Malibu is home to some of California’s most famous residents, as well as a plethora of fun activities for the rest of us. With its wide, sandy beaches, high class shopping, and frequent celebrity sightings, it makes for a glamorous holiday vacation. Locals and surfers affectionately call it “the Bu,” and many visitors choose to come back year after year. Besides working on your tan, here are five of the best ways to enjoy your holiday in this little slice of paradise north of Los Angeles:
There are several excellent beaches for breaks around Malibu. Point Dume and Nicholas Canyon are two popular ones, and Surfrider Beach became the first World Surfing Reserve in 2010. With consistently amazing weather, solid breaks, few storms, and a laid-back party scene, it’s easy to understand why surfing is such a popular activity here. Many famous surfing movies were filmed right on these beaches.
Few people look inland while in Malibu, but they’re missing out on one of the best parts of it. Solstice Canyon, located in the Sierra Monica mountains, offers great trails with impressive views, a surprising amount of wildlife, and a break from the traffic and high-society life. There are paths of varying lengths and difficulties, and a few small waterfalls that kids will enjoy. This coastal canyon is great for panoramas that make you forget just how close you are to LA.
3. Catching a show
Malibu has a vibrant arts scene, aided in part by several community centers and the robust performing arts departments of Pepperdine University. Concerts, recitals, operas, plays, comedy nights, and other performances are a point of pride for locals, who like to stay involved with the busy show schedule. Join them for a classy night out to see some great talent.
4. Visiting historical sites
Okay, these are probably lower on your list than beach time, but if you do ever get tired of lounging in the sand you can see some great spots around Malibu. The Adamson House is a beautiful beachside mansion known for its exquisite tilework, built by a wealthy local rancher. The beautiful grounds are great for views of the sea and picnic lunches. Alternatively, check out the Getty Villa, a historical house that has been converted to an art museum showcasing Greek and Roman statues and other ancient pieces.
5. Wine tasting
While not as famous for it as Napa Valley, Malibu does have a small but vibrant wine scene. Tour organizes put together small groups that pass by several little-known wineries, noting the houses of celebrities along the way. This is an intimate way to expand your tastes, meet people, and learn about the production of wine. Expect a high standard of quality—these people know what they’re doing.
Sound fun? It is. And given that California beach vacation rentals are more affordable than ever, it is a very attainable holiday destination. Whether you’re traveling alone, as a couple, with the kids, or as a large group, it’s easy to book luxury villas at very reasonable prices and take in all that Malibu has to offer.