Malibu is distinguished by its magnificent beaches and the following is a selection of the best ones for surfing, swimming, walking, sunbathing and practicing other sea and sand entertainment in this charming Californian coastal town.
- 1 The 30 Best Beaches In Malibu, California
- 1.1 1. Escondido Beach
- 1.2 2. La Costa Beach
- 1.3 3. La Piedra State Beach
- 1.4 4. Amarillo Beach
- 1.5 5. Las Flores Beach
- 1.6 6. Las Tunas Beach
- 1.7 7. Beach Whip
- 1.8 8. Zuma Beach
- 1.9 9. Dan Blocker County Beach
- 1.10 10. El Matador State Beach
- 1.11 11. El Pescador State Beach
- 1.12 12. El Sol Beach
- 1.13 13. Lechuza Beach
- 1.14 14. Leo Carrillo State Park – North Beach
- 1.15 15. Carbón Beach – East Access
- 1.16 16. Carbon Beach – West Access
- 1.17 17. Big Rock Beach
- 1.18 18. Coal Beach – Zonker Harris Access
- 1.19 19. Leo Carrillo State Park – South Beach
- 1.20 20. Leo Carrillo State Park – Staircase Beach
- 1.21 21. Little Dume Beach
- 1.22 22. Malibu Colony Beach
- 1.23 23. Malibu Lagoon State Beach
- 1.24 24. Malibu Surfrider Beach
- 1.25 25. Nicholas Canyon County Beach
- 1.26 26. Paradise Cove Beach
- 1.27 27. Broad Beach
- 1.28 28. Pirates Cove Beach
- 1.29 29. Point Dume State Beach
- 1.30 30. Puerco Beach
- 1.31 31. Sycamore Cove Beach
- 2 What to Visit in Malibu?
The 30 Best Beaches In Malibu, California
1. Escondido Beach
It is a beach facing southeast of Point Dume, in Malibu, California. Its most direct public access is off 27148 from Pacific Coast Highway, on the bridge over Escondido Creek, although parking can be problematic.
Entering through this entrance, to the right is Escondido Beach and to the left is the beach in front of Malibu Cove Colony Drive.
Another access is a long public stairway to the west of Geoffrey’s Malibu restaurant, an entrance that leads to the widest and most isolated part of the beach with a small public parking lot.
As with most Malibu beaches, Escondido Beach has little sand left when the tide rises. The main activities are hiking, diving, kayaking, and beachcombing.
2. La Costa Beach
La Costa Beach is a Malibu state public beach that lacks public access and is therefore used privately. Arrival is comfortable only through the houses on the Pacific Coast Highway, between Rambla Vista and Las Flores Canyon Road.
There is no longer public access through the Duke’s Malibu restaurant parking lot and the state of California or the county has been unable to install a gate somewhere between the houses that line the beachfront.
The way to get to La Costa Beach is from Carbón Beach (east access next to David Geffen’s house) and walk about 1600 meters east at low tide.
The beach is used by walkers and people who go to sunbathe. It has no public facilities, nor are dogs allowed.
3. La Piedra State Beach
La Piedra State Beach is in the middle of the set of 3 beaches in Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach Park, west of Malibu. It is flanked by luxurious houses on both sides, but the mansions can hardly be seen from the beach.
Access is through a parking lot near the Pacific Coast Highway, where a path and a steep staircase descend from the cliff to reach the beach.
La Piedra is dotted with rocks and has tidal pools that are exposed near the access trail when the tide goes out.
To the left is its widest and sandy area and at low tide and walking east, you reach El Matador State Beach. Walking west, you reach El Pescador State Beach.
4. Amarillo Beach
It is a Malibu beach on the eastern part of Malibu Road, next to Malibu Bluffs Park. It has several corridors for public access along the avenue and the sandy area is wider in the part without houses.
On the hillside above Malibu Road, there are trails that lead to the park and provide a good opportunity for hiking. The beach almost completely disappears when the tide rises.
Although it lacks tourist facilities, Amarillo Beach is a suitable place for sunbathing and surfing, hiking and diving. Access with dogs is not allowed.
5. Las Flores Beach
Las Flores Beach is a narrow state beach east of Las Flores Creek, near Las Flores Canyon Road and Duke’s Malibu restaurant. Access to this food place was closed and now the beach has no official entrance.
Some unofficial accesses have been practiced, but residents often block them or post signs pointing out their illegality.
The closest “official” passage is by Big Rock Beach (2000, Pacific Coast Highway), from where you can reach Las Flores Beach by walking more than 4 km along a sandy and rocky road, at low tide.
The beach is used mainly for walking. It has no service facilities and dogs are not allowed.
6. Las Tunas Beach
Las Tunas County Beach is a rocky beach in eastern Malibu, an area where the shoreline is eroding so badly that authorities are taking steps to protect the Pacific Coast Highway and the homes in the lower reaches.
The narrow beach of Las Tunas is used mainly as a fishing spot. The beach is not wide enough for comfortable sunbathing and the noise from the highway is annoying.
It has a small parking lot at 19444 Pacific Coast Highway. Apart from fishermen, it is also visited by divers. It has lifeguards and bathrooms. Access with dogs is not allowed.
7. Beach Whip
Látigo Beach is on the east side of Látigo Point, more precisely, below the condos and houses that are along Látigo Shore Drive. It has its clearly defined easements and almost the entire beach is public, both wet and dry. You only have to stay within 5 meters (16 feet) of the first condos.
Although little known, Látigo Beach is a very pleasant beach to stretch your legs and sunbathe. It is quieter than other beaches in Malibu since it faces southeast and is protected by Látigo Point on the west side.
In the extreme west, tide pools are accessible at low tide. Walking west and at low tide you reach Escondido Beach. The sandy area extends to Dan Blocker County Beach to the east.
8. Zuma Beach
Zuma Beach is a long, wide beach over 2 miles long in Los Angeles County, Malibu, with enough parking spaces to host a Superbowl.
Unlike most Malibu beaches, there are no houses between the Pacific Coast Highway and the ocean.
It is one of the most popular beaches in Los Angeles for its excellent endowment of services and facilities, which include several lifeguard posts, restrooms, showers, picnic tables, sports courts and a children’s area.
Zuma Beach is visited for surfing, volleyball, diving, windsurfing, fishing, swimming, bodysurfing, and bodyboarding, among other entertainment. It has a strong undertow and a gradual incline, so it is very pleasant to walk into the waves.
9. Dan Blocker County Beach
It is a long and narrow beach in front of the Pacific Coast Highway, between the neighborhood of Latigo Shores and the houses of Malibu Road. There is a house grouping in the center of the beach where Solstice Canyon meets the shoreline.
Although a little out of the way, the best parking lot is a public lot next to the Malibu Seafood Fish Market in Corral Canyon Park. This park has a walking route that starts from the parking lot and goes under the highway to get to the beach. You can also park on the shoulder of the highway.
Dan Blocker County Beach is visited for walking, sunbathing, and sports such as diving, snorkeling, fishing, and hiking. In summer there are lifeguards.
10. El Matador State Beach
It is one of 3 beaches in Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach Park, in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. It is the closest to Malibu and the most popular.
It has marked parking along the Pacific Coast Highway and also has a private parking lot on a cliff with picnic tables and magnificent views of the ocean. From the cliff, there is a path and then a staircase that leads to the beach.
It is a sandy area frequented by professional photographers and models for photoshoots and by people who go to sunbathe and watch the sunset. Other entertainment includes hiking, swimming, snorkeling, bird watching, and cave exploration.
11. El Pescador State Beach
It is the westernmost of the 3 beaches in Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach Park. It has a private parking lot on the cliff next to the Pacific Coast Highway and a path that leads to the sandy area, which is the shortest of the trio of beaches.
El Pescador is a pleasant cove of sand, rock formations and tidal pools that form at both ends. If you walk towards the west, you will find an almost secret beach called El Sol Beach, which has no own access.
Walking east, you reach La Piedra State Beach. From the beach, Point Dume Park is visible in the distance.
El Pescador State Beach is frequented for strolling, sunbathing, bird watching, and enjoying the tide pools.
12. El Sol Beach
Public access to this beach has been subject to long controversy since it became the property of Los Angeles County in 1976.
It was called the Disney Overlook by the creators of the mobile app, Our Malibu Beaches because the most prominent opponent of public entry has been Michael Eisner, CEO of The Walt Disney Company for more than 20 years.
The beach lacks parking and no direct access, making it one of the most secret sands in Los Angeles, which can be reached by walking to the source from Nicholas Canyon Beach or to the west from El Pescador State Beach.
Both roads are rocky and it is better to go at low tide. The reward for effort is that you will have the beach almost empty.
13. Lechuza Beach
This public beach, named after a nocturnal bird of prey, is below the houses at the north end of Broad Beach Road and is not well known in Malibu. Your best access is on Broad Beach Road near the center of the beach, across from the Bunnie Lane cul-de-sac.
From this point, there is a short route through a tree-lined corridor and then there is the flight of stairs that goes down to the beach.
Other public entrances to Lechuza Beach are on West Sea Level Drive and East Sea Level Drive. Near the entrances, there are free parking lots.
Playa Lechuza has several rock formations where the waves break, making the place very photogenic. It also has tide pools and is used for walking, sunbathing and taking photos.
14. Leo Carrillo State Park – North Beach
North Beach is a wide beach in Leo Carrillo State Park, west of Malibu. In front, there is a linear parking lot for day use. It is separated from South Beach in the same park by a rocky area called Sequit Point, where tide pools form and there are caves to explore at low tide.
On its north side, North Beach continues to Staircase Beach, a narrow stretch of sand popular with surfers.
To get to the beach, enter the state park and follow the signs that lead to the parking lot, passing under the Pacific Coast Highway.
The beach is frequented for diving, fishing, swimming, and marine life watching; dogs on a leash are allowed in the area north of the lifeguard station 3.
Leo Carrillo Park has a large camping site and hiking and mountain biking trails.
15. Carbón Beach – East Access
Carbon Beach is a long beach between the Malibu Pier and Carbon Canyon Road. In front of the sand, there are luxurious houses belonging to celebrities and wealthy executives, which is why it is called the “billionaire’s beach”.
The eastern entrance to Carbon Beach (located at 22126 Pacific Coast Highway) is also called David Geffen Access because it is located next to the house of the well-known film and music producer, who for many years opposed the entry of vacationers to the beach.
It has a gradual slope and soft sand, good for barefoot walking and sunbathing. At high tide, it is covered by the ocean. There are no tourist facilities and dogs are not allowed.
16. Carbon Beach – West Access
After several years of litigation, the western access to Carbón Beach was opened in 2015. It leads to a long stretch of beach whose shore, like the eastern area, is strewn with millionaire homes.
At low tide, this sector of Carbón Beach is perfect for strolling along the beach and sunbathing. Another of the visitor activities is to admire the luxurious mansions of the celebrities and Angelenos moguls who live in this area of Malibu.
Although the official name of the entrance is West Access, it is also called Ackerberg Access because of how much this family fought to prevent passage near their property. The beach sector does not have visitor facilities and dogs are not allowed.
17. Big Rock Beach
The main distinctive of this Malibu beach is the rocky promontory that gives it its name. A narrow and rocky sandy area that remains underwater at high tide and with its large rock close to the coast used by seabirds.
In front of the beach, there is a long stretch of houses and the residents take pleasant walks at low tide. At 20000 Pacific Coast Highway Malibu there is public access.
There is not much parking, so if you park on the other side, you must be very careful when crossing the highway. The main activities are fishing, diving, bird watching and hiking.
18. Coal Beach – Zonker Harris Access
The western access to Coal Beach is named Zonker Harris after the hippie comic strip character created by Garry Trudeau, a cartoonist who in 2007 agreed to allow public access to the beach.
This is the westernmost pass to Carbon Beach and is right next to the house identified as # 22664 on Pacific Coast Highway, where there is a gate and a ramp that leads to the sandbank.
From this sector and to the west, the Malibu Pier is visible and many walkers walk there. The route to the east is also interesting, looking at the houses of the rich.
Parking at Carbon Beach is available along the highway as well as on the second floor of the shopping center located at 22601 Pacific Coast Highway.
19. Leo Carrillo State Park – South Beach
South Beach is also in the Leo Carrillo State Park with its access from the park, crossing the Pacific Coast Highway. At the entrance, there is a day-use parking lot and a visitor center.
From the main parking lot, there is a path that goes to the beach passing under the highway. The park’s hiking trails also start from the parking lot and take hikers and hikers inland, even to the Nicholas Flat Natural Preserve.
South Beach is a nice sandy beach near the mouth of a stream. At low tide, there are tide pools and several tunnels and caves to explore at Sequit Point. Some of the caves are only accessible at low tide and others are safe from the waves.
20. Leo Carrillo State Park – Staircase Beach
Staircase Beach is a little-used beach at the northern end of Leo Carrillo State Park. Its main visitors are surfers and its access is at 40000 Pacific Coast Highway, in the parking area next to the park administrator’s residence.
Staircase Beach can also be reached by walking from the North Beach parking lot, next to the main entrance to Leo Carrillo Park. It is a much narrower beach than North Beach and South Beach.
The path zigzags along the cliff and curiously, there is no staircase. The beach is quite rocky and the best area to lie on the sand is to the south. You can take your dog but on a leash.
21. Little Dume Beach
Little Dume Beach is a small, east-facing cove near Point Dume, Malibu. When it has good waves, it is visited by surfers and the rest allows a good panoramic walk under the cliffs and the mansions and properties of the rich people of Los Angeles.
Its only direct access via a path that begins at Whitesands Place is private. Those willing to hike can reach the public side from Cove Beach or Big Dume Beach at Point Dume State Park.
The public area is the one below the mean level of high tide. Leashed dogs are allowed at Little Dume Beach above mean high tide, but not below.
22. Malibu Colony Beach
It is a narrow strip of sand in front of the houses on Malibu Colony Road, with a private entrance to the neighborhood. In many publications and maps, this beach is referred to as Malibu Beach.
To get there, you can walk from Malibu Lagoon State Beach to the west or from Malibu Road to the east, always at low tide.
The main attraction is walking along the beach and observing the houses of Malibu Colony with its stairs that lead to the beach.
At low tide, rocks and natural pools are exposed at the ends of the beach. To get to the beach from Malibu Laggon, park at the park entrance, at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Cross Creek Road.
23. Malibu Lagoon State Beach
This beach is at the point where Malibu Creek meets the ocean. The stream forms the Malibu Laggon and in winter, the berms break allowing tidal flows that separate it from the Surfrider Beach lagoon.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach has parking at the intersection of the Pacific Coast Highway and Cross Creek Road. From the car park, some dirt trails start towards the lagoon with possibilities of bird watching.
Along the path that ends at the beach in front of the lagoon there are some artistic structures. The beach is used for surfing, sunbathing, walking, swimming and observing animal species. It has lifeguards and health services.
24. Malibu Surfrider Beach
Malibu Surfrider is a famous beach for surfing between the pier and the Malibu Lagoon. It is part of Malibu Lagoon State Beach and with its good waves, it lives up to its name.
The Malibu Pier is a perfect place to fish and is comfortable to hang out with many benches and beautiful views.
At its entrance is Malibu Farm Restaurant & Bar, with fresh and organic food and delicious cocktails facing the ocean. At the end of the pier, there is a cafeteria.
The beach has separate areas for swimming and surfing and there are lifeguards during the day. Next to the pier, there is a beach volleyball court.
Near the parking lot located at 23200 Pacific Coast highways are Adamson House (local history museum) and the Malibu Lagoon Museum.
25. Nicholas Canyon County Beach
Long beach in western Malibu called Point Zero, alluding to the rocky point where the waves crash below the parking lot where San Nicolas Canyon meets the sea. The sandy beach is north of this point.
Descending the cliff, there is a long paved path that leads to the beach. In summer, there are lifeguards and a food truck during peak hours. There are also picnic tables, toilets, and showers.
The parking lot is next to the Pacific Coast Highway, approximately 1.5 km south of Leo Carrillo State Park.
The beach is visited for surfing, swimming, fishing, diving, windsurfing, for walking and sunbathing.
26. Paradise Cove Beach
It is a public beach in Malibu with access by 28128 Pacific Coast Highway. There is the Paradise Cove Café, a private establishment with palm trees, straw umbrellas, wooden lounge chairs, surfboards and paid parking.
The all-day parking fee is quite high, but visitors who park and eat at the café receive a good discount. It is worth paying the price because the beach is wide and has lifeguards, a private dock and good sanitary facilities.
Paradise Cove is a frequent location for movie scenes and photo shoots.
The walks along the sand are pleasant and to the west, the walk leads under steep sandstone cliffs, reaching Little Dume and Big Dume beaches at Point Dume State Beach.
27. Broad Beach
This Malibu beach is a long, narrow stretch of sand off the coast of Los Angeles County. The best season to visit it is in summer at low tide since at high tide it is hidden by the sea.
In certain conditions, it is good for surfing, bodyboarding and windsurfing and at the end that separates it from Lechuza Beach, tide pools form.
Look for the public entrance stairs between houses 31344 and 31200 on Broad Beach Road. Near this access, there is limited parking along the road.
The beach is also accessible by foot from the northernmost parking stalls on Zuma Beach.
28. Pirates Cove Beach
This Malibu beach was made famous in 1968 with the film, Planet of the Apes, particularly for the scene in which Charlton Heston appears with the Statue of Liberty in ruins, buried between the rocks and the sea.
Pirates Cove is a hidden beach in a small cove in the western part of Point Dume.
Access is from the southern end of Westward Beach, but it can be difficult at high tide. The option is to take a bumpy path that goes up around a detour and then down towards the beach.
The sand is part of the Point Dume State Beach Nature Reserve. At the end of Westward Beach, a path leads to the cliff above it and is an excellent natural viewpoint. Pirates Cove Beach has no facilities.
29. Point Dume State Beach
Point Dume State Beach’s main beach is Big Dume Beach, also called Dume Cove Beach.
It is a beach in the shape of a half-moon, whose access is through a small walk along a cliff that at the end has a long and steep staircase that goes down to the sand.
The path that reaches the highest point of Point Dume also starts from this place in the reserve. After reaching Big Dume, you can walk east to Little Dume Beach and, a little further, Paradise Cove. On the route, there are excellent tide pools if the time is low tide.
The Point Dume headland is a great place between February and April to spot gray whales during the migration season. It is also popular with rock climbers for the ease of its routes.
30. Puerco Beach
Playa Puerco is a narrow, south-facing stretch of sand just west of Malibu Road, with a row of houses crammed across the beach.
At high tide, it is almost always wet, so it is generally rated a public beach by state standards.
It has 2 public accesses; one next to the house at 25120 Malibu Road and another on the west end at 25446 Malibu Road. To the west of this second pass is Dan Blocker Beach.
The only access to Malibu Road is through the intersection of Webb Way with the Pacific Coast Highway, turning into the sea at the traffic light.
In the eastern sector of Malibu Road is Amarillo Beach. Puerco Beach lacks services and is used mainly for walking and sunbathing.
31. Sycamore Cove Beach
Sycamore Cove Beach is a pretty, southwest-facing cove in Point Mugu State Park in southern Ventura County. It is located in a day-use area of the park that has a huge campsite with an extensive network of hiking trails.
This point is the access to the Boney Mountain State Wilderness Area, at the north end of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Sycamore Cove Beach has lifeguards, picnic tables, and convenient facilities.
On the other side of the highway is the campground, a care center and maps with the hiking trails. Service facilities include barbecues, restrooms, and showers. Dogs are allowed but on a leash.
What to Visit in Malibu?
Malibu is a city in Los Angeles County known for its beaches and for the homes of celebrities and wealthy people.
Other places of interest are its pier and its natural parks to practice different outdoor entertainments, such as hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing.
In the cultural field, Getty Villa stands out, an enclosure that is part of the J. Paul Getty Museum; and Adamson House, a historical monument and museum.
Topanga Beach and Westward Beach are 2 Malibu beaches that are good for surfing and have service facilities.
The first is located next to the Pacific Palisades neighborhood and is the closest Malibu beach to Los Angeles.
Westward Beach is a wide, long beach on the west side of Point Dume accessed by Westward Beach Road.
Malibu Beach: General Information
Where is Malibu Beach ?: Along the Malibu coast, there are many beaches, some endowed with tourist facilities and very frequented, and others without services and more quiet.
The beach most associated with the city is Malibu Surfrider Beach, between the famous Malibu Pier and the lagoon. In 2010 it received the distinction of the first World Surf Reserve.
Malibu Beach Movie: The beauty of Malibu’s beaches and their proximity to Hollywood make them frequently used as a location for movies and television serials.
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