Malibu beaches are a bit of a mixed bag; sewage spills water quality iffy at times. That being said, there are a number of Southern California beaches in L.A. County that are a delight for the sun worshipper and beachgoer alike – if you know where to go.
Nicholas Canyon Beach at 33850 Pacific Coast Highway
30 Day Grade “A” in front of Nicholas Creek and 100 feet west of Nicholas Creek
A sandy beach, well-maintained restrooms and showers, a handicap access way and ample room for fishing, surfing and swimming make this one of the best Malibu beaches around. There are 151 parking spaces of which six are set aside for disabled beachgoers. Even though there is the opportunity to purchase food – during the hot summer months – from a roach coach, do not bet on its appearing right when the hunger pangs strike. Pack a picnic to bring along.
Las Tunas County Beach at 19444 Pacific Coast Highway
30 Day grade “A” in front of Pena Creek and also the Santa Monica storm drain
One of the California beaches that are friendly to boaters, Las Tunas is a fisherman’s destination as much as it is sought out by surfers and scuba divers. Swimmers are a common sight in the waters and on the beach there are copious volleyball games ongoing. Since Las Tunas is on the southernmost edge of Malibu beaches and quite narrow as well as sometimes rocky, it gets less foot traffic than its competitors. It makes for a great ‘walking beach’ by those with less interest in swimming.
Big Rock Beach at 17200 Pacific Coast Highway
30 Day grade “A” in front of the storm drain
Although considered a private beach, it has a public access and street parking. This is not the beach to go to for spreading a blanket and enjoying a frolicking good time in the sand. As the name implies, this is one of the Southern California beaches that primarily consists of big rocks. Not surprisingly, anglers and kayakers adore this stretch of coastline and word has it that in October there are quite a few lobsters to be found. Due to the rugged nature of the terrain, this is not a handicapped accessible beach.
Malibu Beaches Hall of Shame (for the last 30 days at least)
The aforementioned Los Angeles County beaches all received an “A” rating in the past 30 days. Not all Malibu beaches were this fortunate. In fact, some of the most popular California beaches in this area received rather poor ratings. They are:
- Paradise Cove (“C”) at Ramirez Creek
- Dan Blocker County Beach (“C”) at Solstice Creek
- The Malibu Pier (“C”) at Will Rogers State Beach
- Topanga Beach (“F”) at Topanga Canyon; the beach water received a “C” at the Castlerock storm drain
These grades are updated and published each month by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the Los Angeles City Bureau of Sanitation and the Los Angeles County Sanitation District.