7 Secret Beaches in California for an Off the Beaten Path Adventure in Greater Los Angeles

Most everyone knows about Greater Los Angeles’ top 10 beaches, like the tourist-frequented and Santa Monica Pier adjacent Will Rogers State Beach in Santa Monica, or the surfer vibe Zuma Beach in Malibu, or even quirky Venice beach, with its hippy boardwalk atmosphere. But there are dozens of lesser known hidden gem sands that dot the coast of Southern California across Greater LA, just waiting to be explored.

Here are seven of the most “under the radar” beaches to explore on an adventurous outing in Los Angeles. So, go for it; pay a visit to one (or all) of these beaches and soak up some much deserved sand and sun.

[Editor’s Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to maintain a safe six foot distance from others outside your household and wear a mask at all times when outside of your home. It’s also a really smart idea to call ahead and make sure that the below listed destinations are open when you’d like to visit, due to enhanced safety measures currently in California to protect residents and visitors from infection.]

Leo Carrillo State Park (Beach), North Malibu

Leo Carrillo State Park encompasses four impressive beaches in Northern Malibu for exploring. It’s a family friendly destination, and a dog friendly beach area of Malibu. Leo Carrillo is known for the impressive tide pools and fun caves to explore at low tide.

It’s extremely picturesque, and even hosts dozens of campsites for an outdoor adventure when the weather is nice (which seems like all the time — this is SoCal, after all…).

North Beach at Leo Carrillo State Park is a large, wide and sandy area. South Beach is a more narrow and sandy beach, located in a round cove where rocks are exposed when the tide is lower. There’s also Staircase Beach which has a separate parking area and an individual trail down the bluff to the beach. Finally, County Line Beach is located in a sandy cove up the highway near the border between Los Angeles and Ventura County.

Paradise Cove Beach, Malibu

This stunning spot lives up to its grand name, even having been the setting for many beach scenes in Hollywood movies.

Paradise Cove Beach is a great starting point for “long walks on the beach,” walking below some of the most impressive Malibu mansions, leading eventually to Escondido Beach.

It’s sandy, clean, and very much hidden as it’s generally under the guardianship of the Paradise Cove Beach Café, who provide all the amenities, but anyone can visit if they’re clever enough to find parking and get their way down to the sand.

Abalone Cove Beach, Ranchos Palos Verdes

Ranchos Palos Verdes itself is a hidden gem of Los Angeles county. Here, visitors will find an abundance of protected animal and marine life and feel as if they’re been transported to a more natural world. This is because the park contains a State Ecological Preserve, which protects local animals and marine life.

Abalone Cove Park where Abalone Cove Beach is located actually features two different beaches — Abalone Cove, and Sacred Cove — both of which are tremendous choices to visit for a tranquil escape.

There are tide pools, bluff top ocean viewing areas, and a range of trails criss crossing across the area. It’s a spectacular place to explore that’s lesser known and under-the-radar in terms of Los Angeles beaches. Visitors should be forewarned that these beaches are on the rockier spectrum for beaches — but are wildly beautiful.

White Point Beach, San Pedro

White Point Beach is below the steep bluffs of Whites Point in the San Pedro District of LA.

This small beach isn’t for soaking up sun rays — instead, it’s for active exploring and adventuring. This beach is well-known amongst the local scuba diving crowd at high tide, and tidepoolers at low tide. It is also known to be a solid spot for beachcombing the rocky shoreline that extends east to the point to be a goldmine of hidden or forgotten treasures.

Sunset County Beach, Huntington Beach

Sunset Beach is a wide and sandy public beach in the Huntington Beach community known as “Sunset Beach.” It’s located about two blocks west of the Pacific Coast Highway between Anderson Street and Warner Avenue and is a popular spot to spy expert kite-boarders wrangling the surf on windy days. On sunny days, sunbathers can enjoy this beach in peace, as less crowded than many of the other local Huntington Beach sands.

Table Rock Beach, Laguna Beach

Laguna beach is home to more than 30 beaches and miles of coastline — so it’s no surprise that much of this land has remained a well-kept local secret.

Table Rock Beach is locally-known, but tucked away in south Laguna Beach, CA as an excellent sandy escape within a deep cove. Impressive homes tower high above the shoreline, and there’s an enormous cave at the back of the beach to check out if you’re feeling venturesome.

It’s extremely picturesque and peaceful, since there are traditionally less crowds here due to it’s under-the-radar status and the numerous destinations of sand and surf competition nearby.


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