Malibu Lagoon
LA Tourist Attractions

Malibu Lagoon State Beach, SoCal’s Undiscovered Treasure

Chances are if you’re traveling to Southern California, the Malibu Pier is on your bucket list, but you haven’t even heard of the Malibu Lagoon State Beach.  Trust me on this, you’re going to want to check it out.

Both places are also perfect if your enjoying a road trip in your RV.  The Malibu Beach RV Park is located right between the two of them.  It has both RV spaces and spaces for pitching a tent which have brathtaking ocean views.  Malibu Lagoon is only a mile or two up the Pacific Coast Highway from the pier.  I found it by accident when looking for a place to make a U—turn and double back to the pier parking lot.  I decided to check it out and liked it so much I stayed there for the day!

Mailbu Lagoon
Malibu Lagoon is home to over 140 different species of birds.

The lagoon is where the Malibu Creek meets the ocean,  but most of the year it never quite makes it to the ocean.  Except during heavy rains, the creek is just a trickle.  The water pools up in the lagoon and is separated from the ocean by a sandbar or berm.  During heavy rains the creek breaks away the sandbar and drains the lagoon into the ocean.  The water levels are different at different times of year and it will look different if you visit it another time.

The lagoon is home to over 75 species of water birds and 70 species of land birds.  That’s a lot of birds!  So if you enjoy bird watching don’t forget to bring your binoculars or a camera with a long telephoto lens.

The lagoon underwent a major restoration project back in 2013 that was a major success.  A walkway wraps the lagoon on both sides with benches, art structures and interpretive signs.  From the entrance the walkway splits off in two directions.  Except when the lagoon has washed away the sandbar between it and the ocean, you can walk a full circle around the lagoon.  I wouldn’t call it a hiking trail.  The paths are level and paved so there is really no hiking, but it’s still a great place to get exercise and connect with nature.

Where the walks meet the sandbar, Surfrider Beach is just to the left or southeast.  You’ll come to the Adamson House Museum and just beyond it Surfrider Beach sits between the lagoon and the Malibu Pier.  It’s about a two mile walk to the pier along the beach.

The Malibu Lagoon State Beach will connect you with nature better than any of the other Los Angeles attractions and is a great way to get out and moving after being cramped in airplane and rental car seats on your travels.

To get to Malibu Lagoon, take the Pacific Coast Highway past the pier to Cross Creek Road and turn left.  It’s the first light you will come to (I believe) after the pier.  There is a parking area and the fee is $12 for a day of parking and use of the park area.  The address for your GPS is 3999 Cross Creek Road, Malibu CA 90265.

Photos and a beautiful video of the Malibu Pier area are after the break…

Shelter at Malibu Lagoon at the entrance to the trails near the parking lot
Malibu Lagoon
Malibu Lagoon, you can see the Pacific Ocean on the other side of the sandbar in the distance. Following the Sandbar to the left takes you to Surfrider Beach, then the Malibu Pier
Malibu Lagoon ARt
Artwork and interpretive signs along the path at Malibu Lagoon

Background music in video: Liquid Time by Aakash Gandhi from the YouTube music library.

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