These are closest and best beaches near the LAX airport in order of distance.

13 Of The Best Beaches Near LAX Airport 2023

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Flying into LAX for a Los Angeles trip but wondering what beaches to visit that are near or somewhat near to the airport and the city?

Fortunately, whether you are just coming for a short visit, have a really long layover or just want something convenient, there are a good number of beaches you can find near LAX airport and Los Angeles.

After being born and raised in Southern California and spending many summers vacationing there, we definitely have our fair share of favorite beaches but we’ve listed out pretty much all of the beaches close to LAX with details so you can decide what beach will work best for you.

The Closest Beaches Near LAX Airport

If you only have a short amount of time in Los Angeles or want something super convenient, you might be wondering what is the absolute closest beach to LAX?

These four beaches below are all within 6 miles of LAX but remember that even just 6 short miles could take up to 30 minutes in Los Angeles depending on traffic and road conditions (accidents, road work, etc.).

Ride-share prices can also be pretty high even for short distances, but they’re also usually the quickest way to get places when you’re visiting Los Angeles (compared to public transportation).

If you're only visiting a short time, find one of these beaches near LAX airport and enjoy the view. The sunsets over the water in Southern California are incredible.

1. Dockweiler State Beach

At the west end of Imperial Highway, just south of the airport, you’ll find the state beach Dockweiler Beach. Dockweiler Beach is located 3.5 miles from the LAX airport arrivals and depending on traffic, on average it could take as little as 7 minutes to get there.

If you are not a fan of jet fuel smell or the loud sounds of airplanes taking off, that will be a problem at this beach but the best thing about this beach is the fire pits for nighttime bonfires on the beach. Because of that, we think that this is the best beach very near to the Los Angeles Airport.

Bonfires at the beach in Southern California are the perfect night activity.

Amenities: Parking, Restrooms, Showers, Picnic Areas, Fire Pits, Volleyball Nets, Marvin Braude Trail (rollerblading, biking, jogging), Fishing, Surfing, Diving, Lifeguards, RV Park, Food Concessions, Beach Access Mats and Wheelchairs

Parking: Good Amount of Parking for a Fee ($9 to $13)

Nearby Hotels

2. Playa Del Rey Beach

Also suffering from the sound of planes, Playa del Rey Beach is almost directly to the west side of the airport. They also have the Marvin Braude Trail, fire pits, and are located closer to the Ballona Creek Jetty. The beach is a bit wider here, but it is not a good place for surfing.

Amenities: Fire Pits, Volleyball Courts, Marvin Braude Trail, Wide Beach, Restrooms, Trash Cans

Parking: Not the Best Parking Options, Some Free Street Parking Nearby, Easier on the Weekdays

Nearby Hotels

3. El Segundo Beach

El Segundo Beach is about 4 to 5 miles from LAX arrivals, just south of Dockweiler Beach. This is not a touristy beach so it is a lot less crowded. There is a huge Chevron Fuel Refinery plant right next door, but the fire pits, cheap parking and less crowds make this beach a great option close to LAX.

Amenities: Volleyball Nets, Marvin Braude Trail, Lifeguards, Surfing, Fire Pits

Parking: Cheap and Sometimes Free Parking

Nearby Hotels

4. El Porto Beach

At the north end of the Manhattan Beach area, you’ll find El Porto Beach. It is located about 4 to 5 miles from LAX, just south of El Segundo Beach. It is also just west of the Chevron plant but it tends to get larger waves than others in the area so it is pretty popular for surfing.

Amenities: Local Surfing, Marvin Braude Trail, Volleyball Courts, Lifeguards, Restrooms, Showers, Accessible

Parking: Metered Parking

Nearby Hotels

If you are only visiting for a short time, there are still plenty of beaches near LAX airport and the city of Los Angeles.

The Best & Most Beautiful Beaches Near LAX Airport

With the airport and the plant that cause some unpopularity with the beaches listed above, they are good options for quick beach visits or bonfires but there are much better beaches a little bit further from the airport both to the north and the south.

5. Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is located about 5 to 7 miles from LAX, to the south. It is a cute and popular little beach town that is known for its clean and safe beaches. There are plenty of beach activities, a pier with a free aquarium on the end, and lots of shops and restaurants nearby.

Amenities: Pier, Free Aquarium, Shops, Restaurants, Marvin Braude Trail, Volleyball, Lifeguards, Surfing, Restrooms, Showers, Bike Rentals

Parking: Metered Parking, Free parking at a Distance

Hotels Nearby

Healthy Places to Eat Nearby: M&LOVE cafe, Kirari West Bake Shop, The Spot Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurant, True Food Kitchen, Tocaya Modern Mexican, Chipotle
(Click here for more info on restaurants)

6. Venice Beach

North of LAX airport about 7 to 8 miles you’ll find Venice Beach, the beach made famous as Muscle Beach. Just north of the pier, you’ll find a parking lot, tennis courts, volleyball courts, a playground, basketball courts, a park, art areas, a skatepark, the Muscle Beach Hall of Fame and more.

There was a pretty bad homeless problem at this beach during the pandemic, but they have worked on fixing that and keeping this a safe beach.

Can you walk from Venice Beach to Santa Monica Pier? You can use the boardwalk to get from Venice Beach to the Santa Monica Pier but it is about 3 miles so it may be a long way for walking. Venice does have plenty of bike rentals or you could bring your own bike, board or blades to get there faster.

The retro Venice Beach mural in Southern California.

Amenities: Skatepark, Volleyball, Tennis, Basketball, Playgrounds, Park, Lifeguards, Parking Lots, Restrooms, Showers, Art, Pier, Boardwalk, Outdoor Gyms

Parking: Parking Lot

Hotels Nearby

Healthy Places to Eat Nearby: Rosti Tuscan Kitchen, Shojin (Japanese), Tocaya Modern Mexican, Flower Child, True Food Kitchen, Chipotle
(Click here for more info on restaurants)

➡️ For a group surfing lesson in Venice Beach, we recommend booking here with Fun Surf LA.

➡️ For a private surfing lesson in Venice Beach, we recommend booking here with Fun Surf LA.

7. Hermosa Beach

Hermosa Beach is between 7 and 9 miles, depending on the route you take, from LAX Airport. Hermosa very much has a neighborhood beach feel and it is a clean and nice beach. We rode bikes on the boardwalk from Hermosa to the Manhattan Pier and had a great time.

Riding Bikes on the Boardwalk in Hermosa Beach.

Amenities: Restrooms, Pier, Shops, Restaurants, Boardwalk, Lifeguards, Volleyball

Parking: Limited Parking

Hotels Nearby

Healthy Places to Eat Nearby: M&LOVE cafe, Kirari West Bake Shop, The Spot Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurant, True Food Kitchen, Tocaya Modern Mexican, Chipotle
(Click here for more info on restaurants)

8.Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach is located about 8 to 11 miles from LAX, and is just south of the Hermosa and Manhattan Beaches. The best thing about Redondo is its pier which has restaurants, shopping, nightlife, music and more. It is one of the best beaches near LAX Airport to be active on land or the water.

Amenities: Pier, Restaurants, Shopping, Nightlife, Boardwalk, Bike Rentals, Boating, Fishing, Glass Bottom Boats, Gondola Rides, Kayak Rentals, Stand Up Paddle Board Rentals, Peddle Boat Rentals, Parks, Surfing, Swimming, Whale Watching, Restrooms, Showers, Volleyball, Lifeguards, Marinelife Viewing

Parking: Easy Parking, Metered Parking, Plenty of Free Parking in Surrounding Neighborhoods

Hotels Nearby

Healthy Places to Eat Nearby: M&LOVE cafe, Kirari West Bake Shop, The Spot Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurant, True Food Kitchen, Tocaya Modern Mexican, Chipotle
(Click here for more info on restaurants)

9. Santa Monica State Beach

The LAX Airport to Santa Monica Beach is around 9 to 12 miles to the north. Like Redondo, the pier at Santa Monica Beach is one of the biggest draws. This is one of the most popular picture places for people from around the world, and has lots of activities, shops and restaurants.

Santa Monica Beach is one of the best beaches near LAX airport in Southern California.

Amenities: Amusement Park, Aquarium, Pier, Shops, Restaurants, End of Route 66, Street Performers, Arcade, Merry Go-Round, 1960s shop, Fishing, Beach Rentals, Concerts, Accessible, Leashed Dogs Allowed On Pier, Bike Rentals, Original Muscle Beach, Lifeguards, Park, Volleyball, Boardwalk, Surfing, Outdoor Gyms

Parking: Parking is a little Difficult, Beach Lots and Parking Structures

Hotels Nearby

Healthy Places to Eat Nearby: Rosti Tuscan Kitchen, Shojin (Japanese), Tocaya Modern Mexican, Flower Child, True Food Kitchen, Chipotle
(Click here for more info on restaurants)

➡️ For a 2 hour kayaking or paddleboarding tour at Marina del Rey, we recommend booking your tour here with Fun Surf LA.

10. Torrance County Beach

Torrance County Beach is one of the furthest south beaches in Los Angeles county and it sits near the bottom of the Palos Verdes cliffs. It is a great wide beach with beautiful views.

Amenities: Biking, Diving, Fishing, Surfing, Swimming, Volleyball, Windsurfing, Restrooms, Showers, Accessible, Lifeguards

Parking: Easy Street and Lot Parking

Hotels Nearby

11. Malibu Beach

Malibu is a good distance around the cliffs to the north from LAX but it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Southern California and popular for tourists because of its numerous celebrity residents. It is a beautiful scenic area that also has lots of great hikes.

One of the most popular beaches to visit is Zuma Beach, but there are also many others like El Matador Beach, Surfrider Beach and Leo Carrillo Beach all within the Malibu area. 

There are also state parks nearby, Santa Monica Mountains and Escondido Falls, with hiking, horseback riding, and biking available. And you can visit a few museums close by like The Getty Villa (Free with a reservation) and Adamson House Museum ($7).

Although Malibu isn't right near LAX Airport, it is one of the most beautiful beaches close to Los Angeles.

Amenities: Hiking, Volleyball, Lifeguards, Surfing, Fishing, Water Sports, Scenery, Top Restaurants

Parking: Limited Free Street Parking

Hotels Nearby

Healthy Places to Eat Nearby: Spruzzo Restaurant & Bar, Ollo, Breadblok, Chipotle
(Click here for more info on restaurants)

12. Long Beach City Beach

The furthest beach from the airport on the south edge of Los Angeles county is Long Beach. In addition to being a huge shipping and boating area (this is where the Queen Mary is located*), Long Beach has a city beach and some bay beaches that are great for young kids or those that don’t like waves.

Some other nearby attractions include The Aquarium of the Pacific ($37) and the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve for wildlife viewing, hiking, and tours. For some pickup soccer games check Cali Coed or Long Beach Coed.

*The Queen Mary is a historic ship from the 1930s that is now rated as one of the top 10 most haunted places in the US. It is now a hotel, spa, eating and tour attraction.

The Queen Mary is located in Long Beach, south of Los Angeles. It is not super near to LAX airport, but it is still one of the most popular beaches in the area.

Amenities: Bay Beaches, The Queen Mary, Pier, Volleyball, Rosie’s Dog Beach, Restrooms, Lifeguards, Biking and Walking Paths, Playgrounds, Restaurants, Shops, Boating

Parking: Parking Lots

Hotels Nearby

Healthy Places to Eat Nearby: The Grain Café, Seabirds Kitchen, Tocaya Modern Mexican, The Wild Chive, Chipotle
(Click here for more info on restaurants)

13. Orange County Beaches

And coming in as the farthest set of beaches from LAX (over 30 miles) the Orange County Beaches just can’t be left off the list because they are some of the best beaches in Southern California in our opinion.

Huntington Beach is our absolute favorite because it is surf city and is especially fun, although extremely crowded, during the US Open of Surfing held each year in Huntington during late July or early August. We got to watch Kelly Slater win his 11th title here a couple years back and it was amazing.

Although it is not near LAX airport, Orange County beaches, specifically Huntington Beach, are the best beaches to visit in Southern California.

Newport Beach is a great beach for kids and usually a great place for new surfers to learn how to surf. The waves tend to be smaller and more consistent than the larger waves just north at Huntington Beach.

Seal Beach is in between Long Beach and Huntington Beach, and is one of the closet beaches to Anaheim where Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm are located.

Laguna Beach is one of the most beautiful in Southern California with lots of coves, tide pools and beautiful nature. It is the furthest from LAX but it is such a cute and calm beach town to visit.

Laguna Beach is not near LAX airport, but it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Southern California.

If you would rather visit these beaches, the John Wayne Airport (just east of Huntington Beach) is a much better option over LAX airport.

Hotels Nearby

Can You Visit Any Of The Beaches Near LAX Airport On A Layover?

Depending on how long your layover is, you could possibly visit one of those close by beaches that are under 6 miles from LAX airport. Even those 6 mile beaches can take up to 30 minutes if traffic is heavy or there is a problem, so you probably wouldn’t want to go any farther than that to avoid being in a rush or missing your flight.

Tours & Activities At The Beaches Or During A LAX Layover

🥾 To get some amazing views of Los Angeles, get great shots of the Hollywood Sign, see the Griffith Observatory and get a good workout in, take a hike through The Hollywood Hills. Tours are available and last about 2 to 3 hours so it is perfect for a short visit.

➡️ For a group hiking tour through The Hollywood Hills, we recommend booking your tour here with Bikes and Hikes LA Tours.

🛶 Just east of Santa Monica and Venice Beach is Marina del Rey, where you can find lots of boating and other on the water activities. With less than 10 miles from LAX, a tour here is a great active option during a layover or short trip.

➡️ For a 2 hour kayaking or paddleboarding tour at Marina del Rey, we recommend booking your tour here with Fun Surf LA.

🎬 Movie and television lovers should consider a visit to the Warner Bros. Studio. It is located in Burbank (north of Los Angeles), but it is worth the visit.

➡️ For the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, we recommend booking your tickets here with Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood.

🏄‍♂️ If you want to try out surfing but its your first time, having a lesson is the best way to experience this amazing sport.

➡️ For a group surfing lesson in Venice Beach, we recommend booking here with Fun Surf LA.

➡️ For a private surfing lesson in Venice Beach, we recommend booking here with Fun Surf LA.

🎥🏖 If you don’t feel like driving yourself to some of these beaches but still want to visit them and other sites in Los Angeles, this tour is a perfect option. It picks up at many LAX airport hotels, lasts between 7 and 8 hours, and takes you to top sights and beaches all in one day. It is highly rated and economically priced considering everything you get to see.

➡️ For a full day LA & Beach Tour, we recommend booking your tour here with A Day In LA Tours.

🎥 If you only have a layover in Los Angeles but you want to see as much as you can, getting a private and customizable tour that will pick you up and drop you off at the airport is the best option.

➡️ For a private 6 hour tour of Los Angeles, we recommend booking your tour here with ExperienceFirst.

Distance Overview Table Of All Beaches Near LAX Airport

Below is a table of all the beaches mentioned near LAX airport in order of distance. The distance varies based on the route that is taken and the travel times are just average and don’t include heavy traffic or huge traffic problems.

BeachDistance (depending on route)Average Travel Time
Dockweiler Beach3.5 miles7 to 14 minutes
Playa Del Rey Beach4 to 5 miles8 to 20 minutes
El Segundo Beach4 to 5 miles8 to 24 minutes
El Porto Beach5 to 6 miles 10 to 28 minutes
Manhattan Beach5 to 7 miles12 to 26 minutes
Venice Beach6 to 9 miles12 to 40 minutes
Hermosa Beach7 to 9 miles14 to 40 minutes
Redondo Beach8 to 11 miles18 to 50 minutes
Santa Monica Beach9 to 12 miles24 to 55 minutes
Torrance County Beach10 to 13 miles26 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes
Malibu Beach23 miles35 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes
Long Beach24 to 26 miles26 to 50 minutes
Seal Beach29 to 33 miles30 to 55 minutes
Huntington Beach36 to 40 miles40 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes
Newport Beach44 to 48 miles45 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes
Laguna Beach53 to 57 miles50 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes

Seals hanging out on a buoy in the Pacific Ocean.

Are Any Of The Beaches Within Walking Distance Of LAX?

Dockweiler Beach is the closest beach to LAX but it is still 3.5 miles. You would have to go out and around the north side of the airport to walk to Dockweiler (estimated two hours walking) so Playa del Rey is actually closer walking distance to LAX (estimated hour and a half).

Other ways you can get to the beach without having your own car is public transportation or a ride. The problem with public transportation is that it could take hours due to traffic, stops and routes taken by the busses. Ubers or taxi’s will be your best option but they can get pricey at times even for a fairly short ride.

Hotels Near LAX Airport

If you are spending more time in Los Angeles or other parts of Southern California, there are better options than hotels at the airport. But if you are only staying in Los Angeles for an overnight layover or very short trip, then a hotel near LAX airport makes the most sense for you.

There are tons of options around the airport and a lot on the street just outside of the airport, with ranging stars and prices.

➡️ To find close and convenient hotels at LAX Airport, we recommend booking your room here with

Tips For Visiting The Beach In Southern California

🥶 The water temperature in the Pacific Ocean is cold. Prepare by using a wetsuit or going in the water in July or August when its hottest in Southern California.

🚗 Traffic is heavy all over Southern California. Make sure to plan ahead for travel time and try to go outside of rush hour.

🅿️ A majority of beaches in Southern California will have paid parking that can get pricey, especially if you want to be as close as possible to the beach. But sometimes you can find free parking in close by neighborhoods, just be sure to read the street signs carefully.

🛼 If you plan on walking, riding bikes, skateboarding or rollerblading on one of the many boardwalks by the beach, know that they can be quite busy and be sure to follow normal etiquette (keeping right when slower, not riding side by side across the whole lane, moving over when someone behind rings a bell, etc.).

🏄‍♂️ Southern California is a fantastic place to try out surfing but know that not every beach is great for surfing. If you’ve never surfed before, it’d be a good idea to take a lesson rather than going out on your own because there are rules you need to follow to not anger other surfers and the surf can be pretty strong.

🧥 Be sure to keep a jacket or sweatshirt with you because once the sun goes down, the temperature drops quickly. Even in the hottest months of summer, nights can be pretty chilly in Southern California.

🧼 Sometimes at some of the beaches, tar can be a problem and it’s very easy to step in while walking on the beach without knowing. When you do step in it, it is super sticky and will not come off easily. We’ve tried all kinds of soaps, but unfortunately the only one that seems to get it off is Dawn.

🍺 Glass (bottles, containers, etc.) is prohibited on the beaches in California so people do not cut their feet while walking in the sand.

🚭 Smoking is prohibited at most beaches in Southern California.

🌥 Even when the marine layer (gray and cloudy) covers the sky, be sure to use an organic, healthy and reef friendly sunscreen because it still comes through the clouds.

🌮 If you plan on grabbing something to eat along the beach, remember that most restaurants have a no shoes, no shirt, no service policy.

Watching a sunset over the Pacific Ocean is one of the best things to do in Southern California that you do at any of the beaches near LAX airport.

What Is Good Beach Weather In California?

Since the Pacific Ocean is quite cold, visiting Southern California for a beach trip in the late fall, winter or spring won’t give you the best beach weather. Good beach weather in California is during July and August to be very specific.

Outside temperatures start rising to averages in the 80s and water temperatures generally reach the high 60s. July and August are also the best months to visit the beach because the marine layer usually burns off a lot quicker in the morning, giving you a beautiful, sunny and warm day.

The Pacific Ocean is cold, so you'll want to go to the beach when it is nice and hot outside.

Temperatures will pretty much be the same throughout all of the beaches, even all the way down to San Diego. Remember that even though it is hot during the day, it cools down significantly at night so be sure to bring some warm clothes.

Wrap Up: Beaches Near LAX Airport

Whether you’re on a quick trip, on a long layover or are uninterested in LA traffic, there are plenty of beaches near LAX Airport that you can visit. If you want the best and most beautiful beaches, you might have to drive a little farther but we think it is worth it!