Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.
Annenberg Community Beach House
The pristine two-mile-long Santa Monica terrain can stand on its own — trust us. But why not add a 22-by-110-foot pool to the mix? A relic of the historic Marion Davies estate, it features restored tiles and marble accents. Also on the grounds are a cafe, volleyball courts, beach rentals, event house, and even a fitness center.
Point Dume State Beach
This one’s a whale of a beach. Spot the flubbery, spouty mammals December through March, but for now, we recommend it for sexy walks with your partner in crime. Made famous by films like Planet of the Apes and The Big Lebowski, it’s also a great spot for rock climbing. Fun fact: The first piece of land directly south of its tip is Antarctica.
Nicholas Canyon County Beach
Located ten minutes north of Zuma, the boogie board-friendly spot beats the Malibu crowd and usually has ample towel space. It’s got the cleanest, freshest water around — all the better for surfing the rare left point break waves. The cove at the bottom of the stairs is great for families or group hangs, and keeps the sand out of your ’wich.
The Strand, Manhattan Beach
An easy commute from the confines of the city, this strip boasts some serious real estate. If staying put isn’t your thing, take in the impressive homes as you walk, run, jog, rollerblade, bike, or crawl along the miles of paved pathway. If it is, stare out into the Pacific and think about Keanu Reeves in Point Break (the surf board-buying scene was shot nearby) while you work on your tan.
Located in Leo Carrillo State Park, this is the best spot to BYO picnic after work. Grab some Cubans from Cafe Habana on your way out of Dodge, and pack a cooler for your Beachy Cream ice cream sandwiches from Pacific Coast Greens. Head toward the rocks and cliffs to watch the surf — it’s scenic as all hell. Weekenders, beware of biker types from the Valley (or go hog in tow and make some friends).
Photo: Dirk Dallas / Flickr