Free Things to Do in the Beach Cities

Venice Beach bikes at sunset
Venice Beach at sunset | Photo: Eric Demarcq, Discover Los Angeles Flickr Pool

It's an "Endless Summer" at LA's Beach Cities, which stretch from Malibu in the north to Venice Beach and down the coast to the South Bay. The sunshine is free, so get your Vitamin D while you're kicking back at world-famous beaches, hiking canyons and nature reserves, and biking along The Strand.

NOTE: Due to COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have limited hours. Check individual websites for the latest updates.

Part 1

After a beautiful drive up PCH, you'll arrive in the celebrity enclave of Malibu. You don't need to be on the A-list to enjoy watching world-class surfers, hiking into the Santa Monica Mountains, and playing with Fido on the beach.

Pacific Coast Highway Malibu
Pacific Coast Highway

Take one of the world's great coastal drives into the 'bu.

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Primary image for Malibu - Surfrider Beach
Surfrider Beach

World-famous for its iconic right-break and surfing films.

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Malibu Creek State Park

Film/TV location with miles of trails and a seasonal stream.

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Solstice Canyon in Malibu | Photo: Wing Sze Lee, NPS
Solstice Canyon

Hike to the hidden ruins of a Paul Williams-designed house.

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Primary image for Leo Carrillo State Park
Leo Carrillo State Park

Enjoy one of the few LA beaches that allows on-leash dogs.

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Part 2
Pacific Palisades

Nestled between Malibu and Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades is home to acclaimed cultural attractions like the Getty Villa and Eames House. You can start your bike ride on The Strand at Will Rogers State Beach, book a free reservation at the Getty Villa, or decompress at the Self Realization Fellowship Shrine.

Primary image for Will Rogers State Beach
Will Rogers State Beach

Your 22-mile bike ride on The Strand starts here.

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Getty Villa

Explore 7,000 years of ancient Greek and Roman art.

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Self-Realization Fellowship

Find your zen at this lush hidden gem in Pacific Palisades.

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Part 3
Santa Monica

Visitors flock to Santa Monica to check out the landmark Santa Monica Pier, shop the Third Street Promenade, and more. Walk along the Pier, enjoy the views from Palisades Park, and take a dip in the pool at the Annenberg Beach House.

Photo: Annenberg Community Beach House, Facebook
Annenberg Beach House

Family-friendly public pool at the old Marion Davies Estate.

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View of the Pacific Ocean at Palisades Park
Palisades Park

Stunning coastal views and much more in this 26-acre park.

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Santa Monica Beach

Get your daily dose of Vitamin D at this popular beach.

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Santa Monica Pier

Look for the Route 66 marker at this popular landmark.

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Part 4
Venice Beach

Founded in 1905 by Abbot Kinney as a seaside resort town, Venice Beach offers something for everyone. The world-famous Boardwalk has some of the best people-watching in LA, you can watch the action at the basketball courts and skatepark, or enjoy a quiet walk in the Venice Canals.

Venice Boardwalk
Venice Boardwalk

Visitors and locals alike love the people watching here.

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Quinne Daniels in action at Venice Beach Skate Park
Venice Beach Skate Park

Drop in for a session at this mecca for skateboarding.

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Muscle Beach Venice July 4th
Muscle Beach

Pumping iron outdoors at Venice Beach is as "LA" as it gets.

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Venice Basketball League in Venice Beach
Venice Beach Basketball Courts

Bring your A-game to these legendary streetball hoops.

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Venice Canal Historic District
Venice Canals

Take a quiet stroll in this historic neighborhood.

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First Fridays on Abbot Kinney

Dozens of LA food trucks line up for this monthly fest.

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Part 5
South Bay

There's plenty to do in the South Bay, which includes the Beach Cities of Manhattan, Hermosa, and Redondo; the Palos Verdes Peninsula; and San Pedro, where you'll find the Port of Los Angeles, Vincent Thomas Bridge, and Battleship IOWA. Free activities include visits to LA icons, beach dates and nature hikes.

Joaquin Phoenix at Dockweiler Beach in "Her"
Dockweiler Beach

Plan a beach date like Theodore and Samantha in "Her."

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"City of Stars" scene from "La La Land" at the Hermosa Beach Pier
Hermosa Beach Pier

Sebastian sings "City of Stars" at the pier in "La La Land."

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Yoga in the "Octagon" at Redondo Beach Pier
Yoga at "The Octagon"

Free yoga on second Saturdays, donations support CSC.

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Abalone Cove
Abalone Cove

Discover two beaches, tide pools, trails, and coastal views.

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Ocean Trails Reserve in Rancho Palos Verdes
Ocean Trails Reserve

Five miles of trails with views and gnatcatcher bird habitat

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Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro
Korean Bell Of Friendship

A gift to LA from South Korea to honor Korean War veterans.

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Point Fermin Lighthouse
Point Fermin Lighthouse

Landmark Victorian-style lighthouse built in 1874.

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San Pedro First Thursday Art Walk

Galleries, live music and more in Downtown San Pedro.

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