El Matador State Beach

Attractions , Beaches Malibu
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(1 user review)
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Photograph: Amy Mew, Courtesy Wikimedia
We're thankful to have beaches that could (and do) grace travel agency posters.

Small, beautiful and dominated by rocky outcrops, El Matador looks not unlike a European beach. Six miles north of Malibu and 25 miles from Santa Monica, it's past just past Leo Carrillo Beach, accessible via a steep gravelly path. Wear shoes and don't bring too much gear. There are no lifeguards or other facilities, so you should be able to find some privacy on the beach; spread your towel in the cupped hands of the rocks—watch out for high tide. Arriving early or staying late should reward you with a memorable dawn of sunset. El Matador and nearby El Pescador and La Piedra beaches collectively form the Rober H Meyer Memorial Beaches. All three are worth a visit. Pony up $8 in the self-pay parking lot or snag a spot on PCH.

Venue name: El Matador State Beach
Address: 32350 Pacific Coast Hwy
Los Angeles

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Erin Kuschner

El Matador is a great place to escape the level of crowds that come with most Malibu beaches, but the rocky beach can limit the amount of space to spread out on a sunny afternoon. You'll almost always see a photo shoot going on here (those rocks and caves!), and an occasional topless sunbather. Get there early to score parking!