LA’s Hidden Gems: The 7 Least Crowded Beach in Los Angeles

You just brought your family to Los Angeles and want to spend some time at the beach. Which are the least crowded beach destinations around Los Angeles?

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What’s the least crowded beach near LA?

The beaches with the fewest crowds are listed below, with some explanations of why we love them so much. 

  • Marina Peninsula Beach 
  • Escondido Beach
  • Paradise Cove Beach
  • Carbon Beach
  • Rosie’s Dog Beach
  • Bluff Cove Beach
  • El Matador Beach

A day at the beach can be a wonderful family experience, but it can quickly turn awful when everyone in Southern Cal has the same idea about soaking up some sun. No one likes to bump elbows or step over arms and legs, just trying to make their way to the water. When the beach is wall-to-wall with bodies, it can simply ruin the day. 

While most tourists choose places like Laguna Beach, Venice beach, or even Victoria Beach to soak up the sun, there are some great hidden gems to be found. So, what are the least crowded beaches in the Los Angeles area? 

The 7 Least Crowded Beaches In Los Angeles

There are some beautiful places where your family can soak up some rays, frolic in the waves, and have a fairly reasonable chance of not being bothered by strangers. Let’s explore some of the most secluded beaches along the Southern California coastline. 

Marina Peninsula Beach – Marina Del Rey

Whats the least crowded beach near LA

Just south of the Venice Fishing Pier is the half-mile-long Marina Peninsula Beach, or “Mother’s Beach.” This Los Angeles city-run beach is situated off Pacific Avenue in the Marina Del Rey Harbor. 

It is not as crowded as Venice beach because of the location. It has less wave action and isn’t steep-sloped into the water. 

The long beach has plenty of picnic areas, volleyball courts, and decent public restrooms and is perfect for family activities. 

Mother’s Beach has been around since the late 50s. (It got a major upgrade a couple of years ago). The free beach compliments several high-rise peninsula homes. 

You can walk on a paved Ocean Front from the Venice Pier and get to the water from multiple access points. 

The beach is located at the intersection of Admiralty Way and Via Marina, and users will find plenty of parking.

Pro Tip: Parking Lot 10 is the best

You can expect to see some wind-surfing and kayaking as this is a popular launch point for those activities. The beach is an excellent, no-frills, non-touristy place to take a family and enjoy a bright sunny day. Please see the LA County website for more information on Mother’s Beach.

Escondido Beach 

If you can find a parking spot (there is no parking lot), you can make your way down to one of California’s most hidden beaches in Malibu. Escondido Beach is a south facing beach east of Point Dume. The best public access is a long staircase west of Geoffery’s Malibu restaurant. The beach is secluded and is rarely crowded (due to the lack of parking. 

Only locals of Malibu, CA., don’t want to make it easy for tourists to venture there too often). 

The beautiful beach has no facilities, no picnic tables, no lifeguards, and no pets or fire pits allowed. 

Even though the beach is covered by a high tide line, most visitors can find a secluded spot to rest on sunny days or take a walk down to Paradise Cove Beach (a mile west down the pacific coast). 

This hidden gem runs along the Pacific Coast Highway and can be a nice place to hang out and watch the waves of the ocean. Please see the website for more information on Escondido Beach.  

Paradise Cove Beach

Paradise Cove Beach is a private beach that is open to the public. The beach is a favorite with locals and sits down from the Paradise Cove Cafe. 

While the residents don’t charge for public access, you may have to pay for parking ($40 per day for non-eaters). You can park along the Pacific Coast Highway, but you need to be careful with traffic. 

The beach and cafe have a very lounge vibe, complete with many amenities. (You can rent an umbrella and two chairs for about $50). 

Most people enjoy lunch at the Cafe (which can get crowded at times) and then make their way to the beach to pick up some rays. Even though the beach is close to an establishment serving drinks, the staff does an excellent job policing the area for troublemakers. 

This beach has been the scene of countless television shows (i.e., Rockford Files) and movie productions (i.e., Lethal Weapon 4). 

As you enjoy the cliffs of Malibu behind you, revel in the fact that you are walking over the same sand as some of the world’s greatest actors have trod. 

Please see the website on Paradise Cove Beach for more information.   

Carbon Beach – Malibu

This fantastic state beach is nicknamed “Billionaires Beach” due to the expensive homes that line the shoreline. 

For years the residents of the Malibu, Ca., area refused to allow access to the public. Yet, the California Coastal Commission succeeded in opening up the mile-long hidden beach, providing three separate access points.  

The best time to visit this beach is during low tide ( a high tide line covers the sand completely). There is a public parking strip along the PCH, and you can only access the beach by a couple of public gates.

One of the hidden entrances is the westernmost gate named Zonker Harris Access Way, after the Doonesbury cartoon, and the other is a public gate next to the David Geffen house. 

There are no facilities of any kind. No dogs are allowed on the beach, and if you go, plan on bathing in the sun in solitude, as if you were worth a billion bucks, because you likely will have the beach entirely to yourself. For more information, see the Carbon Beach website.

Rosie’s Dog Beach

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One of the perks of having a family dog is that most love to play oceanside. This sandy beach is in Long Beach right off Shoreline Way (which is off of Ocean Blvd) between Roycroft and Argonne Avenues.

Open from 6 am – 8 pm for Dog Zone (a four-acre stretch of sand), Rosie’s beach is on the south end and is the perfect low-key beach filled with plenty of warm sand and surf so that Fido can romp his heart’s delight. 

Parking is metered in the Bennett Avenue lot, and some street parking, but it’s an easy walk down to the ocean. 

There are restrooms, trash cans, and baggie dispensers close by, but owners are encouraged to bring their bags to clean up after their pets. Besides that, the beach is minimal for other facilities (which makes it perfect as a dog beach), so expect to see other doggie owners but not much else. 

The best time to visit this beach is during the weekdays when most folks are working. While the beach is uncrowded, there is a definite uptick toward sunset and on the weekends.

According to city ordinances, dogs must be leashed on their way to the beach but can be released once inside the park. 

There are several pet-friendly places to eat nearby, so take your beloved canine for a lunch date. 

You can build memories with your pet and enjoy a burger and a beer. For more information concerning Rosie’s Dog Beach, please see the website. 

Bluff Cove

If a rocky beach is more your thing, then Palos Verde has a bunch of secret coves for you. 

Bluff Cove is not a beach where you will find lots of sand, but for hikers, the walk along the rocky shoreline and many tide pools provides some exploration of the Pacific Coast. Most locals use this area as their favorite beach for snorkeling opportunities.

Local surfers use the Bluff Cove beach to test their skills, but since facilities are sparse, you shouldn’t attempt it if you aren’t an experienced surfer.  

There is parking on top of the steep bluffs near Paseo Del Mar and then an easy hike along a trail as it descends to the beach area. 

Once you’ve reached the shore, you can walk south along the rocks to Palos Verdes Point, where an old shipwreck with rusted, twisted pieces of metal are strewn about the shoreline. The hike offers little space for lounging, and it is somewhat challenging, so you should wear appropriate shoes for the excursion. It’s a couple of miles down and back, so be prepared.  

One of the best times to visit this quiet beach is late day or sunset for some of the most stunning views of the bluff and the Pacific Ocean. Please see the Bluff Cove website. 

El Matador State Beach

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This place is one of the most beautiful beaches (and most photographed secluded beaches) in the world. The most striking features are the rock formations, arches, and tide pools with waves crashing along the shoreline.

This rocky beach is a part of the Robert H. Meyer State Beach (one of three beaches), and the state of California offers them as a state park (Robert H. Meyers). Parking off the Pacific Coast Highway (in their designated lot) will cost you $10 for the day.

Facilities are on top of the bluff with places for picnics, restrooms, and scenic views. A gentle hike down the steep staircase leads to the hidden beaches, dry sand, and rocky coves, offering fantastic places for romantic walks or photo ops. 

While the park can be popular sometimes, the perfect time to visit is during the off-season or sunset to get some perfect lighting for the perfect photograph. 

If you are a shutterbug, you’ll agree that such places only happen now and then. 

There are no facilities on the beach, so you will want to plan ahead. In addition, there is space for sunbathing and swimming or snorkeling on the nearby beaches.

There are caves to explore during low tide, and if you walk north, you come to La Piedra Beach, which has lots of room for activities.

The beach is scattered with boulders, so it is best to use caution and wear appropriate shoes. For more information, please see the El Matador Beach website. 

Key Takeaways

  • Many beaches in the Los Angeles area are secluded and great places for sunbathing or swimming.
  • The best bets are several beaches along the Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu.
  • The best beach for romance and sunsets is the El Matador in the Robert H. Meyers state park.