Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Best Beaches in Southern California for Fun With Family

Southern California is famous for its beautiful beaches lining the Pacific Ocean. With over 40 miles of coastline, there are tons of spectacular stretches of sand to explore. The beaches here range from lively social scenes to quieter getaways. When planning your next beach day in Southern California, be sure to check out these top picks for the best beaches in Southern California.

Family Beaches in Southern California

If you’re looking for the best beaches in Southern California for families, these spots offer plenty of amenities and kid-approved fun.

1. Newport Beach

Best Beaches in Southern California

Located in Orange County, Newport Beach is a prime destination for families. The calmer waves make it ideal for swimming and stand-up paddleboarding. Kids will love exploring the tide pools teeming with marine life. Build sandcastles, play beach games, or take a leisurely stroll on the paved beach boardwalk. Facilities like restrooms and showers are available. Plus, you can fuel up at nearby restaurants and beachside snack stands. With its relaxed vibe and family amenities, Newport Beach is tough to beat.

2. La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores

Part of La Jolla in San Diego, the La Jolla Shores beach has soft sand and gentle waves perfect for little ones. This is one of the best beaches in Southern California for surfing. Yes, you can go swimming, bodysurfing, or try stand-up paddleboarding. The adjacent Kellogg Park has picnic tables and grills for a beachfront barbecue. After playing in the water, kids can do some tide-pooling and see creatures like crabs, sea stars, and anemones. Parking and restrooms are conveniently located nearby. For an easygoing day with the kids, check out La Jolla Shores.

3. Leo Carrillo State Park

Leo Carrillo State Park

Nestled between Malibu and Ventura, Leo Carrillo State Park is ideal for families seeking both beach fun and outdoor adventure. The 1.5 miles of beach feature tide pools, sea caves, and rocky outcroppings to explore. You can also hike on trails amongst the wildflowers and watch for whales, dolphins, and other marine life. Facilities include bathrooms, showers, campgrounds, and picnic areas set on the bluffs above the beach. Leo Carrillo State Park provides the perfect combo of nature and water play.

Read More – 6 Best Beaches in Maui for Your Dream Hawaiian Vacation

Best Beaches in Southern California for Swimming

When you want to enjoy a day of swimming, plunging, and paddling, these beaches in Southern California offer excellent conditions.

1. Mission Beach

Mission Beach

Located in San Diego’s Mission Bay, Mission Beach spans over two miles with the main attraction being its swimmable waters. The ocean waves are mellow enough for casual swimming and wading. Volleyball nets line the beach, inviting pick-up games. The San Diego weather means you can comfortably swim here year-round. After working up an appetite, grab a burger or some fish tacos at one of the nearby eateries. Mission Beach provides the quintessential SoCal swimming experience.

2. Zuma Beach

Zuma Beach

Situated between Malibu and Point Dume, Zuma Beach boasts over two miles of pristine shoreline. The long stretch of sand leads to plunged blue waters perfect for swimming. Active families will enjoy swimming, bodyboarding, and surfing the manageable waves. Check out the volleyball courts or try your skills at one of the oceanfront outdoor gyms. All the amenities like parking, restrooms, showers, and food stands make Zuma Beach an excellent swimming spot in Southern California.

3. Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach

Adjacent to San Diego, Coronado Beach offers calm, swimmable waters and pure white sand. The beach has a gradual slope and smaller waves, creating ideal swimming conditions. Kids can splash safely while adults can swim out farther and enjoy longer distances. After swimming, build epic sandcastles using the fine-grained sand. Picnic areas and beach facilities provide convenience. Historic Hotel del Coronado serves as a majestic backdrop. Overall, Coronado Beach is a scenic setting for a refreshing swim.

Best Beaches in Southern California for Surfing

From mellow longboard breaks to barreling swells, these beaches in Southern California offer prime spots for surfing.

1. Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach

Nicknamed “Surf City USA,” Huntington Beach is the quintessential surf town. With consistent waves, a variety of surf breaks, and a vibrant surf culture, this Orange County beach is one of the best beaches in Southern California for surfing. The beach hosts numerous surf competitions throughout the year. Even novice surfers can catch some smaller waves in designated areas. After your session, grab a bite at one of the nearby surf shops or restaurants along the pier. Huntington Beach is one of the best beaches in Southern California for those looking to hang ten.

2. Malibu Surfrider Beach

Malibu Surfrider Beach

Surfers flock to Surfrider Beach in Malibu, home to the outstanding First Point break. This right-point break works best with bigger northwest swells. When the waves are firing, you can expect to see short borders ripping down the fast powerful walls. Surfrider Beach was the location for Gidget and many other surf-themed films. The vibe here is definitively Californian surf culture. With its premier waves, Surfrider Beach is a surfing mecca.

3. Trestles at San Onofre State Beach

Trestles at San Onofre State Beach

At San Onofre State Beach, the Trestles region contains some of the best surf breaks in Southern California. Made up of three distinct spots, the breaks offer various surfing experiences. Upper Trestles have faster waves perfect for shortboards. Lower Trestles work better for longboards with their mellower pace. And Middle Trestles strikes a balance between the two. For high-performance waves, many advanced and pro surfers flock to Trestles. This renowned surfing destination continues to be a premier place to ride the waves.

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