While visiting Los Angeles is always fun, the goal of getting out of the city is usually top of mind for true California dreamers. With its charming oceanfront homes owned by Hollywood celebrities and nearly three-dozen stretches of sand to choose from, those in the know head to Malibu, California’s most iconic surf town.
Stop One – Lay of the Land
Where: Backbone Trail
When: 9 am
Why: A short distance inland from the beach you’ll find trails that offer unparalleled vistas over Malibu. Wildflowers lining the lush canyon and panoramic ocean views over the Santa Monica mountain range are worth the trek. The Backbone Trail sprawls sixty miles north to south above the coastline although there are various trailheads along the way so you can determine your distance. A hike here is the ideal way to get your trip off to a perky start!
Stop Two – Life in the Sun
Where: SunLife Organics Smoothie Bar
When: 10:30 am
Why: Thanks to the stream of locals this place is always lively and the smoothies are refreshing. This operation is community driven and the owner behind SunLife Organics has delivered his idea of human connection through living in the sun and maintaining a healthy aura. Stroll around Malibu Country Mart while you are sipping your greens and stop in the high-end boutiques where you are sure to spot a celebrity and a must-have swimsuit.
Stop Three – Escape to Rejuvenate
Where: Aja Malibu
When: 11:30 am
Why: Malibu’s next big thing is coming this summer. Set to open in June this year, Aja Malibu is a luxury rejuvenation spa on a twenty-three acre knoll in the Santa Monica mountains once owned by President Roosevelt. Retreat to this mountain sanctuary for mid-day pampering and holistic self-care. Spa amenities include a far-infrared sauna, ozonated jacuzzi, and cold plunge pool. Sink into a treatment or a relaxing pool, and leave time for exploration in the seven themed chakra gardens.
Stop Four – Bite into the ‘Bu
Where: Malibu Farm
When: 1:30 pm
Why: Scope out all the surf action at Surfrider beach while sitting on the breezy patio at Malibu Farm cafe overlooking the ocean at the end of Malibu pier. Restaurateur and ranch owner Helena Henderson dominates both ends of the pier with her Malibu restaurant and café, both touting sustainable, seasonal and farm-fresh menus. The spot is such a success it’s gone national this year, with branches opening in Miami Beach and the Hawaiian island of Lanai.
Stop Five – When in Rome
Where: Getty Villa
When: 3 pm
Why: The lush neoclassical gardens, villa architecture and views from the Getty Villa alone are worth the visit, although of course many come as well to see the elaborate collection of Greek and Roman art dating back over seven thousand years. The new Roman floor mosaic exhibition currently displays hand-set stone pieces forming various historic scenes that typically were used to decorate villas of the wealthy elite.
Stop Six – Wine A Little
Where: Malibu Wines
When: 4 pm
Why: Wine goes hand-in-hand with California, so a little tasting is an afternoon delight in Malibu. A sprawling outdoor venue tucked in the hills of the Santa Monica mountains, Malibu Wines offers wine tasting from two different vineyards, Semler and Saddlerock. Bring a picnic, dance to live music and enjoy your surroundings, all while sipping a glass or two under the California sun.
Stop Seven – Salty Sundowners
When: 6 pm
Why: The Blue Lounge Bar on the patio of Moonshadows restaurant is the ultimate spot to watch the sun sink away into the horizon. Panoramic ocean views paired with a glass of champagne or a salt-rimmed cadillac margarita is the perfect way to spend an hour before dinner.
Stop Eight – Coastal Glamour
When: 7:30 pm
Why: Geoffrey’s (pronounced Joff-reez) is where the Mediterranean meets Malibu, think far-reaching views, classic fresh cuisine, and a lasting history steeped in Hollywood fame. Movie stars, luminaries like John F. Kennedy, and world travelers all have savored Geoffrey’s most sought after dinner by the sea.
Stop Nine – After Dinner Breeze
When: 9 pm
Why: The night is still young at Nobu, one of the prime haunts to be seen at along the Pacific Coast Highway. Famous for its sushi and celebrity socialites, the Malibu outpost of this global favorite may even be more famous for its location. It’s the ideal spot to finish out a long day and enjoy a nightcap alongside the ocean breezes of the Pacific.
Where to stay in Malibu