El Matador State Beach – One Day in Los Angeles

I recently got a new computer, and have been going through photos on my old computer to get organized before I transfer them and I came upon these shots from our one day visit to Los Angeles and El Matador State Beach in Malibu over the summer. And on this dreary Ohio winter morning, I can practically feel the sunshine from that beautiful day in southern California.

One Day in Los Angeles – Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame

We arrived in Los Angeles midmorning and headed straight to Hollywood Boulevard to stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We easily found street parking with meters at a reasonable price of $1.50 per hour. We spent about an hour finding our favorite stars, checking out the hand and footprints at the TCL Chinese Theatre and snapping a picture in front of the Hollywood sign in the distance. Tour operators were hustling their products EVERYWHERE, which we declined over and over and over again. Touristy and crowded, it was still fun to see the famous sites.One Day in Los Angeles - Hollywood Walk of FameOne Day in Los Angeles - Hollywood Walk of FameOne Day in Los Angeles - Hollywood Walk of Fame

One Day in Los Angeles – In and Out Burger

From Hollywood Boulevard, we headed to In and Out Burger since we had never been and were all looking forward to trying the food at this crazy popular California chain. It was only 11 or so, but the line circled the whole building. We ordered burgers, fries and shakes from the drive thru window and none of us were disappointed. Fast, easy, and delicious! Driving through Beverly Hills, we all ogled at the mansions, stores and luxury cars. And let me tell you, we felt really classy on Rodeo Drive when I hopped out to throw away our lunch garbage in the fancy trash cans. In and Out Burger - One Day in Southern CaliforniaIn and Out Burger - One Day in Southern California

One Day in Los Angeles – El Matador State Beach

All of us wanted to spend the rest of the day on the beach, so we headed straight to the coast to check out the Pacific Ocean from Malibu Beach. For the kids and I, this was our first time seeing the Pacific Ocean and we were thrilled. So amazingly beautiful. We took the Pacific Coast Highway north until we arrived at El Matador State Beach. Much less crowded than many of the other beaches we passed, this is a beautiful place to spend the day. There are about 20 parking spots for the beach, and we happily snagged one and payed the $8 daily fee. With a single water fountain, a couple of picnic tables and a port a potty, there’s not much in the way of amenities, but the gorgeous scenery more than makes up for it. The stairs down to the beach are steep, but we scampered down and spent the rest of the day walking the shore, exploring the jutting rocks and caves, swimming and goofing around.

While there were plenty of people just enjoying their day on the beach, there were also numerous professional photographers shooting models all along the shore and we also saw a reggae music video being filmed. Even better, we saw a seal pop up out of the water to check us out when we were splashing around. We spent the entire rest of the day here, soaking in the scenery and relaxing. At some point, Dave drove up the road to bring us back pizza from Spruzzo which we enjoyed on the beach while watching the sun set. Perfection. El Matador State Beach - One Day in Los AngelesEl Matador State Beach - One Day in Los AngelesEl Matador State Beach - One Day in Los AngelesEl Matador State Beach - One Day in Los AngelesEl Matador State Beach - One Day in Los AngelesEl Matador State Beach - One Day in Los AngelesAll in all, this was a perfect way for us to spend one day in Los Angeles. An added bonus was that this was also a very cheap way to spend the day! On road trips, cities can be notoriously expensive, but thankfully our day in Los Angeles was very thrifty and we spent less than 100 bucks for the six of us to have two meals out, check out Los Angeles and spend the day at one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever seen. A win from any angle.

We loved our time in Los Angeles and El Matador State Beach! We are visiting Channel Islands National Park in Ventura, about 30 miles north of here during our upcoming summer road trip and we are hoping to get to visit again.

Do you have a favorite beach in Southern California? I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Travels!

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I love to plan family travel adventures with our four kids. Encouraging time in nature, National Parks travel, backpacking and hiking are my passions and I love to write about them.

6 Comments

  • Hi Tricia,

    Thanks for updating your blog so frequently! I love reading your adventures. I went to channel islands when I lived in LA, it is so great, but I highly recommend sea cave kayaking while you are there (we saw sea lions everywhere!). For us, the highlight was definitely getting out on the water.

    • Kalyn- I am so excited to visit Channel Islands and will look into sea kayaking while there! Did you go on a tour or bring a kayak to tour on your own?
      -Tricia

      • We did a tour with santa barbara adventure company. I believe it was 3-4 hours total.

        I highly recommend a tour because the waves are huge (very choppy out there)! We were knocked over several times and without a guide, I would have been worried about drifting out. You also need the guide to find the sea caves and estimate how far you can go safely with the current. We did see a couple bring their own kayaks on the boat, but they really struggled on the water. You may be able to negotiate a good rate if you have such a large group, because when we went, all of the kayaking companies only had around 6 people total.

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