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. Zuma Beach
Zuma Beach is a long and wide beach more than 3 km long in Los Angeles County, in 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 due to its excellent provision of services and facilities, including several lifeguard posts, restrooms, showers, picnic tables, sports fields 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 slope, so it is very pleasant to walk towards the waves.
2. Dan Blocker County Beach
It’s a long, narrow beach off Pacific Coast Highway, between the Latigo Shores neighborhood and the houses on Malibu Road. There is a cluster of houses in the center of the beach where Solstice Canyon meets the shoreline.
Although a little out of the way, the best parking is in 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 highway shoulder.
Dan Blocker County Beach is visited for walking, sunbathing, and sports such as diving, snorkeling, fishing, and hiking. In summer there are lifeguards.
3. Matador State Beach
It is one of 3 beaches at 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 great 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 photo sessions and by people who go to sunbathe and watch the sunset. Other entertainments are hiking, swimming, snorkeling, bird watching and cave exploration.
4. Fisherman State Beach
It is the westernmost of the 3 beaches in the Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach Park. It has a private parking lot on the cliff that is next to the Pacific Coast Highway and a path that leads to the sandbank, 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 lacks its own access.
Walking east leads to La Piedra State Beach. From the beach, Point Dume Park is visible in the distance.
El Pescador State Beach is popular for strolling, sunbathing, bird watching, and enjoying the tide pools.
5. Sun Beach
Public access to this beach has been the subject of long-standing controversy since it became the property of Los Angeles County in 1976.
It was called Disney Overlook (Ignore Disney) by the creators of the mobile application, Our Malibu Beaches, because the most prominent opponent of the public entrance has been Michael Eisner, CEO of The Walt Disney Company for more than 20 years.
The beach lacks parking and direct access, making it one of the most secret beaches in Los Angeles, which can be reached by walking east from Nicholas Canyon Beach or west from El Pescador State Beach.
Both paths are rocky and it is best to go at low tide. The reward for the effort is that you will have an almost empty beach.
6. Escondido Beach
It is a south-facing beach east of Point Dume, in Malibu, California. Its most direct public access is off 27148 Pacific Coast Highway, on the bridge over Escondido Creek, although parking can be a problem.
Entering this entrance, to the right is Escondido Beach and to the left is the beach facing Malibu Cove Colony Drive.
Another access is a long public staircase to the west of Geoffrey’s Malibu restaurant, an entrance that leads to the widest and most secluded part of the beach with a small public parking lot.
As with most Malibu beaches, there is little sand left at Escondido Beach when the tide comes in. The main activities are hiking, diving, kayaking and beachcombing.
7. The Coast 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 an entrance 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 to the east at low tide.
The beach is used by walkers and sunbathers. It has no public facilities, nor are dogs allowed.
8. The Stone State Beach
La Piedra State Beach is in the middle of the set of 3 beaches in the Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach Park, west of Malibu. It is flanked by luxurious houses on both sides, but the mansions are barely visible from the sandbank.
Access is through a parking lot off Pacific Coast Highway, where a path and steep stairway descend from the cliff to reach the beach.
La Piedra is dotted with rocks and has tide 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.
9. Yellow Beach
It’s a Malibu beach on the eastern side of Malibu Road, next to Malibu Bluffs Park. It has several corridors for public access along the avenue and the beach is wider in the part without houses.
On the hillside above Malibu Road there are trails that lead into 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.
10. 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 made, but residents often block them or put up signs noting their illegality.
The closest “official” pass is through 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 path, at low tide.
The beach is mainly used for walking. It has no service facilities and dogs are not allowed.
11. Las Tunas Beach
Las Tunas County Beach is a rocky beach in eastern Malibu, an area where the shoreline is eroding so much that authorities are taking steps to protect the Pacific Coast Highway and the homes below.
The narrow beach of Las Tunas is mainly used as a fishing spot. The sand is not wide enough to sunbathe comfortably and the noise coming 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 restrooms. Access with dogs is not allowed.
12. Beach Whip
Latigo Beach is on the east side of Latigo Point, more accurately, below the condominiums and homes that line Latigo Shore Drive. It has its easements clearly defined and almost the entire beach is public, both wet and dry. You just have to stay about 5 meters (16 feet) from the first condominiums.
Although little known, Látigo Beach is a very nice beach to stretch your legs and sunbathe. It is quieter than other Malibu beaches as it faces southeast and is protected by Latigo Point on the west side.
At the western end, accessible tide pools are formed at low tide. Walking west and at low tide you will reach Escondido Beach. The sandbank extends to Dan Blocker County Beach to the east.
13. Owl Beach
Named after a nocturnal bird of prey, this public beach is below the houses at the north end of Broad Beach Road and is not well known in Malibu. Its best access is on Broad Beach Road near the center of the beach, off the dead-end Bunnie Lane.
From this point there is a short route through a tree-lined corridor and then there is the flight of stairs that leads 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. Across the street is a linear day-use parking lot. 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 to the parking lot, passing under the Pacific Coast Highway.
The beach is popular for diving, fishing, swimming, and marine life viewing; dogs on leashes are allowed in the area north of lifeguard station 3.
Leo Carrillo Park has a great campground and hiking and mountain biking trails.
15. Carbon Beach – East Access
Carbon Beach is a long beach between the Malibu Pier and Carbon Canyon Road. In front of the beach there are luxurious houses belonging to celebrities and wealthy executives, which is why it is called the “billionaire’s beach”.
The eastern entrance to Carbón Beach (located at 22126 Pacific Coast Highway) is also called the David Geffen Access, because it is located next to the home of the well-known film and music producer, who for many years opposed vacationers entering the Beach.
It has a gradual slope and soft sand, good for walking barefoot 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 dotted with millionaire homes.
At low tide, this sector of Carbón Beach is perfect for strolling along the sand and sunbathing. Another of the activities of the visitors is to admire the luxurious mansions of the celebrities and Los Angeles tycoons 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 access 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 sandbank that remains under water at high tide and with its large rock near 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 a public access.
There is not much parking, so if you park on the other side you have to 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 Carbon Beach is called 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 Carbón Beach and is right next to the house identified as Pacific Coast Highway #22664, where there is a gate and ramp that lead to the sand.
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 freeway, 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 Leo Carrillo State Park with access from the park across 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 depart from the parking lot and take hikers and hikers inland, even to Nicholas Flat Natural Preserve.
South Beach is a nice sandy beach near the mouth of a creek. At low tide there are tide pools and various 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 on the north 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 Leo Carrillo Park main entrance. It is a much narrower stretch of sand than North Beach and South Beach.
The trail zigzags up the cliff and curiously there is no ladder. 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 below 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 walk can reach the public area from Cove Beach or Big Dume Beach in Point Dume State Park.
The public area is the area below the mean high tide level. Dogs on leashes are allowed at Little Dume Beach above mean high tide level, 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 sandbank and observing the houses of Malibu Colony with their stairs that reach the beach.
At low tide, rocks and natural pools are exposed at the ends of the beach. To get to the beach from Malibu Lagoon, park at the park entrance at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Cross Creek Road.
23. Malibu Lagoon State Beach
This beach is located at the point where Malibu Creek meets the ocean. The creek forms the Malibu Lagoon and in winter the berms break allowing tidal flows to separate it from the Surfrider Beach lagoon.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach has parking at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Cross Creek Road. From the car park some dirt trails lead to the lagoon with the possibility 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 Beach is a popular surfing beach between the Malibu Pier and Lagoon. It is part of the Malibu Lagoon State Beach and with its good waves it lives up to its name.
Malibu Pier is a perfect place to fish and is comfortable to hang out with lots of benches and beautiful views.
At its entrance is Malibu Farm Restaurant & Bar, with fresh, 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 Highway are the Adamson House (local history museum) and the Malibu Lagoon Museum.
25. Nicholas Canyon County Beach
Long beach in western Malibu called Point Zero, an allusion to the rock-strewn point where the waves break below the parking lot where San Nicolas Canyon meets the sea. The sandy beach is north of this point.
Descending from 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, restrooms, and showers.
The parking lot is off the Pacific Coast Highway, approximately 1.5 km south of Leo Carrillo State Park.
The beach is visited for surfing, swimming, fishing, diving, windsurfing, walking and sunbathing.
26. Paradise Cove Beach
It is a public beach in Malibu with access via 28128 Pacific Coast Highway. There is the Paradise Cove Café, a private establishment with palm trees, straw umbrellas, wooden armchairs, surfboards and paid parking.
The all-day parking fee is quite steep, but visitors who park and eat at the cafe 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.
Walks along the sandbank are pleasant, and to the west, the walk leads under steep sandstone cliffs to Little Dume and Big Dume beaches at Point Dume State 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, body boarding and windsurfing and at the end that separates it from Lechuza Beach there are tide pools.
Look for the public entrance stairs between the houses at address 31344 and 31200, on Broad Beach Road. Near this access there is limited parking along the road.
The beach is also accessible on foot from the northernmost parking stalls at Zuma Beach.
28. Pirates Cove Beach
This Malibu beach was made famous in the 1968 movie, Planet of the Apes, particularly for the scene where Charlton Heston appears with the ruined Statue of Liberty, buried between the rocks and the sea.
Pirates Cove is a hidden beach in a small cove on the west side of Point Dume.
Its access is through the southern end of Westward Beach, but it can be difficult at high tide. The option is to take a bumpy road that goes up in a detour and then goes down towards the beach.
The sandbank is part of the Point Dume State Beach Nature Preserve. From the end of Westward Beach there is a path that leads to the cliff above it, which is an excellent natural viewpoint. Pirates Cove Beach has no facilities.
29. Point Dume State Beach
The main beach at Point Dume State Beach is Big Dume Beach, also called Dume Cove Beach.
It is a crescent-shaped beach, 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 trail that leads to the highest point of Point Dume also starts from this part of the reserve. After reaching Big Dume, you can walk east to Little Dume Beach and beyond to Paradise Cove. Along the route there are excellent tide pools if the time is low tide.
Point Dume Headland is a great place between February and April to spot gray whales during their migration season. It is also popular with rock climbers for the ease of its routes.
30. Pork Beach
Playa Puerco is a narrow, south-facing stretch of sand west of Malibu Road, with a row of densely packed beachfront homes.
At high tide it is almost always wet, so it generally qualifies as a public beach by state standards.
It has 2 public entrances; one next to the house at 25120 Malibu Road and one on the west end at 25446 Malibu Road. West of this second pass is Dan Blocker Beach.
The only access to Malibu Road is from the intersection of Webb Way with the Pacific Coast Highway, turning toward the sea at the traffic light.
On the eastern side of Malibu Road is Amarillo Beach. Puerco Beach lacks services and is mainly used 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 from which an extensive network of hiking trails starts.
This point is the gateway to the Boney Mountain State Wilderness Area, on the northern edge of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Sycamore Cove Beach has lifeguards, picnic tables, and convenient facilities.
Across the highway is the campground, a care center, and maps with hiking trails. Amenity 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 that stands out for its beaches and the homes of celebrities and wealthy people.
Other places of interest are its pier and its natural parks to practice different outdoor entertainment, such as hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing.
In the cultural field, the Getty Villa stands out, an enclosure that is part of the J. Paul Getty Museum; and Adamson House, a historic monument and museum.
Topanga Beach and Westward Beach are 2 good surfing beaches in Malibu with 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, expansive beach on the west side of Point Dume with access via Westward Beach Road.
Malibu beach map
Malibu Beach : General Information
Where is Malibu Beach?: Along the coast of Malibu there are many beaches, some equipped with tourist facilities and very popular, and others without services and quieter.
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 Surfing Reserve.
Malibu Movie Beach: The beauty of Malibu’s beaches and its proximity to Hollywood mean that they are frequently used as a location for movies and television series.
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