Malibu, CA

Travel Guide
Malibu featuring general coastal views, a beach and swimming
This laid-back beach city is a popular destination for surfers and sunbathers. Spot famous residents, explore the university and enjoy the view from the pier.

Malibu is a picturesque beach city north of Los Angeles. It is home to many scenic beaches and a thriving community of surfers, who refer to the city as “Bu.” Its temperate climate and scenic coastline make it the ideal beach getaway. Malibu is especially popular with celebrities, due to its proximity to Hollywood. Sunbathe on the white sand and cool off in the ocean or explore the city’s museums and colonial houses.

Ride the waves at Surfrider Beach. Its choppy waves are ideal for experienced surfers. Enjoy the scenic views from Malibu Pier and dine on fresh seafood at the café. If you prefer, go fishing off the pier and catch your own. Bring your own gear or rent it from a shop at the ocean end of the pier.

Spend the afternoon at the stunning El Matador Beach. Marvel at the caves, rock formations and panoramic ocean views. It is more remote than other beaches and is only accessible via a dirt path and staircase.

Sunbathe on Zuma Beach, another great surfing location. Join in a game of volleyball, go for a swim or lay out a blanket and have a picnic on the warm sand. Malibu was once famous for its nude beaches, but they are now illegal in Los Angeles County.

Cycle along the Pacific Coast Highway for unobstructed views of cliffs and ocean. Visit Adamson House, the villa where the city’s original owners once lived. The Malibu Lagoon Museum is part of the complex. Peruse the hand-painted murals on the walls and learn about the family that occupied the house.

Tour the grounds of Pepperdine University. It is famous for its scenic campus with charming gardens, ocean views and an art museum. Visit the Getty Villa in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood and browse sculptures, antiques and ancient artifacts from Greece and Rome.

Malibu is about an hour’s drive from Los Angeles. By bus it takes about twice as long. Head inland to explore the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Where to stay in Malibu

Malibu showing general coastal views, rocky coastline and a coastal town

Eastern Malibu

4.5/5(26 area reviews)

If you're spending some time in Eastern Malibu, Malibu Pier and Malibu Lagoon State Beach are top sights worth seeing.

Eastern Malibu
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Central Malibu

4.5/5(3 area reviews)

If you're spending some time in Central Malibu, Paradise Cove and Point Dume Beach are top sights worth seeing.

Central Malibu
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Western Malibu

4/5(16 area reviews)

While visiting Western Malibu, you might make a stop by sights like El Matador State Beach and Zuma Beach.