After School Getaway at Point Dume
Point Dume is located just a short 30-minute drive along the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica College. Once there, you’ll be greeted by a picturesque view of the Pacific Ocean, golden yellow flowers, and, if you’re lucky, migrating whales. The point’s close location and scenic qualities make it the perfect after-school adventure for the curious SMC Student.
What to Do
There are a surprising amount of activities and attractions packed into this little oceanside park. The first and most obvious is the cliffside trail; the trail wraps around the point and provides access to everything else. Follow the trail to the cliffside and you’ll see some rusty old stairs that don’t look very safe. If you feel extra adventurous take the stairs down, and you’ll be greeted with a wonderful, almost private beach. Here you’ll find tide pools to explore, and even a small cave at the very far end of the shoreline.
Alternatively, you can also continue along the cliffside trail as it meanders around the point. Either climb to the summit — a very short climb — or loop around the flower fields toward the water. Suddenly, you’ll be greeted by an amazing view– possibly coupled with an awful smell. If you lean over the cliff’s edge you’ll be able to see something that’s very rare to find in Los Angeles: Seals! These denizens of the point look very harmless but are actually easily provoked. Do not follow other tourists down to their rookery.
While you’re enjoying the point, you can think back on some of your favorite movies as many famous Hollywood films were shot right here. Point Dume’s beauty has been featured in “The Big Lebowski,” “Austin Powers,” and, more recently, “Iron Man.” Today the point is often visited by reclusive Hollywood stars, making it a great place for celebrity-spotting.
From the summit, continue along to the actual rocky point. Be sure to literally “stop and smell the flowers” along the way. The point then offers great views of seals on the beach below, the Pacific ahead, and all of Zuma Beach to the north. This is the perfect place to take a Snapchat video that your friends will direct message you about. During my trip, I tallied a total of not one, not two, but three “where is this?!?” Snapchat inquiries from friends.
Once you’re done enjoying the view, it’s a short jog through the flower fields and back to the parking lot.
To get to Point Dume from SMC, drive directly north (about 20 miles) along PCH. Take a left at Heathercliff Road, and another left at Dume Road. Look for a small, free parking lot that is very busy, where you’ll possibly have to wait for parking. This part should remind you of SMC.
1. Malibu Seafood is located on the cliffside of PCH on your way back. If you like seafood, you’ll love this place.
2. The flowers make a great backdrop for selfies.
3. If you walk all the way down to the hidden cove, you can find some richer and less crowded tide pools.