So, you may have seen El Matador State Beach in Malibu as one of the best beaches near Los Angeles.
And you’ll be in LA or Santa Monica without a car.
Is it possible to get to El Matador Beach by public transportation?!
Well… it depends. 😉
It mostly depends on what you consider to be “accessible” by public transportation.
There IS a bus that goes to Malibu.
But it does take time. And it doesn’t exactly go to the beach… and it’s not exactly near the beach either.
Where is the bus stop near El Matador Beach?
The closest bus stop to El Matador State Beach is like a 2 mile walk.
This is like a 45 minute walk, depending on your walking speed.
Which means that round trip, you’ll likely be walking for at least 1.5 hours.
And that doesn’t include the amount you’ll be walking at the beach itself! Once you’re at the beach area, there’s a trail that you take down to the beach…
And then you might want to also walk along the beach too.
This may or may not be considered reasonable for you to get to this beach by public transportation!
A bit more of what it’s like to get to El Matador Beach by bus!
Take the bus to Malibu as far along the Pacific Coast Highway as the bus route goes!
Since the bus route doesn’t go all the way along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, you are basically going as far as the bus will go, to get you as close to El Matador State Beach as possible!
And that’s to Trancas Canyon.
For Google Maps, you can enter Trancas Country Market as your destination.
Your exact starting point might be slightly different based on where you’re starting.
If you’re starting in Santa Monica, then there’s a direct bus to Malibu, no transfers necessary. If you’re starting in downtown LA, then you’ll first need to get to Santa Monica, and then take the bus to Malibu.
I started from downtown Santa Monica near the Santa Monica pier, so it was a direct bus to Malibu.
See tips for taking the bus from Santa Monica to Malibu.
Get off at the last stop
So right near the last bus stop on the Malibu bus route is a gas station, Starbucks, and grocery store. All places you can go to for snacks and water!
The Trancas Country Market is the grocery store, and they also sell hot food and quick cold food options. And right out in front of the store is a place where you can eat too. You can pick up some snacks here right after you arrive to Malibu by bus, or if you have some time on your way back before the next bus arrives, then you can stop by later!
Walk along Pacific Coast Highway to El Matador Beach!
Then once you’re ready to get started on heading to the beach, you’ll start walking on the Pacific Coast Highway aka PCH!
You’ll pass by the classic Malibu sign, and depending on your timing, you may also pass by a Malibu food truck.
Getting closer to the beach!
Once you start getting closer to the beach, you’ll see a sign. And from there you can follow the signs that will take you to the El Matador State Beach parking lot.
You’ve arrived at your destination!!
And then once you’ve taken in the views, you can head back to the bus stop! It could be a good idea to check google maps for the next bus timing so you can know whether you need to rush a little or take your time to enjoy the coastal views on the walk back.
And then catch the bus for the ride back along the Pacific Coast Highway!
And that’s a bit of what it might be like to take a bus to El Matador State Beach!
If you do decide to go to this beach by bus, then be sure to see this Malibu day trip plan to make the trip out to Malibu by public transportation even more worth it! Places to eat in Malibu to consider that can be along the way – Malibu food truck and Malibu seafood oceanfront restaurant.
More quick tips for getting to El Matador State Beach by bus
- Google maps can be a very good way to navigate Malibu by bus
- Exact change only on the bus so have dollar bills and quarters
- See how to take the bus to Malibu (and also how to take the bus from LAX if you’re flying into Los Angeles!)
- When you’re walking on the Pacific Coast Highway, walk on the left side of the road so you’re facing traffic
- The speed limit along the PCH in Malibu is mostly 50mph, so cars are going this fast or slightly faster probably. So try to walk as far from the road as you can when you’re on the shoulder
- This might sound like common sense but look both ways before you cross the street! And do a quick check both ways again after you see there are no cars coming! With cars going fast, more can appear quickly!
- Bring water and snacks! You don’t want to start lacking energy, and having both can help you stay energized for your big day in Malibu!
- Uber is an option if you decide you don’t want to take the bus on the way back.
Where to stay in Los Angeles near Malibu
If you haven’t already decided on what area of Los Angeles to stay and you’ll only be in LA for a few days, then depending on what else you want to do on other days, you might consider staying in Santa Monica.
It will take less time to get to Malibu by bus from Santa Monica than from downtown LA.
Put in future dates below (partner website) to see hotel costs in Santa Monica! Or zoom out to see hotel prices in downtown LA.
Among the cheapest places to stay will be the HI Los Angeles – Santa Monica Hostel.
HAPPY BUS RIDE IN MALIBU TO NEAR EL MATADOR STATE BEACH!
Day trip from LA without a car?! Yes!
- How to spend one day in Malibu
- How to get to Malibu by bus
- Malibu food truck
- Malibu seafood oceanfront restaurant
- Classic Malibu sign on PCH
- Perfect LA sunset spot
- How to get from LAX to Santa Monica for ~$1
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