Complete with bonfire pits and barbecues, all you have to bring is your own firewood for an impromptu evening outdoors. It's great for summer birthdays.

Bring blankets and a picnic, but be prepared to get kicked off by 9 p.m. Normal beach rules apply so make sure to use your camo coozies.


Bring your surfboard and your bike to this locals' favorite. Although I wouldn't suggest swimming (It is definitely for surfers only.), it's the best surf-spot in the south bay and always has a packed parking lot. It's also a great place to start a bike ride or skate.


This town still radiates 1960's beach culture through its slowly burgeoning boutique scene. With a promenade on the pier that showcases multiple souvenir shops embedded amongst authentic surf and skate shops, there's also a landmark liquor store amongst restaurants and bars.

If you get tired of lounging on the sand, shop at Greeko's, specializing in hemp products, incense and body jewelry and Granny Takes a Trip, a vintage store with a backroom of coats unrivaled in the South Bay.


Off the coast of Malibu, this ultimate surf-spot is a beachfront camping site close enough for a night or weekend trip. With hiking trails, a snack stand and a dog-friendly beach, on a nice enough night you might not even need a tent.

Complete with campfires and fishing spots, there is something for everyone, and the best part is that it's right outside the city limits. Though tide pools, coastal caves and reefs are what you should come for, the newly instate WI-FI access will allow you to stay as long as you want.


Ignoring the astronomical prices for an ice cream cone or a casual lunch, this seaside town is as pristine as the ocean quality. With the best stretch of sand from Palos Verdes to Ventura (rumored to have been flown in from Hawaii), it's painted with soft sand, clean water and idyllic scenes of volleyball matches and sand soccer.

For all you guys, this is home to the most beautiful girls in Southern California, so you might want to leave your girlfriends at home. Hint: the Manhattan Market is one of the last remaining vestiges of old Manhattan Beach, and it's the best way to gather some cheap eats for the beach.

The best part about this quaint beach town is that all the stores and restaurants, regardless of prestige, are barefoot and shirtless friendly.


Hidden away up in the Palos Verdes hills, the drive to theses tide pools is scenic and winding, patterned with expansive eclectic mansions. Roll the windows down and take PCH all the way down the coast to the Riviera.

Park along the cliffs, hike down to the rocky enclaves where shallow water fish, sea anenome and dozens of shells gather. It's a great place for a date or to burn off some steam while you tempt the tide gods by seeing how far you can play rock hopscotch into the ocean.


This private stretch of Malibu has housed the likes of Gidget and really makes you work for your reward, as your walk to the peaceful shorefront is almost a mile from where you park.

The beach is pristine and home to many A-list celebrities, with a trailer park L.A.-style that includes tennis courts and an upscale restaurant. There's excellent ocean diving under magnificent cliffs that brings a sense of tranquil isolation difficult to find in L.A.


While the actual beach is nothing to write home about, the pier is a little south bay secret that comes alive in the summer months. With a full-fledged arcade, soft serve ice cream booths, kitschy novelty stores and fresh seafood restaurants and bars, the pier is a great place.

Fun fact: “The OC's” Bait Shop and highly frequented late night diner call this pier home: Don't worry, the pier's quality far outlasts the show's.


Venice is one part of L.A. that never gets old, and the traffic is refreshingly only by foot. Whether you want a new tattoo, an oceanside beer or novelty $3 sunglasses, Venice is a source of endless entertainment.

The boardwalk is perfect for skateboarding or strolling and is littered with artists, food stands and thrift shops. It's perfect for those sunny days when you're a little too antsy for passing out on the beach.