Swim & Sunburn: A guide to L.A. beaches

Shideh Ghadeharizadeh | Daily Trojan

Whether you want to surf, shop or sunbathe, there’s a perfect beach for you to explore near campus. Take some time to get off campus and explore the sandy oases L.A. has to offer.


Santa Monica State Beach

Main attractions: Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, Pacific Park

Proximity to USC: 13 miles west

What else to do: Third Street Promenade, close to Venice Beach

What to eat: The Sidewalk Cafe

Transportation: Lots of paid parking garages, direct access from Metro Expo Line


Malibu area

Main attractions: Surfer-friendly, rock formations, tide pool wildlife

Proximity to USC: 30 miles west

What else to do: Hidden gem — Staircase Beach at Leo Carrillo State Park, the Getty Villa

What to eat: Cholada Thai

Transportation: Parking is limited


Manhattan Beach

Main attractions: Admission-free Roundhouse Aquarium

Proximity to USC: 17 miles southwest

What else to do: Lots of restaurants and shops, Poliwog Park

What to eat: El Tarasco

Transportation: Parking garages just a short walk from the beach; Commuter Express 438


Hermosa Beach

Main attractions: Volleyball, surfing, swimming

Proximity to USC: 18 miles southwest

What else to do: Hermosa beach pier

What to eat: Playa Hermosa Fish and Oyster

Transportation: Various public parking lots


Redondo Beach

Main attractions: Seaside Lagoon, saltwater lagoon complete with volleyball nets, surfing and swimming

Proximity to USC: 19 miles southwest

What else to do: Redondo Beach Marina, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center

What to eat: Sushi Chitose

Transportation: Direct access from Metro Green Line


Dockweiler Beach

Main attractions: This is one of the few beaches with built-in bonfire pits.

Proximity to USC: 11 miles southwest

What else to do: Surfing in the calm waters, biking and playing volleyball.

What to eat: El Segundo Beach Cafe

Transportation: There is free street parking and paid lot parking next to the beach.