Los Angeles isn’t just named entertainment capital of the world for nothing; the ever-growing city offers a plethora of activities catered to any interest. College students in the Campus Abroad Los Angeles program will experience touristic along native leisures in L.A.
First we will dive into the beach life of this Southern California mega city. It is safe to say it is home to as many ‘beach personalities’ as there are beaches cities. The Los Angeles shoreline shares the rocky cliffs of Malibu all the way to the grand downtown of Long Beach.
1. Malibu – Rising in popularity due to recent pop culture references, Malibu remains a notable beach city unlike anywhere in the world. With its affluent residents, incomparable ocean views and beautiful sunsets this 21-mile long coastline is simply known to natives as “the Bu.” Gourmet restaurants and RVs impartially line the cliffside. Of course, we need not mention the countless surfers that come from across the country to surf Malibu waves. Malibu’s Mediterranean climate and rocky shores encompass the best sea surfing; Zuma Beach, Point Dume, County Line and Leo Carrillo are just a few of its popular beaches. Just over the other side of the Santa Monica Mountains lies Malibu’s canyons, trails, vineyards, and farms.
2. Pacific Palisades – Nestled in the hills of oceanside mansions and upscale resorts, this gem offers one of the best beaches in SoCal. Will Rogers State Beach boarder-lining Malibu is just west of its Historic State Park. Visiting the Getty Villa, cruising PCH and an occasional celebrity siting is not unlikely.
3. Santa Monica – Probably known as the most famous beach city in Los Angeles, Santa Monica offers everything from fine dining and promenades, to hiking trails and entertainment activities. The several outdoor malls hold international and boutique retailers alike. Home to the local favorite, Santa Monica Stairs, gym enthusiasts and yogis alike pace the stairs daily after a beach run. Yet another attraction and tourist favorite remains the Santa Monica Pier complete with restaurants, ice cream stands and carnival rides. The boardwalk neighboring the Pier stretches down to Torrance, CA from Pacific Palisades, bringing bikers through a 22-mile long path known as “The Strand.”
4. Venice – Just south of Santa Monica lies an iconic scene of L.A. full of hipster vibes and cool-grunge scene. Tourists come here for the live street music, biking and mom and pop food stands. It also is the best scenic view of the Santa Monica Pier (and shoreline). Locals who live in Venice generally stay in Venice so the beach town is always bustling. Known for its organic smoothies and energy drinks, the city is now becoming one of the more popular eatery cities in L.A. Added bonus, it is walking distance from the Marina del Rey harbor.
5. Manhattan Beach – By far a local favorite, Manhattan Beach embodies the SoCal spirit of the beach culture. Manhattan Beach is apart of the three beach cities in South Bay – the other two are the bordering Hermosa and Redondo Beaches. The skater culture is alive on The Strand, while modern homes line the path. With volleyball courts in the sand and new wave eateries uphill, there is no shortage of activities here.
6. Playa del Rey – Cut off from the northern oceanside because of the open harbor, this beach city is the best getaway from the crowds brought by the Pacific Coast Highway. Dockweiler State Beach runs a three-mile wide straight beach perfect for hand gliding during the day and bonfires at night. Minutes away is Silicon Beach, a.k.a. Playa Vista, which quickly became the tech hub of SoCal. Come here if you want to experience ocean and urban scenes all in one.