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.
Here is El Matador State Beach on the map.