Million-dollar villas, private clubs, celebrities, and breathtaking scenery may come to mind when you think of Malibu. You’re almost there.
Malibu is located along the Pacific Coast Highway, west of Los Angeles and seven miles north of Santa Monica.
Once you pass the ‘Malibu’ sign, you’ll be on your way to 27 miles of stunning scenery – essentially all picture-perfect beaches from beginning to end. It is said that there is the clearest water on California beaches.
The lovely surroundings of Malibu are frequently highlighted in numerous song lyrics, and movies giving us the sight of the prettiest beach in California.
It’s known as a posh spot to visit or spend a day at any time of the year. But don’t worry, you don’t need to be wealthy to appreciate the scenery; there are numerous public beaches and locations to visit, as well as locations for everyone to sit back, relax, and enjoy a day of fun.
Table of Contents
Is Malibu Beach Public?
Yes, beaches in Malibu are public. Anyone can visit there and enjoy the sunset on these prettiest beaches. There are many private beaches too in Malibu where you have to take access from the landowners of these areas.
Best Beaches in Malibu
1. Carbon Beach
Locals refer to Carbon Beach as “Billionaires Beach” because of the massive houses that are located on the shoreline. Years ago, there were some issues since residents did not want the beach to be open to the public. Fortunately, they were not successful.
The beach is accessible from three distinct points. The beach is small, but it’s a must-see for Malibu visitors. Before you go, check the tides; there isn’t much sand to explore when the high tide comes in.
Carbon Beach is the epitome of Malibu, and it’s here that you’ll get a true taste of California living.
Best for: Seeing expensive residences, spotting celebrities, wandering on the beach, and sunbathing.
Parking: Along the Pacific Coast Highway, look for parking places, but be careful not to obstruct any garages or driveways. Parking is also available on the second floor of the shopping mall at 22601 Pacific Coast Highway.
Address: 22878 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265-5041
2. Malibu Lagoon State Beach
The lagoon is made when the Malibu stream pools up and joins the ocean at Malibu Lagoon State Beach. The beach recedes throughout the winter, allowing tidal torrents to form.
Surfrider Beach and the lagoon beach are now separated. The lagoon is the starting point for Surfrider Beach, which runs all the way to the Malibu Pier.
Around the lagoon, there are a number of trails that are ideal for bird viewing and discovering the wetlands.
The lagoon and tidal streams distinguish this beach from others in Malibu.
Best for: Fishing, birdwatching, pier exploration, history aficionados, and catching a bite to eat are the best reasons to visit.
Parking: Cross Creek Road or the State Beach lot on the west side of the Malibu Creek Bridge are both good parking options. Parking is $12.00 for the entire day or $3.00 each hour.
Address: Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265-4937
Contact no.: (805) 488-1827
3. Malibu Surfrider Beach
We recommend visiting both Surfrider Beach and Malibu Lagoon State Beach together.
Surfrider Beach is known for its lengthy right-hand break, which makes it ideal for surfing. The Malibu pier is ideal for taking in the scenery and keeping an eye on everything going on on the beach.
If you’re feeling active, try beach volleyball or go for a leisurely walk on one of the numerous nearby paths. Whatever you do here, it’s a relaxing environment to spend time with friends and family.
Best for: Surfing, fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, swimming, and beach volleyball are some of the activities that may be enjoyed here.
Parking: Parking is limited to 90 spaces, so arrive early. Parking is $12.00 per car for the entire day or $3.00 for each hour. We accept both cash and credit cards as payment. If you can locate a parking spot along the PCH, it’s free.
Address: Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265-4936
See Also: Best Parks In Portland
4. Paradise Cove Beach
Paradise Cove is a beautiful public beach in front of a privately owned restaurant of the same name. The cost of parking varies on whether you eat at the restaurant.
The cuisine is delicious and worth splurging on while you’re in town. Several Hollywood films have been filmed in this location. Beach walks along the shore can be enjoyed while seeing the massive houses.
You’ll reach the sheer sandstone cliffs near Little Dume Beach if you continue trekking.
Best for: Beachside restaurants, cocktails, and movie reminiscences are the best reasons to visit.
Parking: Parking: Monday through Friday, parking costs $35, and on weekends and holidays, it costs $50. If you spend at least $30 at the café, you can receive a four-hour parking pass for $8 Monday through Friday and $10 on weekends and holidays.
Address: 28128 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265-3928
Contact no: (310) 457-2503
5. Point Dume State Beach
The beach has plenty to offer. The clear water and pristine sand are a welcome sight for those who have visited some of Southern California’s low-maintenance beaches, and the massive cliffs that line the shoreline make it a must-see.
This is a popular filming location for the movie industry due to its proximity to Hollywood and natural beauty. The original Planet of the Apes is by far one of the most well-known films shot here. In addition, Tony Stark’s house in Iron Man was digitally added to the cliffs of Point Dume, and many more movies and television series were filmed here.
Best for: Whale watching, rock climbing, swimming, surfing, scuba diving, tide pooling, and fishing are some of the activities that may be enjoyed here.
Parking: There is a free parking lot for roughly 10 cars on Cliffside Drive. At the end of Westward Beach Road is another parking lot. Summer workday fees are raised to $8 (9 am-4 pm) and $15 on summer weekends, and cash or cards are accepted. A 15-minute meter costs $0.50.
Address: Cliff Drive, Malibu, CA 90265-4280
6. Zuma Beach
Zuma Beach is considered by many California residents to be the best beach in the state.
This beach is an annually favorite, thanks to its pristine sand, food stalls, toilets, mild waves, and enough parking. Zumba Beach is renowned not just for swimming in the summer, but also for animal viewing in the winter.
For those of you who can’t contemplate leaving after only one day, there are plenty of options in the region.
Best for: Swimming, body surfing, windsurfing, surfing, body boarding, whale viewing, sunbathing, and beach volleyball are all popular activities on the beach.
Parking: Paid parking is available in eight parking lots totaling 2000 spaces– Places with meters Per ten minutes, you will be charged $0.25. If you can find one, there are free parking spots along the PCH. $6 (9am-4pm), $3 (6am-9am), $3 (6am-9am), $3 (6am-9am), $3 (6am-9am), $3 (6am (4pm-close).
Address: 30000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265-3601
See Also: Colchuck Lake Trail, Washington
7. Westward Beach
Westward Beach is a three-mile strip of sand with large portions.
It’s one of LA’s top surfing spots. This beach is without a doubt one of LA’s largest and most popular. Because of its immaculate water, Westward Beach is one of the cleanest and healthiest beaches in the world.
With more than ten lifeguards on duty, stores, restaurants, beach volleyball games, and other family-friendly attractions, Westward is a great place to visit.
Best for: Surfing, kiteboarding, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and bodyboarding are all popular activities at this beach.
It’s all about the water at Westward Beach. You won’t need to worry about lifeguards because there are several in the vicinity.
Address: 7103 Westward Beach Rd, Malibu, CA 90265-4280
Contact no.: (310) 457-8143
8. El Matador Beach
El Matador State Beach is considered to be the best-hidden heaven on earth. We’ve let the cat out of the bag, unfortunately.
Because the parking space is limited, finding a spot can be difficult if you arrive in the middle of the day. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.
The magnificent sea caves and gigantic boulders make this the ideal beach for taking photographs. To get to the beach, you’ll have to descend a steep slope; it’s only a short trek, but it’s well worth it. The trailhead has a bathroom.
Best for Photography, beach exploration, cave exploration, and sunbathing are the best activities to partake in.
Parking: At the top of the bluffs, there is a small parking lot where you may have to wait in line. For the whole day, it’ll cost you $10. If you can find it, there’s free street parking.
Address: 32200 Pacific Coast Highway Malibu, CA 90265
Contact no.: (818) 880-0363
9. Leo Carrillo Beach
Le Carrillo State Park and Beach is a wonderful place to spend the day because it is dog and family-friendly. You can camp at the campground for a few days if you wish to extend your beach vacation.
If you wish to bring your animal companion along, there are designated dog-friendly areas along the shoreline; simply look for the signs.
It’s a terrific day out whether you prefer cave exploration or low tide tidal pool exploration. From North Beach, continue north to Staircase Beach on the trail.
Staircase Beach is a small, narrow beach where surfers cut up the waves. The most popular beach in Leo Carillo is North Beach, which attracts a large number of visitors and families. There are still two more beaches to visit.
When the tide is low, South Beach features various tidal pools and caves to explore. The northernmost area of North Beach is home to Staircase Beach, a favorite surf location for locals and visitors alike.
- Best for: this beach is best for surfing.
- Address: 35000 Pacific Coast Highway Malibu, CA 90265
- Contact no.: (805) 488-1827
See Also: Things To Do In Death Valley
Why is Malibu famous?
Malibu, California, is a beautiful seaside town known for its romance, luxury, and breathtaking beauty. It is noted for its outstanding surfing waves, historic fishing pier, and superb shopping at the Malibu Country Mart, with residences perched high on the bluff overlooking miles of fine sand beaches and stunning Pacific views.
On a day trip or weekend getaway to Malibu, visitors can partake in a variety of restaurants, wedding venues, beaches, and unique activities such as kayaking. Some attractions may be closed temporarily or require reservations in advance. Currently, some hotels exclusively provide pick-up services. It’s possible that the hours and availability have shifted.
How to go to Malibu Beach?
There are two routes to go to Carbon Beach: a West Access point and an East Access point, and you may park for free just off the highway. The beach is mainly submerged at high tide. To prevent being pushed off the beach by rising seawater, use a tidal table to time your visit.
There are many beaches in Malibu that are public so anyone can go there and enjoy the amazing weather and the soothing sun rays.
How far is Malibu beach from Los Angeles?
If you make this fast drive without stopping, here’s a quick solution. Of course, traffic will make a significant difference, so double-check before leaving.
36 miles (58 km) of nonstop driving
Time spent driving: 57 minutes
Even on a short drive, stopping along the way to explore the local environment could be more intriguing. If you drive and stop frequently to have a view of the beautiful scene, your time may increase.
See Also: Things To Do In Biloxi Mississippi
Are dogs allowed at malibu lagoon state beach?
Dogs are not permitted on any beach in Malibu, as per the city’s official website. You will be told to leave and may be cited if you carry your dog to the beach.
Unique things to do in Malibu
There are many unique things that you can do to make your visit memorable and adventurous. Some of them are given below:
1. The Falls of Escondido
The 150-foot Escondido Falls, the highest in the Santa Monica Mountains, is a highlight of the hike. However, due to the drought, it’s unlikely that you’ll find much water there during the summer, but it’s still a nice trip with some wonderful photo opportunities among the stones.
2. Solstice Canyon
Solstice Canyon is a beautiful hike with year-round waterfalls and stunning ocean views. The route also leads to the charred remnants of a stone cottage that is said to be Malibu’s oldest extant stone structure.
See Also: Best Campgrounds In Big Sur
3. Visiting Amazing Beaches
If there’s one thing Malibu has in heaps, it’s a natural beauty, and nowhere is this more visible than at the beach. You’re more likely to see a gray whale or two, as well as dolphin pods and seals if you go early in the morning during whale migration (Dec.-Jan, April-May). For whales, I recommend arriving before 10:00 a.m., but dolphins and seals can be seen all day.
The charm of this coastal city is that you may go to many beaches and have a unique experience each time.
4. Adventures on the Beach in Malibu
If you really want to get into the Malibu spirit, you’ll need to do more than swim and sunbathe. Paddleboarding, surfing lessons, and whale/dolphin watching boat tours are all available through Malibu Coastal Adventures.
5. Scuba Diving
Malibu Divers offers scuba diving lessons for beginners. (Please note that the experience level you choose, the lessons may last several days.) so, you can enjoy scuba diving there.
See Also: Best Hikes In Washington State
Tips for Visiting
- Up to the mean high tide line, all coastlines in California are public – don’t be fooled by the “PRIVATE BEACH” signs that can be found throughout Malibu’s residential areas. All of California’s beaches are open to the public, and you are legally permitted to visit them as long as you do not enter anyone’s private property.
- To discourage tourists, some locals will go to great lengths to pitch fictitious signs. Of course, be considerate of their privacy and make sure you’re not obstructing any driveways or private property when parking. To help you find your way, look for brown Beach Access and Coastal Access signs.
- Parking can be difficult – To be honest, getting a parking space at some of these beaches can be difficult.
- Arrive early, have a strong strategy and do your study on the region, and don’t be scared to park on the Pacific Coast Highway. On the PCH, parking is free, but the area fills up quickly.
- Plan your trip around the tides – Before you leave, look at the Tide Pool Charts to see when the high and low tides are.
- High Tide – In a place like Malibu, where there are few beaches that have a very restricted sandy area, high tide is vital to be aware of. The water can literally rise to the point where you won’t be able to walk through it. It can also be perilous if you’re in a deep, rocky area as the tide comes in.
- Low Tide – Check out the small animals in the tide pools during this time of year. Low tide is also the best time to walk along those winding beaches.
- At any of Malibu’s beaches, dogs are not permitted. You might like to leave your pet companion at home if you’re planning on bringing them. There are no dog-friendly beaches in Malibu, and they enforce this constantly, so if they find you with your dog, you’ll get a ticket and a fine.
See Also: Best Oregon Coast Hikes
Best Beach In Malibu – FAQs
Malibu is the land of unparalleled charm and beauty where you can witness the amazing and fantastic scenes of the universe. It is a place worth visiting once in a lifetime. All the beaches we have mentioned above are splendid and worth visiting. These are definitely the best Malibu beaches for families.
All the beaches in Malibu are public and you can go there without paying much heed to your pockets.