PHOTO: Santa Monica Pier, California (photo via Flickr/Pacheco)
The weather is warming up and, in Southern California, that means it’s time to head to the beach. Blessed with beautiful beaches and miles of sandy shoreline, it could be hard to know where to start. Here are some suggestions for those looking to get the most out their L.A. beach getaway.
Malibu is an iconic L.A. beach destination and, while it may slow down in winter, the beach scene picks up again right around spring break. The water may be a bit chilly, but the weather sure isn’t so it could be the perfect time to try something new — like stand-up paddle boarding.
For a relaxing day at the beach, Paradise Cove is where to head. Set yourself up in the sand with a beer and an umbrella and watch as the hours pass by.
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The Santa Monica pier got an upgrade a few years back and it’s never been more fun for families. Spend some time sitting on the beach and soaking in the sunshine and then head over to the pier for roller coasters, Ferris wheels and arcade games.
There are a number of snack shops and restaurants on the pier but the nearby Venice Beach boardwalk is also within walking distance for those looking for a more eclectic experience.
Head to Surf City USA, also known as Huntington Beach, Calif., to experience a surfing paradise that also offers up stellar cuisine, a sprawling coastline and fun-filled events.
Not far from the Magic Kingdom, a stay in Huntington can also be combined with a visit to Disneyland.
Tucked away on the end of the peninsula is Balboa, where visitors can indulge in sand and sea to their heart's content. And when they’re done, they can check out the Balboa Fun Zone for Balboa bars, skee ball games, arcade magic and more.
If that’s not enough sun and fun, take the Balboa ferry across Newport Harbor to Balboa Island, an ideal location for a one-mile stroll along the bayfront.
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Mission Bay is more than 4,600 acres of land and water and 27 miles of shoreline in the heart of San Diego. It offers rowing, boating, water skiing, picnicking, swimming and more for visitors year-round.
With no surf and no significant current, its an ideal location for families — especially with small children. The bay is also located near Sea World and other San Diego amusement parks, perfect for combining your beach vacation with other local attractions.