An aerial shot of El Matador beach and beautiful landscape with rocks., sandy shores and blue ocean waters

El Matador Beach

Updated by Pat Dorri on November 6 2023

If you are looking for a tranquil beach, with sandy shores and rugged coastline surrounded by dramatic cliffs, then a stop off at El Matador Beach is a must! It is a secluded and pretty spot for a day out, whilst still close to all the action and only 10 miles from Malibu city center.

A quick overview of El Matador Beach, Malibu
Street Address📍 32215 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
Facilities at this beach

🕒 Opening hours (8am until sundown)

🚗 Parking ($3/hour or $10/all day)

🛟 Lifeguard station

🚻 Public restrooms

Where can I find the El Matador Beach along the Pacific Coast Highway?

El Matador Beach is located west of Malibu city center. If you're traveling on the Pacific Coast Highway then watch for the small brown sign indicating the turnoff for El Matador. You will find a small parking lot here at the top of the cliffs, and limited free parking along the highway.

El Matador Beach is a short 12 minute drive from Malibu center, where you can find various restaurants, stores, and services.

Why we love visiting El Matador Beach

There are plenty of reasons why a visit to El Matador Beach should be included in your itinerary as you pass along the Pacific Coast Highway.

You will experience breath taking sea stacks and rock formations against the backdrop of the Pacific, with sandy stretches and intriguing sea caves. It really is a captivating escape for both those seeking a tranquil coastal experience and a must-visit for photography fans.

[th]Feature[/th][th]Our rating[/th]
How we rate the different aspects of El Matador Beach
Natural beauty and scenery⭐⭐⭐⭐
Cleanliness and water quality⭐⭐⭐⭐
Peace and quiet⭐⭐⭐
Activities on offer⭐⭐

El Matador Beach is known for its dramatic rock formations. The impressive sea caves and rock formations are accessible during low tide and perfect for exploring.

This unique landscape makes for a photographer's dream. You can capture plenty of insta-worthy images during your visit, with the sunsets creating a particularly beautiful sight.

The beach is in a secluded setting, providing a peaceful retreat. Though well-known, El Matador Beach is well-liked for quieter outings and more tranquil escapes.

There is plenty to explore on the doorstep. El Matador is one of three Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beaches that visitors can hop between, each offering different experiences and scenery, with the center of Malibu also close by.

El Matador beach and beautiful landscape with rocks and ocean against blue sky, California
The beautiful scenery across El Matador Beach makes an incredible backdrop to explore the area.
Ivanova Ksenia/

What else is there to do near El Matador Beach?

Whilst you can certainly while away a day or more at El Matador Beach, there are plenty of other beaches and attractions on the doorstep should you wish to stay a little longer in the area.

  1. La Piedra State Beach - El Matador Beach is one of three that make up Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beaches. La Piedra is a second, and found to the east of El Matador, a picturesque beach with rocky outcroppings.
  2. El Pescador State Beach - Located further east from La Piedra, it offers another stretch of sandy shore and rock formations, and makes up the third beach of the Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beaches.
  3. Lechuza Beach - Located to the east of El Matador, it's a less frequented beach known for its tide pools and coastal beauty.
  4. Broad Beach - It's a long stretch of sand located just to the west of El Matador. Known for its luxurious beachfront homes, Broad Beach is a mix of public and private sections.
  5. Trancas Canyon - Located to the west of El Matador, in Trancas Canyon you can find Trancas Country Market, which offers convenience stores, eateries, and essential services.

Common questions about visiting El Matador Beach

The stunning cliffs and rock formations at El Matador Beach are the reason it makes this setting so impressive, however there are also some considerations given its position and accessibility.

Is El Matador Beach accessible and open year-round?

❗ Yes, however the parking lot and beach can get busy, so travel early or on weekdays to avoid the crowds

❗ With the steep cliffs at El Matador Beach, winter can affect accessibility and safety of certain beach areas. Check ahead before visiting

Can I enjoy water sports at El Matador Beach?

❗ Whilst you can enjoy cautious swimming and snorkelling at El Matador Beach, there are no water sports encouraged due to the rocky shoreline

❗ Water shoes are recommended at El Matador Beach if paddling in the sea to protect your feet

Is El Matador Beach easily accessible for those using wheelchairs or strollers?

❗ You need to navigate stairs and a steep walkway to reach El Matador Beach, so access could be an issue for those with mobility challenges

Is there anywhere to buy refreshments at El Matador Beach?

❌ No, there is no convenience store or refreshment stand at El Matador Beach, so make sure to stock up on supplies before you arrive

Are dogs allowed on El Matador Beach?

❌ No, dogs are not allowed at El Matador Beach

Are there any changing facilities at El Matador Beach?

❌ No, there are no changing facilities or showers at El Matador Beach

Are there any beach chairs or umbrellas to hire at El Matador Beach?

❌ No, there are no beach chairs or umbrellas to hire at El Matador Beach

Is there anything else to watch out for when I visit El Matador Beach?

As with other beaches in the area, jellyfish are more likely to be seen in spring at El Matador Beach. However, as this beach has rocky surroundings - and there are less water-based recreational activities - you are less likely to come into contact with them.

An aerial shot of El Matador Beach, with beautiful landscape with rocks and ocean against blue sky
The stunning shoreline of El Matador Beach is not to be missed.