10 Beaches Near Los Angeles You Can Reach Without a Car

Reach the best beaches near Los Angeles by bus

You might think that getting around in the City of Angels without a car is a no-go. Aside from the environmental factors, money you save on gas, parking (not to mention a car!), taking a FlixBus is also impressively convenient. Unless otherwise stated, all LA beaches are open 24/7. If you’re planning on visiting any of LA’s iconic beaches, look no further. You’ll be beachside within an hour with any one of our many FlixBus stops. If you’re still planning where to visit, here are ten of our favorite beaches near Los Angeles you can reach without a car. 

  1. Long Beach
  2. Junipero Beach
  3. Bay Shore Beach
  4. Seal Beach
  5. Santa Monica Beach
  6. Sunset Beach
  7. Huntington Beach
  8. Topanga Beach
  9. Venice Beach
  10. Will Rogers State Beach

Which is the closest beach to downtown Los Angeles?

The two closest beaches to downtown LA are Santa Monica Beach and Venice Beach

Santa Monica Beach is the closest beach to downtown LA

Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90401 

Santa Monica Beach is a lively destination, renowned for its iconic pier, amusement park, and picturesque bike paths. The area is bustling with shops, restaurants, and hotels, making it an ideal spot for both day trips and longer stays. Public restrooms and beach-accessible wheelchairs enhance the accessibility of this popular beach. Visit during late afternoon or early evening for cooler temperatures and stunning sunsets. 

How to get there: FlixBus offers convenient service to Santa Monica via the UCLA stop. From UCLA, you can take the Big Blue Bus Route 1, 2, 3, 8, or Rapid 12, which will drop you close to the beach. The journey typically takes about 45 minutes​​.

Venice Beach is another great option close to downtown LA

Venice Beach, CA 90291

Adjacent to Santa Monica, Venice Beach is famous for its vibrant boardwalk, skate park, and Muscle Beach outdoor gym. This eclectic beach is a blend of sunbathing, shopping, and diverse beach activities, making it a unique cultural hotspot. 

How to get there: Arrive at the UCLA FlixBus stop and take the Big Blue Bus Route 1, 2, or Rapid 12 towards Venice Beach. These buses provide direct or nearby access to the beach area. The journey from UCLA to Venice Beach takes approximately 45-50 minutes​​.

Both Santa Monica and Venice Beach are easily accessible from various FlixBus stops in Los Angeles, such as Downtown, Union Station, and UCLA. 

Long Beach

Long Beach, Ocean Boulevard, CA, 90802

Easily one of LA’s most iconic beaches, Long Beach (City Beach) can be reached from multiple destinations in California and Henderson, NV. In addition to being a world-class beach lined with excellent shopping, eating and entertainment facilities, the surrounding Long Beach area is also a hub of arts and culture. Make a stop at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific to check out the adorable native sea lions, or get some culture at the Long Beach Museum of Art. Of course, you can’t say you’ve been to Long Beach without taking in the Long Beach Boardwalk, awash with whizzing roller skates, colorful swimsuits, funky people and a vibrant atmosphere. You’ll also find some of the area’s best street food around here.

Services at Long Beach are plentiful. Whether it’s relaxing, family entertainment, partying or business you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it. Toilets are plentiful (though you might be expected to make a purchase in a store or restaurant), police officers are often patrolling the area, and public transport is cheap, regular, and usually clean. Pets and children are welcome everywhere.

From the Long Beach Bus Terminal, you can take an easy 30-minute walk south towards the iconic St. Mary ocean liner, or opt for a local bus, which will take roughly 11 minutes. We recommend heading down to the Long Beach Grand Prix, which will take place near the beach from April 17-19, 2020. Long Beach enjoys pleasant weather and sunshine year-round. Just be warned that summers can be very hot, with temperatures reaching the high 80’s between June and August.

How to get there: FlixBus takes you directly to Long Beach! Check out Long Beach FlixBus stop.

Junipero Beach

Along Ocean Blvd. from Cherry Ave. to Belmont Pier, CA 90802

Junipero Beach is located on the renowned Ocean Boulevard in the Long Beach area, just west o libu. 

Yogis will be in the seventh heaven; yoga takes place almost daily on the grass beside the beach for a small donation. Excellent restaurants and shopping facilities are nearby, as well as public restrooms and a police station. Crime is low here, and many people prefer Junipero Beach, because it's less crowded than other LA beaches. Head for a stroll along the coast between eight and nine in the evening and you’ll be able to enjoy a cooler sunset.

How to get there: The closest FlixBus stop is Long Beach. From there, you can walk eastwards down East Broadway for approx. 30 min., then travel south on Junipero Avenue or one of the other adjacent streets. It takes roughly an hour to get here from Downtown LA, where buses arrive daily from all over California and Henderson, NV.

Bay Shore Beach

Bay Shore Beach, Long Beach, CA 90803

Bay Shore Beach is also in the Long Beach area, near Belmont Shore, Naples, and the Peninsula residential areas. It is located to the east of Long Beach City Beach and Junipero Beach. Since it's separated from the ocean by the Alamitos Peninsula, Bay Shore Beach benefits from calmer waters year-round, making it an ideal spot for families and new swimmers or water-sport novices.

Pets and children are welcome at Bay Shore Beach, which also boasts a range of services making it ideal for families. Public restrooms and beach showers can be found at either end of the beach, as well as sailing equipment, gondolas and kayaks which can all be rented from concessions nearby.

How to get there: FlixBus users can access Bay Shore Beach from all over California and Henderson, NV via the Long Beach stop, around ten blocks from the coast. To get to Bay Shore Beach from the Long Beach FlixBus stop, hop on bus 121 for 25 minutes east, or take a very pleasant one-hour stroll east along Ocean Boulevard.

Seal Beach

Seal Beach, CA 90740

Seal Beach, like Long Beach, is both a beach and a town, though admittedly much smaller than the latter. The northernmost beach of California’s Orange County, Seal Beach, though not technically in LA, is no less popular with surfers and sun-worshipers during summer. The beach sits between the mouth of the San Gabriel River and Anaheim Bay. It is within walking distance of multiple parks, grassy areas. At its center is the Seal Beach Pier which hosts two parking lots and a public restroom.

Pets are welcome at Seal Beach, just be aware of heavy traffic in certain areas, and don’t let any animals loose near the seals. 

How to get there: From the Long Beach FlixBus stop, you can reach Seal Beach in just 35 minutes. Take the 121 from the First & Shelter H S bus stop until Second & Ravenna SE, where you should switch to the 131 to Seal Beach.

Santa Monica Beach

Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Another one of California’s most iconic locations, Santa Monica Beach is a special place all year round. It's known for its colorful attractions and entertainment venues, stunning bike paths and soft, white sand. Popular shops, restaurants and hotels are just a stone’s throw away, making it a popular destination for short vacations. The main attraction in Santa Monica is by far the pier; featuring an amusement park, aquarium, and multiple restaurants. This is the landmark for Santa Monica and is not one to be missed.

Pets and kids are welcome at Santa Monica, public restrooms are available and beach-accessible wheelchairs are available in four locations in the City of Santa Monica, which we recommend to sort out before you arrive. The best time to visit Santa Monica Beach is during the late afternoon or early evening when the sun is setting, as temperatures are not too hot, crowds less dense, and the sunset panoramic. There are few better places to spend an evening with a cold beer or ice cream in hand.

How to get there: Santa Monica is accessible by FlixBus via the UCLA stop, with buses leaving from multiple destinations in California, including Millbrae and San Francisco. From the UCLA stop, the beach is a gorgeous 45-minute bus ride away. 

Sunset Beach

16910 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92649

It would be hard to imagine a more idyllic sounding place than Sunset Beach. Even so, you wouldn’t be overestimating the allure of this Pacific-facing paradise.  Developed as a result of the 1920 discovery of oil in the Huntington Beach Oil Field, Sunset Beach today is a favorite amongst Orange County’s paddle boarders, kayakers and families, thanks to the beach’s parks and playgrounds. Public restrooms and outdoor showers also help to make Sunset Beach one of the region’s most user-friendly and convenient beaches.

With this in mind, it is also important to note that the beach, being one of the smaller and more private beaches in the region, is closed between 10 pm and 5 am, and alcohol, glass, dogs, smoking and tent camping is prohibited.

How to get there: To get to Sunset Beach, take a FlixBus to the Long Beach stop, walk (six minutes) to the Anaheim at Long Beach bus station to catch the 45, 175 or 51/2 to Seventh & Channel SE, before switching to the bus 1 (San Clemente - Camino Real and Santa Margarita) from 7th & Channel to Pacific Coast-19th. The journey takes roughly 45 minutes.

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, CA 92649

There’s a lot to do and see at Huntington (City) Beach. Famed for its long pier hosting a range of entertainment facilities, arcades and restaurants, Huntington Beach and the surrounding town is home to the International Surfing Museum, which displays longboards and other cool surfing memorabilia, as well as a huge central park where young and old gather to skate, chat, shop and relax. Nature lovers will also be sated, as well as a park and a long, sandy beach, Huntington Beach is also home to Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve's wetlands and dunes, which shelter hundreds of bird species.

The weather around Huntington Beach stays nice all year, however late spring is when temperatures are still warm but accommodations are much cheaper. Dogs are allowed on the parking lot and trail, but must be on a leash and are not permitted on the beach (apart from service dogs).  Huntington Beach can get quite crowded at times, so if you prefer peace and quiet, head to a smaller beach.

How to get there: To get to Huntington Beach, take a Flixbus to the Long Beach stop. Then take the 45, 46 or 175 from the Anaheim at Long Beach stop to Seventh & Channel SE, before switching on to the bus 1 (San Clemente - Camino Real and Santa Margarita) for 21 stops until Warner-Pacific. The journey takes a little over an hour during midday.

Topanga Beach

Topanga Beach, Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu, CA, 18700

Ah, Topanga Beach. Winding trees, blue skies, soft sand, Topanga Beach is known as one of the first beaches in the Malibu region of Southern California. Topango is also known as a surfer's paradise, thanks to the long curve of the beach. When you've had enough of surfing, sunbathing or swimming (if that ever happens), then you're only a short walk from the enormous Topanga State Park, near the Santa Monica Mountains. Here, you can enjoy hiking trails and excellent mountain biking opportunities in one of the most beautiful parks in California. 

Spring is a beautiful time to visit Topanga Beach, however, like most of Southern California, the weather is gorgeous all year round. Feel free to bring your poochie pal, but make sure that they're on a leash at all times, and are off the actual beach. 

How to get there: The closest FlixBus stop to Topanga Beach is the UCLA stop. The bus will depart and board from the bus stop on the northeast corner of Gayley Ave. and Strathmore Pl., just look out for the green FlixBus sign! The journey takes roughly 45 minutes. 

Venice Beach

Venice Beach, Ocean Front Walk, CA, 90291

Venice Beach is one of California's most famed. Located between LA International Airport and Santa Monica, Venice Beach is home to a uniquely bohemian spirit, funky shops, colorful murals and diverse people. This is where the rich, the famous, young and old, rich and poor rub shoulders, and the whole Venice area has a tangible and memorable atmosphere. 

Venice Beach Boardwalk and Pier is a must-see; one of the most famous piers in the world, known for its street performers, restaurants, shops and of course, Muscle Beach Gym. There are multiple beach stores along the boardwalk and around, and bikes are available for rental. 

How to get there: Accessible by FlixBus via the USC Flixbus stop, the journey takes roughly 50 minutes from the stop to Venice Beach. 

Will Rogers State Beach

17700 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Will Rogers State Beach is a playful, open beach park located in Santa Monica Bay. Named after the famous philosopher, actor and cowboy. What could be more Californian than that? It is less busy compared to other LA beaches and is the ideal place to take the family, thanks to the availability of volleyball courts and picnic tables for an al fresco lunch! Dogs are permitted at Will Rogers State Park. 

The beach is open from 6 am to sunset. During the day you'll find a great range of restaurants, shops, walks and amenities nearby, including showers and clean public toilets, and even beach-accessible wheelchairs. 

How to get there: Take a FlixBus to the UCLA stop, which is around 50 minutes from Will Rogers State Beach.