Malibu is the laid-back cousin to the bustling city of Los Angeles. Aside from rolling green hills and crystal clear waters, you can experience all the other low-key beauty that California has to offer but with far fewer people milling around.
It may be a bit of a drive to get there, but it is definitely a worthwhile journey to make thanks to the picturesque views of the coastline accompanying you the entire way.
Malibu is home to a variety of activities, so there is something that everyone will enjoy in the city. Whether you enjoy a good surf and want to christen the waves lapping one of the many beaches in the city, or prefer hiking in nature, there is somewhere to go in Malibu.
This article highlights our top picks for places to visit in the breathtaking city. If you are interested, feel free to read on.
Where Is Malibu Situated?
The scenic city of Malibu is located along the Pacific Coast Highway from the west of Pacific Palisades to the Ventura County border. Much of the city resides along this coastal route, but it also extends north towards the Santa Monica Mountains.
Where To Go In Malibu
Below, we have outlined our top picks for places you need to visit while in Malibu. We have included a variety of activities for you to choose from:
Thanks to remarkable natural landscapes, there are many hikes in Malibu that we recommend you try out if you are in the area. Some of these include:
- Escondido Falls
Its 150-foot fall makes it one of the tallest in the Santa Monica Mountains. Although there is not much water in the area during hotter seasons, this fun hike is a must-visit all year round. And you will be able to get some perfect, Instagram-worthy photos here, too.
- Malibu Creek State Park
A family-friendly park with a trail spanning over 15 miles makes this a must-visit. The water level is low but it features swimming holes that you can swim in. If you stay on Crags Road, you can still see some of the old cars from the set used in TV shows such as M*A*S*H and Planet of the Apes.
- Solstice Canyon
This stunning trail offers picturesque views of the ocean and a waterfall that flows year-round. Interestingly enough you will also encounter some of Malibu’s hidden history in the form of stone cottage remains. This building was destroyed by a wildfire years ago and remains a fixture of this hike.
The coastal city of Malibu has endless natural beauty. That is made evident by the sheer number of beaches within the area, each offering a new experience for you to enjoy. And while there are too many beaches to name, we have included our favorites below that you have to visit if you find yourself in Malibu:
- Malibu “Surfrider” Beach
This is a part of the Malibu Lagoon State Beach. This also consists of the Malibu Pier and the Malibu Lagoon, both of which are also stunning places you can go to while in Malibu. Surfrider is an ideal beach location for riding some of the best waves California has to offer. But if that does not sound like your thing, you could always go for a stroll along the pier, or visit the nearby Malibu Lagoon Museum.
- Zuma Beach
The waters at Zuma Beach have strong rip currents and aren’t the best place to venture into if you want to spend time swimming. But it has become a local favorite for a more chilled beach experience, so feel free to visit the beach and take a stroll where you can take your time to feel the sand between your toes. You could even play Volleyball on the sand, have a family-friendly picnic, or purchase items from concession stands dotted around the beach.
- El Matador State Beach
El Matador State Beach is a breathtaking stretch of coastline that simply cannot be missed. It is one of the busiest beaches in Malibu, but isn’t typically defined as being “crowded.” Here, you can explore caves, watch the sunset or simply experience the other stunning natural elements of this narrow beach without the hassle. Be aware that there is a 150-bluff to walk down
Other Things to Do
While visiting natural landscapes is a great way to spend your time while in Malibu, we have some other suggestions of where to go if you’re in the city.
Enjoy the fresh seafood at Neptune’s Net or grilled chocolate cake (yes, you read that correctly) at Malibu Farm. There are hundreds of food places for you to try, so it will not be difficult finding somewhere that you will love.
If you want to do a bit of shopping but still want to experience the stunning Malibu Sun, the Malibu Country Mart has got you covered. Located in the heart of the Malibu Civic Center, just a short distance from the beach, this mall stands as California’s premier seaside destination for relaxing, dining and shopping, and features everything you could ever want. From upscale boutiques such as L’Occitane to simple coffee giant Starbucks, there are stores and dining experiences to suit every occasion. Plus there is a large amount of available parking which is a rare find in such a busy city!
Malibu Wine Safari
If you are looking for something a bit different, we would recommend embarking upon this unique safari. Tailored towards adults, this safari is a great day out in Malibu. Not only do you get to view stunningly exotic animals, but you are also taken on a tour around a 1,000-acre vineyard — all with a little wine on the side. If that was not enough, you will be provided with snacks to feed the animals, such as zebras and giraffes. What is not to love?
There are many places you can go if you find yourself in Malibu. From casual strolls along the beach to fun yet just as challenging hikes to the highest points in the city, there is something for everyone in Malibu. If that was not enough, you can experience all these sights and sounds without the extreme hustle and bustle of nearby Los Angeles. You truly do get the best of both worlds in Malibu!