Malibu is a beach city hugs the Pacific Ocean, north of Santa Monica in the northwest corner of Los Angeles County. Because of the town's location on the ocean and the proximity to downtown L.A.'s studios, Malibu has become a fixture in American culture, and has been featured on popular TV shows such as Two and a Half Men and Hannah Montana.
Malibu and its beaches are frequently listed as one of the must-see spots of the West Coast and the United States in general. However, the popularity of this city of 11,000 people (2020) is at odds with its residents. Local politics in Malibu are dominated by measures to keep outsiders out and to slow the growth of the city to keep it from turning into other beach side towns like Santa Monica or Newport Beach. Politicians and citizens alike often vote in favor of measures that make it more difficult for tourists to visit Malibu. These range from regulations on services like AirBnb to refusing to stripe additional parking spots at popular beaches. Malibu is a beautiful location worth visiting, but be aware of parking restrictions and other difficulties when attempting to see its beautiful beaches.
Take Pacific Coast Highway (California State Route 1) north from Santa Monica. From Los Angeles International Airport, take San Diego Freeway (Interstate 405) north to Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10) west. The Santa Monica Freeway intersects the Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica.
LA Metro bus 534 provides service to Malibu from Santa Monica and Washington/Fairfax transit center.
The main (and pretty much only) route through Malibu is along the Pacific Coast Highway. It's the "main street" of Malibu. PCH runs the length of the town and is really the only way to get from one side of the Malibu to the other.
- 1 Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway. Pepperdine boasts the best ocean views of any college campus in the United States and is consistently ranked by the Princeton Review as having the most beautiful campus in the United States. The university also consistently ranks in the Top 40 academic programs in the United States. Pepperdine ascends up from Pacific Coast Highway on a huge piece of land, and the Pacific ocean feels part of this uniquely beautiful campus. Of particular note are the Heroes Garden on the Drescher Graduate Campus, the Weisman Museum of Art, and Stauffer Chapel.
- Head to famous 1 Zuma Beach or 2 Westward Beach for a great day at the beach.
- For a great coast view, head to 3 Point Dume. From PCH heading north, turn left on Heathercliff and left on Dume Drive. Take Dume drive as far as you can and turn right at the end of the road. There is a park on the cliff with a few trails where the locals like to jog. Follow a trail or two to the tip of the point. You'll know when you get there. There will be a bench and a wooden sort of deck in the middle of the trail. From here you can see all of the coast out to Palos Verdes, watch surfers below, and listen to the sounds of sea lions and dolphins. Point Dume, Zuma Beach and Westward Beach have been filming locations for numerous movies and TV programs such as Planet of the Apes, I Dream of Jeannie, D-Day 6th of June (1956); D-Day Battle of Omaha Beach (2019); Iron Man Parts 1-3, Fast & Furious, Lucifer, Star Trek Enterprise-Earth Beach, and Knight and Day.
- 4 Malibu Lagoon (Surfrider Beach). Malibu Lagoon is an estuary at the mouth of Malibu Creek. This area is home to one of the most famous famous surf breaks in Los Angeles County, a beach that played a central role in the development of the West Coast surf culture. Contests are held throughout the year and surfers are crowding for the best waves at other times.
- 5 Malibu International Film Festival, 3939 Cross Creek Rd (Malibu Lumber Yard). This film festival is a one-day event established in 1997, showcasing American and International independent films.
- 6 Solstice Canyon (Corral Canyon Rd). A popular 2.6-mile round-trip that leads to a 30-foot-tall waterfall.
- 1 Duke's, 21150 Pacific Coast Highway, ☏ , fax: . A surfing themed restaurant and bar that is extremely popular. Tuesday's Happy Hour is called Taco Tuesdays, where you can eat grilled fish tacos and have a couple beers for a couple dollars. Very popular with the locals.
- 2 Reel Inn, 18661 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ . Malibu's upscale version of fast food, the ordering process at Reel Inn is simple: choose a fish, two sides, and either salad or cole slaw, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and then wait at a bench (indoors and outdoors) while your food is prepared. The fish is good, the prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is friendly. Valet parking is mandatory on weekends, and parking attendants have been known to mix up keys. entrees average $15.
- 3 Geoffrey's, 27400 Pacific Coast Hwy. Chic terrace with a stunning view of the ocean, excellent food, friendly staff, and celebrity doodles on the walls. The Bentlys, Rolls Royces, and other lux autos in the parking lot give you an idea of cost. entrees average $25-70.
- 4 Paradise Cove, 28128 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ , fax: . M-F 8AM-11PM, Sa Su 7AM-11PM. On its own private beach, the only beach in all of Southern California that allows alcohol. Has a private picnic area with tables and chairs, no need to purchase food from the restaurant. There is parking which you need to pay, you can get your ticket validated inside. The atmosphere is great and the food is pretty good, this is the local hot spot for people of all ages. Romantic enough for a date but fun enough for the whole family. Can get very, very crowded in the morning so call ahead and make your reservation (probably a good idea regardless of the time slot). reasonably priced food, some things are labeled as M.P. (market price) but other dishes range from $9 to $26. A great family place with a stocked bar.
- 5 Malibu Seafood, 25653 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ . Very popular and delicious seafood stand and restaurant, a great place for lunch on a hot Malibu beach day. Fish is caught fresh in the morning before they open. Try the popular ahi tuna burger.
- 6 Taverna Tony, 23410 Civic Center Way. High-end Greek food in the heart of Malibu.
- 7 Nobu, 22706 Pacific Coast Highway. Malibu outpost of the swanky Japanese chain, with excellent sushi and gorgeous ocean views.
- 1 Spruzzo's Cafe, 29575 Pacific Coast Hwy (across from Zuma beach). Has become the new spot for local nightlife with their bar.
- 2 Moon Shadows, 20356 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ . M Su 11:30AM-midnight, Tu-Th 11:30AM-1AM, F Sa 11:30AM-2AM. Great place to get a drink and watch the sunset. Especially popular on sunday afternoons.
Malibu hotels span the spectrum from luxury to family motels. Most of the Malibu hotels are along the main coastal road, Pacific Coast Highway, and several are located along the beach. The nearby communities of Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Woodland Hills and Santa Monica may offer less expensive options.
- 1 Malibu Country Inn, 6506 Westward Beach Rd, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. A charming Cape Cod-style hotel tucked along the beachside bluffs of Malibu. $155-290 plus tax.
- 2 Casa Malibu Inn, 22752 Pacific Coast Highway, ☏ , email@example.com. Located on the beach in the heart of Malibu. It is quaint among Malibu hotels, with only 21 Beachfront and GardenView rooms and suites. $169-529.
- 3 Malibu Shores Motel, 23033 Pacific Coast Highway, ☏ . Located across from Surfrider Beach, this motel is more well-suited for families than most Malibu hotels.
- 4 The M (e.g. formerly Malibu Motel), 22541 Pacific Coast Highway, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. One of Malibu's less expensive options. $119-219 plus tax.
- 5 Topanga Ranch Motel, 18711 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ , toll-free: . 30 ocean-front cottages across from Topanga State Beach.
- 6 Malibu Beach Inn, 22876 Pacific Coast Highway, ☏ . Has perhaps the most central location of Malibu hotels, on PCH in the heart of Malibu.
- 7 Malibu Riviera Motel, 28920 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ .
- 8 Malibu Surfer Motel, 22541 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ .
- Santa Monica - A neighboring beach city that is much more touristy than Malibu and features a famous pier.
- Pacific Palisades - Located south of Malibu, the Palisades are home to multi-million dollar homes set amongst the hills overlooking the ocean, as well as the J. Paul Getty Villa which features classical sculpture.
- Further northwest are the cities of Ventura and Santa Barbara with the Channel Islands National Park.
- Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Miles of scenic roads and hiking trails through the mountains behind Malibu, as well as historic sites such as Malibu Creek State Park.
- San Fernando Valley. The suburbs inland, to the east.
|Routes through Malibu|
|Santa Barbara ← Oxnard ←||N S||→ Pacific Palisades → Santa Monica|
|Fillmore ← Santa Monica Mountains N.R.A. ←||N S||→ END|
|Chatsworth ← Santa Monica Mountains N.R.A. ←||N S||→ END|