The Road to Malibu

“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.

Malibu Canyon Road – Heading to Malibu
Pacific Coast Highway View

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.

Entrance to Paramount Ranch
Walking in the Movie Ranch
Church

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.

El Matador
El Matador State Beach view from the cliff

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!

Point Dume view from the top
Point Dume Staircase

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.

Zuma Beach

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

Disclosure: Please be aware I get commissions for purchases made through
links in this post at no additional cost to you.  Please read Affiliate Disclosure and Amazon Affiliate Disclosure

  1.  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.
  2.  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.
  3.  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


Mac Sports Heavy Duty Collapsible Folding All Terrain Utility Beach Wagon Cart, Blue/White

112 Comments Add yours

  1. Discover and Explore says:

    Another memory to share about Malibu. When I went to college in Los Angeles, my good friend’s older brother had an amazing house on the hilly cliffs overlooking the ocean. He also had a tennis court built that literally hung over the steep cliffs of the hills of Malibu. Of course, it had a 10 foot fence surrounding the tennis court! If an errantly hit ball went over the fence, it was lost forever. I enjoy your blog, and the many reader comments 🙏🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      The view probably compensates for the tons of lost tennis balls 😊 Sounds like a beautiful house. I love looking at the houses on the hill from Zuma beach and imagining that I own one of them. And yes – I love reading everyone’s comments and responding. It gives me a sort of connection to my readers. Thanks for sharing 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Discover and Explore says:

        Ah yes, thank you. The house was amazing with panoramic views. Also, they had a telescope that could be used to peek at neighbors hot tubs. Think of the movie “10” in the late 70’s with Bo Derek. Thanks again for sharing beautiful things, and allowing others to connect.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Panoramic views. Wow! I could imagine havig a glass of wine with that view every night. Not that I need a good view to drink wine 😂 Thanks for your comments😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Discover and Explore says:

        🙏🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Discover and Explore says:

    Great stuff on Malibu. In the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s, I spent a bunch of time there. Malibu is truly special. One early evening, while in college (USC), my fraternity brother and I ran through the dunes at Zuma. The sunset that evening was a red and orange fireball! And though I was 20 years old at the time, I felt like a boy at camp! It was one moment of many. Thank you. Howard

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      I love Zuma. It’s the beach that I visit often because it’s not too crowded and there are tons of parking. The sunsets are always amazing there. I’m glad you had an amazing time there as well 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Discover and Explore says:

        Thank you for your appreciation of my share.🙏

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        I like reading about other people’s experiences in the places I’ve been to – it’s great that we all have fond memories of Malibu ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks absolutely beautiful. I haven’t made it there (yet) but will add it to the list. The places you have seen and shared on your blog are spectacular! Thank you for following my blog. I’m in love with nature too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      You would love it! Thank you again for your kind words. We are both nature lovers 😊

      Like

  4. I'll Say It says:

    I need to go to Paramount Ranch and make all my Westworld dreams come true!!!! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes, you definitely should
      go especially if you’re a fan you’ll love it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Malina says:

    Wow! Gorgeous photos! Looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      I love Malibu it’s so scenic! Thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. dugdeepdown says:

    I’m just awestruck and also envious at how much you travel. All that kept aside, I’m loving your blog. Just wondering when will I get to fulfil my dream like you

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Awww thanks! Honestly, a lot of my trips are day trips – I really can’t afford to stay in luxurious hotels or resorts. Some of the hikes are a few hours or less from where I live. I camp when I can (and sometimes you are allowed to camp free). I also bring food with me – for my hikes or when I go to state or national parks. Saves me money. I really hope you get to fulfill your dreams to travel and that you’d blog about it so I’ll be able to read about it as well 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      1. dugdeepdown says:

        I’m imagining everything you just wrote..and I’m getting even more eager. But still thanks for such a considerate reply ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        You’re welcome…life is tough enough as it is…we have to encourage each other to follow our dreams 😊

        Liked by 3 people

      3. dugdeepdown says:

        I don’t know why but I feel happy reading travel blogs and talking to considerate strangers. Thanks though!!

        Liked by 2 people

  7. tw0511 says:

    I hope my 3 year old daughter grows up to be a wandering Traveller like yourself. I’ve only read a couple of your posts and already hooked. Kudos to being such a free soul

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Wow. That is a huge compliment. Thank you for your kind words. I’m sure your daughter will be awesome no matter what – I had a great Dad…he always told me that home is where your heart is…and it’s true. I’ve left home a long time ago but what he taught me will always be in my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dali says:

    Beautiful picture. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      You’re welcome! Glad you liked it 😊

      Like

  9. Paramount Ranch. Who knew. Well next time I’m in So. Cal…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Definitely. I’m sure you’d like it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. wow, an amazing blog post to read, I especially loved looking at the photos!! I’ve just written about something similar!! you might like it, maybe check it out! https://tailoredbymtaylor.wordpress.com/2018/03/25/america-road-trip-2017/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Hi Megan! Thanks. Glad you liked it. I’ll check out your blog 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Like

    1. Bel says:

      Thanks for the reblog 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  11. regasssa says:

    Gorgeous photographs! I’d love to go visit, it looks spellbinding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      You really should visit. Malibu is so pretty 😊 Thanks!

      Like

  12. realmaven18 says:

    Reblogged this on insiderLAS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  13. realmaven18 says:

    Malibu..
    I can’t talk about my time at USC without mentioning Malibu which has a mystique that I cannot totally put into words. My first time there was with my Chi Phi Big Bro, Al. Al’s Porsche had the top down as we breezed along the 405 Freeway on a golden Southern California afternoon. We soon found ourselves hugging the winding curves of Pacific Coast Highway as we made our way to the Promised Land of Malibu. On our left lay vast sandy beaches dotted with surfers, and beach bunnies. On our right the steep hills of Malibu beckoned you to pay attention. I remember witnessing large houses that cantilevered off of these steep brown mounds of dirt. And what sticks in my memory most is the golden honey light that bathed all who were fortunate to be here.

    On another enchanted evening, a few months later, I double dated with my roommate, Bob and two sorority girls. We plopped our firm bodies down on the sand and staked our claim, as the sunset arrived to escort us into early evening. We all sat on the sand and talked. And talked. And at some point each couple started kissing. All the while, the soft roar of the Pacific Ocean was in the background.

    Nearby, a bunch of teenage groups were scattered out amidst the fine white sand, and several of them lit small ‘camp’ fires that dotted the landscape. It was almost scripted—I thought The Beach Boys would pop out behind a lifeguard tower and start playing “Surfin’ U.S.A.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Lol! I love the description and the memories you shared. It sure was a memorable time. I remember my first date in Malibu as well – I had to be carried over the rocky parts because I wasn’t expecting a beach date and that’s when I fell in love with the magic of Malibu. Thank you so much for sharing! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. realmaven18 says:

        Wow. What a fast and beautiful reply! Yes. It’s a magical and more crowded place I hear.

        Liked by 2 people

  14. realmaven18 says:

    Great post on the nuances and magic of Malibu. I spent a bunch of time there in the late 70’s when I attended college at USC.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! It’s a lot more crowded now than it was before but it’s still worth the drive! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  15. 1991sfinest says:

    This really opened my desire to visit Malibu and California itself! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      You really should! It’s an awesome place 😊

      Like

  16. i once spent a few years up the coast in ventura, ca and know what you mean about getting away and sanctuary.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Ventura has lots of awesome beaches and hiking spots as well. I try to go when I can….😊

      Liked by 2 people

  17. thankyouforyourcandor says:

    Zuma beach just looks like the place to be. I mean I’m a beach person and I could literally be there for hoursssss!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Right? I feel the same way. I love the ocean and the feel of the sand on your feet….😊

      Liked by 1 person

    2. i know reside in vancouver, washington which has sancuaries but not like those in southern cal.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Bel says:

        Southern California has a lot of amazing places…I have to agree. I still have so much to explore. I’m sure there are lots of great sceneries where you live now.

        Liked by 2 people

  18. camparigirl says:

    Ever been to Circle X? Great hikes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Yes! But it’s been a while since I last hiked there. So many hiking trails so little time 😊

      Like

  19. inaloveworld says:

    Wonderful photos! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you for reading 😊 Truly appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. inaloveworld says:

        You are more than welcome! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  20. thealvarezchronicles says:

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! 😊

      Like

  21. emily1221i says:

    Gorgeous photos! Loved this read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Hi, Emily! Thank you 😊

      Like

  22. neilirving says:

    Fabulous photos, what a lovely place

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Malibu is truly amazing 😊

      Like

      1. neilirving says:

        It looks it fabulous

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Was this man from South Detriot by any chance (I love Journey)? Happy new year, lovely work. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      No, he’s from LA 😊 Happy New Year and I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Danny says:

    Enjoyed this! Thanks for the info. I have put Malibu on my list of places to visit this year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as I did (and still do!) 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thanks for the reblog 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Beautiful photos, Bel.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Glad you liked it!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Beautiful photographs, a Hannah

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Like

  26. Terese says:

    Wonderful pictures, thank you for sharing along with the beaches of interest! Btw, X-files is back tomorrow!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Hi Terese! Yay a fellow x-files fan! I can’t wait…thanks for the reminder. I just hope it isn’t the final season like they mentioned…😊

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Terese says:

        I have the same hope! We waited all of 2017, it would indeed be a huge let down if it were the final season. Happy watching!!😊

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Bel says:

        Lol I even gave a standing ovation with fellow x-files fan at the movie house when they showed the first movie 😊

        Liked by 3 people

  27. Étain says:

    Beautiful, stunning pictures!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  28. So pretty, Bel. I love the cliffs and the rocks in the surf. I feel like I recognize some of the scenery in Paramount Ranch – Westword, maybe. Lovely to see a post from you. Happy travels in 2018. Wishing you a wonderful new year. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Diana! Belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 😊 Yes, there are so many shows and movies filmed in Paramount Ranch that’s why it’s so familiar..😊 I am a sucker for Western films…😊 I hope you have an amazing 2018 – more success to you! 🤗

      Liked by 3 people

  29. Wow! Such a beautiful place!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Wish you a very Happy New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Happy New Year! 😊

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  31. travelgarb says:

    Great pictures! I especially like the first beach shot with the long shadows

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  32. I’ve never been to Malibu, but these photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked it. Malibu is pretty special for me…😊

      Liked by 3 people

  33. Kelly says:

    Be still my heart– its Malibu! Beautiful coastal pics with that special golden California light. Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Spectacular huh? Malibu always has that effect on me no matter how many times I’ve been there 😊 Thank you for taking time to read this….😊

      Liked by 1 person

  34. KDKH says:

    I love your beach pics, especially the bird!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! That one was my favorite picture too 😊❤️

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      It truly is! Thank you 😊

      Liked by 3 people

  35. Hey!! I haven’t talked to you in foreverrr!!! Is that church the same church in Westworld?? If not, what in Malibu is in Westworld? I’m a massive massive fan! Also trying to connect with true friends on here outside of lame comments, add me @pharaohmaktuk if you want to be in contact out of here or e-mail @ vuichs91zz@yahoo.com whateverz clever!! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yes, I think this is the same church from Westworld – Paramount Ranch is before Malibu…a side trip I took on the way. You should definitely visit it. Where do I add you? Is that on instagram?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Sorry, no I don’t have instagram. That’s on FB 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Bel says:

        Lol! I don’t have FB yet but I’ll add your email address to my contact list. We’ll keep in touch there!

        Liked by 2 people

  36. Viva la Malibu! This looks like a wonderful place to explore and recharge. Thanks for sharing it Bel. And Happy New Year!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thanks Brad! Figured I had to get my Malibu fix before the year ends…😊 Have an awesome New Year!!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I’m glad you got your fix! 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

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