Hidden between the popular beaches of Leo Carrillo and Zuma, Nicholas Canyon County Beach
at the northern edge of Malibu skirts the limelight. Without the usual road signs alerting drivers to its existence, this secluded, south-facing stretch of sand is perfect for a day by the ocean without rubbing shoulders with strangers. Take a short flight of stairs down green bluffs to reach the shore. To the west, it’s all beach-towel-worthy bliss; head east to explore more rocky terrain and (shhh!) a secret sea cave just a short scramble down the beach’s eastern point. Cove caché.
TIP: No grills keep the BBQers away, but the picnic tables above the beach make a great perch for taking in good views and BYO eats.
Nicholas Canyon County Beach is located at 33850 Pacific Coast Hwy (PCH) in Malibu, 1.3 miles north of Decker Rd. and 1.3 miles south of Mulholland Hwy. The turnout is easy to miss: heading north on PCH, slow down by Malibu Riding and Tennis Club, 350 yards from the left turn into the beach. Heading south on PCH, slow down by Leo Carrillo State Beach, 1 mile from the turnout. It’s $3 to $10 to park in the lot. Lifeguards are present during daylight hours. No fires, alcohol, glass containers, or dogs.