Picturesque Fresh Water Swimming Spots Around L.A. (2023)

Picturesque Fresh Water Swimming Spots Around L.A. (1)

Aquatic relief awaits.

Everyone in L.A. right now is melting and the only way to deal with it is to plunge into something cold as soon as physically possible. So Angelenos, you have a few options you can either submerge yourself in an icy michelada, a glorious frozen dessert or seek out anything that vaguely resembles a pool. Of course, hidden swimming spots and waterfalls involve arduous treks in the blazing sun. If you can’t even fathom that right now, here are the designated swim beaches (meaning they have restroom facilities, lifeguards, and use chlorinators) in L.A. that are easy to get to.

Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area

Tucked away in San Gabriel Valley at the foot of the mountains. This swimming spot offers some spectacular views of the Azusa mountains, the lush setting also makes it a great place to run or take a cycle along the bike path around the rim of the lake. The recreational swimming area is actually a flood-control dam on the San Gabriel River and is home to unique plants and wildlife.

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Note: Valley Swim beach is open Thursday through Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm from July 9th to September 6th. Face coverings are required outside of water. Physical distancing required inside and outside of water. No lounging on the sand. No water toys allowed in or out of water. Due to high attendance capacity, gates may close for safety and health concerns. Please call in to check on attendance before making the drive to Santa Fe Dam. The following dates may experience high attendance capacity causing gate closure: August 1, August 29, September 26.

15501 Arrow Hwy, Irwindale, CA 91706, United States

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Puddingstone Lake

This shallow swimming spot in San Dimas has a touch of beach and plenty of wildlife (ducks and fish) to make for a pretty relaxing local getaway. You can get involved in all sorts of activities like kayaking, running, fishing, walking, cycling, horseback riding, and, of course, swimming. There’s a specific area for swimming located on the South Shore and you’ll also have 1975 acres of the Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park to explore.

Eucalyptus Park Rd, San Dimas, CA 91773, United States

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Pyramid Lake

Soak up the sun and scenic beauty of the Angeles and Los Padres National Forests near Castaic, California. It’s a popular place for outdoor folks thanks to the endless amount of recreational activities to Pyramid Dam on Piru Creek forms the Pyramid Lake (a reservoir) and it’s located in the Angeles and Los Padres National Forests near Castaic, California. In case you were wondering, it takes its name from the unmissable pyramid-shaped rock carved out by engineers building the Old Highway 99.

35800 Camino Del Lago, Castaic, CA 91384, United States

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Castaic Lake

Castaic Lake State Recreation Area is a reservoir and it’s one of the State Water Project’s largest recreational lakes. There are 29 miles of shoreline to enjoy and has two separate bodies of water for your recreational enjoyment. The Lower Lake Lagoon is where you want to head to if you’re interested in tranquil aquatic activities like swimming or canoeing, and if you want to avoid powerboats. You’ll also have plenty of hiking and biking trails to discover if you’re up for earning your dip. You could also skip that and head straight to the picnic spots.

Castaic Lake Dr, Castaic, CA 91310, United States

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Where can I go for a swim LA? ›

Swimming areas to VISIT in Los Angeles County
  • Venice City Beach, at Brooks Ave. drain.
  • Rancho Palos Verdes, Long Point.
  • Royal Palms State Beach.
  • Palos Verdes Estates, at Malaga Cove trail outlet.
  • Las Tunas County Beach, at Pena Creek.
  • Nicholas Beach, at San Nicholas Canyon Creek.
  • Eaton Canyon.
  • Hansen Dam Lake.
30 Jun 2022

Where is the most beautiful place to swim? ›

  1. Calanques National Park, France. ...
  2. Red Beach, Greece. ...
  3. Devil's Pool, Victoria Falls, Zambia. ...
  4. Heaven Lake, China. ...
  5. Crystal River, USA. ...
  6. Dalebrook Tidal Pool, South Africa. ...
  7. Akigawa River, Japan. ...
  8. Seljavallalaug, Iceland.
18 May 2022

Are there any lakes in Southern California you can swim in? ›

What are some lakes in Southern California for swimming? You can swim at Pyramid Lake, Castaic Lake, Big Bear Lake (there are designated beach areas), Lake Gregory, Silverwood Lake, Lake Perris, and Lake Elsinore.

What is the best swimming beach in California? ›

Laguna Beach, Venice Beach and Newport Beach are trademarks of the Californian coast and attract millions of water users each year. Popular beaches in California also include Huntington Beach, Santa Monica Beach, Hermosa Beach and Coronado Central Beach.

Where is the clearest water to swim in? ›

1. The Maldives. The Maldives, located in the Indian Ocean, have around 1,190 islands and sandbanks. A lagoon with crystal clear water encircles all the islands, which are protected by a reef structure that is home to an array of underwater life.

What beach has the prettiest water in the US? ›

Which Beaches in the US Have the Clearest Water?
  • Destin, Florida.
  • Laguna Beach, California.
  • Clearwater Beach, Florida.
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
  • Honokalani Black Sand Beach, Hana, Hawaii.
  • Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
  • Smathers Beach, Key West.
  • Cannon Beach, Oregon.
12 Mar 2022

What's the cleanest lake in Southern California? ›

The Clearest Lake In Southern California, Castaic Lake, Is Almost Too Beautiful To Be Real
  • Castaic Lake is one of the largest reservoirs in the entire state of California and also one of the most beautiful. ...
  • Castaic Lake offers nearly 30 miles of shoreline for you to explore.
30 Jun 2022

What is the cleanest lake in CA? ›

1. What is the cleanest lake in California? A: Convict Lake is one of the clearest lakes in California. Located in the Eastern Sierras in Mono County, the lake is popular for its blue turquoise water and the surrounding mountains.

What is the nicest lake in Southern California? ›

13 Lakes in Southern California (2022) You Should Visit
  • Silverwood Lake.
  • convict lake.
  • Lake Arrowhead Reservoir.
  • Lake Arrowhead Reservoir.
  • Castaic Lake.
  • Lake Gregory.
  • Lake Gregory.
  • Perris Reservoir.
8 Oct 2022

What is the prettiest beach in Los Angeles? ›

The prettiest beach in Los Angeles is Santa Monica State Beach.

What California beach has the cleanest water? ›

If you want to experience the clearest water in California, where you can snorkel, kayak, swim, and have a crystal clear view of the marine life in the water, then you're going to fall in love La Jolla Cove Beach, the clearest beach in California.

What is the safest beach in LA? ›

5. Venice City Beach. Venice City Beach is the main beach in LA's Venice District. Besides the neighboring Santa Monica beach, this seafront is considered the safest beach for kids in LA.

What is the most beautiful beach town in California? ›

Mendocino is notably the most beautiful beach town in California. It is famed for its picturesque seaside cottages and charming atmosphere.

Whats nicer Laguna Beach or Newport Beach? ›

Whether you're searching for casual digs or a new culinary hotspot, you'll find equally incredible places to indulge at either destination. Newport Beach is more family-oriented, so nightlife is much more of a draw at Laguna Beach, especially since most of the bars and clubs sit in the walkable downtown district.

Where is the clearest water in California? ›

What beach in California has the clearest water? La Jolla Cove is widely known to have some of the clearest water anywhere.

What is the prettiest beach in Southern California? ›

Coronado Beach is considered by many to be the prettiest Southern California beach. The clear blue waters, white sand shoreline, and iconic sunsets make Coronado Beach one of the most beautiful beaches in Southern California.

What is the warmest beach to swim in California? ›

Warmest Ocean Water

For the warmest ocean swim off the west coast of the United States, your best chances are Newport Beach in early August or at Avalon on Santa Catalina Island in mid to late August. At both places, the Pacific Ocean temperature peaks at 70 degrees F (21 °C).

Where is the most crystal clear water? ›

The Weddell Sea has been claimed by scientists to have the clearest waters of any ocean in the world.

What state has the cleanest fresh water? ›

Hawaii ranks first in the nation for air and water quality, as well as in the overall natural environment category. Massachusetts places second in this subcategory, followed by North Dakota, Virginia and Florida. Learn more about the Best States for air and water quality below.

Where is the cleanest fresh water? ›

While there are a few places that boast extremely clean water, such as Canada, Iceland, Antarctica, or even Upstate New York, the team of scientists determined that the cleanest water in the world was in the Patagonia region of Chile, Puerto Williams.

What beach has crystals in California? ›

Situated on the shoreline of the Pacific, Moonstone Beach is a truly unique beach that is a beautiful and memorable place to visit! Moonstone beach lives up to its namesake, and it is so named due to the shiny gemstones that can be found over the entire area.

Why is California ocean water not clear? ›

The sediments and organic material are the main causes of the cloudy water along the CA coast.

Does California have any white sand beaches? ›

Carmel City Beach is a long, wide, white sand beach that is hard to beat anywhere on the California Central Coast.

What beaches in the US have crystal clear water? ›

Beaches With Clear Water: The Best in the United States
  • Waimea Bay Beach Park, Hawaii. ...
  • Crandon Park Beach, Florida. ...
  • Assateague Island, Maryland and Virginia. ...
  • Clearwater Beach, Florida. ...
  • Carmel Beach, Carmel by The Sea, California. ...
  • Cannon Beach, Oregon. ...
  • Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada. ...
  • Clear Water, Clear Skies, Good Times.
25 Mar 2022

What is the number 1 rated beach in the USA? ›


Often voted as one of the best beaches in the USA, Clearwater Beach is a totally stunning area to stay whilst on the west coast of Florida.

What is America's Number 1 beach? ›

1: Manele Bay, Hawaii

For most of the year Hulopoe Bay is the best place for kayaking, swimming and snorkeling on the island. In fact, snorkeling and diving spots here are considered some of the finest in Hawaii, making a swim in the 70-degree water all the more tempting.

Where is the warmest place to swim in California? ›

Descanso Beach

It's known for its warm temperatures year-round and has the warmest water temperatures in California during the month of August.

What is the bluest lake in California? ›

1. Lake Tahoe. The granite Sierra Nevada Mountains frame the dazzling blue water of Lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful lakes in California and one of the most popular lakes in the United States.

What lake has the freshest water? ›

Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume (23,600km3), containing 20% of the world's fresh water. At 1,637m, it is the deepest freshwater lake in the world; the average depth is 758m.

What is the cleanest freshwater lake? ›

Located in the top half of New Zealand's South Island, Blue Lake is said to be the clearest lake in the world. Its waters are fed by another lake that sits above its height of 1,200 meters above sea level.

Are there any freshwater lakes in California? ›

Among freshwater lakes entirely contained within the state, the largest by area is Clear Lake, which covers 68 square miles (180 km2). Many of California's large lakes are actually reservoirs: artificial bodies of fresh water.

Which is the cleanest beach in Southern California? ›

In L.A. County:

Royal Palms State Beach Los Angeles. Palos Verdes Estates, at Malaga Cove trail outlet. Las Tunas County Beach, at Pena Creek. Nicholas Beach, at San Nicholas Canyon Creek.

What is the safest beach in Southern California? ›

Coronado Beach is also the safest beach in California for swimming. Towards the shore, the waves are very gentle, the waters are usually calm and clear that you can easily see what you're stepping on. It also features numerous lifeguard stations, making the area safer.

Can you swim in the water in LA? ›

Yes. The vast majority of ocean waters along the coast of Los Angeles County meet State ocean water quality standards.

Does LA have public pools? ›

The City of Los Angeles, Recreation and Parks Department, Aquatics Division offers families and community members many healthy, affordable and safe aquatic activities at their public pools, lakes and beaches.

Where are tide pools in Los Angeles? ›

Point Fermin Park Beach

Located in the San Pedro District, the rocky beach at Point Fermin Park offers an outstanding spot to see tide pools. Traversing the rocks in search of marine life, such as sea urchins, crabs, and mussels, is a fun way to burn off energy while exploring nature.

Are there tide pools in LA? ›

There are a variety of tide pool options here with Pelican Point and Little Treasure Cove being two of the most popular (and gorgeous) places to check out.

Are there sharks in La waters? ›

Shark attacks near Los Angeles are rare, but they do happen. Southern California has hot spots of juvenile great white sharks. These younger white sharks hang out near the shoreline to evade predators and are more likely to attack humans as they learn.

Is Malibu beach safe to swim? ›

Besides surfing, you can also go swimming, fishing, and scuba diving during your visit. There are lifeguards on duty for added safety during the summer.

Is Santa Monica water safe to swim? ›

Most of the region's beaches are not under advisory. The waters off the Santa Monica Pier and parts of Mother's Beach are among the most polluted in California based on levels of bacteria in the ocean, according to the environmental group Heal the Bay.

Can anyone go to Planet Hollywood pool? ›

Is there a cost to swim? Pool admission is free for Planet Hollywood hotel guests. Four guests complimentary per room key. All other entry will require purchase of a cabana or daybed.

Can you swim at Venice beach LA? ›

For those who are more inclined to actual beach activities, swimming, beach volleyball, fishing, and surfing are popular at this beach. The Venice Breakwater is actually an acclaimed local surf spot. Bike and skate rentals are also available along Ocean Front Walk.

Is the circa pool free for guests? ›

Stadium Swim is free for all guests staying at Circa. The cost of the pool for two guests is included in the nightly rate when staying in the hotel.

What is the best beach to swim in Los Angeles? ›

Santa Monica State Beach

It's considered the best beach for swimming in Los Angeles by many people.

What time is best to see tide pools? ›

A general rule of thumb is that the tidepools can be visited approximately two hours before low tide time (when the tide is receding) and two hours after (when the tide is coming back in).

What beach in California has tide pools? ›

The Laguna Beach Coastline has abundant rocky intertidal habitat. Popular locations for enjoying tidepools include Main Beach, Shaws Cove, and Treasure Island.

Can you touch animals in tide pools? ›

Never remove plants, animals, or shells from the tide pool habitats, particularly if you are within a "Marine Protected Area" where you could potentially be fined. Look but do not touch; certainly do not pull plants or animals off the rocks.

What is the best time to visit La Jolla tide pools? ›

Keep an eye on the tide schedules, get up early on the weekend, and head down to La Jolla Shores for a relaxing and fascinating hike to the tide pools. The best time to arrive is at or a little before low tide. High tide will cover the tide pools and cut the hikeable beach route by more than half.

Where can I see a starfish in Malibu? ›

Malibu, California - Large starfish clustered together in a tidepool at Point Dume State Beach | TouristBee.


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