There are many great beaches to visit along the California coastline from Marina Del Rey to Long Beach, and even more so in Los Angeles, where the sun is almost always shining. Granted that it is nearing winter, however, a beach visit may not be the first outdoor outing on your to-do list. Before you completely scratch off the beach from your itinerary this weekend though, remember that the winter months provide more than just Christmas carols—it is the migration period (December to April) for the Pacific gray whale!

By far the best beach in Los Angeles to spot the Pacific gray whale annual migration from the Bering Sea in Alaska to Baja California Sur, Mexico is at Point Dume. A beautiful, vast beach at the northern tip of the Santa Monica Bay, Point Dume has an ascending trail that leads you right up to the top of an ancient sand dune where you can span the entire breathtaking vista of the Santa Monica Bay.  This is a great place to spot migrating whales, along with dolphins and sometimes seals. Below the coastal summit is a boardwalk that leads to a viewing platform where you can catch starfish-filled tide-pools, and travel to a more isolated beach area.

Point Dume is a California State Preserve located 18 miles west of Pacific Coast Highway, along Cliffside Drive. Operated by Los Angeles County, it is overseen by the lifeguard branch of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and was named after Padre Francisco Dumetz of Mission San Buenaventura by George Vancouver in 1793. The beach was officially named “Dume” after the misspelling of Dumetz’s name on an 18th century map was never corrected!

A gorgeous backdrop to films like Iron Man and Planet of the Apes, Point Dume is a hot spot for surfers, fishers, rock climbers, hikers, and scuba divers alike, looking to make the most of their winter weekends.  Since most people steer clear of the beach during the winter, you will have ample opportunity to beat the crowd. Do not forget to bring your binoculars and snacks!

Address:

7103 Westward Road

Malibu, CA 90265Road, Malibu

References:

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=623

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