Tidepools at Leo Carrillo
The shores at Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu have been the backdrop for such cinematic masterpieces as Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler’s 50 First Dates. Of course, it’s also been the backdrop for true classics like The Karate Kid, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Clint Eastwood’s Letters from Iwo Jima, a Best Picture Nominee in 2007. Nobody can deny that Leo just has that certain star quality! The park was named after Leo Carrillo, a dedicated conservationist and actor. It’s prime sunbathing, whale-watching, and surfing terrain, and there’s also a treasure trove of sea life unveiled at low tide. Check a tide chart, and when low tide favors it, climb about the rocky outcrops and see some of the stars of the Pacific: sea stars, anemones, mussels, and crabs. Cormorants, pelicans, and gulls are common in this area—trying to steal the spotlight! For the best tide pools, explore southwest of lifeguard tower 2, then stroll north to tower 3 to poke around the caves connecting beaches.
BONUS: Neptune’s Net, just a few minutes north, is a sure bet for melt-in-your-mouth fish and chips.
Leo Carrillo State Park is located 28 miles northwest of Santa Monica on Pacific Coast Hwy. Check tide charts before going. Dogs are allowed in the park’s day-use areas, campground, and north beach (north of lifeguard tower 3). No dogs at Neptune’s Net, unless tied up just beyond the patio.
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