Photos courtesy of Chase Riekhof
The beach made Malibu famous. The long stretches of sand bring people far and wide to come peruse the Southern California coast.
There are beaches for running and working out; beaches for sitting and picnicking on the cliffs; and beaches for swimming, surfing and paddle boarding.
As a Pepperdine student, one would think that life revolves around the ocean. In some ways, it does, but in others, it doesn’t. Academics and extra-curricular activities dominate student life. When there is a free moment to spare, however, students flock to some of the Malibu hot spots for a little fun in the sun and relaxation.
Ralph’s Beach is a good go-to, since it is so close to campus. It is perfect for those times when you’re interested in a quick afternoon swim or a few hours in the sun. To get here, just follow the street behind the Ralph’s shopping center.
Paradise Cove is home to a famous seaside cafe on the sand, with beautiful views and good food. It’s a perfect lunch spot for those who want to be up close and personal with the waves. To get here from campus, you’ll go north on PCH until Paradise Cove Road, where you’ll turn left.
For a picturesque picnic on the bluffs with some friends, try out Point Dume. The sunset from that high vantage point makes for great views of the Malibu shoreline and the crashing waves. To get here from campus, take a right on PCH and continue north until you get to Zumirez Dr, where you will take a left. You will then be on Wildlife Rd, which you will stay on until Fernhill Dr, where you will take a right. The final right will be on Cliffside Dr, and you will reach the destination soon thereafter.
Exercise is one of the greatest stress relievers throughout the chaos of the school year. A great place to go for a quick run is Zuma Beach, where there is a boardwalk between the parking lot and the sand. On an average morning, the beach is pretty empty until about 9, so it is perfect for that early-morning jog. To get here from campus, go north on PCH until you see Zuma Access Road, where you will turn left and then follow it until you find parking.
El Matador is the perfect spot for a date, with its sprawling rock formations and silky sand. It’s a gorgeous backdrop for a sunset rendezvous or afternoon at the beach. Parking can be a bit of a struggle, so plan to pay a few dollars for the all-day pass in the beach’s designated lot. To get here, you’ll want to take PCH north and turn left after about 10 miles onto El Matador Beach Rd.
This 27-mile stretch of LA County is notorious for the celebrities who live on its shores and the surfers who camp along its streets. Pepperdine’s proximity to these beaches is unmatched and each one offers a different experience for beach-goers.
Follow Shannon Hansen on Twitter: @shannnonhansen