Heal the Bay conducts annual water quality reports for beaches in Southern California. It’s important, if you’re planning on taking a family trip to the beach that you are aware of the water’s cleanliness and conditions.
Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey
Because of its sheltered spot, Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey is the perfect place for kids and parents to enjoy the ocean water and not have to worry about big waves. The beach also offers a roped-off swimming area that’s monitored by lifeguards, in case you want even more certainty that your kids will be safe. If your family enjoys more of an adventure, there are paddleboards and kayaks for rent and if you’re still left wanting more, Mother’s Beach offers a nearby playground as well. In dry weather, Heal the Bay gives the water at this beach an A+. However, be aware that in wet weather conditions the water grade drops to a D. To get here just take the I-405 S and exit Lincoln Blvd. The beach is on Admiralty Way.
The water at the edge of Manhattan Beach stays relatively shallow, making this a great spot for kids to splash around without any worry. There is also an aquarium with a touch tank at the end of the pier and great eateries including a handmade ice cream shop nearby! The water conditions at Manhattan Beach earned an A+ according to Heal the Bay, but in wet weather drop to an F. To get here take the I-405 S and exit Rosecrans Ave W, then turn right.
Dockweiler State Beach
Most, if not all, kids love watching planes go by at the airport. At Dockweiler Beach your family can enjoy both the simple pleasures of being at the beach with the added bonus of watching planes fly by above. This is because Dockweiler Beach is directly under the LAX flight path! Not to mention the beach has multiple fire pits for roasting marshmallows or other goodies. Heal the Bay gave the water at this beach a grade of A+ during dry weather, however they don’t currently have any water samples for wet weather. Take the I-405 S to the CA-90 W and exit Culver Boulevard, this will take you right to the beach.
Leo-Carillo State Park North and South Beach
If your family loves a great adventure and being around nature, Leo-Carillo Sate Park North and South Beach could be right up your alley. With tide pools and easy hiking trails fit for kids and parents alike, families can enjoy a fun-filled day here! To get here, take the 101 N and exit Las Virgenes Road. Then continue onto Malibu Canyon Road. The water conditions for Leo-Carillo in dry weather are perfect for a family visit, as Heal the Bay has given this beach a grade A+. Water samples for wet weather are not currently available on their website.
If you’re born and raised in Los Angeles you’ve heard of or even been to Santa Monica. For those who haven’t, it’s a great place for a family beach outing for many reasons! Even though Heal the Bay has given this beach a poor grade of F for water conditions, there are many fun activities not involving water for kids to participate in. There’s a playground nearby and a pier with rides, an arcade, different games and food. For parents, there’s also the Third Street Promenade within walking distance with great shops and eateries! To get here just take the I-10 W and exit Lincoln Boulevard.
Ocean Park Beach in Santa Monica
If your kids are looking for fun things to do in L.A. and love to boogie board, the calm waves at Ocean Park in Santa Monica are perfect for your family! If boogie boarding is not your thing, there’s also a playground, bike and skate rentals and a snack bar to keep everyone happy. There’s also a great chance you may see dolphins swimming! To get here take the I-10 W exit to Lincoln Boulevard and turn right onto Ocean Park Boulevard. Ocean Park’s water conditions in dry weather have earned an A+ according to Heal the Bay, however you might want to steer clear of the water after a rainstorm. This beach received an F, for water conditions in wet weather.
Zuma Beach in Malibu
Summertime has locals and visitors thinking of fun things to do in L.A. At Zuma Beach, body surfing is a popular activity along with Volleyball and Frisbee! A small playground is also accessible and Dolphin sightings are quite common here as well! Take the 101 N and exit Kanan Road, this will take you to the beach. According to Heal the Bay, the water at Zuma beach is an A+ in dry weather conditions. Samples of the water in wet weather have not been taken yet however.
Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro
With Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro there are two sides of the beach to choose from, great for those who love variety! If your family likes to surf there’s a side where the water is perfect for it. This oceanside area has been given an A+ for both dry and wet weather conditions according to Heal the Bay. If your family just wants a calm and peaceful setting to spend the day there is a side of the beach closer to the harbor. This side has an A for their water in dry conditions and an F in wet conditions. If you are looking to swim after a rainstorm it is best to stay oceanside. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is also nearby for added family fun! To get here take the 110 S and exit Gaffey Street.
Paradise Cove’s private beach is the perfect outing for families. There is no surfing allowed which makes it perfect for kids since the water is more clam. There is also a Paradise Cove Café that serves breakfast, lunch and diner. Many movies have been shot at this location so a celebrity sighting or two isn’t uncommon! To get here, take the CA-1 N and exit by turning left on Paradise Cove Road. This beach is great for swimming during dry weather conditions according to Heal the Bay. They have received a letter A+, on the other hand there are no samples available for the water conditions in wet weather.