Zuma Beach in Malibu

Jordan and I spent 2.5 weeks in April and May of 2016 driving the coast of California. If you’d like to start at the beginning click here.

Zuma Beach

Malibu is about a 30 minute drive from Venice Beach on the Pacific Coast Highway. Jordan and I knew we could easily fit both of these cities into one day. So after exploring Venice Beach we made our way north towards Malibu!

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First on our agenda was lunch! Jordan and I assumed we would find an interesting restaurant on the drive and as soon as we saw the Reel Inn Fresh Fish Market (situated right next to the abandoned Topanga Beach Motels) we both decided this was where we should stop. I vaguely remember a Boy Meets World episode where Topanga mentions she was named after Topanga Canyon. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

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Fish generally isn’t my go-to so I ordered vegetable tacos while Jordan went with good ole’ fish and chips (I actually like fish and chips but I wasn’t in the mood for fried food). The tacos were a bit spicy for my sensitive stomach, but they were delicious (I’ve wanted to eat spicy food my entire pregnancy but the heartburn afterwards is brutal!). The breading on Jordan’s fish wasn’t his favorite, but the actual fish was fresh and full of flavor. Food aside, my favorite part was sitting outside with the canyons right behind us!

Before hitting the beach we needed to find a cafe with wifi, so Jordan could send off a few files. Working for oneself offers a lot of flexibility but it also means sometimes we have to fit work in the middle of our trips. I don’t mind though, I’ve learned to bring a book or tackle my own projects! We set up shop in Cafecito Organico located in Point Dume Plaza Shopping Center. I ordered an iced chai but the best part were the fresh cookies.

Topanga Canyon

Zuma Beach

There are many beach entrance options in Malibu, but after looking over the map we decided on Zuma Beach. We followed Westward Beach Road all the way to the end where we found a parking lot. There is a minimal parking fee and public bathrooms (a must anytime we stopped somewhere). It was late afternoon by this point, so very few people were on the beach. We noticed a trail that would take us up the cliffs so, after making sure it was safe, we started walking.

The scenery of Zuma Beach is breathtaking. I love the combination of cliffs and ocean. If I lived nearby I would come often with a packed picnic dinner. Jordan was a bit of a rebel and jumped over the guard rope to explore the edge of the cliff above. A few people were also out on the edge so it didn’t seem too dangerous, but I don’t really like edges so I happily stayed back!

Zuma Beach

Zuma Beach

Zuma Beach

Zuma Beach

Zuma Beach

Zuma Beach

14 thoughts on “Zuma Beach in Malibu”

  1. I think you’re right about the Topanga thing! I remember that from childhood as well. I believe Gwen Stefani also named one of her sons Zuma after Zuma beach.

  2. I’ve never actually had a chance to stop by Zuma but I passed it on my commute to work every day back when I commuted to the Palisades (plus Lady Gaga lives there :)). Such a beautiful drive! Next time you’re in CA you’ll have to keep going north to Neptune’s Net for fish-n-chips if your husband likes them. They’re known for their seafood and beers. It’s the popular place featured in the first Fast & Furious, but it’s a daily hot spot for surfers and bikers to grab lunch. It’s a fun stop for anyone making their way up the coast 🙂

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