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El Matador State Beach

Location: 32350 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

How to get there

On Pacific Coast Highway between Encinal Canyon Road and Kanan Dume Road.

About El Matador Beach

A set of three connected small beaches that totally cover 18 acres the El Matador Beaches are a great place to watch the sunset over the ocean.  As they are backed by craggy cliffs the access is a little more difficult but always worth the effort. There is a clay path to hike down with handrails for only the very steepest parts which have steps. So do not carry a lot of things with you when visiting as you'll only have to haul them all up again!  Managed as a California Start Park the El Matador Beach is part of the Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach.

The seaweed and shell strewn rocks that form the sides of the bays are full of little pools with interesting shore life in them. And the dramatic outcroppings make for some great photographic backgrounds, making this one of the most popular beaches for a quiet photo shoot. Don't be surprised to run across an engagement photo shoot or a family on the beach doing portraits.

At low-tide some of the rocks reveal caves or arches that invite exploration. Make sure to take suitable care about the tides though as there are no life guards here and the incoming tide can take people by surprise.

If you don't want to make the hike down to the beach then the bluffs above are still a great place for sunsets, and there are a small number of picnic benches available.   A parking lot is located on the top of the bluffs, and has limited capacity, but there is also free street parking nearby.  Parking in the lot is available from 8AM until sunset each day and costs $10 for the day.

Restrooms are provided but no other facilities, and no lifeguards.

El Matador State Beach


El Matador State Beach

Here is El Matador State Beach on the map.


Nearby Attractions

While most people visit the beach just for a day of sand, sun, surf and fun, there are actually many interesting attractions all within easy reach of the beach. So if you want to combine some activities in a day in the area, or simply want to allow some members of your group to do different things, then consider some of these nearby attractions.

Point Dume - At the end of the beach, visible as you look all the way to the left while facing the sea, Point Dume is a rocky promontory that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. The point, a long bluff, forms the northern end of the Santa Monica Bay. It is most interesting as a rock climbing location as the rocking mound forms a natural climbing wall with very moderate single pitch rock climbing routes that are perfect for the beginner or training, or simply for those simply wishing to try out natural rock climbing.

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