Things to Know: Leo Carillo State Beach

Sometimes you find the most amazing places almost by accident.  Leo Carrillo State Beach, just outside Thousand Oaks, CA and less than 45 minutes north of Los Angeles is one of those places that we didn’t expect to be so amazing, but now that we have been, we want the world to know how beautiful this place is!  Here are a few things to know about Leo Carrillo State Beach before you make your first visit!

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Things to know: Leo Carrillo State Beach


When we took our summer road trip we knew we were going to take some time to enjoy the Pacific Ocean but we really didn’t know which beaches we would find. We had done the research and knew that the Pacific Ocean is different than what we are used to on the east coast.  Several people suggested that we should drive over and spend some time at Leo Carrillo and we discovered that they were right!

We picked up some donuts at Foster’s Donuts in Thousand Oaks and drove over to the beach for breakfast.

The park was named after Leo Carrillo (1880-1961), actor, preservationist and conservationist. Leo Carrillo served on the California Beach and Parks commission for eighteen years, and was instrumental in the state’s acquisition of the Hearst property at San Simeon. He was related by blood and marriage to a long line of distinguished original Californians. Leo’s greatest fame came from his portrayal of Pancho, the sidekick to Duncan Renaldo’s Cisco Kid, an early 1950’s TV series.

Things to Know:

  • You can park on the street for free but need to pay if you go down to the park entrance.
  • If you want to climb on the rocky outcroppings, you will want to wear water shoes or shoes that can get wet.  
  • There are steps down from the road that give you access to the beach.
Steps down to the beach from the main highway

Real Life Tip:  Carry a mesh drawstring bag so you can keep up with all your shoes and not have to carry them by hand!  

Find Leo Carrillo State Beach

The park is located 28 miles northwest of Santa Monica on the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1.)


Leo Carrillo State Beach

Looking for another great beach to explore right down the road?  Don’t miss El Matador State Beach!

El Matador State Beach
El Matador State Beach

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