Famous for beaches and celebrity homes, Malibu is a city in Los Angeles. This place has a laid-back and chill aura, making it a perfect holiday destination for people who want to take a break from their busy lifestyles.
Malibu is also popular for its Mediterranean climate and surfing waves. Interestingly, surfers and residents refer to this city as “The ‘Bu.”
What’s more, Malibu has many luxury hotspots as well. These include high-end restaurants for fine dining where you can enjoy delicious seafood.
From nature trails to Malibu coastal adventures, the city is a great option to soak some Californian sunshine and enjoy beautiful views.
I have got you covered if you are excited to plan a trip to this city. Keep reading this travel guide to learn more about the best things to do in Malibu and experience the city to the fullest.
Table of Contents
- List of the Best Things to Do in Malibu
- 1. Point Dume State Beach
- 2. Santa Monica Mountains
- 3. Zuma Beach
- 4. Malibu Lagoon State Beach
- 5. Adamson House
- 6. Malibu Lagoon Museum
- 7. Malibu Country Mart
- 8. The Getty Villa
- 9. Malibu Hindu Temple
- 10. Malibu Creek State Park
- 11. Meyer Memorial State Beach
- 12. Nicholas Canyon Beach
- 13. Solstice Canyon
- 14. Malibu Farm
- 15. Malibu Family Wines and Malibu Wine Safari
- 16. Neptune’s Nest
- 17. Geoffrey’s
- 18. Duke’s Malibu
- 19. Nobu Malibu
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What to Do in Malibu at Night?
- Is Malibu Expensive to Visit?
List of the Best Things to Do in Malibu
Fun Fact: Around the 1970s, Malibu was considered a perfect refuge for hitchhiking teens and surf bums. However, today the story is entirely different.
From Jennifer Anniston to Miley Cyrus, this city is home to many Hollywood celebrities.
Besides, the city is far more organized than before, thanks to its State Beaches that are the favorites of people from around the world.
Simply put, you can’t explore the whole of Malibu in one day because there are many things to do in this city. Below we have listed some top attractions to help you save some time.
1. Point Dume State Beach
Address: Cliffside Dr &, Birdview Ave, Malibu, CA 90265, United States
A state beach with rocky coves and white sand, the Point Dume State Beach is a perfect place to relish sunset and sunrise.
You will love this place for the sights and its facilities. Lucky for you, this Malibu beach is ideal for fishing, swimming, diving, tidepools, and even whale watching between January and February.
It is safe to call this attraction a paradise for surfers with different skill levels.
What’s more, the Point Dume State Beach also has restrooms and picnic tables for families who might not want to get into the water.
On a clear day, you can also hike on the trail within this preserve and enjoy delightful views of Santa Monica Beach and the Santa Monica Mountains.
This beach is ideal for families and single visitors alike. In addition, you don’t need a ticket to get in.
If you are coming from Santa Monica, head on the Pacific Coast Highway leading to the Westward Beach Road. You can then turn towards the ocean and cross the collection stand to go towards the beach.
2. Santa Monica Mountains
Close to the magnificent Pacific Ocean, you will find the beautiful coastal mountain range, the Santa Monica Mountains. Since these mountains are located quite close to populated areas such as beaches, you will find more people hiking on these mountains than on any other natural area of California.
Other than hiking trails, these coastal mountains offer breathtaking views. In addition, you may also come across beautiful waterfalls while hiking on well-built hiking trails.
I would recommend you to spare some hours of your day to hike to the top and relish the beautiful views of the city.
See Related: 12 Best Things to Do in Calabasas, California
3. Zuma Beach
Address: 30000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265, United States
To elevate your Malibu coastal adventures, visiting Zuma Beach is a must to include in your things to do in Malibu this weekend itinerary.
So, what is so special about Zuma Beach? For starters, Zuma Beach is the most popular and largest beach in Malibu. If you want to experience memorable beachside enjoyment, this beach is a perfect spot to play volleyball, fishing, swimming, and surfing.
In addition, your kids can spend hours building sandcastles, thanks to the golden sand, which is also perfect for lounging. After a tiring day of fun and games, you can satisfy your hunger by enjoying food from different eateries located within this attraction.
If you plan to visit this place on the weekend, be prepared as it can get quite crowded. So, choose a time to find yourself a spot to relax and enjoy easily. Zuma Beach is located just an hour’s drive away from Downtown LA. However, the driving duration may vary according to the traffic.
The route is quite straightforward. But you might have to pay a parking fee of $8 once you reach the beach.
See Related: Best Travel Sandals for Beach Destinations
4. Malibu Lagoon State Beach
Address: 23200 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
Are you still looking for places to visit in Malibu on your upcoming trip? How about reserving a day specifically to enjoy the beautiful Malibu Lagoon State Beach?
Managed by California State Parks, this beach is also famously referred as the Surfrider Beach. Interestingly, this place is where the Pacific Ocean meets Malibu Creek. You will find many different attractions on this beach. For instance, the Surfrider Bridge was the first spot that gave life to modern surfing culture.
There is also a Malibu Pier on the east side of this beach with many restaurants. Moreover, the pier is perfect for experiencing great views and enjoying some fishing. The beach also has a “use area” with nature trails and picnic tables. If you are with your family or partner, you can enjoy these spots and experience bird watching.
Get on the Pacific Coast Highway and proceed towards 101 Freeway to reach this state beach. Then cross the Malibu Canyon to reach your destination. This State beach has a parking fee that varies according to hours. So, for instance, if you choose an all-day parking option, you will have to pay $12.
However, for three hours, it is $9, and for two hours, you will have to pay $6. These rates are for every car. This place closes after sunset and opens around 8 in the morning. Dogs are only allowed in the parking lot, so make sure you abide by the rules.
See Related: 18 Best Things to Do In Big Bear, California
5. Adamson House
Address: 23200 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, United States
Since we are already talking about Malibu Lagoon State Beach, it is important to add another one of the best Malibu activities to experience. Adamson House overlooks Surfrider Beach and Malibu lagoon. Designed in 1929, the Adamson House is a showplace containing many beautiful historical artifacts.
Moreover, this place itself is a famous landmark in Malibu and part of the National Register of Historic Places.
So, what to expect before you visit this place? The Adamson House is often called the “The Taj Mahal of Tile.” It has a unique interior and exterior and was built by Frederick Hastings Rindge and May Knight Rindge to gift their daughter.
This property has a 60 feet Persian rug made of tiles. Besides, the kitchen, floor, bathrooms, and even fountains are made of beautiful custom tiles. You will love this place for its eccentric existence. The Adamson House is free for kids under 5.
However, if you are between 6 and 17 years, you will have to pay $10. Anyone above this age range has to pay $25 for their ticket. You can get the latest rates from reception or the official website.
In addition, you will have to park at Cross Creek Road and then cross the bridge to reach here.
See Related: 12 Best Things to Do in Eureka, California
6. Malibu Lagoon Museum
Quite close to the Adam House, you will also come across the Malibu Lagoon Museum. This place is home to many beautiful artifacts and pieces that will take you through the history of California.
The historical anecdotes on the Chumash tribe and California Ranchos help you explore more about this region. Moreover, you also get to learn about the history of surfing and how it was initiated in California.
Fortunately, the ticket for the museum and the Adamson House is the same.
If you want to benefit from a discount, you can book yourself on a regular tour and pay less for each ticket. Please visit the website for further information, as both these attractions are closed on holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year Ever.
7. Malibu Country Mart
Address: 3835 Cross Creek Road Malibu, CA 90265
Are you looking for some fun things to do in Malibu, such as going on a shopping spree? In that case, you need to spare a day for the Malibu Country Mart.
This is a high-end boutique mall located on 6-acres of land. Malibu Country Mart is a favorite shopping spot for many people in business and celebrities as it is also famous for its to-notch play and dining options.
It is safe to call this mart a lifestyle center. From fashion to repair works, this place has all kinds of shops that will make your visit to Malibu quite comfortable.
One of the best things about the Malibu Country Mart is that it is surrounded by beautiful sculptures and gardens. Moreover, if you want to relax or eat out with your family, many picnic spots are available to accommodate you.
If you are done exploring this mart but still want to visit more shops, check out the modern and well-built Malibu Lumber Yard. This place is quite close to the mart and is more of the mart’s extension.
You may also spot a celebrity doing groceries here, so take that opportunity and add this place to your list of things to do in Malibu CA.
There is no entry fee for this attraction. Moreover, the parking is entirely free. The retail shops are open from 10 am to 7 pm. However, cafes and restaurants have varying schedules.
See Related: 12 Best Things to do in Three Rivers, California
8. The Getty Villa
Are you a history buff and looking for Malibu things to do that might strike your interest? In that case, visit the Getty Villa, which is a free attraction in the city. This place has a very rich history which will make you quite excited about your visit. However, you will have to reserve your visit before arriving here.
The Getty Villa was initially a home but later was renovated and converted into a beautiful museum. From Roman art to ocean breezes and tranquil gardens, the Getty Villa will leave you spellbound in many ways.
This one-of-a-kind destination is a country house with a jaw-dropping exterior. The main entrance is huge and offers a beautiful sight of gardens within this property.
Inside, there are galleries on Floors 1 and 2. These floors exhibit Roman and Greek antiquities, including engraved gems and a mummy. On the second floor, there are temporary exhibitions. In these exhibitions, you will find different collections of Getty and some other pieces from around the world.
After exploring the insides, you can move out and enjoy the exuberant walkways, huge garden, and reflecting pool. This place also gives you some jaw-dropping views of the extraordinary Pacific Ocean.
The Getty Villa offers “Garden Tea” on Saturdays and Thursdays. However, make sure to reserve a spot for yourself to enjoy a fancy tea time.
After exploring the whole space and loving it, you can buy some postcards, accessories, and even books to take home with you. The museum store sells pretty affordable items that will remind you of this place after the trip is over.
The Getty Villa is closed on Tuesday and the timings for other days are between 10 am to 5 pm. Here is the address to follow once you get here: 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, USA. On your arrival, park your vehicle in the well-built parking lot at the Getty Villa.
For more information on family trips and group visitors, you can visit the official website and explore your options. Interestingly, you can also download a free app, the GettyGuide, on your phone and let it assist you during your museum tour.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in San Diego
9. Malibu Hindu Temple
Address: 1600 Las Virgenes Canyon Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302, United States
In the list of best things to do in Malibu, add a day solely committed to visiting the Malibu Hindu Temple. This place is not located within the city but is quite close to Calabasas, California.
Unfortunately, many visitors overlook this attraction as fancy homes and huge estates surround it. But on my recommendation, plan a visit and experience this beautiful place built for worship.
The Malibu Hindu Temple has exotic architecture and contains many rooms designed to serve a purpose.
There is a sanctuary for the Indian god Shiva. Besides, you will also see a chamber that works as a space to conduct religious services.
An outdoor deck has multiple shrines which welcome you to this place. If you love learning about different religions, this temple will be a great break from beaches and food places in Malibu.
Moreover, if you plan a visit on the weekend, make sure to not leave without enjoying the vegetarian food served by the temple’s kitchen staff.
See Related: 18 Fun & Best Things to Do in Red Bluff, California
10. Malibu Creek State Park
Address: 1925 Las Virgenes Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302, United States
This picturesque state park will make a great addition to your Malibu California things-to-do list. In addition, this beautiful park covers almost 8,000 acres of land and is located in the Santa Monica Mountains.
The Malibu Creek State Park is a lovely and peaceful campground that offers perfect views for sightseeing. While exploring this park, you will come across oak savannas, tall grass plains, and beautiful peaks.
No wonder this place is referred to as “The Yosemite of Southern California.” Moreover, some locals also call it the Crown Jewel of the Santa Monica Mountains. Here’s a fun fact. This park first opened to the public in 1976. Before that, for many years, 20th Century Fox Studios owned it and used it to film movies such as the Planet of the Apes.
If you are into hiking, this attraction will give you beautiful trails to enjoy your passion. While walking or climbing, you may also spot some wildlife animals carefreely wandering to make your day.
To reach this destination, take the Pacific Coast Highway, cross the canyon tunnel, and turn left just before reaching Mulholland Hwy. Entry to this attraction is free, but you will have to pay a parking fee. It is $12 for a whole day parking facility. Unfortunately, the entry of dogs is only limited to campgrounds and the parking lot.
See Related: Best Things to do in Southern California
11. Meyer Memorial State Beach
Address: Malibu, CA 90265, United States
If you are in Malibu, add the Meyer Memorial State Beach to your Malibu things to do list. That’s because you won’t find a place as peaceful as this one in California.
Unfortunately, many people do not know much about this beach. But if you want to experience the soft sand and spend some time surfing in a less crowded attraction, I can’t recommend this place enough.
So, what does this place have to offer? From swimming to beachcombing and bird watching, you can experience all these activities in this beautiful place.
What’s more, the Meyer Memorial State Beach is located perfectly between Leo Carrillo State Park and Point Dume State Beach, so you won’t find this attraction deserted at any time of the day.
There are no tickets for this beach, but you might have to pay a parking fee. Three small beaches cover this great state beach, and each has a separate parking lot.
To reach this place, you will have to travel to the west side of Malibu for 10 miles on Highway 1.
12. Nicholas Canyon Beach
Address: 33850 CA-1, Malibu, CA 90265, United States
Another peaceful place on the list of things to do in Malibu, Nicholas Canyon Beach, features an idyllic setting. Also, it is a paradise for a surfer.
Referred to as “Point Zero” or “Zeros” by locals, Nicholas Canyon Beach offers opportunities for many different activities such as swimming, body surfing, scuba diving, and wind sailing.
If you are visiting Malibu with your family, this beach has a huge frontage that you can explore with your kids and partner. In addition, there are picnic tables, restrooms, and ample space for sunbathing and other activities. What’s more, the parking lot is pretty huge, and it can easily accommodate 150 cars at a time.
While in Nicholas Canyon Beach, you can also visit the Wishtoyo Foundation’s Chumash Village. This is a Native American attraction, and you can only visit it by appointment. Luckily, this attraction is pretty accessible if traveling on the Pacific Coast Highway.
13. Solstice Canyon
Address: 3455 Solstice Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265, United States
Solstice Canyon is another place that you can add to your things to do in Malibu list. It is located in the Santa Monica Mountains and is a popular destination in California.
This place has a lot of historical value. Solstice Canyon has several hikes to enjoy strenuous, moderate, and easy hiking. In addition, if you are not interested in hiking, the place has many spots perfect for a picnic or just for sitting down and soaking in the sun.
What’s more, if you are up for a challenge, you can climb on the Rising Sun trail and experience an adrenaline rush like never before.
You can also choose the Perennial waterfall as your hiking destination. While walking on this path, you may also come across alligators, birds, fence lizards, and woodpeckers.
As you walk towards the waterfall, you will also encounter the remains of the Keller House. This hunting cabin was built long ago, but unfortunately, the fires in 2007 damaged it completely.
There are also stone building ruins, the Roberts Ranch house built in 1952.
Luckily, it is very easy to arrive at this tourist attraction. If you are on the Pacific Coast Highway, turn towards Corral Canyon Rd and then drive towards the park entrance.
14. Malibu Farm
Address: 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, United States
Let’s take a break from Malibu beaches and explore a beautiful farm in this area. The Malibu Farm is not just land with animals and grass, but it has a café and a restaurant to feed you healthy food during your trip.
The Malibu Farm Café and the Malibu Farm Restaurant are on the Malibu Pier. This restaurant has a beautiful location and is a perfect place to view the waterfront.
However, the most amazing thing about this eatery is that it serves the best food in California, using only farm-grown ingredients. Why do locals and tourists love this place? That’s because the restaurant believes in sustainable food production and creating delicious food items for its visitors.
While every person’s taste preference may vary, I recommend you try the open-face omelet and the cauliflower pizza to experience different and mouth-watering dishes. Farm Café runs on the same principles and follows the concept of sustainability. Locals love their breakfast burritos, so make sure to try them as well.
This place is very close to other main attractions and is quite easy to reach on the Pacific Coast Highway.
15. Malibu Family Wines and Malibu Wine Safari
If you are looking to experience different activities in Malibu CA, I recommend you try the local wine of this area. California is famous for its vineyards, and there are many you will find in Malibu.
To enjoy great drinks, you can try the Malibu Family Wines. This place has a shop and conducts different events throughout the year. Malibu Family Wines specializes in premium wines that taste amazing. In addition, you can shop for Semler and Saddlerock wines crafted with beautiful ingredients.
What’s more, the place hosts movie nights from July to October. If you are in town, you can also participate in the Yoga & Mimosas program.
Another experience that might strike your fancy is the Malibu Wine Safari. Even if you are with kids, this adventurous venture conducts tours to vineyards where you can explore the art of wine-making and may even spot some exotic animals.
In addition, you can taste a freshly-prepared wine and simultaneously feed the wild animals around you.
16. Neptune’s Nest
Address: 42505 CA-1, Malibu, CA 90265, United States
Do you love seafood? If yes, Neptune’s Nest is your place to go. After enjoying the tide pools of the Malibu beaches, take a break and explore Neptune’s Nest which has a pre-luxury charm and is quite famous among bikers.
This place is divided into two different parts. The Restaurant Side serves canned beverages and fried food to curb your hunger. On the other hand, the Seafood Side is a place to enjoy some draft beer and fresh seafood.
Interestingly, the beautiful vibe of this place has got this eatery featured in many movies and shows. You might spot this place in The Fast and Furious, Point Break, and Gilmore Girls.
Address: 27400 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, United States
Opened in 1948, Geoffrey’s provides a luxury dining experience and can be one of your favorite things to do in Malibu if you have a good travel budget. Thanks to its exotic views, great menu, and excellent service, celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Lana Turner have visited this place more often.
This exotic eatery offers a classy and intimate setting for indoor and outdoor dining. The terrace in this restaurant overlooks a stunning ocean. Moreover, the elegant dining rooms offer an upscale experience that you might not find anywhere in Malibu.
You can always explore the menu while there. However, on my recommendation, try their main dish Ahi Tuna Tartar and stuffed puff pastry.
18. Duke’s Malibu
Address: 21150 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, United States
I know this guide may make you hungry, but visiting these restaurants is one of the best Malibu things to do. Duke’s Malibu is a famous bar/restaurant that will transport you from Malibu to Hawaii within seconds. This place is located quite close to the waterfront and can add a lot of fun to your trip to this city.
Named after a well-known surfing legend, Duke Kahanamoku, Duke’s Malibu serves many delicious dishes such as the Crispy Coconut Shrimp and Poke Tacos.
If you plan a visit during breakfast, you will find many food options such as the Breakfast Burrito and Avocado Toast. What’s more, you can also order unique cocktails and beers to upscale your dining experience.
Are you looking for a delicious dessert? The Hula Pie will transport you to another world. The Duke’s Malibu is an affordable bar with many offerings. You can visit this place while exploring the Santa Monica Mountains.
19. Nobu Malibu
Address: 22706 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, United States
Our final option for things to do in Malibu California is visiting another eatery, the Nobu Malibu.
This place is a modern and fun spot that offers great food and gorgeous scenery to its guests. In addition, it is run by a very famous chef who makes the best dishes, such as the Black Cod Miso and the Rock Shrimp Tempura.
When it comes to the restaurant’s architecture, you will find a lot of resemblance with Japanese buildings. Spots such as an outdoor lounge area are perfect for relaxing under the sun and enjoying your favorite drinks from the in-house bar.
You can find Nobu Malibu on Pacific Coast Highway. If you are using a car, there is a large parking space near this attraction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions asked by people before visiting Malibu for the first time.
What to Do in Malibu at Night?
Lucky for you, this town sleeps pretty late. In that case, you have many things to enjoy at night.
If you are looking for adventure, you can join the LA Ghosts walking tour or you can hop on a helicopter and explore the city lights from the sky.
Fortunately, many cafes and bars in this area close late, so you can enjoy a late dinner by the ocean.