El Matador Beach in Malibu is one of Southern California’s secret spots. Located just north of famous Zuma Beach, the much smaller and more secluded El Matador State Beach attracts visitors with cosy coves, caves, fantastic rock shapes and sea birds.
The beach is hard to find if you don’t know what to look for. If you’re traveling north on Pacific Coast Highway look for a small sign on the left. You will find a small parking lot (about 20 spaces), some toilets, and a great view of the beach from the bluffs above. A steep but accessible trail leads to the beach.
Kongo visited at high tide so much of the access to the sea caves and rocks was underwater but it was still a great trip. Compared to Southern California’s other beach areas, this is much less crowded although locals are well aware of the scenic wonders this stretch of sand has to offer.
The beach is part of three “pocket beaches” that make up Robert H. Meyer State beach complex. The other beaches, just north of El Matador are La Piedra and El Pescador.
If you’re into surfing you will find company at El Matador since this section of coast gets both summer and winter swells.
A spot in the small beach parking lot will cost $8 and is good till sunset. There is plenty of free parking along the southbound side of Pacific Coast Highway. There are no lifeguard stations on El Matador but lifeguards are posted there on busy summer weekends.
Travel safe. Have fun.