The best Los Angeles communities for beach bums

One thing that consistently draws residents to the Los Angeles area is the beach. With miles and miles of pristine shoreline and gorgeous weather year-round, the California coast is one of the most beautiful vacation destinations in the world - and it's all the more spectacular if it's practically in your backyard.

If having the ocean as your personal playground sounds like a dream come true, then you may be wondering which SoCal communities offer the best beachgoing experience. Whether you're a swimmer, a surfer or just love to lay out on the warm sand, Southern California has a living experience that's sure to please you. If you're looking for real estate in Los Angeles with easy beach access and a laid-back attitude, look no further than these two very different but equally appealing beachside towns.

Venice is the perfect destination for quirky, offbeat folks who want a truly beachy lifestyle. With a boardwalk made famous by its unique retailers - everything from psychics to tattoo artists - this area is great for young adults looking to dive head-first into surfer culture. Street performers and artists make an experience here truly one-of-a-kind.

The median price of a home in Venice Beach hovers around $890,000 - a price that gets you easy access to the beach, a quick commute to downtown and plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment to keep you and your family busy for years to come.

Pacific Palisades
Located adjacent to Malibu and sharing many of the famous city's beaches, Pacific Palisades offers luxury SoCal living at its best. Gorgeous bluffs overlooking sunsets on the ocean, stately mansions and soaring palm trees are just a few of the magnificent things you'll find in this California paradise, but it won't come cheap - buying a home in Pacific Palisades will cost you around $2 million.

Of course, that price will get you prime real estate just steps from the front doors of some of Hollywood's biggest stars, like Tracy Ullman, Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg and Chevy Chase. It'll also have you waking up to amazing ocean and mountain views that simply can't be beat.

"Pacific Palisades reminds us of what a community should be like," a local Realtor told Dream Homes magazine. "The wide range of schools, access to local and state parks, community activities like the Fourth of July Parade, Santa on the Village Green, shopping at the Sunday Farmer's Market, or cheering at an AYSO soccer game represent the attraction that has led to the Palisades becoming a much sought-after place to own a home."