“Just a small town girl. Livin’ in a lonely world.” – Journey
Over a decade ago, I met this amazing man who showed me the wonders of photography and drove me to Malibu’s 20+ miles of scenic beauty. I was never the same again. Somehow Malibu wasn’t just another pretty beach in Southern California. It ended up being my sanctuary everytime I lost my way or needed to clear my head.
I decided to drive there before the year ended. I love that it’s less crowded in December. However, I figured I’d drop by Paramount Ranch, get in a little hike before heading to the beach and reminisce about Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman which was filmed there in the 90s. If you are ever in the area, this place is a must see. They filmed a lot of tv shows and movies here from an episode of the X-Files (i’m a major fan), Westworld, American Sniper and many more.
Paramount Ranch has several and relatively easy hiking paths. This side trip before heading to Malibu is definitely worth it and highly recommended if you’re in the area.
Malibu has a couple of amazing beaches. El Matador is one of my favorites. I absolutely love the big rocks surrounding it and making a steep descent down the stairs is somewhat a trek especially if you’re lugging beach gears. Pack lightly. This is also a place where lots of photo shoots happen so it’s not exactly secluded but if you go on a weekday you might get lucky and have it all to yourself.
Point Dume Beach is a haven for hikers, rock climbers and surfers. It’s a mix of everything and with the ocean as a view how could I possibly resist? Unfortunately, it does get crowded because it’s absolutely breathtaking. Don’t go on the weekends or just brave the cold and head there early. The sunsets are amazing and lots of wildlife too!
Zuma Beach is my favorite beach in Malibu. It’s not as scenic as the other two listed above but if I want to spend an entire day at the beach this is where I always end up. You have the option to park on the side of the road and it’s completely free. You don’t have to descend down a steep staircase in order to get to the beach. It’s flat and very accessible for people of all ages. Even if it gets crowded, the beach is big enough that you’d still enjoy your privacy whether sunbathing, surfing, swimming, or just playing on the sand.
There are a lot of beaches to explore in Malibu and if you get hungry after a day at the beach you should try Neptune’s Net, Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market, Duke’s Malibu and many others.
Tips for this trip
- Paramount Ranch is a relatively easy hike but please be aware that there are rattlesnakes in the area. Make sure you bring water for your hike.
- El Matador and Point Dume aren’t easily accessible because you do have to descend down a steep set of stairs. Pack lightly if you decide to go.
- Zuma Beach is the best place for spending the day at the beach. I recommend this beach gear below saves you the hassle of carrying all your stuff. You could read my full review at https://nothingbutgears.com/beach-cart-the-wonders-of-big-wheels