Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
Yes
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Leo Carrillo was an actor who lived from 1880 to 1961. He was passionate about conservation and spent 18 years as a member of the California Beach and Parks Commission. He nearly ran for governor in California during the early 1940s, but instead he chose to back Earl Warren, who ended up being elected. Leo Carrillo State Beach and the surrounding State Park are named in his honor.

You might feel a sense of recognition when you arrive at the beach. It has been used for seaside scenes in several movies including “Grease” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and it is sometimes affectionately referred to as “movie beach.”  Even companies like Nike film their commercials here.  In fact, the only beach that is more sought after by filmmakers is El Matador State Beach

With the Pacific Coast Highway and Mulholland Highway so close by, it’s easy to reach Leo Carrillo State Beach, which boasts caves, reefs, and tide pools. Swimmers and surfers can be seen in the water while sunbathers bask on land. Windsurfing and fishing are other common activities. Visitors who head to Sequit Point to explore the tide pools generally come across crabs, anemones, mussels, and sea stars. While California State Parks condone gently touching the creatures, they warn that they might be injured if you try to pick them up. If you look skyward you are likely to see cormorants, pelicans, and sea gulls. 

Dogs on leashes are allowed on the northern end of the beach, but not on the southern end. Lifeguards are on duty during the day, and restrooms and showers are available. There are picnic tables on some parts of the beach, and a campground nearby. The parking lots charge a fee, but you might be able to snag a space for free on the Pacific Coast Highway.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

State Park Fee

Pros

Sea cave. Tide pools. Whale watching. Surfing.

Cons

Very crowded during summer months. Dogs not permitted on beach.

Features

Surfing
Tide pools
Wildlife
Whale watching
Bird watching
Tide pools

Location

Field Guide

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