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Best Backpacking Backpack

How to Choose the Best Travel Backpack

I began traveling long before I can remember. I must have been only a week old when I took my first trip to Antwerp, Belgium, where my extended family lives, and I have gone back to visit almost every other year since. In between these reunions, I’ve also managed to explore at least 14 other countries as well as a handful of states within the U.S. And it goes without saying that I’ve had to pack a suitcase for each of these trips. Well, except maybe the first few.

In nearly 30 years of traveling, it’s safe to say that I’ve probably tried every variation of suitcase on the market: small and large duffel bags with and without wheels, hard-frame carry-ons, full-sized hard-frames, luggage backpacks, and travel backpacks… you name it, chances are I’ve tested it. Through it all there has been an undeniable evolution of my preferences when it comes to what kind of luggage suits my needs.

Of course, what suitcase I choose usually depends on the type of trip I’m taking. If it’s just for a long weekend, then I still reach for my beloved carry-on duffel. Though anything longer sends me straight for my travel backpack. After trying many other variations, I’ve come to prefer backpacks for a few reasons. The most important being convenience. You can usually get all your things into one place and still have free hands. They’re much easier to haul around than duffels or even wheely suitcases, which is important if you’re taking public transport.

Still, sorting out which backpack is right for you is a challenge all its own. I myself have been through a few experiments before finding what I now refer to as my stuff-soulmate. Luckily, unlike some adventures, you don’t have to go at this one alone. I’m here to lend my experience and expertise to help you sort through the mud and muck so that you can find the right pack for you and be on your merry way. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

In the coming pages, we’ll explore why you should get a pack, and what types work best for what, as well as the best steps to choosing your own. Eventually I’ll even throw in some personal recommendations for good measure. By the end, you’ll know everything you need to know about choosing the best travel backpack for you, and you’ll be ready to hit the road. Alright, let’s get started!

A Guide to Choosing the Best Travel Backpack

Why Get a Backpack for Travel?

I see your question and raise yet another: Why not? Seriously. We use backpacks for plenty of other things, like to hold our school supplies for approximately 20 years or to take our laptops to work or even when we need to carry food and water up and down a mountain. Why, suddenly, when we need to carry more things a little farther than usual, should we turn our backs (pun intended) on such an obviously useful tool? The truth is that travel backpacks are ideal for so many reasons.

I’ve already mentioned the first: convenience. Take an imaginary walk with me. We’ve just gotten off a plane in a new city, and we’re not exactly sure where our hostel is or how we’re going to get there from the airport. We’ve looked at some options (bus, taxi, horse-drawn carriage) but we didn’t book anything. We pick up our bags, me with my backpack and you with your wheely, and decide to take the bus. But we find out we have to walk a half mile to the stop across cobbled streets. We’re starved so we also grab a sammie on the way out.

Here we are, approaching the bus… Well, actually, I’m approaching the bus, sammie in hand, pack on, digging for my change with my spare hand. Meanwhile you’ve stopped, because with one hand on your food and your other on your suitcase, you couldn’t possibly gather change (and I’m obviously not nice enough to pay for you—we’re not that close). Boom. Convenience.

Best backpacking backpack South america

The second reason to get a backpack for travel is storage. These things come in all shapes and sizes (more on that later) and most of them with more ingenious pockets than you can possibly imagine needing. Not only do you need them – literally all of them – but you will soon realize how much you love them. Some travel backpacks come with pockets that are more subtle, making them better places to store things you don’t want to misplace or be within reach of the general public (read: money and/or identification).

Speaking of keeping things safe, backpacks in general are less likely to be swiped than other types of luggage, considering you wear it snuggly on your person. It’s much harder for pickpockets to grab a pack strapped to both of your shoulders than it is for one to grab one out your hand or loosely draped over your shoulder.

And after safety we have: health! The weight distribution of bags is not something we often think about but it turns out long hauls with heavy weight can be really hard on your body. Throwing a strap over just one shoulder can cause overuse of that muscle, and wearing a backpack evens out the distribution of weight across your body. More evenly shared weight means less back pain or muscle tension, which, let’s be honest, you’ll get enough of from the flight alone!

Now that you know why you should get one, let’s talk about which type is right for you in the next phase of our travel backpack review!

Types of Travel Backpacks

Sometimes it seems like there are as many types of backpacks as there are people to carry them. And, well, you probably wouldn’t be wrong if you thought that was true. But the truth is there are really only four main types of backpacks, and the rest are all variations on the same models. When I went on my first trip around Europe, I made the mistake of getting the wrong type of backpack. Now I want to help make sure you don’t make the same mistake!

Lets cover some basics when choosing the best travel backpack

The four main types of backpacks suitable for travel look like this:

  • Hiking
  • Travel
  • Convertible
  • Ultralight

Now, that’s a list we can wrap our heads around. Once you decide which type you need, then you can get into the details, like size and features. But we’ll take it one step at a time, so as not to overwhelm ourselves. Because this, like your trip, should be fun! If you get this right, you’ll have your backpack for years to come. A fully-fledged, tried and true, stuff-soulmate to call your own. So, onto the specifics.

Hiking Backpacks

A hiking backpack is also known as a top-loading backpack. Because they were originally made for thru-hikers and campers, they tend to be lighter in weight and better fit to the body. They’re designed to hold a lot of weight, and are built with solid supports so that you can carry them comfortably for long distances or periods of time. Often, there is no zipper for the main compartment, just a drawstring opening toward the top of the pack. This can make packing and unpacking frustrating for some, but I promise you’ll get the hang of it if this is the route you choose.  This is a very informative guide on the healthiest way to pack your hiking backpack.

Travel Backpacks

On the flip side, travel-specific backpacks are often comparable to hiking backpacks except that they usually have a front or side zipper instead of the opening at the top. This can make it easier to access more things at once, which is especially helpful if you’re not a particularly organized packer. The other way in which they differ from hiking backpacks is that they can be a little heavier. Since they aren’t intentionally designed to be carried for extended lengths, the general design isn’t quite as lightweight. But because, in most cases, you’ll only be moving it to and from accommodations and transportation, the weight shouldn’t be a problem.

Convertible Backpacks

More recently, convertible backpacks have stepped up their game to compete with hiking and travel backpacks. These guys are the ones that have multiple strap options that you can add or remove as needed. In addition to the two standard backpack straps, you’ll often find an extra side handle or an over-the-shoulder option you can stow depending on your mood. Sometimes they even come stock with a removable day pack for those who, like me, get immense satisfaction out of perfectly fitting things into other things. In theory, with these you can put the essentials in the day pack pockets, drop your main pack, unzip and hit the road without even waking your hostel mates. Everyone will want to know how you did it.

Ultralight Backpacks

While we’re on the topic of day packs, this is the last type of travel backpack we’ll cover. And we’ll start with this: these are not for the faint of heart. Day packs, or ultralight backpacks, aren’t really meant to serve as suitcases. They are, for all intents and purposes, meant for day use, like carrying your wallet and your water plus maybe a book and a sweater. You get the idea. However, the advantage of these guys is that they are light and compact, and I almost always want some variation on my travels in addition to my suitcase, so I can bring along my lappy or whatever I need for the day. Or if you’re a magician and can pack a weekend into a day pack, this might be the type for you. And more power to you.

By now, you hopefully have a general feel for what would be the best travel backpack for you. These four types, though basic, should give you some idea as to what would best suit your needs. That said, these categories are incredibly basic, and there are still several other things to consider when buying a travel backpack. We’ll unpack that next.
More Travel Backpack Considerations
At this point maybe you’re thinking, “I either want a hiking backpack or a travel backpack, but I’m not totally sure yet.” Don’t sweat it. There’s still a lot more to explore, and it may help you get clear about what you want. Some of the most important considerations, no matter what type you go with, include size and fit as well as an assortment of other features.

Backpack Fit

When it comes to fit, it’s worth noting that some packs are made gender-specific. And by this I don’t just mean they come in different colors, though some do. What I mean is that in some cases the frame of the pack will be smaller to accommodate for a feminine build. In general, backpack frames are designed to fit a certain torso length, not a certain height, and it’s important to get this right because your comfort depends upon it.

In any case, at this point many backpacks offer adjustable heights, so even if you don’t rely on a gender-specific option, you can find something that works for you. Some of the most important features to look out for include:

  • Shoulder straps – You want to make sure you can adjust them to your comfort with some room to spare. Don’t max anything out before you take it out of the store.
  • Hip belts – Make sure this sits on your hips and is well-padded. The majority of your pack’s weight should rest here, so you want this to feel good.
  • Ventilation – Some travel backpacks offer additional boning or padding in the back to keep your pack from making direct contact with your back. This creates some air flow so you don’t overheat.
  • Compartments – You’ll want to consider how you normally organize and what you usually bring. If you like your water bottle handy or a secret pocket for your money, make sure to look for those options.

And, last but definitely not least, you’ll want to pay special attention to the size. No matter the brand or the gender-specification, backpacks come in a wide variety of sizes, usually ranging from around 30 litres up to 100+. Yet the size of your travel backpack will depend primarily on two things: 1. Your size and 2. Your needs.

Even if you have a tendency to overpack, the last thing you want is to get a backpack that’s too big for you. Actually, this is especially true if you overpack. If you try to carry too much on your back, you run the risk of struggling to get it on, toppling over, or worse, injuring yourself.

For reference, I’m about 5’6” and I have a 45 + 10 litre backpack. That means the main frame of the pack holds about 45 litres and there is some extra fabric at the top that extends to provide another 10 litres of storage should I absolutely need it. Meanwhile, Justin, who is about 6’1” has a 75 litre + 10, but he almost never uses the extra ten.

In general, somewhere between 40 and 50 litres should suffice. Any less than that and you’re essentially looking at day packs. But if you find something that fits well, but you think you’ll need more space, I’d sooner recommend taking another bag or, if you’re backpacking, planning for some caches. Plus, you always learn a few packing techniques to help you take advantage of less storage space.
In all reality, the backpack lifestyle isn’t for everyone. If you’re fairly certain backpacking suits you, let’s carry on (Hah! I just can’t help myself). Next up: we cover the process of picking your pack!

How to choose the best travel backpack for you

So far, you’ve learned about why you should get a travel backpack, what kind is right for you, and what features you should look out for. All that’s left to talk about now is how you go about choosing one. Where should you buy a backpack? When is a good time to get one? And what kind of accessories might you need?

Let’s start with where. Because the fit of a backpack is so important, I’d always recommend visiting a sporting goods store first. Even if you ultimately make the purchase online, you want to try these things out in real life first. It goes without saying that REI has a great selection, but there are many smaller, local shops where you can get an idea of what’s out there.

Make sure that wherever you go, they give you the option to add some weight to your pack during your trial run. REI, for example, has bean bags they can throw in to give you a more accurate feel. Realistically, you’re never going to be carrying an empty backpack anyway. So as a general rule, you’ll want to test the comfort around with around 20 – 30 pounds of weight.

Don’t be afraid to mess with the settings, including the shoulder straps, hip belt, or adjustable frame. And take some time to walk around with the weight, so you can see how the backpack settles in after a while. Whatever you do, definitely don’t rush the decision!

Best Travel Backpack

While we’re on the subject of timing, let’s talk about when you should get a backpack. The only real rule here is that it shouldn’t be the day before you leave. Because in that case, you’ll be in a hurry and you may end up with something you don’t like. (Been there, done that!) Otherwise, the best time to buy might just be around a holiday sale so you can get a good deal.

If you want something to last you for more than a few years, you’ll probably have to spend between $150 and $200 USD, which is exactly why sales come in handy. Travel backpacks aren’t cheap, but they should be seen as an investment—one that will make your adventures easier in the long run.

Accessories are another way to make your backpacking easier. If you’re hiking, or will be somewhere with inclement weather, I’d recommend getting a rain cover. They pack up small and will keep your stuff safe in a pinch.

On the other hand, if you’re one of the aforementioned overpackers, you might want to consider getting packing cubes or compression sacks to keep your stuff organized inside your backpack. Dry bags, a Pacsafe, and water bladders are also worth looking into depending on your adventure.

And with that, you have almost all you need to know to make an informed decision when buying a backpack for travel. Still ahead: we’ll share some of the best travel backpacks we’ve come across.

Our Favorite Travel Backpacks

I’ll cut to the chase. My personal favorite is the one I have: the Deuter Women’s ACT Lite 45 + 10. In addition to being light, it has an adjustable frame, plenty of padding, and pockets in all the right places. Plus it comes in my favorite color. This bad boy isn’t my stuff-soulmate for nothing.
Justin’s personal favorite, and the one he’s had for more than 10 years, is a Gregory. He has top and front access, as well as a coveted rubber bottom to keep everything dry in any sticky situations. Seriously, TEN. YEARS.  His pack is no longer for sale, but the updated versions look fantastic!

Other popular packs include:

The Osprey Fairpoint, which comes in a 40, 55, 70 or 80 litre capacity with unisex dimensions and optional straps, meaning you can store them when not in use.

The North Face Terra

Want more to choose from? Quechua, Patagonia and Mountain Hardwear South Col 70 OutDry Backpack all make reputable gear worth exploring.
Remember: find somewhere you can see them in person and try on several, if not all, of them!

Conclusion

Still reading? I’m impressed. Or, TL;DR:

Why you should get a travel backpack:

  • It frees up your hands for easy mobility (and eating)
  • It’s better for your back and body in general (plus you look cool)
  • You get to join an elite club of backpackers (and you look cool)

What kind of backpack should you get:

  • It depends on how you’ll use it, but generally either something that:
  • Opens at the top (mostly for hiking)
  • Opens at the front or on the side (hiking and / or specifically for travel)
  • Converts (not recommended for extended wear)
  • Is small enough for day use (or wizards and minimalists)

What features are important in a travel backpack:

  • The size, both frame and capacity (because it has to fit)
  • The shoulder straps (which should fit comfortably with room to spare)
  • Comfortable hip belts (this is where you bear the most weight)
  • Ventilation (so you don’t sweat through the one shirt you brought at the airport
  • Size (again, in case you skimmed over it the first time & because: crucial!)
  • Compartments (for organized and messy packers alike)

How to choose the best travel backpack for you:

  • Try them on. Lots of them. All of them.
  • Make sure you add weight and walk around in it
  • Do this well in advance of your trip
  • Bring a friend or ask an employee for an opinion
  • Compare prices online or wait for a sale if you’re patient

What are our favorite travel backpacks:

There. That wasn’t so much to think about, was it? All you need know is a flight and, well, a backpack. If you still have questions, feel free to write us. Thanks for reading and, as always, bon courage!

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Tampa Bay beaches

Tampa Bay’s Best Beaches

Florida is known as the Sunshine State, and for good reason. But the best way to soak in those rays is on one of the world-class beaches that line the shore along the Gulf Coast. Millions visit Florida annually, the majority of them looking for vacation property to rent, to buy or even deciding to sell timeshare property so they can stay as close to the beach as possible.

For those sun worshipers, there is really only one region in Florida to consider- the beaches of the Tampa Bay area.

Award-Winning Tampa Bay Beaches

Home to spectacular beach destinations such as Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island, this 35 mile stretch of sand is continually highlighted by such leading outlets as TripAdvisor and USA Today. In fact, TripAdvisor’s 2017 Travelers’ Choice Awards named St. Pete Beach number 3 and Clearwater Beach number 4 as the best beaches in the entire United States.

The sugary white sand and warm Gulf waters combine for a wonderful beach experience. Accommodations range from holiday home rentals to 4-star resorts from major brands such as Hilton and Wyndham. There is just about every type of hotel and motel in-between, certainly enough options to fit anyone’s budget.

While these are the primary attractions, there are some beach spots in the area that are not as well known, but just as impressive.

Pass-A-Grille Beach

With history going back to the beginning of the 1900s, this charming locale is a taste of old Florida in the shadows of the legendary Don Cesar Hotel. Located at the southern tip of the St. Pete Beach coastline, you won’t find any high-rise hotels but plenty of hospitality, restaurants, shops and traditional holiday units that harken back to a more laid-back time.

Pass a Grille Beach Tampa Bay Beach

The sunsets are breathtaking and can be seen from anywhere along this strip. Some prefer to watch from the beach, others from the comfort of their holiday unit, and still others from the bars and restaurants that line the location.

Fort De Soto Park

Honored as Parents Magazine’s top beach in the U.S., the North Beach at this historic site is perfect for families with children. Protected by a sandbar which creates a lagoon-like swimming option, this spot can combine a terrific beach experience with a history lesson as this fort was originally built for the Spanish-American war.

Tampa Bay Beaches

Fort De Soto Park

Campsites provide options for tents and RVs, and there are food and beverage concessions plus canoe and kayak rentals.

For those traveling with their favorite four-legged family members, Fort De Soto Park offers a dog beach on the southern side of the park which looks out onto the entrance to Tampa Bay. While the park provides a great natural beach location, there is not much shade so you will want to bring your own umbrella, tent or beach canopy. Dogs must be on a leash but there is a separate fenced dog park area where they can run free.

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Timeshare in Cancun

A Guide to Timeshares in Cancun

If you want to go all out on your next trip to Cancun, but want to avoid going into serious debt, timeshares in Cancun make for a fantastic, high-end vacation experience. With a Cancun timeshare, you’ll discover luxurious amenities and accommodations that can’t be beat. Rather than paying to stay in a cramped hotel room, timeshare suites will give you all of the comforts of home like multiple bedrooms, full kitchens, living rooms, dining tables, and spacious bathrooms. You’ll also find many units offer additional luxury features such as whirlpool tubs and private balconies with ocean views.

Timeshare in Cancun-Aqua

Not only do timeshare resorts provide top-notch accommodations, but you also get to indulge in all the resort amenities offered right on-site. Palace Resorts at Moon Palace, for instance, offers an impressive lineup of activities and services for all ages and interests. This includes nine outdoor pools, a full-service spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, and nightly entertainment. All-inclusive packages make it easy to enjoy the wealth of restaurants and bars without stressing over the tab. Nearby, you’ll find an array of exciting attractions from Xoxomilco the unique floating fiesta to the Croco Cun Zoo, there’s sure to be something for everyone in your party to enjoy just a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Another top Cancun timeshare resort is Sunset Royal, offering its own slew of great features. The property has a packed activity schedule with things like beach volleyball, dance, cooking, scuba diving lessons, and happy hours. You can also indulge in high-end spa treatments, dine on the beach, work out in the fitness center, or relax by the pools. If you decide to venture off resort grounds, you’ll find that the Sunset Royal is situated in a prime location. Enjoy dancing the night away at the world-famous Coco Bongo located only a few steps down the road. If culinary adventures are more your style, the delectable seafood restaurant Lorenzillo’s is also located nearby, and offers some of the freshest seafood in Mexico.

Timeshares in Cancun room with view

For years the only way to stay in a timeshare was to either buy one, or be forced to sit through a 2- 3 hour timeshare presentation. Nowadays there are online timeshare marketplaces which offer timeshares for sale and rent by private owners. This gives you the chance to get a Cancun timeshare at a fraction of the retail cost. If you’ve never stayed in a timeshare, we recommend you book a Cancun timeshare rental so you’re able to try it out and save hundreds off resort pricing.

Cancun offers miles of beautiful, white sand beaches and warm ocean water. Families can plan a perfect beach getaway that meets their unique needs while staying on budget by booking timeshares in Cancun.

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Cancun Mexico

A Week at the Beach in Cancun Mexico

We’ve talked extensively in past posts about Cancun Mexico being a haven for all-inclusive resorts and perfect white-sand beaches. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love putting their feet up on postcard-worthy stretches of sand? In this post, we’d like to take some time to examine a few different options for getting the most out of your time in this exotic locale. Here are some insider tips on how to enjoy a week at the beach in Cancun, Mexico.

Where to Stay in Cancun Mexico

Resting in the northeast corner of the Mexican Caribbean, there are many all-inclusive resorts in Cancun. Several of these resorts are actually located on The Island of Cancun, which is connected to the mainland by two bridges, with one each in the North and South. Though it’s worth noting that many of these 3 to 5-star all-inclusive resorts can be quite pricey. As an alternative, there are more affordable hotels in the city center, surrounded by shops and restaurants.

While there is accommodation available for all tastes, for us nothing matches the convenience of a Cancun timeshare. Not only can one save a significant amount of money, but these luxurious properties have more space, full bathrooms, and private kitchens, which allow you to eat in–undoubtedly a welcome break from the bustle of the restaurants in town. This is the best way to avoid worrying about booking reservations at pricey, cramped hotels and overcrowding during peak seasons. Timeshares offer the best of both worlds with affordability and plenty of space.

What to Do in Cancun Mexico

Let’s not beat around the bush: Most people desire time away in Cancun because of its reputation as paradise. We’ve said before that the immaculate beaches of Cancun and the white carpets of Caribbean bliss were the original draw for tourism to be developed in this beautiful land. And it’s still true. If you’re ready to make all your friends green with envy, post a few shots to your Instagram of your time on the sand here, and watch the likes roll in like the tide. Some of our favorite (and most picturesque) Cancun beaches include Playa Nizuc and Playa Caracol.

Hawksbill Turtle near Cancun Mexico

An even more exotic alternative to the white beaches is to visit the Isla Contoy, which is only about 25 miles off the coast of Cancun. But know that, following progressive conservation efforts, the Mexican government has required visitors to work with locally-supervised ecotourism companies to visit this wildlife haven. Still, it’s sure to be worth it. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by four species of turtle that find a safe haven for nesting on the beaches of the island, and the reserve is also a sanctuary to approximately 152 tropical marine birds. The Isla Contoy is considered the most crucial nesting place for birds in the Mexican Caribbean.

If world-class archaeological sites are on your radar, you won’t want to miss the short day trip from Cancun to the stunning Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. The crown jewel of this pre-Columbian city is the Kukulkan pyramid. Officially Designated by UNESCO as one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World,” Chichen Itza is one of those special places that doesn’t disappoint even those with the highest of expectations.

From the sands of pristine beaches to the ruins of Chichen Itza, where you’ll get in touch with your inner Indiana Jones, Cancun Mexico offers an adventurous and luxurious place to spend a week at the beach.

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BestbeachLosAngeles

A Guide to the Best Beaches in Los Angeles

The beaches in Los Angeles are almost as famous as the theme parks. And who doesn’t like spending a few days relaxing on the sand? You can find more than 20 different beaches across the city that attract locals and tourists alike. Some are better for surfing, and others are more secluded and private. There are also several luxury homes in Los Angeles that line the coastline and have impressive views of the Pacific Ocean. Here are some of the best beaches in Los Angeles.

Santa Monica Beach:

Santa Monica is the most famous stretch in Los Angeles that extends for more than 3 miles with a long pier in the middle. The sand is soft and it’s just a few minutes away from many hotels and restaurants, which join to the sand by sets of stairs. Popular activities include sunbathing and water sports. Some attend Surf School to learn the basics of surfing or paddleboarding. In the evening, locals come to use the exercise machines and jog along the walkways. A quick word of warning, this is a popular beach and it gets very crowded, especially during the weekends.
One of the best things to do at Santa Monica Beach is to rent a bicycle and cycle along the South Bay Bicycle Trail, which stretches for 21 miles. Lots of rental shops are along the coastline.

Venice Beach:

Venice Beach combines picturesque views with a range of other activities and entertainment along the Ocean Front Walk. Performers hang out along the boardwalk doing a range of things from playing guitar to magic tricks. And there’s also the famous Muscle Beach Venice, an outdoor weightlifting area popular with the local body builders. A trip to Venice beach isn’t just for sunbathing or swimming. There are several other things to keep you engaged for an afternoon or evening. If you’re driving, parking is free but the limited spaces tend to fill up quickly.

Malibu Lagoon State Beach:

This is one of the prettiest stretches of coastline in Los Angeles and is characterized by long beaches with white sand and a small lagoon. When the tide goes out, you can walk out and see lots of marine life in the rock pools. The area itself is near Surfriders Beach and is a great place to come to relax after a few hours in the waves. One of the highlights of Malibu Lagoon State Beach is the nearby Adamson House that’s a large building with a Spanish-Moorish design. You can also visit the Malibu Lagoon Museum where exhibits explain the history of the region.

Malibu Surfrider Beach:

As the name suggests, this is one of the hottest beaches in Los Angeles for surfers. The waves are typically good, and you’ll see masses of local surfers heading down to catch the perfect wave. Board rentals are available if you want to give it a go and spend the day in the water. If you can’t surf, paddleboarding is also popular on this stretch of beach. The local surfers are also friendlier towards outsiders and tourists.

El Matador Beach:

El Matador is on the western end of Malibu Beach and an ideal spot for an evening stroll with your special someone. The beach is small and is relatively hidden by the surrounding sea caves. This gives it a special vibe compared to some of the other ones. The water is very clear and it’s a pleasant place for a swim or bodyboarding in the light waves. During the summer months, it does get quite crowded but you’ll probably be the only person there during the low season.
Hermosa Beach:
If you’re looking for a place with the stereotypical laid-back atmosphere and beach-bums lounging around throughout the day, Hermosa Beach is the place for you. Local hipsters and hippies come here to relax on the sand and are friendly and welcoming to tourists. In fact, it’s very easy to make a few new friends along here. You can play volleyball, go jogging or rent a bike and cycle along the walkway.

Manhattan Beach:

This beach is famous for being the “Wimbledon of beach volleyball” and is one of the more popular stretches in Los Angeles. The urban location makes it easy to find a restaurant or coffee shop. Why not enjoy the sunset from one of the beach side bars whilst sipping a cocktail or a cold beer? If you’re tired of the beach, the shopping area is a few blocks away. People come here for surfing, swimming, and fishing a little further up.
The only downside about Manhattan Beach is that it gets busy on weekends and during the summer. This, in turn, makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to find a parking space.

Zuma Beach:

This is one of the favorite beaches in Los Angeles for locals on the northern side of the city. The beach has white sand and plenty of places to sunbathe or go swimming. Water sports are less popular here due to the colder water and softer surf. This beach has something more special and unique that visitors love. And that’s the dolphins. Sometimes you can see them swimming in the distance.

The Bottom Line:  Best Beaches in Los Angeles

You have more than 20 beaches to choose from in Los Angeles. Some are more active and attract a surfing crowd whereas others are better suited for a romantic walk. Don’t just go to the nearest beach, do a little research to find which ones you can claim as the best beaches in Los Angeles.

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