I just returned from my first CA visit and did a ton of research prior to on the best beaches. I was not interested in the typical flat, wide sandy beach, but more of one with a rocky coast line and beautiful scenery for picture taking. This beach is just north of Zuma Beach, so when you see that sign be on the lookout for the brown and white sign on the right reading ‘El Matador State Beach ¼ mi’. The entrance, of course, will be on the left hand side. The parking lot was a tad small, but we arrived around 1230pm on a Sunday afternoon and found several spots available. The fee is $8 and you put your money into a machine to get a ticket to place on your dash. There was a park service attendant monitoring the cars. I had read about the challenges involved getting down to the beach at El Matador due to dirt paths and a great number of stairs. We found that this was true, but for the extra effort, the beauty of the beach before our eyes was well worth it. The walk down the path and stairs was relatively easy for us, but for those with mobility issues, a fear of heights, non secure shoes or those hauling loads of beach gear it would/could be a difficult task and for some impossible. As we headed down the path/stairs we had two young girls in front of us toting a large Igloo cooler with wheels. The wheels were no good as the path was too uneven and carrying it down the stairs was an immense struggle for them. We jokingly said it'd be easier for them to leave it at the top and come back up when they needed whatever was in it. Once we were on the beach there were a good number of people/families, but it never felt crowded. The sight of the large rock formations with the sea flowing in between the crevices was a gift from Mother Nature and I was able to capture beautiful images with my camera. I was amazed to see so many people in bathing suits and in the water; coming from the Mid-Atlantic, the air/water temperature was far too cool for me. Don’t come here expecting a perfectly manicured beach, vegetation from the sea was strewn along the sand, but added to the beauty. I felt I couldn’t have picked a better beach; it was all I hoped it would be. The only negative, and a huge one at that, was the Porta-Potties. I had read about how disgusting they were and figured that most are, so no big deal. Boy was I ever wrong! I’ve traveled extensively and have never seen such gag inducing toilets in my entire life. I opened the door to each of the two available and the swarms of flies indicated how horrible they were. Both were filled to the top with thick black nastiness that almost caused my earlier breakfast to appear on the ground below me. Shame on the California Department of Parks and Recreation! If you are charging $8 per car this should bring in enough money to have these serviced/cleaned often. The filth I saw looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in months. With the large number of families visiting, I wondered where the parents took their kids to use the toilet. If you are able to steer clear of the Porta-Potties your visit to El Matador should not disappoint; it’s a beautiful gem of a beach.
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