El Matador State Beach – Malibu’s Secret Gem

Some of Southern California’s most beautiful beaches and best-kept secrets are located in Malibu, and El Matador State Beach is one of them.

Last updated: May 14, 2024

El Matador State Beach | A Valuable Treasure in Malibu - Roads and Destinations
El Matador State Beach is one of Malibu’s most valuable hidden gems

Along Southern California Coast

I could never imagine that one day I would be able to show Roshan a place in Malibu that he had never seen before. First of all, Roshan has lived in the Greater Los Angeles Area for over a decade now. Second, at one point, he lived in Santa Monica, a close neighbor of Malibu. And yet, he hadn’t been to El Matador State Beach, one of my favorite hidden gems in Malibu, until last weekend.

How to Visit El Matador State Beach

  • Address: 32350 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
  • Open from 8:00 am until sunset
  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Parking: $8
  • Free parking along Pacific Coast Highway. Do not park in the no-parking zones.
  • Access to the beach: A slightly steep trail at the parking lot followed by steep stairs.

How to Get to El Matador

El Matador Beach is regarded as one of the most valuable hidden treasures in Malibu for a reason. The place is not hugely advertised or marked by a big sign. In fact, you won’t even notice the beach while driving down the Pacific Coast Highway.

Your chances to spot the modest entrance to the beach are greater when you already know about its existence. But even with this insider’s knowledge under your belt, you may want to slow down a bit after passing the City of Malibu. From here, El Matador State Beach comes into view in about ten minutes.

Despite the fact that not even all locals know about El Matador State Beach, this secret jewel has all necessary amenities: its own paid parking lot (although it’s very small) and portable toilets at the trailhead.

TIP: You can also park along the Pacific Coast Highway. Yet pay close attention to the road signs. Many places here are marked as no-parking areas.

El Matador State Beach: Hidden gem in Malibu | Roads and Destinations
Steep stairs lead to the beach

Malibu’s Best-Kept Secret

From the parking lot, head down a steep trail that eventually hits an abrupt staircase to the beach. This route can easily unnerve people who are afraid of heights. But the beach and spectacular view from above are worth every second of that inconvenient descent. Even my mom who tries to stay away from anything that is located above sea level absolutely loved the place.

Unlike many other beaches in Malibu, El Matador has a lot more to offer than just the usual sandy stretch of the coast and free ocean waves. Big rocks, boulders, and curious seagulls proudly call the place their home. The main star, however, is a massive rock with small arches, big enough to walk through. Needless to say, the natural attraction draws the attention of many beachgoers and photographers.

The Best Time to Visit El Matador

With the sufficient amount of shade from the bluffs above and tiny alcoves in the cliff walls, El Matador State Beach welcomes its guests all day long. Sunrises and sunsets, however, are best for capturing the glorious colors above the ocean that illuminate the water and are intensified by the shadows casted by the rocky outcrops below.

Places to Visit Near El Matador

  • Zuma Beach. The area is famous for its sandy shores.
  • Leo Carrillo State Park. The State Park is regarded as one of the favorite places to admire sunset and sunset.
  • Sycamore Cove Beach. With installed fire pits, Sycamore Cove Beach is a perfect place for a picnic day by the ocean.
El Matador State Beach – A Valuable Treasure in Malibu - Roads and Destinations - roadsanddestinations.com
Curious seagulls roaming the beach
California Beaches | Roads and Destinations
Every day is the best day to visit El Matador
El Matador State Beach | Roads and Destinations
Rocks and hidden caves in Malibu
Malibu | Roads and Destinations
The view from the stairs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.