Make the drive past Will Rogers and Surfrider beaches and you’ll be rewarded with a clean, wide patch of sand and surf at Zuma. This Malibu beach accommodates crowds with plenty of on-site parking (pay at the lot or park for free along PCH) and lifeguards on duty. Directly to the south, you’ll find Point Dume State Beach, with both hikers and climbers scaling its iconic namesake rock face and strolling through seasonal wildflower fields atop its crown.
While some associate Malibu with mansions perched atop cliffs and surfers bobbing on the breaks, we tend to tie the city to L.A.’s most stunning natural wonders. Forget the tarnished glitz of Hollywood and the posh photo ops of Beverly Hills; these things to do in Malibu make us question why we don’t spend every single weekend in the waterfront city. From some of the best beaches around to hiking trails with waterfalls—and a little bit of wine tasting and waterfront restaurants to wind down—we’ve rounded up our favorite things to do in Malibu.
Just a heads up that you’re probably going to need a car to visit most of these spots. Malibu’s scenic landmarks largely hug the Pacific Coast Highway and the beachfront, which runs from west of Pacific Palisades to the Ventura County border. While Metro’s 134 bus will take you about as far west as Zuma Beach, you’ll need your own wheels (or a rideshare—cell reception willing) to venture into the more remote coastline to the west, as well as the canyon communities and most of the hiking trails to the north in the Santa Monica Mountains.
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