This scenic Los Angeles County beach resides within the Point Dume Preserve. The land is part of the Santa Monica Mountains, situated between El Matador State Beach and Pepperdine University. It is a popular haven for surfers, swimmers, rock climbers, hikers, and scuba divers. The water just off the beach is part of the Dume State Marine Reserve, an area within the Pacific Ocean where plants and animals are protected. Visitors enjoy exploring Point Dume State Beach’s caves, dunes, trails, cliffs, and tide pools. Whale watching is very popular between late fall and early spring. The parking lots charge a fee, although there are also a limited number of spaces along the street adjacent to the beach that are free. Restrooms, showers, and a picnic area are available to the public, and lifeguards keep an eye on the water during the day.
The Point Dume Preserve is bursting with wildlife. Seals, dolphins, sea lions, and whales can be seen in the water. Squirrels, raccoons, lizards, skunks, snakes, and rabbits occupy the land while pelicans, wrens, and a variety of other birds flit around in the sky. In the tide pools you will find mussels, sea urchins, anemones, crabs, and many other sea creatures. In order to reach the tide pools you will have to venture down a long, relatively steep stairway.
For centuries this area was home to the Chumash tribe. In the mid-1500s the point was a landmark that Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, an explorer from Spain, used to navigate while he was exploring North America. Point Dume State Beach was named for Padre Francisco Dumetz in 1793; there was a spelling error on the paperwork, and nobody ever corrected it. In the 1940s the land was used as a training site for the U.S. Army. Today it is a popular Malibu destination for tourists and locals alike.