Beaches and Bites along the coast of Southern California
LA’s Best Beaches
She’s a dazzling drawcard all year round, but LA’s at her beach-babe best come summertime. Each strip of sand has its own vibe – read on for our lowdown of what’s hot along the golden coast.
Muscles, murals, dancers, diners, skaters, surfers, and any and all in between – Venice Beach is a hotbed of art and culture, sea and scene. The boardwalk bustles from early morning until late night with performers, shoppers and people-watchers. When the crowds and conviviality grow tiresome, nearby Abbot Kinney Boulevard has stellar dining and retail ready and waiting.
The quintessential grown-ups patch of sand, Santa Monica is the more laidback, upmarket neighbour of colourful Venice. Once you’re ocean-dipped and refreshed, stop by Coast diner for a sea-themed, rosé-tinged lunch, then hop on a bike and cruise up to the iconic Santa Monica Pier for rides, games and all manner of old-fashioned fun.
As the name suggests, this particular stretch of northern LA coastline favours the boardriders (and the odd billionaire), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a bunch of activities for the less athletically inclined. Malibu Farm is your pier-perched organic eats one-stop, or else bow down to the master of raw, Nobu at his fabled oceanfront celeb stronghold. Sundowners, Brad?
Bypass crowded Paradise Cove and Zuma and instead head up to Fido-friendly Leo Carillo beach, where tidal pools, caves, reefs and the occasional cetacean visitor makes exploring all the more inspiring. If you’re feeling pecky, a quick scoot up to the highway delivers you to Neptune’s Net, where quaint picnic tables and gnarly Harley bikers mesh with surprising ease.
Coast / 1 Pico Blvd / Santa Monica / 7am-9pm daily / +1 310 587 1707 / shuttersonthebeach.com
Malibu Farm / 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy / Malibu / 8am-8.30pm Mon-Fri, till 10pm Sat-Sun / malibu-farm.com
Nobu / 22706 Pacific Coast Hwy / Malibu / +1 310 317 9140 / 12-10pm Mon-Thu, till 11pm Fri, 9am-11pm Sat, till 10pm Sun / noburestaurants.com
Neptune’s Net / 42505 Pacific Coast Hwy / Malibu / +1 310 457 3095 / 10.30am-8pm Mon-Thu, till 9pm Fri, 10am-8.30pm Sat-Sun / neptunesnet.com