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Famously the domain of Hollywood celebrities and millionaires, Malibu sparkles with an air of exclusivity thanks to its clifftop mansions overlooking a sweeping stretch of pristine Pacific coastline. But there’s room for everyone on Malibu’s legendary beaches such as Zuma, Point Dune, and El Matador—whether you’re seeking epic surf breaks or sandcastles, beach-hopping is one of the top things to do here. Alternatively, venture inland for a taste of luxury while touring the sprawling Getty Villa, or work off a fresh seafood lunch from the Malibu Pier with hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Malibu is mostly sunny and pleasant year-round, but beware of coastal California’s infamous “June gloom,” which leads to foggy and drizzly skies in late spring and early summer. You’ll also want to pay special attention to forecasts during peak wildfire season, which stretches from mid summer to late fall. The Pacific Ocean is famously chilly, but swimmers find the warmest water July-October.
The car reigns supreme in Southern California. You’ll find a few local buses, but most travelers opt to rent their own vehicle, with either streetside parking or paid beachside lots available. If you’d rather forgo a rental, then rideshare options are plentiful and fast, usually just a few minutes’ away. As an added bonus, you’ll often meet aspiring performers moonlighting as drivers.
Around the corner from Bob Dylan’s Malibu estate, stunning Point Dume is a craggy promontory that offers a few short walking trails and bird’s-eye views over the coastline. From December to May, you’ll have a chance to spot whales migrating from your perch on the cliffs. Also not to be missed is nearby Zuma Beach, with miles of pristine sand and easy parking.
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Ariel is a keen aficionado of all things coastal—and has been smitten with Malibu ever since Hole frontwoman Courtney Love crooned about it in the ‘90s.
head to Zuma Beach to watch surfers ride the waves.
starts with the catch-of-the-day at a roadside seafood shack. Two local favorites: Malibu Seafood and Neptune’s Net.
a stroll through the Mediterranean-style gardens of the Getty Villa on a gorgeous sunny day. Fun fact: They’re modeled after a Roman estate buried in the same volcanic eruption that wiped out Pompeii.
explore the coves and cliffs of stunning El Matador State Park. Malibu might be famous for glitzy celebrity hotspots like Nobu, but Malibuites are also big on the great outdoors.
make your way over to Point Dume for cliffside hiking trails and a panoramic coastal vista stretching all the way to South Bay.
assuming that Malibu will always have hot, perfect So-Cal weather. All those surfers are drawn here for a reason: the wind! LA is a land of micro-climates. Don’t forget a sweater.
You’ll find hiking trails aplenty in Malibu, so set an early alarm and head out to the Zuma Ridge Trailhead or Point Dume—a panoramic promontory where you can spot gray whales migrating down below. After a hearty lunch at Neptune’s Net or Malibu Seafood, you’ve earned a rest at sandy Zuma Beach....More
Yes and no. Once you’re in Malibu, parts of the neighborhood can be navigated without a car—and finding parking along some of the more popular beaches can sometimes be tricky. But getting to Malibu without private transportation means either taking a taxi or relying on a very infrequent bus service....More
Gray whales are on the move from December through the first half of April, so keep that in mind if you’re planning on any coastal whale watching. Otherwise, while Malibu is a year-round destination, the Los Angeles weather phenomenon nicknamed “June gloom” can make early summer days at the beach less than ideal....More
Plenty of stars call Malibu home, from Jennifer Aniston to Leonardo DiCaprio. You can join an organized tour featuring local star homes, or find maps online for the self-guided version. For real-life sightings, head to the Malibu Country Mart, an outdoor shopping center where you might catch a celebrity running errands....More
Malibu is famous for its stunning coastline and surfing hot spots like Topanga Beach, craggy, canyon-filled hiking trails overlooking the Pacific, and celebrity homes. But it’s also where you’ll find hilltop Getty Villa—a world-class art museum with adjoining gardens—and the ornate Malibu Hindu Temple, both well worth visiting....More
It may be expensive to live in Malibu, but visiting the glamorous beach enclave doesn’t have to break the bank. Hiking and walking trails are free, and most beaches offer day-long parking passes at reasonable prices. That said, if your itinerary includes visits to, say, Nobu Malibu, then you’ll want to budget accordingly....More