There are many ways to explore Malibu, but there’s only one perfect way to spend a day in the beachfront city. We’ve put together an itinerary for your perfect day in Malibu.
If you’re traveling to Malibu via the Pacific Coast Highway, stop at the Getty Villa on the way. The museum (which was the predecessor to the Getty Center in Brentwood) is home to Greek and Roman antiquities as well as stunning sculpture gardens and a stately courtyard. But if your route takes you through the dramatic canyons to the north, you can instead stroll through the grounds of the Adamson House. The striking 1929 Spanish-style structure is adorned with an array of decorative tiles manufactured at the once-celebrated, now-closed Malibu Tile Works. Via either route, grab a delicious breakfast burrito from Lily’s Malibu, a standout strip-mall Mexican spot.
Look for free street parking along Westward Beach Road and bask in the off-season quiet of this corner of Zuma Beach. Hoof it to the east or park in the paid lot at Point Dume State Beach. A short trail winds up the namesake peak’s side, with a path through seasonal yellow wildflowers that leads to a scenic overlook. If you’ve brought the right gear, repel down the popular rock face. Reward your sunning and scrambling with a meal at Malibu Seafood. The tiny shack has been serving some of the area’s freshest fish, clams, crab and squid since 1972; make sure to order the deep-fried fish-and-chips.
Watch an unforgettable sunset from El Matador State Beach, a narrow stretch of sand lined with sublime rock outcrops and small caves into which you can squeeze when the tide is low. Leave the coast behind for the canyons, and taste a selection of vino at the cozy Cornell Winery. Stumble next door and fill up on comfort food at the Old Place, a former general store turned rustic dining destination.