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Which has better swimming beaches: LA or San Diego?

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1 post
5 reviews
Which has better swimming beaches: LA or San Diego?

Looking for family beaches in either LA or San Diego. I will be visiting both.

I am hoping for calmer waters for an 8 and 7 year old. I was already told to expect cooler water than Florida. I will be going in the beginning of June.

I was told to avoid Venice beach.

Any suggestions?

Edited: June 09, 2018, 4:47 am
5 replies to this topic
Corona del Mar...
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
59,600 posts
435 reviews
1. Re: Which has better swimming beaches: LA or San Diego?

Chris K, welcome to the forums.

The ocean in CA isn't "cooler than FL", it is COLD. There are only a couple of months you can stay in the water an extended amount of time without a wetsuit. That isn't to say kids can't splash around the shallows, but you intend to stay in the water to boogie board, etc, it gets cold quickly.

If you want "calmer water" I'd stay in San Diego and stay on the western side of Mission Bay, like the Catamaran Hotel, etc.

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
Level Contributor
21,869 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Which has better swimming beaches: LA or San Diego?

We've had 4 generations going to the beach in LA's South Bay, in Manhattan Beach, 3 mi so of LAX. It's very family friendly, lots of shops and restaurants and a nice pier to walk out and watch surfers and boogie boarders. My sons Surf, and wear full wet suits surfing, and only in Aug. and Sept. can they wear their Short sleeve suits.

However, you will see lots of people at the water's edge boogie boarding, runinng in and out of the waves and building sand castles.

San Mateo...
Level Contributor
1,926 posts
44 reviews
3. Re: Which has better swimming beaches: LA or San Diego?

By swimming do you mean actual open ocean swimming or do you mean frolicking , body surfing, boogie boarding in the waves? I don't know of any calm ocean water areas for kids to actually swim. In the few times I've been in Mission Bay, I never saw anyone swim in it ... lots of kayaking and other water sports there, though.

Del Mar, California
Level Contributor
9,389 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: Which has better swimming beaches: LA or San Diego?

Mission Beach is probably the calmest beach (waterwise) in the San Diego area.

Mission Bay has calm waters becuase it's a Bay. And as Scott(Hi Scott 🤠) said the area of mission bay directly behind the Catamaran Hotel has nice calm water to swim around in for kids.

There are kids that go in the water behind the Catamaran as I walk by there about 3 times a month and see them often from Aril to October.

Edited: June 09, 2018, 7:02 am
California
Level Contributor
4,297 posts
335 reviews
5. Re: Which has better swimming beaches: LA or San Diego?

I like La Jolla Shores Beach. An ocean beach but not so rough. I agree that Mission Bay is placid.

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