Top Summer Destinations in the Los Angeles Area

Malibu | John Michael Wilyat

Numerous communities across the Los Angeles area are worth visiting, but some options stand out as top summer destinations. Let’s explore the best communities in the L.A. area for the ultimate summer getaway or day trip.

Santa Monica

Santa Monica, one of the most beloved destinations in the Los Angeles area, is a coastal community with a world-famous pier and vast beaches. The Santa Monica Pier stretches past Santa Monica Beach and boasts an amusement park as well as top dining options, trendy shops, and a lively nightlife. During the summer, visitors can also enjoy outdoor concerts and farmers markets throughout the city.

Santa Monica Pier | Andrew Gwizdowski


Malibu, an iconic coastal city west of L.A., is known as an affluent coastal enclave. This quiet city comprises some of the best beaches on the West Coast, and surfers flock to Malibu Lagoon State Beach and Zuma Beach during the summer. Malibu is also a premier destination for hiking, with trails such as Zuma Canyon Trail and Escondido Canyon Trail that pass through hilly terrain. 

Zuma Beach | Gurong Shen


Oxnard is an expansive and sun-soaked city west of L.A. Oxnard’s highlights include soft-sand beaches, a delectable food scene, a lively nightlife, and cultural attractions, such as the Carnegie Art Museum. Visitors can enjoy surfing, sunbathing on the beach, or fishing at the surrounding waterways. Nearby, just a short boat trip or plane ride away, Channel Islands National Park stands out as a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Moreover, the Dallas Cowboys Training Camp, held in the city during the summer, attracts numerous fans of the team to Oxnard. 

Channel Islands National Park | Cecilia Frost

Marina del Rey

The town of Marina del Rey owes its fame to its immense marina. The largest man-made small craft harbor on the continent houses many residents’ watercraft, making it a popular destination for boaters and water sports enthusiasts. In addition to easy ocean access, Marina del Rey also offers pristine beaches, several renowned restaurants, and trendy art galleries.

Marina del Rey | Benoit Debaix

Long Beach

Long Beach, located south of Los Angeles, is a significant city known as one of California’s most prominent ports. Its acclaimed cultural attractions include the Museum of Latin American Art and the Aquarium of the Pacific. Visitors can have a relaxed day of shopping at the Shoreline Village, with stores and restaurants overlooking the scenic harbor. Also, summers in Long Beach come alive with vibrant city events, including the Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration and Long Beach Pride festival and parade.

Long Beach | Ameer Basheer

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is a stunning and affluent area on the South Bay. With a beach, a waterfront aquarium, and an expansive pier, Manhattan Beach is a must-visit destination in the Los Angeles area. The city’s chic historic downtown boasts fine dining hotspots, trendy boutique stores, a farmers market, and patios overlooking the water. Summer brings a countless stream of events to Manhattan Beach, including volleyball tournaments, races, and concerts.

Manhattan Beach | Jake Blucker
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