Monday, October 12, 2020

MALIBU LAGOON STATE BEACH, CA: A Walk to the Beach, by Caroline Arnold at The Intrepid Tourist

Tidal flats along Malibu Lagoon
While Malibu Lagoon State Beach is only a half hour drive from our home in West Los Angeles, we had never been there until a few weeks ago when it became our destination for a fresh air excursion to get out of the house and get some exercise. It was a weekday morning, and as we drove north on Highway 1 through Santa Monica and then Malibu, we noticed relatively few people on the beach–mainly walkers and bicyclers along the cement path. (One can bicycle for miles along this coastal bikeway, something we have done in the distant past.)
Malibu Lagoon
Shortly after passing the Malibu pier, we crossed the bridge over Malibu Creek and turned into the Malibu Lagoon State Beach parking lot, where we paid the entrance fee and then found a shaded place to park in the small lot. In front of us was Malibu Lagoon, a tidal wetland fed by Malibu Creek before it empties into the Pacific Ocean.
Path to the beach along the edge of the lagoon
We followed the sign to the path around the edge of the lagoon, passing late summer wildflowers blooming along the edges.
The lagoon is a haven for waterbirds and popular with birdwatchers. We spotted a great blue heron perched on a log and flock of terns wheeling in the air. Gulls rested on sandbars and egrets and shorebirds stalked prey in the shallow water. At a few places around the lagoon are benches that make good places for bird watching or just resting and enjoying the view.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach
The beach at the far end of the lagoon is used mainly by surfers (who have to carry their boards from the same parking lot where we parked.) The ocean was dotted with surfers patiently waiting for the next wave–although the water was especially calm and the waves so small we didn’t see much action.
Channel separating the lagoon from Malibu State Beach
Across the outlet for Malibu Creek is the end of  beach that begins at the Malibu pier. We saw a number of people wading across (at the deepest the water was mid-thigh) and since we were wearing shorts, we decided to do the same. The current in the middle is quite strong and we had to be careful to keep our footing. (I don’t think this would be safe when there is more water in the creek or at high tide.)
On the other side, we continued down the beach almost to the pier before turning back. We passed only a few people and the beach is so big that it was easy to keep our social distance.
Adjacent to Malibu Beach, behind a fence, is the Adamson House, a historic building that is normally open to the public, but closed during the pandemic. When it reopens, I hope to visit.
Tidal flats
For directions to Malibu Lagoon State Beach and more information, click HERE.

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