If you’ve ever seen the cult classic film Earth Girls Are Easy, you’ve heard of legendary Zuma Beach (Pacific Coast Highway, 19 miles north of Malibu). This popular surf and boogie-boarding break, complete with a nice, big stretch of clean, white sand, fills up fast on summer weekends but isn’t as crowded on weekdays.
Grab a spot on the west side of the Pacific Coast Highway for free parking, or pay a little for one of the more than 2,000 spots in the beach parking lot.
Zuma has all the amenities you need for a full day out at the beach, from restrooms and showers to a kid-friendly snack bar and a beachside boardwalk.
Water lovers can ride the waves or just take a swim in the cool and (unusual for the L.A. area) crystal-clear Pacific waters. Zuma has lifeguards during daylight hours, and for landlubbers, it’s got beach volleyball courts set up and a playground for the kids.
Perhaps best of all, this beach doesn’t fill up with litter-happy tourists. It’s actually a locals’ favorite for weekend R&R.