5 fun beach-bound trips in Los Angeles

1) Balboa Island

A mere 45 miles from LA, this man-made island in Newport Beach is a sunny bit of seaside heaven. It’s charming and quaint and the real estate is some of the most expensive in the US. Arrested Development fans will recognize this as the site of the Bluth’s frozen banana stand.

sailboat balboa island

Balboa Island


2) Catalina Island

Because it’s accessible only by sea or by air (easier than it sounds, there are four mainland ports with ferries), Catalina feels much further away than it really is. Maybe that’s because once you arrive you are on ‘island time’, with no cars (rent a taxi, bike or golf cart) and plenty of leisure activities.

harbour catalina island

Catalina Island


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3) Morro Bay

Just three hours up the coast from LA, getting to Morro Bay is half the fun – the drive, up the 101 or on the Pacific Coast Highway, is beautiful. Once you get to the sleepy little beach town, you’ll be happy to finally dive into the Pacific.

couple on the beach morro bay

4) Laguna Beach

Only 50 miles south of Los Angeles, this tiny beach community boasts many galleries, cafes, and boutiques. There are also great hikes to secluded coves and a plethora of tide pools. The area is an ‘artist colony’, but nowadays the real estate is so expensive, few artists can actually afford to live here.

purple flowers and a view over Laguna Beach in LA

5) Coronado

This resort city across the San Diego Bay has some of the best beaches in the US. Another reason to come is the historic Hotel del Coronado, a national landmark that has hosted distinguished guests (most US presidents, Muhammad Ali, Marilyn Monroe) and might have inspired author L. Frank Baum’s Emerald City.

surfers coronado beach

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