photo by Doc Searls

Malibu hugs the Pacific Ocean, north of Santa Monica in the Northwest corner of Los Angeles County.

Getting there

Take Pacific Coast Highway (California State Route 1) north from Santa Monica. From , 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.

Traveling around

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 'bu to the other.


  • Pepperdine University, 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 now 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.

Things to do

For movie fans, the Malibu Film Festival is a must go celebrity spring time event. For surfers you must check out the regional classic point break at the Malibu Lagoon. Contests are held throughout the year and surfers are crowding for the best waves at other times. Even if you don't surf it is worth checking out.

Head to famous Zuma or Westward Beach for a great day at the beach.

For a great coast view, head to Highlands Park. 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.


  • Coral Beach Cantina , +1-310-457-5503, 29350 Pacific Coast Highway, An excellent Mexican restaurant offering tasty food in a relaxed sit-down environment. Entrees will cost between $6 and $12, and portion sizes are reasonable.

  • Duke's , +1-310-317-0777, 21150 Pacific Coast Highway, 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.

  • Reel Inn, +1-310-456-8221, 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, as well as both 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.

  • 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.

  • Paradise Cove , +1-310-457-2503, +1-310-457-2503, Monday to Friday - 8 AM to 11 PM / Saturday & Sunday - 7 AM to 11 PM, 28128 Pacific Coast Hwy, 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).


  • Spruzzo's Cafe, across from Zuma beach, Has become the new spot for local nightlife with their newly remodeled bar.

  • Moon Shadows , (310) 456-3010, Mon,Sun 11:30am-12am; Tue-Thu 11:30am-1am; Fri-Sat 11:30am-2am, 20356 Pacific Coast Hwy, 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. Perhaps most notable among Malibu hotels are those located along the beach.

  • Malibu Country Inn , +1-310-457-9622 or +1-800 FUN N SURF, +1-310-457-9622 or +1-800 FUN N SURF, 6506 Westward Beach Rd., A charming Cape Cod style hotel tucked along the beachside bluffs of Malibu.

  • Beaurivage, 26025 Pacific Coast Highway, Located close to popular Zuma Beach.

  • Casa Malibu Inn on the beach, +1-310-456-2219, 22752 Pacific Coast Highway, Located on the beach in the heart of Malibu. It is quaint among Malibu hotels, with only 21 Beachfront and GardenView rooms and suites.

  • Malibu Shores Motel, +1-310-456-6559, 23033 Pacific Coast Highway, Located across from Surfrider Beach, this motel is more well-suited for families than most Malibu hotels.

  • Malibu Motel , +1-310-456-6169, +1-310-456-6169, 22541 Pacific Coast Highway, One of Malibu's less expensive options.

  • Topanga Ranch Motel, +1-310-456-5486 or +1-800-200-0019, 18711 Pacific Coast Hwy, 30 ocean-front cottages located across from Topanga State Beach.

  • Malibu Beach Inn , +1-310-456-6444, 22876 Pacific Coast Highway, Has perhaps the most central location of Malibu hotels, on PCH in the heart of Malibu.

  • Malibu Riviera Motel , +1-310-457-9503, 28920 Pacific Coast Hwy

  • Malibu Surfer Motel, +1-310-456-6169, 22541 Pacific Coast Hwy

Nearby communities offer additional lodging options that may be less expensive. These include the Good Night Inn (26557 Agoura Road, Calabasas). Another cheaper but more distant alternative to the Malibu hotels is the Hampton Inn (30255 Agoura Rd., Agoura). Other alternatives in case all the Malibu hotels are booked include the Hilton (6360 Canoga Avenue, Woodland Hills) and the Holiday Inn (120 Colorado Blvd., Santa Monica). If the summer season causes even the more distant Malibu hotels to be booked, even further options include the Holiday Inn (170 N. Church Lane, Los Angeles) and the Hyatt (880 S. Westlake Blvd., Westlake Village).

  • Santa Monica. A neighboring beach city that is much more touristy than Malibu and features a famous pier.

  • Pacific Palisades. A neighboring town that is 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 up Northwest are the cities of Ventura and Santa Barbara with the Channel Islands National Park.

  • Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

  • Malibu Creek State Park.

  • San Fernando Valley. The suburbs inland, to the east.

  • Catalina Island

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Doc Searls, Tobias, Clinton Steeds, Di Sanders, Erin Pettigrew, Audrey AK

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Marc Heiden, Eddie B, San Francisco Girl, Ryan Holliday,, Tom Holland, David, Todd VerBeek, Evan Prodromou and John M., Cacahuate, PerryPlanet, Beenthere and Luvdapug

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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