Leo Carrillo Beach, a Deal to Remember

You never really think of going to the beach as a “deal” or a “discount”.  But it is local, free, and everyone loves to go, including your best friend Fido. Out of all the state beaches, Leo Carrillo State Beach is a MUST DO in Los Angeles. 

It is a gorgeous 1.5 mile sprawling beach in Malibu and so much more.  This beach has tide pools with sea critters, sea caves, a nature center, hiking area, and one of the few beaches you can have your dog on leash. 

I would recommend getting there during low tide to get a glimpse of what is hiding in the tide pools, especially around the rocks further out  from the shore. You will find crabs, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and large red star fish depending on what time of year. A few years ago, I came across a baby octopus! 

My two cents….please be respectful of nature and do not take the sea life. It belongs to the sea, not in our homes.

The sea caves are fun to run from one to another. During low tide, you can go from one to the other without getting drenched, otherwise you will be  scampering about the shoreline as the waves ebb and flow. Be on the lookout for are cave writings. I heard there are some there, but have not seen them. 

For those who love teachable moments – even at the beach, the Nature Center trailer, in north parking lot, has educational information about the history of the local coastline and sea life. Since it is run by rangers and volunteers, you might want to check their hours of operation. 

Few beaches in Los Angeles allow dogs. At Leo Carrillo, dogs on leash are allowed north of lifeguard tower 3. With secluded bays, Fido will be a very happy dog as well as the dog lover in each of us. 

As all State of California parks, parking is $15 per vehicle and an annual pass is $195. It is well worth the fee for a well maintained park, beach and lifeguard stations. Don’t forget the picnic – you will want to make a day of it. 

Here are some biographical highlights of Leo Carrillo who made this public beach happen.  Leo Carrillo (1880-1961) was an actor, preservationist and conservationist. His family was a big part of Southern California history with a grandfather serving as governor, great uncle serving as two-term mayor of Los Angeles, his father serving as mayor of Santa Monica. Leo served on the California Bach and Parks Commission for 18 years. In addition, his television acting claim-to-fame was as Poncho the sidekick to Duncan Renaldo’s Cisco Kid when he was in his 70’s. He even has a star on Vine Street on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 


LEO CARRILLO BEACH (28 miles north of Santa Monica)

35000 W. Pacific Coast Highway

MALIBU, CA 90265

(818) 880-0363 




 (Sue Helmy has plenty of tricks up her sleeve. She is currently providing superb concierge duties at the Building and Safety Division of the City of Beverly Hills. She is active in countless church and civic organizations and spends every minute she can spare dancing to the zumba beat.)







Vol 13 Issue 17

Pub: Feb 27, 2015

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