El Matador State Beach

One of the top things on our California list of things to do was to spend some time exploring the tide pools along the Pacific coastline. The beaches in California are not the same kind of beaches as we are used to on the Atlantic Ocean, but they offer something amazing for everyone. Whether you love taking pictures of the rock formations and natural bridges or prefer to search for sea urchins in the tide pools, you’re going to love El Matador State Beach near Malibu, California.

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El Matador State Beach

Located just 10 minutes from Malibu Beach and only 30 minutes from Thousand Oaks, El Matador is easy to find with a small parking area and picnic tables. You will see a fairly steep path that leads down to the beaches. There are quite a few steep stairs down to the beach, but the view at the bottom is worth the hike.

El Matador State Beach
El Matador State Beach Stairs to the beach

El Matador Beach is one of three beaches within Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach. El Matador is the most popular of the three and the closest to Malibu. The parking lots for each beach are well-signed along Pacific Coast Highway in western Malibu. El Matador has a parking lot on the bluff with picnic tables that look out over the Pacific Ocean. A trail descends through unique eroding formations on the face of the bluff then stairs take you the rest of the way to the beach.


There are multiple rocks and boulders to explore. You can walk along the beach and even climb through some of the rock bridges.

El Matador State Beach
El Matador State Beach

Explore the Tide Pools

Don’t forget to look closely around the rocks and look for mussels, snails, small crabs, limpets and even barnacles. Don’t rush the fun in the tide pools. Watch your step and look carefully because many of the living organisms blend in and aren’t quickly visible. You may just find some amazing colorful urchins, sea stars, anemones, and seashells.

El Matador Tide Pools
Tide Pools El Matador State Beach
El Matador State Beach

Have you ever been to El Matador State Beach? What is your favorite tide pool or South Florida beach to explore?

Where to find El Matador Beach

32200 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265

Looking for a place to stay that gives you easy access to El Matador State Beach, the M*A*S*H Hiking trail, reagan Presidential Library and all the good food options you can imagine? Check out Conejo Valley!

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