Updated for 2023
One of the best things about living in Southern California is the ability to drop whatever it is we’re doing and head to the beach for a fun in the sun filled day. But some beaches are more family-friendly than others.
Going to the beach with kids means dragging all the necessary “kid gear” across hot sand, and that can be a daunting task with kids in tow. Plus, big waves and the wrong vibe can make this fun outing into anything but.
Small waves, clean bathroom facilities, lots of lifeguards on duty, clean water, lots of parking and, a short walk from the car to the beach are all elements of what make these perfect. We’ve created a list of the best family friendly beaches in Los Angeles just for you!
Related: Check out this great list of beaches from LA County!
Family-Friendly Beaches in Los Angeles and SoCal
30000 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Zuma beach is super gorgeous, and it’s secluded allure makes it a popular family beach spot during the warm summer days, but making the trip there is worth it. Your kids will love using their boogie boards, building sand castles, playing in the waves and watching the rock climbers.
Leo Carrillo State Beach
35000 West Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Leo Carrillo State Beach is a quintessential Los Angeles family beach, and for good reason. Easily accessible parking, the walking tunnel under PCH, gorgeous waves, 1.5 miles of beach for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, coastal caves and reefs for exploring, giant sycamores shade the main campgrounds – all of this makes for a family filled day at the beach.
Playa del Rey Beach
Culver Boulevard & Pacific Avenue
Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
Playa del Rey beach is a great place to escape the crowds, since it’s practically a secret, even to the locals (well, maybe we just let the cat out of the bag?). There’s a large grass park with a play structure and a lagoon to fascinate the kids, and its walking distance to restaurants and shops in Playa del Rey itself. Only street parking is available, but some of it is free.
Annenberg Community Beach House
415 Pacific Coast Highway
Santa Monica, CA 90402
The Annenberg Community Beach House is a public destination, where everyone is welcome, although the historic pool at the Beach House does require paying a fee. Located on the site of the former Marion Davies estate, there is plenty of parking ($8-$12) a day. The long boardwalk to the beach makes carrying necessities easier, the shaded play area and sand for the kids and the Beach Café makes for a lovely day.
28128 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265
Paradise Cove is a beautiful private beach with many amenities for families. Since it is private, it’s a bit pricey, but definitely worth it. No surfing is allowed in the water so it is safe for little ones to run and frolic and if you get there early enough you can rent chairs umbrellas and cabanas. The nearby Paradise Cove Beach Café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and you can either eat in or get take out and have a picnic down by the sand.
Mother’s Beach – Marine Park
Appian Way Below 2nd St
Long Beach, CA 90802
Well known for its gentle wave action, shallow swimming area and Lifeguard Supervision during peak periods, Marina Beach offers both a great beach for kids and a nearby grassy play area. There is plenty of parking and a snack shack to pick up snacks and ice cream.
Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey
4101 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Mother’s Beach in Marina Del Rey is a family favorite with little ones. The protected water area near the boat marina makes for calm waters with no surf. There’s a great play area with a Pirate ship the kids love to climb on, plus there are picnic tables and BBQ facilities. There is street parking, just be sure to read the signs. Bonus: the area and facilities have been renovated recently!
200 Portofino Way
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Seaside Lagoon is a four acre enclosed salt-water lagoon that is heated by a nearby steam generating plant and located in the middle of King-Harbor. Supervised by licensed lifeguards The Seaside Lagoon offers swimming, a large sand area for sunbathing, children’s play equipment, snack bar facilities provided by Ruby’s Restaurant and volleyball courts. There is also a grassed area and luau shelter for day and evening events.