California Coastal Spotlight: Malibu

California Coastal Spotlight: Malibu

By Alejandra Saragoza
January 08, 2020

The mention of Malibu often evokes images of grand celebrity homes and swanky pads overlooking the sapphire waters softly crashing against the pristine sands and craggy bluffs. Despite its glamorous reputation, the scenic city is much more easygoing than you might imagine.

Situated along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), merely 33 miles west of bustling downtown Los Angeles, Malibu is a picturesque paradise home to 20-plus spectacular beaches, dramatic canyons, gorgeous hiking trails, historical landmarks, boutique hotels, and hole-in-the-wall seafood joints. 

While the town is small in size, it’s easy to spend a weekend exploring its natural wonders and experiencing its laid-back trendiness. Whether you plan on surfing the epic waves, savoring farm-fresh fare beside the beach, lounging on the shores, or indulging in some retail therapy, Malibu is a must-see when in Southern California. So, turn up the radio and take a drive down the palm-fringed PCH to revel in the salt-kissed air and warm sun rays. Here’s a glimpse into the oceanside town that awaits at the end of your journey.

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Situated along the Pacific Coast Highway, right across the street from the famous Malibu Surfrider Beach, The Surfrider Malibu hotel overlooks the ocean and provides plush accommodations. 
Originally built in 1905 as a shipping port, Malibu Pier is now home to several novelty shops and organic restaurants, attracting Los Angeles locals and visitors alike. 
The idyllic Malibu Pier is a prime spot for surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, ocean fishing, and watching for dolphins. 
Local fishermen cast their lines from the deck of Malibu Pier, where they can catch corbina and mackerel year-round. In the summer months, halibut and thresher shark rays also abound.  
Located at the beginning of Malibu Pier, the beloved Malibu Farm Restaurant serves up farm-to-table dishes crafted from organic, local ingredients. 
Thanks to its picturesque perch, Malibu Farm Restaurant boasts spectacular coastal vistas from inside the dining room and out on the oceanside patio.
The charming Malibu Farm Cafe, situated at the end of the pier, offers fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, coffee drinks, and organic sodas—plus ice cream and soft-serve—for those on the go. 
Stroll along the wooden pier and admire the sweeping views of the glamorous beach homes and hotels nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains.
Step inside the small, quirky shops lining Malibu Pier such as Miansai Jewelry & Accessories, which is housed in a coverted Airstream. 
The tip of the pier features a small collection of businesses, including Malibu Farm Cafe and One Gun Ranch.
One Gun Ranch is the place to rent fishing rods, purchase bait and tackle, pick up surfing and skating apparel, grab any forgotten beach gear, and find unique keepsakes and momentos. 
Since first opening to the public in 1938, Malibu Pier has continually drawn droves of fishermen with its promising bounty. 
The Malibu Pier forms the eastern boundary of the world's first surf reserve, where pioneering surfers revolutionized and popularized the sport, making Malibu a world-renowned surfing destination.  
The iconic Malibu Surfrider Beach is a coveted destination for surfing aficionados, who flock to the pristine shores to catch the perfect wave. 
Surfrider Beach is also a popular weekend getaway for Angelenos looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse themselves in more relaxing environs. 
Come watch the surfers, bask in the sun, and lounge on the soft sands with that special someone at Malibu Surfrider Beach. 
Malibu Creek feeds into the Malibu Lagoon, where there's a state beach with ideal surfing conditions, lush gardens, and a museum.

What are some of your favorite things to do in Malibu? Let us know in the comments. And if you want to further your explorations, read our Getaway Guide: Malibu for a full weekend itinerary. 

Alejandra Saragoza

Alejandra Saragoza

Alejandra is the managing editor of She's a California native based in the Bay Area and enjoys writing about all things food and travel related. Her work can also be seen in Diablo, T…

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  • Sahab Mahboubi | Jan, 8

    I love Malibu Reply

    • Alejandra Saragoza | Jan, 9

      Us too! It's so beautiful. Reply

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