Wondering what to do in Malibu? We have got you covered!
Malibu is a beach city in Los Angeles County, California, located about 30 miles west of Downtown Los Angeles.
Being a popular tourist destination, Malibu, California, has a lot to offer to its visitors! The picturesque beaches, with the beautiful Malibu coastline offering spectacular ocean views, are undoubtedly the most popular of these and should top the list! However, there are plenty of other Malibu sights to witness and locations to visit!
What to do in Malibu?
Visit the Malibu Beaches for relaxation and adventures. Here are some fantastic suggestions as to what to do in Malibu.
1.1. Point Dume State Beach
If you are looking for the quintessential malibu beach experience, this is it!
A rocky outcropping on the coast of Malibu, California, that extends out into the Pacific Ocean, the Point Dume State Beach is all things Malibu with a stunning stretch of sandy beach adorned with an overhang of cliffs and headlands and packed with rock coves!
Point Dume State Beach is the perfect place for you, regardless of whether you want to swim. Surf, or relax in the sun!
The location also has fascinating views, including the sighting of California gray whales in the months between December and April! A hiking trail within Point Dume State Beach also favors you with stunning vistas of the Santa Monica Mountains and Santa Monica Bay!
1.2. Zuma Beach
Believe me when I say that Malibu’s largest beach lives up to its name! The answer to what to do in Malibu would be incomplete without suggesting a visit to Zuma Beach!
Zuma Beach is one of the best of the Malibu Beach options along California’s East Pacific Coast Highway! It is a hotspot for tourists with around 105 acres of land, 1.8 miles of clean oceanfront, thousands of parking spaces, and a plethora of amenities!
The golden sand is ideal for relaxing and building sandcastles. The numerous lifeguards ensure safe surfing and swimming, nets provide great beach volleyball locations, and those with a fishing permit can fish until their spirits are satisfied! In addition to this, Zuma Beach has a fair number of dining options, ranging from low key to swanky, allowing you to satisfy your appetite without ever leaving the beach area!
Also, if you visit in the winter, you may be able to see dolphins and seals, and the ridge above the beach allows you to hike for a beautiful view all year.
1.3. Surfrider Beach
For the surfer wondering what to do in Malibu, heading to the exciting and popular Surfrider Beach is one of the greatest things to do! The waves are incredible, even for California, and if surfing is one of your favorite pastimes, this is Malibu beach to visit!
This beach, designated as a World Surfing Reserve, has three-point breaks in the waves that have become extremely popular among short-boarders and long-boarders.
The first point is the most well-known and also the most packed, but it’s ideal for beginners. The second and third points are better known for their suitability for short boarding.
Also, Surfrider Beach is known as the Malibu Lagoon State Beach!
1.4. Malibu Pier
If you aren’t a surfer and the Surfrider Beach didn’t excite you, not to worry because the enthralling Malibu Pier is next to the Surfrider Beach!
The Malibu Pier is a fishing pier that spans 780 feet and is a must-see destination for any angler!
This enchanting location is loaded with well-spaced brackets for anglers to place their reels or rods. But even if you aren’t interested in catching fish, the Malibu Pier is a lovely place to stroll and relax, especially if you arrive in time to witness the sunset!
It is safe to say that the aura of this place is unmatchable! Overall, it’s a lively and vibrant place where people can sit back or stand and enjoy seeing the surfers at work. The restaurants at the location also enable you to eat by the beautiful California water.
1.5. Leo Carrillo State Park
Here’s what to do in Malibu, visit Leo Carrillo State Park. It is another popular tourist destination in Malibu, CA.
It was named after actor and conservationist Leo Carrillo, perhaps best known for his role as Pancho in Cisco Kid. He served on the California Beach and Parks Commission for a remarkable 18 years and was instrumental in the local acquisition of San Simeon’s Heart Property.
Leo Carrillo State Park, named in his honor, is primarily a 1.5-mile-long beach stretch with a wide range of activities, including surfing, beachcombing, windsurfing, and swimming!
While roaming around the stretch, you’ll come across tide pools, coastal caves, campgrounds, backcountry trails, and even interpretive displays!
1.6. El Matador State Beach
El Matador State Beach in Malibu, California, is small, but it is utterly gorgeous, with various rock formations, stone structures, and caves to explore!
It is a short distance from Leo Carrillo State Park and is one of the more laid-back beaches in Malibu.
The El Matador Beach, as a limited and lesser-known beach, lacks amenities and lifeguards. This gives you more privacy but perhaps less access.
A slanted gravel path leads you to the sand, and visits at the right time can lead you to witness the beautiful sunrise or sunset!
1.7. Westward Beach
Westward Beach is a good option! for those looking for less crowded beach locations for fun activities!
Its 3-mile-long shoreline on Point Dume State Beaches’ west side features clear azure waves and beautiful golden sand! Standing on the shoreline of Westward Beach, you can see sea cliffs beckoning you to come to explore the water! However, feel free to sit back and sunbathe too!
Westward Beach is made more comfortable by amenities such as picnic tables, shower facilities, and restrooms. If you want to get a little more active, numerous hiking trails lead out from the beach to other common California destinations.
1.8. Nicholas Canyon Beach
If you’re a surfer, you do not need to wonder what to do in Malibu anymore; here’s another location you shouldn’t miss, Nicholas Canyon Beach!
It’s known as Point Zero among fans of the sport, and it’s also a pleasant place to spend time out in general. It has a serene appearance and is ideal for swimming, scuba diving, wading, windsurfing, surfacing, and beachcombing.
Though not as well-known as some of Malibu’s other beaches, Nicholas Canyon Beach is prevalent enough in the summer to have food trucks and lifeguards. There are also amenities such as showers, restrooms, sitting areas, and picnic tables.
You can easily get here by taking the Pacific Coast Highway!
1.9. Meyer Memorial State Beach
Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach is one of the city’s most relaxing tourist attractions.
It’s an excellent “middle ground” to try out if you are looking for some more tranquility but don’t want it to be completely deserted, thanks to its prime location between Point Dume State Beach and Leo Carrillo State Park.
Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach is a popular spot for bird watching, swimming, beachcombing, and surfing. It is also surrounded by three pocket beaches or coves known as El Matador, El Pescador, and La Piedra. They are all equally lovely, and trails help direct you to each one based on your preference.
1.10. Malibu Coastal Adventures
One of the most enjoyable activities and what to do in Malibu is taking a trip to Malibu Coastal Adventures! The company specializes in customizing water adventures for its customers, offering one-of-a-kind options for what to do in Malibu tailored to each group!
The Malibu Coastal Adventures company aims to create exciting days that can include activities like fishing trips, boat trips, surfing lessons, paddleboarding lessons, scuba diving, coast cruises, and even whale watching!
This experience would be a great answer to what to do in Malibu, and you can be assured that your safety will always be a priority, and you will feel at ease with all of these new experiences!
2. Explore the Gems of the Santa Monica Mountains!
2.1. Solstice Canyon
Still not sure what to do in Malibu? We’ve got the perfect place for you. Without a doubt, one of the most magnificent places in the United States, the Solstice Canyon, located in the Santa Monica Mountains, also has immense historical significance!
Solstice Canyon, surrounded by tall, cascading waterfalls, houses a stone house “shell” that dates back to 1865. It was built by a person named Matthew Keller and is thought to be the oldest stone building still standing in the city of Malibu, California!
It miraculously survived multiple wildfires before being destroyed by the Corral Fire in 2007!
Its bare-bones walls are one of the most captivating attractions in Malibu and even though the cascades of Solstice Canyon can become crowded, they are truly gorgeous and relaxing, and you would find them to be worthwhile!
2.2. Malibu Creek State Park
Malibu Creek State Park offers some of the city’s most peaceful and beautiful campgrounds and excellent sightseeing opportunities! It is frequently referred to as the Santa Monica Mountains’ crown jewel for recreation! And is the best answer to your question what to do in Malibu.
With over 8,000 acres of land and numerous attractions, this state park features oak savannas, thick forests, tall grass plains, and sharp mountain and hill peaks.
If you are still wondering whether to add Malibu Creek State Park to your itinerary or not, let us tell you that it was this land that was used as the location while filming iconic movies such as M*A*S*H and Planet of the Apes in 1968!
While visiting Malibu Creek State Park, you can hike the gorgeous 15-mile oak and sycamore woodland trail, go horseback riding, or try some rock climbing!
2.3. Escondido Falls
The tallest waterfall in the Santa Monica Mountains is situated nowhere else but at Escondido Falls!
With a height of 150 feet, it’s one of those landmarks you shouldn’t neglect, and even more so if you are someone who is a sucker for lovely sights! because this waterfall cascades down two levels onto moss-covered limestone rocks!
The answer to what to do in Malibu is right here, however, please keep in mind that during the warmer months in California, droughts may cause Escondido Falls to dry out, but even if it’s a bit dry, the hike up is still quite enjoyable, and the memories would be meaningful!
2.4. Malibu Hindu Temple
The Malibu Hindu Temple, despite its name, is located near the city of Calabasas, California, in the Santa Monica Mountain range. Even with its stark differences from the estates and modern fancy houses that surround it, the Hindu Temple is frequently overlooked, but if you pay attention, you’ll see
A splendid, magnificent, and thoughtfully designed place of worship! This temple honors Venkateswara, the Lord of Venkata and a Hindu deity. But as many Hindus are polytheistic, it formally includes other alterations to various deities.
The rooms within the temple serve different purposes and are gorgeous. A Shiva sanctuary features absolutely stunning tiered chandeliers, an underground chamber that functions as a traditional music recital and religious service space, and an open-air deck with multiple shrines.
If you are inquisitive about the various cultures, the Malibu Hindu Temple is a must-visit for you!
2.5. Point Mugu State Park
Point Mugu State Park is a well-known tourist attraction in the Santa Monica Mountains, especially for those who enjoy nature and the beach!
It is well-known for its 5 miles of beautiful coastline, but it has more to offer than the beautiful Malibu coast!
Point Mugu State Park encompasses 40,000 acres and features two canopies, several valleys, and hiking trails spanning 70 miles, along with numerous hills and beaches, sand dunes, and more!
There are even spots where you can go surfing or swimming and many coastal areas to visit and explore! Depending on the season, you also might get a chance to spot the migrating whales!
The soothing natural atmosphere is ideal, and it is one of the many popular Malibu tourist spots!
2.6. Circle x Ranch
Circle X Ranch is a great place to visit if you’re seeking a hiker’s getaway, and it’s even famous with Los Angeles inhabitants!
It was once a Boy Scout camp, but it has since been made available to the public to be used by everyone who is seeking an enjoyable time and a fun expedition in Malibu!
Many portions of Circle X Ranch are good enough to warrant seeing, but the main attraction is Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountain range!
On the other hand, the trails themselves are worthwhile, even on cloudy days! On a clear day, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Anacapa Island, Mount Baldy, Channel Islands, and Santa Cruz Island. There are also some native flora and fauna in the coastal area that can be seen.
You can even set up camp and bring your picnic tables to one of Circle X Ranch’s designated picnic and camping areas!
3. Treat Yourself to Great Food and Drinks!
3.1. Nobu Malibu
If you’re looking for an upscale meal, add Nobu Malibu to your itinerary; because this is exactly what to do in Malibu! It has a modern and sleek design, delicious meals, and absolutely stunning panoramic views of the ocean!
Nobu Malibu is located on the Pacific Coast Highway, on a low cliff sitting atop a beachfront, and you have probably seen pictures of the restaurant on celebrities’ social media pages.
Its architecture has a distinctly Japanese flavor. A lounge upstairs with outdoor seating offers relaxation, and a bar sells a variety of great drinks.
3.2. Malibu Farm
If you want a nutritious meal made with local produce and consciously sourced ingredients, Malibu Farm Restaurant and Malibu Farm Cafe are two of the best places to go! Both can be found on the Pier!
The Farm Restaurant is popular for its waterfront location and its farm-to-table meals, with several ingredients sourced from California. It promotes sustainable food and delicious freshness!
On the other hand, the Farm Cafe only offers counter service but adheres to the same sustainable concept.
3.3. Local Wines
If you’re looking for alcohol-related pursuits and fun things to do in California, tasting the city’s local wine is exactly the answer to what to do in Malibu!
Here are a few options for you to consider-
Malibu Family Wines offers not only great wines but equally amazing events! From July to October, they have movie and comedy nights, as well as a Yoga & Mimosas program.
Malibu Wine Safari takes you around a 1,000-acre vineyard to meet all kinds of exotic species that live there. You can even feed them bananas, carrots, and pellets that the establishment provides.
Other popular wine tasting locations include the Malibu Wines, Cornell Winery and Tasting Room, and the Rosenthal Tasting Room!
3.4. Neptune’s Net
Neptune’s Net isn’t your typical Malibu attraction because it’s a seafood restaurant!
It has been serving fresh catch since 1956 and is positioned in a beautiful setting. Clam chowder, shrimp tacos, seafood basket, and fresh lobster are among Neptune’s Net’s most famous dishes.
Neptune’s Net has become rather iconic in California for classic regional seafood fare, so it is worth a shot if you’re an admirer of the cuisine and want to taste some of the state’s most delicious options!
Also, its vibrant and colorful front porch looks out over the magnificent water and County Line Beach. Interestingly, it is also a movie star!
The Fast and the Furious, Gossip Girl, The Hills, Iron Man 3, Losin’ It, Point Break, People Like Us, and even GTA 5 have all used the location. Go check it out and see if you can find where some of your favorite shots were clicked!
4. Lastly, Don’t Miss Out on Popular Tourist Attractions!
4.1. Malibu Country Mart
The Malibu Country Mart, which is situated in the Malibu Civic Center in California, spans 6 acres and offers a variety of high-end shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
Irrespective of whether you’re looking for couture fashion, fine dining, a luxurious spa, or even repair work, this shopping district has become a tourist hotspot in its own right! The hub houses upscale brands such as L’Occitane, All Mankind, John Varvatos, and more localized offerings.
This lifestyle center, also known as a boutique mall, comprises several different buildings. Each one of them is set amidst beautiful gardens that include playgrounds, sculptures, picnic areas, and eateries. The structures are constructed in various styles, such as rustic, Mediterranean, Spanish, and even modern architecture.
Despite its dynamic nature, the Country Mart is also quite relaxed, making it a perfect addition to your itinerary!
4.2. The Getty Villa
When the Getty Villa was founded by J Pau Getty, an oil magnate, it sparked much debate, particularly among art experts, when it first opened in 1974. However, it has since grown into one of Malibu, CA’s best things to see.
Getty used the villa to house his holdings. After a few renovations, the Getty Villa was transformed into a true museum to house ancient artifacts from the Mediterranean that Getty had collected.
The Getty Villa houses over 1,200 different artifacts. The majority date between 6,500 BC and 500 AD and cover a wide range of topics. The Villa also has seminar rooms, conservation labs, temporary exhibitions, and research libraries.
Outside the Getty Villa, there is a gorgeous English ivy and rose garden studded with majestic Roman statues, making it a beautiful place to visit!
4.3. The Adamson House
The Adamson House, regarded as one of the best places to visit in California, is a stunning architectural marvel that overlooks the Malibu Lagoon State Beach.
It is often referred to as the Taj Mahal of Tile because of its outlandish and unique but undoubtedly beautiful interior!
May Knight Rindge and Frederick Hastings Rindge had the property built on 13,000 acres of lush land in 1929 as a wedding present for their eldest daughter. Constructed in the style of a Mediterranean Revival home, a few distinctive Rindge features to set it apart, particularly the numerous ceramic tiles.
A 60-foot-long “Persian rug” in the home’s entrance is made entirely of tiles. The rest of the interior is decorated with custom tiles ranging in theme from Art Deco to Native American and from nautical to Andalusian. The bathrooms, kitchen, fountains, pool, floors, and even benches are almost entirely covered in them!
So, if you’re still wondering what to do in Malibu, California, you should go to the Adamson House to see the family’s greatest work in its purest form!
After reading this article, we hope that you have a good idea of what to do in Malibu!
So, here’s wishing you a wonderful trip full of excitement and relaxation!