LA Beach Essentials

Beach Sunglasses | Photo courtesy of RobeRT Vega, Flickr

Visiting LA beaches is a must on a trip to Los Angeles. But don't let the sun get the best of you. For those new to life on the beach, you'll need to know a few essentials. These handy lists will help you figure out what to do, what to bring and what to listen to. After all, you want to get the most out of your trip — which means sun, not sunburn. So be prepared, because in LA, life's a beach.

What to Do

  1. Collect seashells at Cabrillo Beach, a family-favorite location.
  2. Catch up on all the books you’ve been meaning to read at laid-back Redondo Beach, or fish for halibut from the beach's famous "Horseshoe Pier."
  3. Perfect your tan with the model-caliber locals at Manhattan Beach.
  4. Take a stroll and check out the sunset at El Matador Beach, one of LA’s most romantic spots.
  5. Join one of Hermosa Beach’s renowned pick-up volleyball games.
  6. Rent a tandem bike and ride down The Strand or take hang gliding lessons at Dockweiler Beach.
  7. Explore the sea caves and tidepools before setting up camp at Leo Carillo State Park.
  8. Experience Venice Beach’s Ocean Front Walk and its inhabitants (Speedo-clad bodybuilders to tarot card readers).
  9. Ride the Ferris wheel at the seaside amusement park on the Santa Monica Pier.
  10. Even if you’re not a surfer, check out the action at Malibu’s Surfrider Beach for a dose of true LA beach culture.

What to Bring

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Sunglasses
  3. Blankets and/or chairs
  4. Sand/water toys
  5. Bottled water and tasty snacks
  6. Waterproof disposable camera
  7. Sun hat
  8. Frisbee or football
  9. Flip-flops
  10. Beach bag

What to Listen To

  1. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” – Bobby McFerrin
  2. “California Girls” – The Beach Boys
  3. “Island in the Sun” – Weezer
  4. “Boys of Summer” – Don Henley (or The Ataris cover)
  5. “Doin’ Time’" – Sublime
  6. "Santa Monica" – Everclear
  7. “The Zephyr Song” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  8. “Surf City” – Jan & Dean
  9. “To Live and Die in LA” – 2Pac
  10. “Gone” – Jack Johnson