Top 10 Beaches In Southern California

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The Top 10 beaches of Southern California are listed below. Maybe you have placed yourself on the sands of these treasures or surfed the fun waves. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and enjoy our list which is helped complied from other bloggers and journalists all credited at the end of this page.

1. Zuma Beach, Malibu Ca

Zuma Beach - Southern California

Nestled in northern Malibu, Zuma beach is just off of Kanan Road and strecthes for well over half of mile off PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). Their is ample parking available in the lot at the beach for a cost of $7 or you can get lucky and find street parking along PCH or just across the street from the beach for free. The long sandy beach offers plenty of space to spread out and settle down. This is a beach break so expect a sandy bottom on the ocean floor. The waves at Zuma are occasionally fun to surf. In the winter months swells that generate 6-8 foot waves look fun but are unpredictable. To read more on our surfing break down Click Here. Zuma beach is a family beach and is the home to the 1990s TV show Baywatch. The large stretch of beach and ocean will create strong rip currents that can drag a youngster or inexperienced swimmer out far into the water so use caustion.

2. Malibu Surfrider Beach, Malibu Ca

Malibu Surfrider Beach - Southern California

This famous beach is know for its fun right point break and the local surfers that ride these waves. The sand is soft and plentiful although the main part of the beach itself is rather small. Parking in the lot is tough to come by in the summer months and runs between $7-$10 for the day. Street parking along PCH and across the street is free but still limited. Their are 3 points at Malibu to surf and each section is bulit for a particular type of surfer (longboard, shortboard, fun board). Swimming is permitted only at the far end of the beach and when large South Swells are rocking, the beach will usually only be for surfers only and this is strongly enforced by the lifeguards. In recent years the waves have really cooled off and nobody seems to know why. It could be due to the Malibu Creek construction messing up the rocks and underwater reef. Keep in mind this is highly visited beach so if you see a ton of cars lining the side of PCH you may want to keep going south to your next stop on this list.

3. Topanga Beach, Los Angeles Ca

Topanga Beach - Southern California

Also known as Will Rogers State Beach, Topanga is the best wave in Los Angeles. Some might not all agree but they are worng or they are just "Topangry". This term is the best way to describe many of the local surfers when a good swell comes through. If you are surfing here be aware to look to your left when taking off on a wave or prepare yourself for a rash of foul language directed your way. Still the wave is amazing on a large South swell. The beach contains a good amount of sand and is good for famlies. The area in general has a bit of a laid back hippie vibe going for it so it has a lot of personality. For more information on Topanga Beach Click Here.

4. Paradise Cove, Malibu Ca

Paradise Cove - Southern California

If you have a family or a large group of friends Paradise Point is the place for you. Tucked away in a bay you will have easy ocean access and ankle slapper waves that are fun for anybody of any age. The parking fee is steep at around $30 for the day, but it is relaxing and fronts a restaurant where you can order food and drinks. They also offer beach and lounge chair rentals through the restaurant. For more information Click Here.

5. Huntington Beach, Orange County Ca

Huntington Beach, Ca - Southern California

Another famous beach landmark in Southern California, Huntington Beach offers a mile of sand and water where you can easily find a great spot to relax for the day. The HB Pier has surfers going most days and is home to the Vans US Open of Surfing Competition. Their are plenty of places to grab a drink and food near the beach along with hotels lining the street. Water conditions can get hairy on the big swell days and on lighter days it is fun to take a swim in the ocean. Be aware of rip currents and use caustion.

6. San Clemente State Beach, San Clemente Ca

San Clemente Beach - Southern California


A popular surf spot and camping grounds. The strong winds here can be a distraction for some but give the area its own unique personality. Read More Here. Offering great views of the coast, the size of the beach is realtively small but relaxing. If you love to surf it is a recommended stop along your journey down the coast.

7. Del Mar, North San Diego County

Del Mar Beach - Southern California

With over 2 miles of coastline, this beach stretch has great little walks, surfing spots, realxing points and warmer water than you will find in Los Angeles. The long stretch of beach has stops at Seagrove and Powerhouse coastal parks where kids can play on slides and swings. Just up the street from the beach you have some great dining and shopping choices. View More about Del Mar.

8. La Jolla Shores Beach, North San Diego County

La Jolla Shores Beach - Southern California


This is the one beach that has it all! Since the list is top 10 not ranked in order, Visit Southern California loves La Jolla Shores Beach. You can always find parking for free either in the beach lot or on the street. The large but not too big stretch of beach has areas just for surfing and swimming. The sand is soft if a bit sticky and on the far southern end of the beach you can rent or take kayaking and snorkel adventures in the waters leading out to the La Jolla Caves.

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The park that fronts the beach is great to relax and have a BBQ. It has bulit in picnic tables and BBQ pits. The small playground located in the park has swings and slides for the kids and the fun quick boardwalk offers great views of La Jolla and the caves. Ocean conditions vary as this is a beach break so it can be unpredictable. Use caution when entering the water. This place is a blast!

9. Pacific Beach, San Diego Ca

Pacific Beach - Southern California

If you are over 18 years old and don't have kids or didn't bring your kids this beach is for you. Decent beach break surf makes it fun to catch some waves or take a swim in the water but this is college beach living at its best. The boardwalk is incredibly fun to walk, jog, bike or rollerblade. The sites and eye candy you will soak up is worth a day burning in the sun. Local pubs and restaurants front the main stretch of the boardwalk so it is happy hour no matter what time of the day it is.

10. Coronado Beach, San Diego Ca

Coronado Beach - Southern California

Last but not least on this list is the famed Coronado Beach located on the fake island of Coronado. This long beach has pretty good swimming conditions year around and for the most part lousy surf conditions. The sand is soft and abundant. The landmark history of Coronado surrounds you and the world famous Hotel Del fronts the main stretch of the beach. The boardwalk finds families, health nuts and tourists daily and the mild weather makes it a truly relaxing fun experience. It is everything you would imagine a beach should be. Also of note is at night you will see in the light of the moon and the help of some flood lights the amazing sand creations produced by local artists. For more information Click Here.

Special thanks to San Diego CVB, Del Mar, California Beaches, Vans and Paradise Cove Cafe

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