When you hear of Malibu, what comes to your mind? You might picture picturesque beaches, celebrity homes, Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse, and the epitome of Southern California. Malibu is exactly that: the epitome of Southern California. There are miles of white sandy beaches, geological coves, hidden waterfalls, and small beachy boutiques to be found here, as well as seafood to indulge in here.
All year round, Malibu attracts visitors from everywhere, from outside the country to Los Angeles locals, and can easily become a bucket list destination for the USA. Malibu is a paradise away from paradise (there are many Californian gem towns close by). Having visited Malibu 3 times already with my sisters living in the state of California, I’ve listed out the best things to do in this city!
1. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway on Malibu Canyon Road
If you’re looking for a very scenic drive with sweeping views, driving the Pacific Coast Highway is the best thing for that. Known to be one of the most scenic roads in the world, the overall route drive of this takes 6 days, where it can start off from San Francisco and then ends down to San Diego. You can get a taste of this highway in Malibu and it might not amaze you as much as you’re driving through the miles of sandy beaches and passing by the multi-million dollar homes, but when you enter through Topanga Canyon Boulevard with sycamore and oak trees, your mind will be blown how the hills meet each other and how steep and curvy the drive gets through that road.
2. Get seafood at Broad Street Oyster Co.
Recommended by my sister, Broad Street Oyster Co. has some of the most delicious seafood to taste in Malibu. Located in Malibu Village, Broad Street Oyster Co. is great for a quick pick-up meal, and also a great option if you’re looking for a dine-in meal. You’ll find a variety of seafood classics on their menu such as the Clam Chowder, Shrimp Cocktail, Fish & Chips, and to Broad Street Oyster Co.’s most famous and loved Lobster Rolls. What we loved when we ate here was the Calamari Steak Fries and the Raw Oyster Shooters.
3. Hike Point Dume Trail
If you’re looking to do a hike that isn’t too hard and has ocean views, you’d love Point Dume trail. This spot takes you over the cliffs or in geological words, bluffs, overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the coast of Malibu. Upon starting and to the top, you’ll be greeted with white sand beaches and see how blue the ocean looks nearby and you may also see groups of seals hanging out outside the bluffs.
During World War II, Point Dume was used as an observation point by the military to spot Japanese submarines up until the 1940s. The sandy trails can be steep and then followed by a plethora of conserved greenery, where in the spring, you may spot poppies and a giant coreopsis bloom. There is a fee required for parking near the trailhead.
4. Hike El Matador Trail and enjoy the beaches
A short but scenic trail to take you down to the shoreline could be found doing the El Matador trail. El Matador is known for the beautiful sand rock formations that you’ll find jutting out from the shoreline and for their unique red sandstone bluffs. Part of the Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, El Matador Beach is the most popular one out of the three there and after shortly hiking El Matador Trail, this leads you down to El Matador Beach where you can find caves and rock arches. If you continue on north, this then connects to La Piedra State Beach.
Pin this for later!
5. Visit Zuma Beach
I found this spot randomly when I wanted to go to a nearby beach after solo hiking Grotto Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. It was perfect to dip my sore feet and legs in after that hike and it’s perfect to watch the sunset go down. It is considered one of the largest and best beaches along Malibu for its white sand, few rocks, waves (that surfers enjoy), ample parking, and safety with a lot of lifeguard stations around.
6. Malibu Pier
Malibu Pier is an iconic family-friendly location lined with shops and cafes. Built in 1905 and once used as a lookout station for the U.S. Coast Guard, Malibu Pier has stood for hundreds of years as a timeless location even after it had been restored a few times from damages caused by storms. Through Malibu Pier, you can also have access to smaller beaches from the staircases. The parking can be limited by Malibu Pier with a parking flat fee of $12 and pets are restricted on the pier.
7. Explore Leo Carrillo State Park
This Californian state park has a lesser-known 1.5 mile of beaches that makes it a great place for swimming, surfing, camping, and fishing. Leo Carrillo State Park has some pretty features to it with tidepools and caves to explore in, with plenty of sea creatures to see in these spots. It’s also been featured in several movies (Gidget, Grease, 50 First Dates, etc.). There is a $12 parking flat fee to park here.
8. Hike Escondido Falls
Considered one of the finest waterfalls around Los Angeles, Escondido Falls is a 3.5-mile round-trip hike that is located just off the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. This trail is considered to be fairly easy and surrounded by limestone walls, gradual ascends, and greenery with lush moss covering the area of the falls. Upper Escondido Falls falls down to 150 feet in a pool.
9. Malibu Creek State Park
Malibu Creek State Park is a 10,000-acre park that protects the Malibu Creek and connects with Santa Monica Mountains. This state park has several trails that are scenic, full of green, and overlook the peaks of the Santa Monica Mountains. In this state park, you can do more than just hiking, it’s for camping, bird watching, mountain biking, horseback riding, and rock climbing. Due to how largely scenic with breathtaking mountains surrounding this area, several movies have also been filmed here. There is a parking fee for all-day here of $12.