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Where the Boys Are: the 5 Gayest Beaches in Southern California

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Photo of John Carroll by Loris Guzzetta
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A guest post by Bill Gordon, an LAist reader who is always on the hunt for the best gay spots.As many Americans are preparing to bid adieu to the season with Labor Day weekend, those of us lucky enough to live in this part of the country have several more weeks of warm weather to frolic in. Even so, there are some of you who have thought, “I should go to the beach this summer” and it’s still not too late. With the holiday weekend around the corner, we at LAist figured that you same-sex loving guys out there would appreciate info on where gaze upon gym-toned bods without fear (Lady-loving ladies, we’re open to a similar post just for you).

Here’s a short list of the gayest beaches in the region. Be sure to take plenty of water and sunscreen (especially for those spots that rarely see the light of day). Add your own opinions or additions in the comment section below.

Will Rogers State Beach: Santa Monica
Often lovingly referred to as “Ginger Rogers”, this beach is the only gay locale within the city limits (and accessible by public transportation: Santa Monica Blue Bus 9).

Distance from
- The Abbey: 12.6 miles or 20 minutes
- Akbar & The Eagle: 18 miles or 27 minutes

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The guys you’ll find there: A true cross-section of LA’s various LGBT scenes with a sprinkling of straight families that seem to be clueless to the scene around them.

What they’re wearing: Lycra/ spandex/ you-name-the-stretchy material swimming trunks often a size too small, board shorts, sometimes snazzy underwear.

Pluses: It’s the closest gay beach so you’ll definitely see someone you know (is that a plus?). Nearby snack bar, public restrooms and parking. Marix Tex Mex Playa is just across the PCH for “après-beach” margueritas (118 Entrada Drive, Santa Monica).

Minuses: The water quality is not the best but many of the beachgoers here only dip their toes in. Traffic and parking can sometimes be a pain (no, I’m not giving away my parking secrets).

Directions: The gay section of Will Rogers is just off the Pacific Coast Highway near the intersection of West Channel Road. Parking is available on the ocean-side of the PCH ($10) or on the street around West Channel. There are two pedestrian tunnels that go under the PCH. The gay section is directly west of the parking lot and volley ball courts, around Lifeguard Station 18.