Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
No
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
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Situated just south of Point Fermin Park and the infamous Sunken City Landslide, Cabrillo Beach boasts sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, and is flanked by rugged, picturesque cliffs. On a sunny day, many favor Cabrillo over the much more popular Venice and Santa Monica beaches for its quieter nooks, more ample parking, and moderate traffic.

Those with a piqued curiosity for tide pools, an industrious hankering to build a sandcastle, or a wetsuit on and surfboard in hand find a day at Cabrillo Beach to be a day well spent.

On a windy day, expert kiteboarders are silhouetted against the horizon upon which bob massive cargo ships. Similar to the neighboring beaches, Santa Catalina is visible in the distance. As a recreational space to more than just kiteboarders, Cabrillo beach offers excellent surfing and scuba opportunities, and lifeguards hold normal seasonal hours to ensure the safety of swimmers within the roped area.

A 1,200-foot fishing pier parallels the breakwater along the southeastern end of the beach, and many fisherman post up with the hopes of hooking mackerel, tom cod, and possibly halibut. During whale season, many venture down the pier in an attempt to get a glimpse of the behemoth mammals. As the whale season ends, grunion season begins, and the spectacle of locals diving for the silvery fish, flashlights-in-hand in the moonlight is not to be missed. Near by, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium offers information about the native marine life that inhabits the surrounding waters.

Cabrillo Beach was named after the intrepid Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese explorer who was the first to sail up the California coast. It continues to be considered a historical landmark thanks to the recently restored Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse in which weathered adventurers can find warm showers and changing facilities. Additionally, the 1.75-mile Los Angeles Breakwater, which ends at the Angel’s Gate Lighthouse, prompts tourists with a taste for history to return year after year.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Pros

Municipal pool. Fishing shelters on Cabrillo Pier. Aquarium adjacent. Picnic areas.

Cons

Dogs not permitted on beach. Nearby industrial area.

Features

ADA accessible
Fishing
Historically significant
Lighthouse
Picnic tables
Tide pools
Wildlife
Tide pools

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

06/27/2015
Home town San Pedro, located south of Los Angeles in the ports of LA and Long Beach.
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