Head west on a pretty day and explore the beautiful Malibu coast. Point Dume State Beach is perfect for relaxing and swimming (if you’re tough enough for the chilly Pacific). Best of all—setting this beach apart from the rest—is the stunning view atop an ancient sand dune that has formed a coastal bluff jutting out into the ocean.
From the top of the cliff, it is possible to look south and see the coast encompassing the Santa Monica Bay and the jagged northward coast of Malibu. Looking inland, there’s a view of the Santa Monica Mountains, and peering out into the ocean on a good day, the Catalina Islands gleam in the distance.
The best (and cheapest) way to do this is to street-park on Westward Beach Road. The cliff will be a little bit of a walk—not more than about a half-mile—down the beach. Rock climbers often ascend the cliff faces and taking some time to watch them is worth it. Then, start up the trail and walk up to the top. It is not a difficult walk, and if you are lucky, there are lots of wild critters hiding in the brush. (Last time I was there, a hawk swooped down and attempted to pick up a snake.) There are several different paths to be taken once at the top. Yellow flowers abound, and the views are fantastic. Find yourself a spot of sand not too far off the trail facing the ocean, and if it’s not too windy, set your towel down there and relax.
If you want more walking, head across the main trail that leads over the point and go down a steep staircase that reaches the beach on the other side of the point. Walk down this stretch for about a mile, and you will reach “Paradise Cove,” where there is a restaurant and pier.
Movies and television shows from Planet of the Apes to Baywatch have used Point Dume and the alcoves along the shores as filming locations—look up a list before you go, and you’ll be able to recognize bits from some of your favorites.
Rebecca Howland PO ’14 urges guests to stay until the sun goes down.
“Bring a camera, picnic and blanket to watch the sunset,” she said. “It is a gorgeous beach.”
– Be wary of traffic that will be heavy coming in and out of L.A., both going there and coming back—time your journey accordingly.
– Don’t bring too much stuff with you—just a towel and some snacks will do. You don’t want to have to carry all that around.
– Check the weather and wind before heading out so you know what to bring—it can get unexpectedly chilly with the breezes.