We're pinning the best beaches for kids in Los Angeles and Orange County on one handy map! Pack the beach gear and try out one of these parent-approved places to swim (or boat or fish) with the kids.
Help make this the ultimate resource for families by adding your tips & reviews, and let us know if we're missing any other top kid-friendly beaches in Los Angeles.
Nothing beats recommendations from fellow parents, so chime in on our list of the best LA swimming pools, too.
Linda Lane Beach
Gina I.: With gorgeous views, grassy areas, a great playground, picnic tables, and public restrooms, Linda Lane Beach has all the essentials for a day of family fun! If the beach gets too crowded for your taste or if the kids need a change of scenery, the San Clemente Pier Beach is within walking distance.
Dana Point Harbor - Baby Beach
Gina I.: Located at Dana Point Harbor, Baby Beach offers the perfect beach setting for families with young children. Little ones love splashing in calm, shallow water, while parents love the short trek from the free parking lot. There are also nearby grassy areas with picnic tables and BBQs and The Ocean Institute. Be sure to walk over and check out their pirate ship!
Bolsa Chica State Beach
Alexandra F.: This is really a great beach for kids, and we’re here regularly with our family throughout the year. The beach itself is wide and long, so you can always find a place to sit, even during crowded times. It’s also pretty clean, with bathrooms and garbage bins spaced out frequently along it. We especially love the long, wide multi-use trail that follows the length of the beach, which is our favorite place to go running. (Plenty of families use it for biking, skating and scootering, too.) The parking lots go right up to the path and beach, so it’s easy to trek all your stuff back and forth, and they are included in California State Parks annual pass, which is an excellent deal for local families. Sunset Beach is just north, with free (but slightly less convenient) parking, and Huntington Beach is just south, with a fun dog beach and great open air shopping and dining area by the pier.
Seal Beach Municipal Pier
Erynn: The small city of Seal Beach has an expansive pier, plenty of sandy beaches, and a beach-view playground for kids to explore. Stay on the sand all day or check out the shops and restaurants nearby. A total of 1.5 miles of beach stretch along the coast of Seal Beach, and you may even spot some cargo ships waiting to enter the harbor. Seal Beach Pier is the second longest wooden pier in California.
Royal Palms State Beach
Erynn: This rocky beach may not be the place to be if you want to lie in the sand, but it's ideal for a dip in the water and exploring the many tide pools and sea creatures that live there! Of course, there's plenty of scenery to admire, as well. And, the top-of-the-bluff children's playground will keep kids entertained even if they tire of sea critters and rock climbing. Nearby restrooms are a perk for parents, too. There's also plenty of parking available.
Dockweiler State Beach
Gina I.: Dockweiler State Beach offers 3.7 miles of oceanfront and features restrooms, showers, concessions, picnic tables, volleyball, fire rings, and more. For the best family-friendly spot, head towards the Playa Del Rey neighborhood near Pacific Avenue and Culver Boulevard. After splashing in the waves, kids will enjoy playing in the park and playground across the street. Airport noise could make it difficult for little ones to take a mid-day beach nap, but kids who love planes could think it's really cool!
Marina "Mother's" Beach
Gina I.: This man-made beach was designed for kids! Grab your beach chairs and stretch out on this almost half-mile beach featuring a playground, volleyball, windsurfing and kayaking. No surf in the swimming area means little ones can splash safely. And picnic tables, nearby restaurants, BBQ grills, and restroom facilities mean you can make a day of it with the whole family!
Santa Monica State Beach
Gina I.: From the beach volleyball and bike paths to the beautiful sandy shores, there's lots to love about Santa Monica State Beach. With several lifeguard towers and public restrooms all along the the 3 mile beach, you're sure to find the perfect family-friendly spot to lay out. Be sure to check out Ocean Park Beach and the beachfront along the Santa Monica Pier, featuring small amusement park rides and arcades, the iconic carousel and ferris wheel, aquarium, and lots of great eateries and souvenirs.
Will Rogers State Beach
Erynn: Plenty of parking, easy beach access, and accessible restrooms means Will Rogers State Beach is a welcome destination for LA-area families. There is a fee for parking, but for the price, you can't beat the convenience. The restrooms are generally clean, the water is pristine, and there are even volleyball nets on the near 3-mile beach frontage if you want to get the family together for a game.
Swimming permitted Memorial Day-Labor Day
Gina I.: Ditch the sea for lake life at Castaic Lake! Just a short drive outside of Los Angeles, Castaic Lake State Recreation Area is the perfect family spot for a day trip, overnight camping, fishing, paddle boards, boating, swimming (summer only) and more. For the optimal family spot, stick to the Lower Lake Lagoon, featuring 3 miles of sandy shoreline and plenty of shallow waterways that are perfect for your favorite raft or float. Lifeguards are on duty during swimming season.
Leo Carrillo State Park Beach
Gina I.: Looking for the perfect beach for your little explorers? Look no further than Leo Carrillo State Park Beach! In addition to 1.5 miles of beachfront, kids can check out the tide pools, coastal caves, and reefs. The swimming area has two lifeguard stations with nearby picnic area and restrooms a short distance away.
Primary photo: Upparent
Upparent collects community-submitted recommendations and reviews, and any ideas that are shared reflect the opinions of individual contributors.