What to Do in Malibu

While many guests come to Malibu Island for the peaceful solitude and relaxation the mountaintop site offers, there are plenty of options for those who want to venture out into the region. Whether it’s hiking, beach going, dining, or wine tasting, among other activities, there is plenty to do in Malibu. Here’s a representative sampling of the possibilities.

Hiking | Beaches | Dining | Wineries

Hiking

What to do in Malibu: Hiker in Latigo Canyon
With its many parks and wilderness areas, Malibu offers a wealth of hiking trails suitable for all ages and levels of experience. Among the closest to Malibu Island are the following:

  • Charmlee Wilderness Park. The trails in this nearby park—less than two miles from Malibu Island—offer ocean views and easy to moderate hikes.
  • Malibu Springs Trail. Well suited to more experienced and adventurous hikers, this seven-mile trail leads from Mulholland Highway to Nicholas Flat and its idyllic pond, and provides a wealth of mountain and ocean views.
  • Escondido Falls. Beginning in a high-end Malibu neighborhood, this four-mile round-trip trail leads to the Escondido Falls in the Santa Monica Mountains. You may conclude your hike at the 50-foot lower falls, or continue to the more spectacular upper falls, some 150 feet high.
  • Rocky Oaks Park. Exploring the two miles of trails in this tiny park, you can savor the unique character of the Santa Monica mountains. Features include a shady oak forest and a seasonal pond once used to water cattle.
  • Point Dume Natural Preserve. Complementing mountain hikes are ocean trails like those in this California state park, ideal for beach access, sunset views, and whale watching.
  • Point Mugu State Park. For gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands, the trails at Point Mugu park, from two to three miles long, are hard to beat.

To discover many more hiking options available within 10 miles of Malibu Island, we recommend the Hikespeak website.

Beaches

What to do in Malibu: Visit Point Dume Beach
No visit to Malibu is complete without a trip to the beach. Here are just a few of the options for guests of Malibu Island:

  • El Pescador, La Piedra, and El Matador beaches are nearest to Malibu Island. These charming “pocket beaches” are part of the Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach.  Be forewarned, parking is limited at these small beaches.
  • A short distance to the north and offering substantially more parking is the Nicholas Canyon County Beach.
  • The beach at the Leo Carrillo State Park offers a wide range of activities including swimming, surfing, and surf fishing. Beachcombers will appreciate the park’s tidepools, coastal caves, and reefs.
  • The wide, four-mile-long expanse of Zuma Beach provides plenty of room for all kinds of activities, including rides along its scenic bicycle path.
  • The scenery at Point Dume is spectacular, and makes an ideal location for whale watching in the winter.
  • Though farthest from Malibu Island, the Malibu Lagoon State Beach is home to several attractions well worth the 18-mile drive, including the iconic Malibu Pier, the Adamson House, and the Malibu Lagoon Museum.

Dining

What to do in Malibu: Dining out
A wide selection of dining options can be found in nearby Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, and Agoura Hills, as well as in Malibu. Among the closest restaurants to Malibu Island are the following:

Wineries

What to do in Malibu: Wine tasting
Recently recognized as an official American Viticultural Area, the hillsides of Malibu are now home to more than 50 vineyards. Although most of the wineries are still too new or too small to offer public access, the following locations offer a chance to sample the region’s vintages:

For more details on these tasting rooms, see the April 2015 Los Angeles Times article by S. Irene Virbila.

More to Do in Malibu

And for more ideas on what to do in Malibu, see these suggestions from Trip AdvisorLonely Planet, and Sunset magazine.

Photo credits, top to bottom: Latigo Canyon, National Park Service; Dume Beach, Matt Kiefer; wine glass, Mohamed Aymen Bettaieb; shrimp dish, Adri.