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If there’s one thing I just have to experience while traveling, it’s an amazing view. No matter where I go, I’m always on the hunt for that special place with some kind of stellar vista. When it comes to finding truly exceptional gems, I usually seek the guidance of a local who almost always has the inside scoop on the best places to go that might not pop up in my Google search.
A couple days ago, Karl and I were zooming down Malibu Canyon Road, when we decided to stop on the side of the road to snap a few selfies with some mountains that caught our eyes. It ended up not being the easiest image to capture, but luckily a kind stranger passing by noticed our selfie struggle and pulled over to save us from our failed attempts to capture ourselves with the sweeping mountains behind us. After he took our photo, we began chatting with our selfie savior, who generously started offering us tips on what to include on our itinerary. That’s when we learned about Point Dume Trail. He was so insistent on us going there, that we decided to add it to our list of things to do the next day, and I’m so glad we did!
Point Dume is a dome-shaped promontory jutting out into the Pacific Ocean that might not look like much at first glance, but when you get to the very top of it, you’re greeted with a breathtaking 360 degree view that’s even more amazing to experience when the sun is setting into the ocean. Since it’s late fall, it was unsurprisingly deserted when we pulled our car into the parking lot right beside the cliff. The parking attendant station was closed and the lot was practically empty, which meant free parking and zero crowds!
On our way up the cliff, we ran into a couple romantically snuggled up on a bench indulging in cheese and a bottle of wine. Karl jokingly told the guy that he was making him look bad for not thinking to bring some wine for our hike. The couple surprised us by being incredibly friendly and chatty, despite us interrupting their special moment. They begged us not to tell anyone about Point Dume, because so far it has remained untainted by businesses and tourists. They sighed when I broke the news that I’m a blogger and planned to share this treasure with my readers, but still continued to share with us other little known spots in the area that we should check out. Again, locals always know best! As we wrapped up our convo, they encouraged us to keep climbing, as it was only a short distance to get to the top. It was 4:30 p.m. and the sun was getting ready to go down, making it the perfect time to catch a California sunset from the top of the cliff.
When we reached the peak, we were not disappointed. We arrived just in time to see the sky and diverse landscapes all around us begin to change colors. Everyone we spoke to about Point Dume was right. This quick and easy hike had all the ingredients for perfection: seclusion, simplicity, and panoramic scenery. The wind was insane, but even that couldn’t ruin the tranquility we felt.
Overall, I recommend this spot for couples or anyone who just wants to do a little soul searching. It’s not an intense hike at all, and if you go during an off-peak time and date, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to enjoy Point Dume without the nuisance of a large crowd. For thrill-seekers who aren’t looking for romance or a peaceful escape, Point Dume even has something for you. During our descent, we noticed a rock climber taking advantage of the cliff’s steeper side. The couple we met told us they once spotted Matthew McConaughey casually climbing that very same cliff. And for all you movie buffs out there, you will be sure to recognize Point Dume from films like Planet of the Apes and Iron Man (Tony Stark’s seaside mansion was perched at the edge of the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean).
For more ideas on places to go in Malibu, make sure you read my post Travel Guide: 3 Days in Los Angeles (and subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss any posts). I shared my reviews on more restaurants and attractions that I experienced during my trip to Los Angeles this week.
Do you have any tips on hidden gems in California? Share in the comments section below!