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“Most beautiful beach I've ever seen!”

El Matador State Beach
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$595.00*
and up
Romantic Escape: Pacific Private Tour
Ranked #2 of 53 things to do in Malibu
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed September 29, 2013

I've seen beautiful beaches in the Florida panhandles, Hawaii and all along California's coast; and El Matador is hand's down the most beautiful beach I've ever seen. There are unique rock formations that create a breathtaking vista and (for some reason) the lighting there is absolutely perfect for photos, especially at sunrise and sunset. You do have to walk down fairly rugged terrain to get there so, unfortunately, this is not a beach you can access if you have any mobility issues. But if you are fairly sure footed, El Matador is worth the drive - I've never seen anything like it - takes my breath away...

Thank RebeccaHill_inLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 22, 2013

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.

2  Thank kribbean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

Read about this on vrbo and the reviews were spot on. This is a stunning, very private-feeling beach, although we went on a late Tuesday morning. 3 things to be aware of: port-o-pottys are the only bathroom option here and they're at the top by the parking lot way above the beach; parking is tight, maybe 40 spots unpaved, but you can always park on the PCH; parking is $8.

Once you leave the parking lot and head toward the water, you're met by a gorgeous view of the ocean and you're about 10+ stories above the beach and ocean! There's a path that takes you to several sets of stairs to get down to the beach. Once you get to the beach, it is so worth the trip. Beautiful, huge rocks, some where you can walk or sit under, especially at low tide. A nice, deep beach that is very clean and protected by the sandstone cliffs.

Bring a garbage bag and take your trash with you; it's too nice to spoil for others. We've been to several beaches and sightseeing spots in Malibu, but we'll definitely return for a longer stay. Bonus is that you burn some calories going up and down the paths and stairs but not too much for seniors. Love this place!

1  Thank Warren B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2013

This was the last beach we stopped at in Malbu. It is very pretty with the rock formations. There were two photoshoots going on while we were there. There is a lot of seaweek on the beach and sandflies so it can be a little annoying laying out. Also, they are very serious about the no alcohol policy. We saw a ranger give out tickets.

1  Thank FrequentTraveler1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

So gorgeous its worth the drive and the hike. This is without a doubt one of California's most beautiful beaches, small and scenic. Its situated on an angle so that you get a breeze and not gale force winds, super nice. Take a picnic and blanket and prepare to relax, sort of. The Downsides, in anticipation of getting there you may think you're lost or you missed it, you didn't keep driving. *THE HILL* in order to get to the beach you have to walk down a serious flight of stairs, but before you reach that you have to walk down a steep and treacherous hill that this not for the faint of heart and difficult to do in flip flops! Its very scenic and the day we were there, there were a lot of photographers trying to shoot engagement shots and bikini models, they may ACT like they own the place, they don't! IGNORE THEM enjoy yourself and let your kids play and explore. You can tell by the pics this beach is a tourist spot, so don't expect to be alone, you won't be. Its more like "guest towels" look at them, like decoration, but don't expect to really be able to use it.You will be leaving shortly. There is parking, its unpaved and there are porta potties at the THE TOP of the hill. Bring your camera, wear a cute outfit, sit in front of the rocks, take a picture of the sunset, leave. All good!

3  Thank FonnyGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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