Dockweiler State Beach has 3.7 miles of ocean frontage and 288 acres of beach. Amenities include restrooms, showers, picnic facilities, fire pits, and volleyball nets. Lifeguards are on duty during daylight hours.
The South Bay Bicycle Trail runs through Dockweiler and continues to Will Rogers State Beach in the north and Torrance County Beach in the south. The path is popular for rollerblading, jogging, and of course, bicycling.
Jetties at the north end of the beach provide ideal fishing opportunities. Others come to Dockweiler for diving, hang gliding, surfing, volleyball, swimming, bird-watching, and more! The beach is also home to a fenced enclosure for the threatened western snowy plover, a federally protected shore bird.
The large sandy beach can get quite busy during the summer, especially towards the evening as guests gather around the various fire rings, but the nearby parking lots have over 1,200 spaces and there is a separate Recreational Vehicle Park with 118 full hook-up spaces. One thing to consider before visiting Dockweiler is its proximity to Los Angeles International Airport. Jets do regularly pass overhead as they take off from LAX’s four runways. The noise can get quite loud for some.
Nearby is the Dockweiler Youth Center, which offers a multi-purpose room and terrace, youth camps, and community programs.
Dockweiler State Beach
12000 Vista del Mar
Playa del Rey, CA 90293
Parking Lot & Street Parking
6am – 10pm
Beach Wheelchair (at Youth Center)
Bike Path Access
Food Concession Stand Restrooms
(Courtesy LA County website)
Dockweiler State Beach is named after Isidore B. Dockweiler, a native son of California who lived from 1867 to 1947.
Isidore was the youngest of four sons born to Henry and Margaretha Dockweiler. His father established the Dockweiler reputation in Los Angeles religious, political, and civic life. Isidore’s life mirrored that of his father: he was active in faith and political interests. He also received the first B.A. degree from St. Vincent’s College, which later became Loyola University.
Isidore Dockweiler became a prominent Los Angeles lawyer, civic leader, and personage of the California Democratic Party. By the 1910’s, the Dockweiler law firm was powerful in Los Angeles, eventually counting among its many clients John Paul Getty, various Hollywood celebrities, the government of the Mexican state of Baja California, and corporations like Security-First National Bank.
Intertwined with Isidore’s legal practice was his participation in Democratic Party politics. In 1902 Isidore was placed as lieutenant governor on Franklin Lane’s gubernatorial ticket. He even ran for senator in the Democratic primary in 1926, which he eventually lost. Isidore also served on the Democratic National Committee from 1916 to 1932.
As a lawyer and as a Democrat, Isidore Dockweiler was influential resulting in his membership on numerous corporate boards. He served as trustee of the State Normal School in San Diego and of St. Vincent’s College. Isidore was also instrumental in the growth of the Los Angeles Public Library, holding office as its president (1901- 1911). He even served on the State Board of Parks and Beaches. In national politics, his relationship with President Woodrow Wilson led to his appointment to the Board of Indian Commissioners.
The beach now known as Dockweiler State Beach was referred to as Moonstone Beach up until the 1930’s. It was leased to the City of Los Angeles by the State of California in 1946. The official name was Venice-Hyperion Beach State Park and it was renamed Isidore B. Dockweiler State Beach in January 1955 in honor of the prominent lawyer and civic leader.
On May 24, 1955, the Men of Old St. Vincent’s made it official by placing a plaque at the newly renamed beach. The beach has been operated by the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors for the City of Los Angeles since 1976.