El Matador Beach
I don’t want to say this is an anti-Santa Monica Beach post, but… it’s kind of an anti-Santa Monica Beach post. Every time someone comes to visit LA, they inevitably want to go to the beach. Which is understandable. California is known for its dramatic coast, after all. But for some reason, they always set their sights on the absolute worst one. That’s right – Santa Monica Beach. While I’ll admit that its renowned pier is pretty fun, Santa Monica Beach is dirty, crowded, and overall just not cute. (And Venice Beach is even grosser, if I’m being honest.) So what’s better? El Matador Beach.
Hidden deep within Malibu, El Matador is the best beach you’ve never heard of. It’s located just past Zuma Beach and Point Dume, and features tons of cool rock formations and sea caves. And since it’s not super well known and has a meager amount of parking, you’re unlikely to find a beach clogged with tourists, which in my opinion is ideal.
Once You Arrive
If you can snag a spot in the small parking lot, it’ll cost you $8 for the day. And for the record, I’ve never had a problem parking here. Occasionally I’ll need to do a few loops around the lot, but I’ve never gotten so frustrated that I’ve up and left. There’s also street parking, however, you’ll want to pay careful attention to signage to avoid getting a ticket.
Once you park, make sure to scope out the view before making your way down to the beach. I should add here that there are quite a lot of stairs, so if mobility is an issue or you’re just not comfortable with steep, sandy staircases, this might not be the beach for you. Even if this isn’t a problem for you, you’ll want to be careful about what you take with you. As in, maybe leave the giant cooler full of drinks and snacks at home.
And that’s kind of it. There’s not a whole lot else you need to know about going to a beach. Once you’re there, do normal beachy things. Soak up the sun, read a book, explore caves, climb on rocks, and eat snacks. Just… beware of seagulls. One of those jerks once snatched a sub right out of my hand while I was eating it on this very beach. Ate it in one bite, too! If it weren’t so rude I’d probably have been impressed.
And now, I’ll leave you with a few pictures to help convince you that this beach is worth a visit. Do you have a favorite LA beach? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram!