There are many options, including whale or dolphin viewing cruises, brunch cruises, exciting sailboat rides, and more.

Venice Beach

Best for: Tweens and teens

Everyone should visit Venice Beach at least once, and it’s sure to make an especially good impression on your tweens and teens. This funky, bohemian spot invites you to relax, show your artistic side, and appreciate Los Angeles surfer culture. Don’t forget to tour the canals; Venice got its name for a reason.


  • The famous Venice Boardwalk entertains with street art, live performers, and eclectic shops.

  • Watch the workouts at the skate park and the original Muscle Beach.

  • Foodies won’t want to miss the Abbot Kinney neighborhood, famous for its array of hip restaurants, bars, and coffee houses.

  • Hit the beach for three miles of sandy fun.


Best for: Quiet getaways

When your family needs to unplug and focus on relaxation, travel to the north end of Los Angeles to Oxnard, one of Southern California’s best-kept secrets. The atmosphere is relaxed and unpretentious, without skimping on the comforts that make a vacation feel like a vacation.


  • Oxnard Beach Park offers beach access, along with picnic tables, barbecues, a super-fun playground, and other amenities.

  • Kiddie Beach Park, located at the north end of Silver Strand Beach, is a small, sandy cove protected from big waves. It’s the perfect spot for little ones to play.

  • The Channel Islands Harbor is a launching point for boat excursions, fishing trips, and other maritime activities.

  • Mandalay Beach is a beautiful quiet beach with excellent paved walking path

Wherever your destination, remember that your goal is to have fun and reconnect with the people you love most. A beach trip offers many opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxing moments, which are just what you need to have the best family vacation or trip possible.



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