Break out those boogie boards, and this winter, check out these slippery beach sledding spots in LA
There may be snow on the mountains in the distance (and if you want to play in the cold, white fluffy stuff, check out our kid-friendly guide to snow play in LA), but if you want to give kids a fun, only-in-LA sledding experience this winter without having to travel far, head to the beach for some sand dune sledding. Sand berms are man-made sand hills built up by the city to protect the beaches from eroding from winter storms and rough surf. They are a popular spot for sledding in Los Angeles and a beloved activity for locals—and good to know? Boogie boards are great sand sledding devices. Sand berms provide a great way to enjoy the beach during the winter when the weather is typically too cold or windy to enjoy otherwise. These are our favorite spots to climb and slide our way down to the bottom and one of our most-favorite winter activities in LA—most of which can be done for free.
1. Zuma Beach Sand Sledding
Up the coast in Malibu, Zuma always makes for a beautiful beach day, whether you're crashing in the waves or sledding in the sand. It is a bit more of a trek, so you may want to pack up a picnic along with your sleds and make a day of it. The berms at Zuma are long and much less trafficked than Venice and Hermosa, which also means they aren't as smooth and slick. For a better ride, have the grownups in the group take a few trips down the slope first, to carve out a nice pathway for the little ones—yep, it's a perfect excuse to get a turn on the new sled.
Zuma isn't as busy in the winter, so you should have no trouble grabbing a parking spot in the lot directly behind the sand dunes.
30000 Pacific Coast Hwy.
2. Hermosa Beach Sand Sledding
The Hermosa Beach sand berms stretch out from both sides of the Hermosa Pier providing plenty of ocean-front real estate for your little sand bunnies. These hills are a little less steep making them the best spot for the youngest (or most cautious) sledders.
Good to Know: The closest places to park are the two public metered lots on Hermosa Ave. at 11th and 13th St.
1 Pier Ave.
3. Venice Pier Sand Sledding
Just south of the Venice Beach Pier is one of the most popular sand sledding spots on the coast. The Venice berm stretches from the pier all along the length of the south parking lot, so despite being a hotspot, there's always plenty of room for everyone. These slopes are usually the biggest of the berms on the coast, making them the go-to spot for young sledders (and grown-ups) looking for the best thrill ride. Late Dec. or early Jan. is usually the best time to visit, as the sand has gotten packed down, making for a smoother, faster ride.
Good to Know: Parking in the lot can cost more on the weekends. You can also look for a spot on Washington Blvd., but it can be a bit of a walk.
W. Washington Blvd. & Ocean
4. Point Mugu State Park Sand Sledding
Catch some sand in the Santa Monica Mountains! While the sledding here is prime, there's more at this location that will easily occupy you and your crew for the day—miles of sandy beaches with rocky bluffs, rugged hills and uplands, two major river canyons, and broad grassy valleys dotted with sycamores and oaks along with 70+ miles of hiking trails.
9000 W. Pacific Coast Hwy.
5. Manhattan Beach Sand Dune Park
At the north end of this park, there’s a 100-foot high slope covered in deep sand that kids can climb up and jump, roll, or run down. If your brood grows tired of the sand, there’s also a children’s playground with other facilities including picnic areas, restrooms, and drinking water. The rest of the park includes trails and flora in Manhattan Beach Sand Dune Nature Preserve.
Good to Know: This spot does require reservations, so make sure you secure them before heading here.
Bell Ave. & 33rd St.