Zuma Beach to Point Dume – LA walks

Zuma Beach to Point Dume – LA walks

Zuma beach is a beautiful long stretch of white sand in Malibu that is a great place to walk, see wildlife and relax by the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean. In summertime this is a popular beach, but in spring (March) when we visited it was pretty empty. We had a pleasant wander from Zuma Beach, along to Westward Beach and Point Dume.

Zuma Beach to Point Dume โ€“ the basics

Distance: 2.8 miles (4.6km) for our route.
Elevation gain/loss
: Minimal
Time:ย 1 hour. Or a bit more if you sit and relax on the beach
Facilities: There is so much here! We saw washrooms with showers. It sounds like normally there are food stands, lifeguards and volleyball nets (although we didn’t see these in March.)
Dogs:ย No dogs on Zuma beach.
How hard is it? Super easy…it’s a walk along a beach.
Extra notes: This beach is looong – you could walk for miles and miles if you fancy it.
Zuma beach map: You don’t really need a map for this one, but I recorded half our walk on strava here.

Zuma Beach – getting started

This gorgeous beach is located right next to the Pacific Coast Highway Pacific Coast Highway, with an entrance at the south end of the beach. There is oodles of parking (space for 2000 cars spread over 12 parking lots!) You can catch a bus (#134) to Zuma Beach from Santa Monica, it’ll take around 1 hour 15 mins.

You can probably tell from my photos, but Zuma beach was not busy at all in March! The water was chilly, so despite the lovely warm weather, we had sections of the beach to ourselves.

We decided to walk south, towards Westward Beach and Point Dume. It’s a pretty area with large sandstone cliffs to one side and the giant Pacific Ocean to the other.

Wildlife on Zuma beach and Westward beach

There were so many birds! We saw hundreds of sanderlings hopping in and out of the waves and plenty of pelicans flying over us. There are some cliff-like sand banks close to the seashore, where the seagulls like to perch. We even saw a seal.

I loved seeing the pelicans flying above us. They dive into the water to catch fish. I found a cool fact that sometimes gulls perch on the pelican’s head and try to steal the fish right out of their pouches(!) I would kind of like to see that!

Cliffs of Westward Beach

It’s fun to look up to the fancy homes above the cliffs on Westward beach. I liked the way each building has built impressive stairways up the cliffs to give themselves easy beach access.

Or, if you look down at the dunes, there are some beautiful sea figs (or ice plants) growing in the sand.

Swimming at Zuma Beach

If you fancy a swim at Zuma beach, it is best to walk north. There are fewer rocks in that direction, and there are 12 life guard stations spread out along the beach. In March, the water was a bit too cold for us to fancy a dip. But it was nice to paddle (and freeze our toes!)

Point Dume

Point Dume is at the southern end of Westward Beach. There is a big chunk of rock that you can climb up to see the views. We didn’t have enough time to zoom up to the top, so we just climbed up the main rock formation on the beach.

If I come back to LA, I would be tempted to follow the trail to the top of Point Dume. It is such a pretty spot!

I loved the mixture of an easy stroll along the beach followed by the fun of climbing up the rocks and Point Dume. It makes this a great beach to explore for folks that don’t like to just sit and/or swim.

Keep Hiking?

Walking along the beach doesn’t really feel like a hike – so if you fancy stretching your legs a bit more, here are some of the other fabulous hikes we found in Malibu. You can see the Pacific Ocean from up high.

  • Backbone trail to Saddle Peak – Longer trail with cool rock formations and stunning scenery
  • Temescal Canyon – Fun hike through Topanga State Park, close to LA
  • Cistern trail in Malibu State Park – mini walk through cool movie locations
  • Mugu Peak– short but steep with fabulous views at the far end of the Santa Monica Mountains

I am not a big fan of spending hours laying on beaches, so having a walk along Zuma Beach was a great introduction to Malibu. If you like hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains this is a lovely beach to relax on after you’ve been up on one of the surrounding peaks. Have you visited the lovely coastline in California? Did you have a favorite beach?

38 thoughts on “Zuma Beach to Point Dume – LA walks

  1. I’m not big on laying on beaches either nowadays – I prefer to have a swim, dry off, a walk, maybe another swim, dry off, then get something to eat.

    1. Yeees I do love to swim normally… It was just slightly too cold still in March. I would have been tempted if it was a bit less of a windy day though! Walking along the beach after a swim is always a pleasure. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I loooved the coastline we visited in Spain, but it was the Costa Brava (with more wild, rocky coves) I guess I need to go back and visit Southern Spain for the long beach walks ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. What a gorgeous beach. I love all the cliffs and interesting rock formations. How lovely to have it all to yourself when you visited. Iโ€™ve never seen (or heard of) a sea fig before. They look so pretty.

    1. I had never heard of those either! Google lens helped me work out what it was! (I love using that to identify flora/fauna!)

  3. Hello Josy. Emmy is safely here now and we are survived well so far. I loved you beach pictures but none of we three know where Malibu is, A hint as to which continent would be appreciated. Chris says it its a drink not a beach. Love, Lis

    1. Yeees! I loved seeing all the pelicans! It’s kind of strange when you see them from below, you can sort of see the outline of their bones – they look so dinosaur-like!

  4. Thanks for sharing all the tips about visiting Zuma Beach:) Next time I’ll also go there in March and enjoy this beautiful beach all by myself!

  5. Looks like a lovely place to take a quiet walk!
    I’ll save this on Pinterest in case I’m ever in the area! Thanks for sharing this with us all.

      1. Well this is definitely a bit of a change from a high elevation rigorous hike. I bet it’s super serene walking that far along the beach. The pelicans would be really cool to see, sounds like there’s a lot of good wildlife viewing options. Love this area, I would really love to go back

  6. Wow! It really looks beautiful! When I think of Malibu, I just relate it to what I see on TV. Thanks for the insight. Zuma Beach is gorgeous.

    1. I have to admit, I didn’t know much about Malibu before we visited – I just knew about Malibu Barbie!! t turns out it is a great area for beaches, food and hiking!

  7. Great post and photos ๐Ÿ“ธ I’d love to check this spot out in the future, as I like beaches and easy hikes close to them, with an amazing view ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for sharing your experience ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Oooh Joey, if you like hikes, there are sooo many good-uns in Malibu! I loved all the trails with mountain and sea views. <3

  8. As a Californian I *might* be biased but there is nothing better than a coastal beach either North or South. I love hiking along the coast, being able to stop and take off my shoes and feel the ocean on my toes before lacing them back up to explore more! Zuma is amazeballs!

    1. Zuma really is amazeballs! I think it’s okay to be biased when beaches this long and gorgeous are concerned. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I love me a good beach walk and this one looks perfect! I also loved how you offered up the route on Strava, so cool to be able to see what yโ€™all walked!

    1. Oh yay, I am glad that was useful! I only remembered to hit record on the way back (as it didn’t really feel like a hike…)

    1. Lol I guess that is true – it is normally flatter as you get closer to the water, and the sand is more compacted.

  10. Love the change of pace from the towering mountains of B.C. The Zuma Beach walk looks so relaxing and I love all the shore birds, especially the cheeky fish stealing seagulls.

    1. Thanks Susanna! And at least they weren’t stealing fish from us! (We’ve had that issue with fish and chips at the beach previously!)

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