Malibu

Travel Guide North America USA Western United States California Southern California Los Angeles County Los Angeles Malibu

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Introduction

Malibu hugs the Pacific Ocean, north of Santa Monica in the northwest corner of Los Angeles County. Because of the town's location on the ocean and the proximity to downtown L.A.'s studios, Malibu has become a fixture in American culture, and has been featured on popular TV shows such as Two and a Half Men and Hannah Montana.

Malibu and its beaches are frequently listed as one of the must-see spots of the West Coast and the United States in general. However, the city's popularity is at odds with its residents. Local politics in Malibu are dominated by measures to keep outsiders out and to slow the growth of the city to keep it from turning into other beach side towns like Santa Monica or Newport Beach. Politicians and citizens alike often vote in favor of measures that make it more difficult for tourists to visit Malibu. These range from regulations on services like AirBnb to refusing to stripe additional parking spots at popular beaches. Malibu is a beautiful location worth visiting, but be aware of parking restrictions and other difficulties when attempting to see its beautiful beaches.

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Sights and Activities

Head to famous Zuma Beach or Westward Beach for a great day at the beach.
For a great coast view, head to Point Dume. 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.
Malibu Lagoon (Surfrider Beach). Malibu Lagoon is an estuary at the mouth of Malibu Creek. This area is home to one of the most famous famous surf breaks in Los Angeles County, a beach that played a central role in the development of the West Coast surf culture. Contests are held throughout the year and surfers are crowding for the best waves at other times. Recently the lagoon has undergone an extensive, although controversial, restoration to deal with water quality issues that have plagued the area.
Solstice Canyon (Corral Canyon Rd). A popular 2.6 mile round-trip that leads to a 30 foot tall waterfall.
Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway. 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.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Getting There

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

LA Metro bus 534 provides service to Malibu from Santa Monica and Washington/Fairfax transit center.

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Getting 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 Malibu to the other.

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Eat

Coral Beach Cantina, 29350 Pacific Coast Highway, ☏ +1 310-457-5503. 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, 21150 Pacific Coast Highway, ☏ +1 310-317-0777, fax: +1 310-317-0677. 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, 18661 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ +1 310-456-8221. 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. entrees average $15.
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. entrees average $25-70.
Paradise Cove, 28128 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ +1 310-457-2503, fax: +1 310-457-3273. Monday to Friday - 8AM to 11PM / Saturday & Sunday - 7AM to 11PM. 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). reasonably priced food, some things are labeled as M.P (market price) but other dishes range from $9.00 to $26.00. A great family place with a stocked bar.
Malibu Seafood, 25653 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ +1 310 456-3430. Very popular and delicious seafood stand / restaurant, a great place for lunch on a hot Malibu beach day. Fish is caught fresh in the morning before they open. Try the popular ahi tuna burger.
Taverna Tony, 23410 Civic Center Way. High end Greek food in the heart of Malibu.
Nobu, 22706 Pacific Coast Highway. Malibu outpost of the swanky Japanese chain, with excellent sushi and gorgeous ocean views.

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Drink

Spruzzo's Cafe, 29575 Pacific Coast Hwy (across from Zuma beach). Has become the new spot for local nightlife with their newly remodeled bar.
Moon Shadows, 20356 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ +1 310 456-3010. Mon,Sun 11:30AM-midnight; Tue-Thu 11:30AM-1AM; Fri-Sat 11:30AM-2AM. Great place to get a drink and watch the sunset. Especially popular on sunday afternoons.

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Sleep

Malibu hotels span the spectrum from luxury to family motels. Most of the Malibu hotels are along the main coastal road, Pacific Coast Highway, and several are located along the beach. The nearby communities of Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Woodland Hills and Santa Monica may offer less expensive options.

Malibu Country Inn, 6506 Westward Beach Rd, ☏ +1 310-457-9622, toll-free: +1 800 FUN N SURF (38667873), fax: +1 310-457-1349, ✉ info@malibucountryinn.com. A charming Cape Cod style hotel tucked along the beachside bluffs of Malibu. $155 to $290 plus tax.
Casa Malibu Inn, 22752 Pacific Coast Highway, ☏ +1 310-456-2219, ✉ casamalibu@earthlink.net. Located on the beach in the heart of Malibu. It is quaint among Malibu hotels, with only 21 Beachfront and GardenView rooms and suites. $169 - $529.
Malibu Shores Motel, 23033 Pacific Coast Highway, ☏ +1 310-456-6559. Located across from Surfrider Beach, this motel is more well-suited for families than most Malibu hotels.
Malibu Motel, 22541 Pacific Coast Highway, ☏ +1 310-456-6169, ✉ themalibumotel@verizon.net. One of Malibu's less expensive options. $119 to $219 plus tax.
Topanga Ranch Motel, 18711 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ +1 310-456-5486, toll-free: +1 800-200-0019. 30 ocean-front cottages located across from Topanga State Beach.
Malibu Beach Inn, 22876 Pacific Coast Highway, ☏ +1 310-456-6444. Has perhaps the most central location of Malibu hotels, on PCH in the heart of Malibu.
Malibu Riviera Motel, 28920 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ +1 310-457-9503.
Malibu Surfer Motel, 22541 Pacific Coast Hwy, ☏ +1 310-456-6169.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 3. Last edited at 9:32 on Sep 27, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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