Getting to Know Zuma Beach

One of the best examples of Southern California beach culture is Zuma Beach. With it’s two mile long stretch of sand, multiple surf breaks, and easy public access, proximity to Los Angeles, and history in film and television, Zuma is famous not just in California but world wide as one of the most iconic beaches for tourists and surfers alike. 

A Brief History of Zuma Beach

The story of Zuma Beach is also the story of Malibu. Back when Malibu was still a part of the expansive Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit Frederick and Rhoda May Rindge purchased the land and turned Zuma Beach into a private ranch.

Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit

The Rindge family went through great efforts to preserve the natural beauty of the area, May Rindge would even patrol the estate with a shotgun to ward off intruders. When Malibu was still a private estate Pioneering surfers would sneaking into Malibu to take advantage of the coast’s epic waves. “Before the war, you’d call somebody before you went to Malibu because you didn’t want to surf alone,” LeRoy “Granny” Grannis remembered. “What we considered to be a crowd, back then, would be a beautiful day, today.”However after the passing of Frederick Rindge, years of legal battles with the state regarding a highway being built through malibu, and millions owed in federal taxes May Rindge reluctantly was forced to begin selling off sections of her Malibu estate.

Early PCH

Zuma Beach became more popular as Malibu developed, and it has managed to keep its charm despite the changes. 

Surf Breaks and Surfers

While particular details regarding surfers who have visited Zuma Beach are rare, the beach is famous as a paradise for surfers and draws fans from all over the globe. What makes Zuma beach such an iconic surf is that with it’s two mile stretch of beach, there are a plethora of surf spots for both beginners and experts alike.

Surf Zuma Beach 2

Professional and advanced surfers looking for exhilarating rides often visit the southernmost point, called Westward or Drainpipes, because of its steep drop and shallow sand bars. Legends of Malibu's surf culture from the '60s and '70s, such Miki Dora and Johnny Fain, we’re known to ride Zuma’s waves.


Johnny Fain

Surfers from all over the world also flock to Zuma beach to participate in surf compeditions that are often help here. Its impact reaches not only far into Malibu's surf culture. If you would like a tour of some of malibu’s best surf spots or a break down on all the surf breaks on Zuma beach, a real estate agent in Malibu can help you find all the best hidden locations.

How Zuma Got it’s Name

In 1793, cartographer George Vancouver made a spelling mistake while naming the adjacent Point Dume after Padre Francisco Dumetz. The result was that the name "Point Zuma or Duma" started to appear on maps instead of "Point Dume."

George Vancouver

This is where the term "Zuma" is thought to have originated. Coincidentally, the word ‘Zuma’ in the Chumash language (the Native American tribe local to Malibu and the surrounding areas) means “abundance”. I think that many would find Zuma Beach and adjecent canyons and trails to be overflowing with life, giving the area a rather fitting name. The best Malibu realtor could vouch that the Santa Monica Mountains and the stretch from Zuma to Broad Beach have some of the best real estate listings in Malibu CA.

 Lesser-Known Facts: Hidden Gems

Beyond its stunning scenery, Zuma Beach is famous for its appearances in several Hollywood films and television shows, such as "Planet of the Apes" and "Baywatch."

Planet of the Apes

Zuma Beach is a popular destination, but despite it’s size, it’s distance away from Los Angles helps it manage to keep a relatively low volume of people, so they can appreciate its natural splendor in all its glory. Zuma beach tends to only get crowded on scorchers and holidays like fourth of July. 

 Zuma Beach in Malibu is more than just a beach; it’s a cultural icon of historical importance, and natural beauty, and an example of what Malibu real estate has to offer. Zuma Beach exemplifies the multidimensional charm of California’s coast, enticing tourists to revel in its distinctive blend of excitement and peace. It is a surfing paradise, a Hollywood backdrop, and an important site for emergency preparedness.

If you are looking to purchase a home in Malibu or on Zuma beach and need assistance from the top real estate agent in Malibu CA, feel free to contact us here for more information.