There are plenty of family-friendly beaches in Los Angeles, but you might be looking for a calmer beach that’s suitable for your babies or toddlers.
Summer in L.A. is prime beach time and there are no shortage of beaches. While there are many that have mild waves that are perfect for older children, they might not be the best for babies.
So what types of beaches do babies need? Here is our criteria:
- Still water with little to no waves
- Gradual, shallow dropoff
- Plenty of sand to play in
This lets babies enjoy the beach by crawling around in shallow water without getting hit by waves, and it lets toddlers play in the water without fear of getting knocked down or pulled out by a current. Do these beaches exist in Los Angeles? Well, we looked throughout the L.A. area and found the best ones. Here they are, going from north to south.
1. Malibu Lagoon State Beach
Malibu Lagoon is the farthest north, but it’s our favorite on this list. This beach is really unique. There’s the ocean-facing side that has normal waves. But there’s a small channel that runs from the ocean into the lagoon. And during low tide, there is a large area of really shallow water, maybe a few inches high, and sand dunes sticking out. It’s perfect for babies to crawl around and toddlers to run through.
There’s a small parking lot (Malibu Lagoon Car Park) that gets crowded pretty quickly, so you might have to find a spot on on neighboring side streets. From there, it’s about a half mile walk on a dirt trail around the lagoon to get to the beach, so be prepared with a stroller or wagon if you have a lot of stuff to carry.
2. Mother’s Beach, Marina Del Rey
Marina Del Rey is a harbor for private boats, but inside one of the channels is a beach. Mother’s Beach, which is a section that’s part of Marina Beach, is a nice stretch of sand with shallow, still water. What also makes this beach perfect for kids is that there’s a large playground right on the sand.
Parking is relatively easy – there are multiple paid parking lots surrounding the beach with plenty of spots available even during busy times.
3. Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro
The Los Angeles Harbor in San Pedro is known for its busy port with freight ships going in and out. But in a little secluded corner of the harbor is Cabrillo Beach, which has low waves that are safe for babies and toddlers to play in. An added bonus for kids is the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium right next to the beach.
Parking is fairly easy in the large, paid parking lot right in front of the beach.
4. Colorado Lagoon, Long Beach
Long Beach has a lot of great baby beaches, and the first is Colorado Lagoon. The south end of the lagoon has a long stretch of beach with still and shallow waters. There’s a pier on the lagoon that’s fun for older kids to jump off of. There’s also small playground right in front of the beach.
Parking can get crowded. There’s a small paid parking lot next to the beach, a small free parking lot across the street from the beach, and street parking along the beach and into the neighborhood.
5. Mother’s Beach, Long Beach
Colorado Lagoon connects to Alamitos Bay, and along the main channel is Mother’s Beach. While playing on the beach, you can watch boats and kayaks pass by on the main channel, but the beach area is roped off so you don’t have to worry about getting hit. There’s also a large playground that’s right in front of the beach.
There is a decent sized paid parking lot in front of the beach, but this can get crowded depending on when you go. There’s also free street parking along the beach and in the neighborhood.
6. Bayshore Beach, Long Beach
A branch channel off the Alamitos Bay is Bayshore beach, which is a narrow but very long stretch of sand. There’s a lot of activity at this beach, including boats, gondolas, kayaks, and paddle boards. But the play area is roped off. There’s also a small playground next to the beach.
Parking here can be difficult. A medium-sized paid parking lot across the street fills up fast, and the side street parking is almost always taken. But with some patience, you’ll eventually find a parking spot.
If you have babies and toddlers, these are the perfect beaches in Los Angeles to take them without fear of big waves. The water is calm and shallow, there’s plenty of sand to plop down and play in, and most of them even have playgrounds right on the beach.