I was invited up for the day to visit some friends that were camping for a week at Leo Carrillo State Park. It is just outside of the main part of Malibu so from Oceanside I was thinking it might be an hour and forty- five minute drive. On a Tuesday morning however, it actually took two and a half hours and that was virtually with no traffic. As I was driving back home later in the evening, I thought to myself that it was well worth the drive!
Leo Carrillo State Park can be easily accessed from Southern as well as Central California. As I was nearing the park entrance, I noticed a sign that said 21 miles to Oxnard. I didn’t realize how far up the coast I had traveled.
Driving north through the main part of Malibu past Pepperdine University and Zuma Beach, the state park could go unnoticed unless you were actually looking for the sign. Obviously some people know all about this place as the campground was full and even though it was mid week, there were scores of people on the beach. Even if you are not camping, you can use the day use parking for $12.00 a day.
The campground sits amongst the Malibu hills and the campsites were surrounded by every type of tree imaginable. If you really stretched your telephoto lens, you could also see a few sizable mansions way up in the hills.
Besides having some of the largest campsites I have ever seen, the park also provided a picnic bench,a fire pit, and a cute little store was on the premises.
There were plenty of birds in the trees and you could hear them squawking from far away. They added to the wonderful sounds of nature that went along with the frogs and crickets at night. It is nature’s ambient music at its best.
Relaxation is what these campgrounds are all about, however, with the beach so close it allows for playtime too.
After a great lunch it was time to take the short walk to the beach. We crossed through the parking lot and walked under the Highway 1 bridge. Colorful marine life paintings greeted you on the walls and columns of the bridge as you made your way to this popular sand playground.