One of the most scenic spots along the Pacific Coast Highway is Malibu California. Here there are 21 miles of coastline and several different beaches where you can work on your golden tan. Just like other areas of Southern California, different beaches have earned different reputations. You might not go to the same beach if you’re looking to surf or looking for a quiet day of relaxation. With a list of Malibu beaches to choose from, it pays to do your research in advance and choose the perfect beach for you. Whether you’re looking for views, surfing, or just peace and quiet, there is an ideal Malibu Beach for you.
Before you set foot in Malibu California there is one thing you should know: not all the beaches here are public. Private beaches exist here, and can charge you an entrance fee just to set up your beach towel and lounge in the sun. The price isn’t extravagant, but you will have to pay as opposed to other beaches in Southern California that are free. One example is Zuma Beach. This beach is often at the top of lists about the best beaches in America—but it does charge a small entry fee. What you get for this fee is extraordinary. Zuma Beach not only has plenty of parking, but it also offers gorgeous views and the quintessential Malibu experience.
Locals who know Malibu California inside and out won’t pay for the pleasure of spending a day at Zuma Beach, but they will go nearby to a beach they call Free Zuma. The real name of the beach is Westward Beach. The only problem with this beach, in comparison with Zuma Beach, is that there is limited parking available. If you plan on arriving early, or arriving late for a sunset stroll, you should be able to find parking without a problem. On the other hand, if you arrive in the middle of the day, you might find that all the limited parking is taken.
When many travelers think of Malibu Beach, what they’re actually thinking of is Malibu Surfrider Beach. This is where the famous Malibu Pier is located, as well as being an excellent spot for surfing. If you aren’t interested in giving California’s favorite pastime a try yourself, this beach is a great spot for watching the professionals pull tricks. Nearby this beach is another of the top Malibu beaches, the Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Located west of the Malibu Pier, this is where the ocean and Malibu Creek meet. Topanga State Beach is another protected Malibu Beach.
A couple more options for state-operated beaches include Big Dume State Beach and Point Dume State Beach. The atmosphere of these beaches is so heavenly, that you might be tempted to crack open an ice cold beer. Beware though—drinking alcohol is prohibited at these beaches and citations are common. If you love the Malibu beaches, there are many other destinations in Southern California you should check out too. More options for gorgeous beaches include Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and Manhattan Beach. Rent a car, cruise along the Pacific Coast Highway with the windows down, and you will discover many beautiful beaches along the drive.