zuma + el matador

It’s hard to believe it’s already November! If November means the beginning of the holidays with chilly breezes, rainy skies, hot coffee, plaid, falling leaves, and cold evenings, So Cal definitely didn’t get the memo. But that’s fine with me! 
I love living half an hour away from sloping Pacific Beaches and warm salt air. Yesterday (my day off), I hopped in the car to get some errands done. After a quick stop at Starbucks for an upside-down caramel macchiato – can we just appreciate that upside-down is the ONLY way to drink a macchiato?! – I got on the freeway and rolled my windows down.
That was mistake number one. 
Turning the music on was mistake number two…
See full post below…
And missing my exit was mistake number three.
“Oh well, I’ll just get off at the next one and find it from there.” Trouble is… the next exit was the exit for the beach. I’ll admit it, okay… the sun was too bright, the music was too loud, and the excuse was just too good. 
Plus, I was already wearing flip-flops, right? 
I ended up turning down the winding mountain road – after all, I was only about fifteen minutes from the beach at that point!! A little detour never hurt anyone. 
Five hours later, I finally got back on the freeway to find that exit I missed. And I didn’t regret a minute!! 
If you ever drive the Pacific Coast Highway north of Malibu, Zuma Beach is the first big beach you hit – just after the tiny community of Point Dume.
Zuma has the perfect combination of wide sand and sloping dunes. It’s not too far from civilization, but even if it was, it would be worth it. It’s not usually a surfer-packed beach, but the waves are big enough to make a difference on most summer days. 
Wait. It’s always summer down here.
It’s one of my favorite hangouts – wide, warm, and friendly. And not usually super packed, considering it’s only a few short miles from Santa Monica and downtown LA.
I mean… can you blame me for that detour?!
I took off my shoes and just wandered for a while.,,, *really* wishing I’d worn my swimsuit when I’d gotten dressed to do perfectly “normal” errands. The water was warm(ish), considering it’s the beginning of winter down here.
And then… since I was on a roll, anyway… I headed up the PCH a little farther to my *absolutelyfavoritebeachontheentirecoast* – El Matador.
PS – If you ever come and decide to trek along rock California coast for more than three hours, take my advice and bring real shoes. M’kay. 
Some of the BEST things about El Matador are its views. Spreading blue in either direction and always accompanied by a salt breeze, the cliffs along the top of the beach are not to be taken lightly – especially if you’re not a fan of heights, like me!
But this view is even worth the heights.
AND – as I’ve mentioned on Instagram before – this beach is no joke after leg day! But that hike is SO worth it. I’m telling you. 
This summer was a particularly dry one for California. Over the last month, one or two days of rain have really greened up the mountains and cliffsides around here – not enough to make them bloom again, but at least it’s a start!
Because of it’s abundance of natural light and unique rock formations, El Matador is one of the most-photographed beaches in the world, both for nature photographers and high fashion. I’ve seen my share of models and crews on my forays to this small slice of land, but it never seems ridiculously overcrowded. Always room for one more. 
I’m sure nobody thought I was dressed for the beach, exactly – mint shorts and a black tee (a decision I came to regret very quickly upon my attempt to re-climb those stairs!).
I love when my ocean shows off her best colors. <3
So, guys! What has your November brought? 
First snow and chilly noses? Or do I have some more California peeps soaking up whatever end-of-summer sunshine they can with me?
much love!


  1. ahhhh SO gorgeous!!! if you don't mind me asking, which camera do you use? your photography is absolutely stunning!

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