Summer in SoCal is the best time to go to the beach, which is why most are so crowded. But the fall is even better because the beaches are just as spectacular, but much less crowded. If you’re looking for a little piece of peace, be sure to visit these secluded pockets of heaven.

Trestles beach, or just Trestles, is a mystery beach for sunbathers but a home to surfers. It’s divided into sections; Church, Middles, Lowers, Uppers and Cottons; depending on surfer skill level. Located in San Clemente, the beach is known for taking a while to get to but being one of the most gorgeous in the area. After parking, take a hike through brush and trees, under Interstate 5, over a small hill and a straight trail walk before reaching the beach. During the hike, you’re likely to run into beautiful views and some wildlife, so have your camera ready.

Since Laguna is a hotspot for beachgoers, weekends are often overcrowded. With Wood’s Cove, skip the hordes of people all together. The rocks on the shore make the beach less popular because surfing is too dangerous, but the water is more turquoise and the beach is perfect for lounging and taking in a beautiful view. Dogs are allowed in the morning (before 9 a.m.) and in the evening (after 6 p.m.) during the summer but are allowed at all times for the rest of the year as long as they are on a leash. It is south of the popular 1000 Steps Beach but high tides can take over this beach, so plan ahead.

Hidden in neighborhoods, Mesa Lane Steps is a quiet beach in Santa Barbara. The dog friendly beach is often overlooked due to the surrounding homes and the staircase entry. Similarly to Wood’s Cove, the high tide can overtake the sand, so if you’re looking to relax on the sand, make sure you go during low tide. Many use the beach to exercise, often running up the 200+ stairs, but there’s always room to lounge. Directions can be found here:

While it sees a fair amount of people on hot weekends, El Matador State Beach is virtually empty during the week. The beach is accessible after a steep trail and stairs. It is most known for the beautiful rock formations along the shore, some are even big enough to walk under. El Matador is located between Leo Carrillo and Point Dume State Beaches. Before leaving, remember to take a picture on the cliffs above the beach as it’s not a sight to be missed.

A quiet beach day in Malibu seems almost impossible. With Lechuza Beach, you’re in for a beach identical to Zuma or Silver Strand, with half as many people. Surfers tend to stay away due to the rocks, but it is the ideal location for sunbathers in need of a relaxing afternoon. Access to the beach is simple: there are a few different areas to park for free, and a short stroll puts you right on the sand.

Jessica Soporito
Latest posts by Jessica Soporito (see all)