Less crowded, much quieter, and not as well-known, Point Dume State Beach is a little gem off PCH.
It has a different feel than the other beaches in Los Angeles, like Santa Monica State Beach, Malibu State Beach, or Manhattan Beach, due to the mountains being up against the coast. Point Dume, a giant rock formation that points out towards the ocean, is of course right next to the Point Dume State Beach, and many travel to this area on PCH to see the view from the top of it. However, the beach does not get as much attention which means it is more peaceful than other more popular beaches, like Zuma Beach right next door. Even the sand seemed much cleaner than other Southern California beaches.
Point Dume State Beach is located in Malibu and much farther out from Santa Monica than I expected. Without traffic the drive is about forty minutes down PCH from Santa Monica, but with traffic it is usually closer to an hour. There is not many options for food at the beach, as it is directly surrounded by houses, but near the beach you will find Sunset Restaurant, which has really good food. There is some parallel parking along the sand if you can find a spot, or you can park in the beach lot for under $10.