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Archives for November 2013

El Matador Beach: Picture Perfect!

El Matador State Beach in Malibu features some of the most scenic coastline in California (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

El Matador State Beach in Malibu features some of the most scenic coastline in California (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Are you looking for a great photo op that will make you the envy of your friends & family (especially those who live where it’s snowy & cold)? Look no further than El Matador State Beach in Malibu.

Tall rocks form archways in the shallow waters west of Zuma Beach. Sea birds perch on branches of wind blown cypress trees atop the craggy coastline.  El Matador’s pristine beauty and golden light is a favorite location of photographers (nature and portrait) and artists who want to capture the remote beauty of this stretch of California coastline.

Related: Hike Solstice Canyon Malibu

There’s a small parking lot above the beach (or parking on Pacific Coast Highway) with a stairway that leads down to the sand.  You will probably find a little more privacy if you visit on a weekday. There are no restaurants or shops at El Matador, making this possibly one of California’s best kept secrets.

El Matador State Beach

Picture Perfect! El Matador State Beach in Malibu may be one of California's best kept secrets! Enjoy these gorgeous photos by Ken Pfeiffer.

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View of El Matador State Beach in Malibu from the parking lot above (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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Stone arch at El Matador State Beach, Malibu, CA (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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A view of the Malibu coastline from El Matador State Beach, Malibu, CA (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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El Matador State Beach, Malibu, CA (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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El Matador State Beach, Malibu, CA (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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Traffic411's Lisa Osborne poses at El Matador State Beach, Malibu, CA (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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El Matador State Beach, Malibu, CA (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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El Matador State Beach, Malibu, CA (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

From Santa Monica, this beach is on the far end of Malibu. If you want to explore sea stars (starfish) and other sea life while you’re here, visit nearby Leo Carrillo State Beach at low tide. Tide pools are home to a lot of sea creatures.

Traffic411 Insider’s Tip: The daily parking fee ($8) will give you access to some other state beaches & parks, including the prime-tide-pool-viewing spot Leo Carrillo State Beach.

Distance from LAX: 33 miles (55 minutes)


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L.A.’s Battleship: USS Iowa

What makes a visit to the battleship USS Iowa so special is the opportunity to talk with war veterans and others who are passionate about this floating piece of American history. (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

What makes a visit to the battleship USS Iowa so special is the opportunity to talk with war veterans and others who are passionate about this floating piece of American history. (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

If you have ever wondered what life on a battleship is like, you don’t need to look any further than the Port of Los Angeles. That’s where you’ll find the USS Iowa, one of Southern California’s newest tourist attractions.

The Iowa is the namesake of the fastest class of battleships ever built. Nicknamed the “Big Stick,” the USS Iowa has been active in every major deployment of the U.S. armed services since World War II.

You can explore this piece of floating history inside and out at your own pace on a self-guided tour. Along the way, you’ll come across veterans who served on the Iowa at wartime and are happy to share a story or two.  There are also knowledgeable docents to answer your questions.

WWII Navy veteran Ernie Thompson entertains visitors with stories of the time he spent on the USS Iowa (Photo/Traffic411)

WWII Navy veteran Ernie Thompson entertains visitors with stories of the time he spent on the USS Iowa (Photo/Traffic411)

The Iowa has one feature that you will not find on any other battleship: A bath tub.

The USS Iowa is the only battleship with a bath tub for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who traveled on the Iowa during World War II. (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

The USS Iowa is the only battleship with a bath tub for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who traveled on the Iowa during World War II. (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled on the Iowa during World War II, so his room was modified to accommodate his wheelchair. It’s interesting to see the different levels of sleeping quarters, from presidential, to officers and crew. I was surprised at just how huge the Iowa is, and how much of the warship is open for visitors to explore.

If you visit, wear comfortable shoes because there is a lot of walking and going up and down narrow ladder-like steps, as detailed in these Yelp reviews.  The USS Iowa is open everyday except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Click here for information on visiting the ship and tours.

Traffic411 Insider Tip: While you’re at the Port of LA, visit the nearby Point Fermin Lighthouse. Even if you don’t go inside the lighthouse, the surrounding park is beautiful, perched along a breathtaking rocky cliff with waves crashing below.

Distance from LAX: 22 miles

LA's Battleship: USS Iowa

Visit this floating piece of U.S. history at the Port of Los Angeles.

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The USS Iowa offers breathtaking views of the Port of Los Angeles, a cruise ship is docked in the distance next to the Vincent Thomas Bridge (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
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The Conning tower of the battleship USS Iowa (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
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A statue of the iconic kiss photo between a sailor and a nurse is on display outside the USS Iowa (photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
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A freighter heading into the Los Angeles Harbor passes by the USS Iowa (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
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The view from the bridge of the USS Iowa, Port of Los Angeles (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
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The big guns on the Battleship Iowa, Los Angeles Harbor (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
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The poop deck of the USS Iowa (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
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A US President slept here. President Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled on the Iowa during World War II (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
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President Franklin D. Roosevelt's quarters, FDR traveled on the Iowa during World War II (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
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WWII Navy veteran Ernie Thompson entertains visitors with stories of the time he spent on the USS Iowa (Photo/Traffic411)
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KPCC FM news anchor Suzanne Whatley speaks at a memorial for radio colleague Andrea "Andi" Marshall on the stern of the USS Iowa (Photo Traffic411).


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The memorial service for my KFWB radio colleague, Andrea 'Andi' Marshall was held on the USS Iowa. (Photo Traffic411)

The memorial service for my KFWB radio colleague, Andrea ‘Andi’ Marshall was held on the USS Iowa. (Photo Traffic411)

This post is dedicated to Andrea “Andi” Marshall, my friend and colleague from KFWB radio. Andi’s memorial service was held on a sunny Sunday on the stern of the USS Iowa. It was an honorable setting to celebrate a life well-lived.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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