Top 10 Best Things to Do in Malibu California in 2024

Introduction to Malibu California

Malibu, California is a picturesque coastal city located in Southern California. Renowned for its stunning beaches, beautiful hiking trails, and vibrant food scene, Malibu offers a plethora of activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sandy shores, embark on an adventurous hike, or indulge in exquisite cuisine, Malibu has something to offer for everyone. In this article, we will explore the best things to do in Malibu, from exploring its pristine beaches to discovering its hidden gems.

Top 10 Things to Do in Malibu Beyond Beaches and Surfing

Malibu is renowned for its stunning beaches and world-class surfing locations, making it a popular destination for celebrities, socialites, and laid-back tourists seeking a relaxing vacation. However, many people are unaware of the hidden gems that lie beyond the sandy shores of Malibu. Instead, those seeking sightseeing and a wide array of activities often opt for nearby Los Angeles.

It’s a missed opportunity, as Malibu has a wealth of attractions waiting to be explored. To truly experience the area’s diverse offerings, consider engaging in these 20 enticing activities in Malibu, and unlock a whole new dimension beyond the traditional sun, sea, and surf.
From exploring the scenic hiking trails in the Santa Monica Mountains to visiting the Getty Villa, there are plenty of options for those looking to delve deeper into Malibu’s cultural and natural wonders.

Take a stroll along the Malibu Pier and indulge in fresh seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants, or venture inland to discover the vibrant local art scene. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a taste of the local culture, Malibu has something for everyone beyond its beautiful beaches.

1.Embrace History at Adamson House Museum

Adamson House Museum

The Adamson House, built in 1929, showcases the exquisite Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. Adorned with intricately designed tiles on its exterior, complemented by elegant classic furniture within, and encompassed by breathtaking gardens, this beach house has been transformed into a museum.

Here, visitors have the opportunity to witness and admire the distinctive historical styles of the region firsthand.
The museum offers guided tours that provide in-depth information about the architectural features and historical significance of the Adamson House. Visitors can also explore the surrounding gardens, which feature a variety of native plants and offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling beach. Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast or simply looking for a serene escape, a visit to the Adamson House is a must-see experience. Adamson House Museum is at 23200 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265.

2.Explore the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, positioned just north of Malibu, holds the distinction of being the world’s largest urban national park.

Encompassing a sprawling 157,000 acres, this park boasts an extensive network of over 500 miles of hiking trails. With its diverse terrain, including flat and mountainous areas, breathtaking rock formations, rich wildlife, vibrant coastal chaparral, picturesque panoramic vistas, and charming picnic spots, the Santa Monica National Recreation Area presents an ideal opportunity to discover and savor the beauty of California’s landscape.
Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply seeking a peaceful escape from the city, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area offers something for everyone.

Immerse yourself in nature as you traverse the winding trails, taking in the awe-inspiring views and encountering the diverse wildlife that call this park home. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and soak up the serenity of the idyllic picnic areas nestled within this urban oasis. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is at 26876 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas, 91302.

3.Soak in the Sights at Point Dume

Point Dume

Point Dume, situated in Malibu, is a serene cove that marks the southernmost point of the area. Nestled within this rocky cove lies a captivating beach and sand dunes, tucked away from the bustling crowds, offering a remarkably peaceful ambiance. Elevated viewpoints along the bluff present awe-inspiring vistas of the Pacific Ocean and the enchanting Chanel Islands. Whether one seeks breathtaking panoramas or a leisurely day by the shore, Point Dume proves to be an idyllic destination. Point Dume is at Cliffside Drive & Birdview Avenue, Malibu, 90265.

4.Take a Stroll out on Malibu Pier

Built in approximately 1905, the Malibu Pier stands as a renowned landmark in Malibu. Extending into the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, this scenic destination comprises a charming assortment of shops and eateries. One can leisurely walk along the pier, procuring seaside essentials, and then unwind with a beverage or meal, all while admiring the breathtaking vistas and observing fellow visitors. Moreover, the pier’s distance from the shore makes it an ideal location for recreational fishing, as it experiences minimal water disturbances. Malibu Pier is at 23000 California Route 1, Malibu, 90265.

5.Go Swimming in Malibu Lagoon

Malibu Lagoon

The Malibu Lagoon, spanning across 110 acres, is a picturesque location boasting one of the most frequented beaches in the United States. It attracts visitors of all kinds, from tourists to celebrities, seeking solace on its pristine golden shores, away from the bustling beaches of LA. The lagoon itself offers a safe haven for swimmers, free from the strong currents that can be found in unprotected ocean areas. Moreover, the surrounding region is renowned as Surfrider Beach, a favored surfing destination and the world’s inaugural “World Surfing Reserve.” Malibu Lagoon is in Malibu, California, 90265.

6.Spot Some Whales at Malibu Bluffs Park

Malibu Bluffs Park, situated atop the hills, offers stunning panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. This picturesque community park is a favorite among families, providing ample space for outdoor activities like sports and play.

The park’s standout attraction is the renowned “Whale Watch” installation, featuring a creatively designed bench resembling a whale’s tail and equipped with telescopes. Visitors flock to this spot to enjoy the serene ambiance, observe the vast sea, and catch glimpses of the diverse marine life that thrives in the area.
The installation is not only visually appealing but also functional, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the ocean. Whether it’s spotting dolphins playing in the waves or catching a glimpse of a majestic whale breaching, the Whale Watch installation offers a unique and unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts of all ages.

So next time you visit Malibu Bluffs Park, don’t forget to take a moment to sit on the whale’s tail bench and marvel at the wonders of the sea. Malibu Bluffs Park is at 24250 California Route 1, Malibu, 90265.

7.Spend an Afternoon Relaxing on Little Dume Beach

Little Dume Beach exudes natural beauty as it boasts a pristine sandy shoreline embraced by majestic cliffs, resulting in an idyllic and secluded ambiance. While it offers some of the finest surfing conditions in the area, with its impressive waves, it remains a hidden gem compared to popular alternatives like Surfrider Beach.

Hence, it provides an ideal choice for individuals seeking a peaceful day riding the waves, away from the bustling crowds.
The beach is also known for its diverse marine life, making it a great spot for snorkeling and scuba diving.

The crystal-clear waters provide excellent visibility, allowing visitors to explore the vibrant underwater world. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a nature enthusiast, Little Dume Beach offers a tranquil and captivating experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Little Dume Beach is at 29208 Cliffside Drive, Malibu, 90265.

8.Uncover the Hidden Treasures of the Sea Cave

The Sea Cave, situated near Sequit Point, is a charming and isolated inlet within the Malibu cliffside. Although it can be challenging to locate and can only be accessed during low tide, it is definitely worth a visit when the opportunity arises.

This extensive cave, teeming with marine life and breathtaking scenery reminiscent of adventure films, offers a remarkable experience. Whether you seek an exhilarating expedition or a remarkable vantage point to witness the California sunset, few places compare to this extraordinary destination.
With its hidden location and limited accessibility, the Sea Cave offers a sense of exclusivity and adventure.

As you explore the depths of the cave, you’ll be captivated by the vibrant marine life and awe-inspiring rock formations. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a unique experience, the Sea Cave promises to leave a lasting impression on all who venture inside. The Sea Cave is at 36000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265.

9.Set Sail to Channel Islands National Park

The Chanel Islands National Park lies near the Malibu coast, boasts breathtaking views and landscapes, and is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is home to various rare animals like the island fox, island fence lizard, island night lizard, deer mouse, spotted skunk, and an array of vibrant plant life and aquatic wonders.

The park is easily accessible via regular boats from Oxnard and is the ideal spot for a Californian adventure.
Visitors to the park can enjoy a range of activities such as hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting. The diverse ecosystem of the Chanel Islands provides ample opportunities for nature enthusiasts to explore and discover new species.

Whether you’re a birdwatcher, a photographer, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, the Chanel Islands National Park is a must-visit destination in California.  Channel Islands National Park is at Channel Islands Harbor, 3900 Pelican Way, Oxnard, 93035.

10.Discover the Natural Beauty of Escondido Falls

Escondido Falls, situated in the heart of Escondido Canyon, is a mesmerizing waterfall that is divided into two distinct parts: the upper and lower sections. Explorers will embark on a scenic journey, traversing the canyon via a well-loved trail, encountering picturesque creeks and immersing themselves in the breathtaking Malibu scenery.

Eventually, they will be rewarded with the awe-inspiring sight of one of the region’s most remarkable natural wonders.
The upper section of Escondido Falls cascades down a rocky cliff, creating a dramatic display of rushing water. Its sheer power and beauty captivate visitors, making it a popular spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. The lower section, on the other hand, offers a more tranquil setting, with a gentle flow of water that creates a serene atmosphere perfect for relaxation and reflection. Escondido Falls is on Escondido Canyon Trail, Malibu, 90265.

Exploring the Beautiful Beaches of Malibu California

Malibu, California is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning coastline. One of the best things to do in Malibu in 2024 is to explore the Malibu coastline and visit popular beaches such as Paradise Cove Beach and El Matador Beach. Malibu boasts a quintessential Malibu beach experience with its sandy beaches and scenic views of Santa Monica Bay.

The Los Angeles area is also home to the Malibu Hindu Temple and the Malibu Civic Center. For a more laid-back beach day, head to Paradise Cove Beach Café or Malibu Farm Cafe for some delicious eats. Malibu Coastal Adventures offer guided tours of the area’s top attractions in Malibu, such as Point Dume Beach and Leo Carrillo State Park.

Exploring the Western Malibu beaches, like Nicholas Canyon Beach and County Line Beach, is a must for any visitor to this beloved Malibu area. The Malibu Hills offer a stunning backdrop to the private beaches and end of the pier views that can be found in Malibu. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sandy beaches or explore the Malibu attractions, there is something for everyone to see in Malibu.

Malibu is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in California. With its idyllic coastline stretching for 21 miles, visitors can enjoy sun-soaked days and stunning ocean views. Zuma Beach, known for its wide sandy shores and excellent surf, is a popular destination for beachgoers. Whether you’re looking to swim, sunbathe, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the shore, Zuma Beach has it all. Another must-visit beach in Malibu is El Matador State Beach, famous for its unique rock formations and picturesque sunsets. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the beauty of this hidden gem.

Fun Things to Do in Malibu

Malibu is famous for its scenic Malibu coastline and beautiful beaches. One of the top things to do in Malibu is to visit Malibu Lagoon State Beach, located just north of Santa Monica. This beach is known for its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and is a favorite spot for beach lovers in Los Angeles. Another must-see destination in Malibu is Malibu Lagoon State Park, which offers parkland in the Santa Monica foothills.

If you’re looking for a fun day trip, consider taking a boat to Santa Cruz Island or exploring the Malibu village. The best time to visit Malibu is during the migration of the California gray whales, when you can watch these majestic creatures from the shore. And of course, no trip to Malibu is complete without spending a day at Big Dume Beach, one of the most popular beach spots in southern California.

Apart from its pristine beaches, Malibu offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages. If you’re a thrill-seeker, consider taking a surfing lesson at Surfrider Beach, known for its excellent waves and iconic status in the surfing community.

For those who prefer a more relaxed experience, a visit to the Getty Villa is a must. This stunning museum showcases ancient Greek and Roman art and offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, wine enthusiasts can explore the Malibu Wine Trail, which offers tastings at various vineyards and wineries nestled in the scenic hills of Malibu.

Things to Do in Malibu for Couples

When visiting Malibu with your significant other, there are plenty of romantic activities to enjoy along the beautiful Malibu coastline. Just a short drive from Los Angeles, Malibu offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

One of the best things to do for couples is to simply hit the beach and enjoy a relaxing day by the water. Whether you prefer surfing, sunbathing, or romantic sunset strolls, there is a Malibu beach for every couple to enjoy. For those looking to explore the natural beauty around Malibu, a hike in the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Malibu is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. Couples can enjoy a sunset picnic at Point Dume State Beach, where they can admire panoramic views of the coastline while savoring a delicious meal. For a more adventurous experience, couples can embark on a horseback ride along the beach with the Malibu Riders. The gentle sound of waves crashing and the warm breeze create a truly magical ambiance. To end the evening, couples can indulge in a candlelit dinner at one of Malibu’s many waterfront restaurants, where they can enjoy fresh seafood and breathtaking views of the ocean.

Things to Do in Malibu at Night

Malibu is not just a beautiful beach town in southern California; it also offers a variety of activities to enjoy at night. One popular spot is Los Angeles’ famous Malibu Pier, where you can stroll along the boardwalk and take in the stunning views of the ocean under the stars. If you’re looking for some live music, head to one of the many bars and clubs in the area that frequently host local bands and DJs.

For a more laid-back evening, pack a picnic and watch the sunset at Malibu Lagoon State Beach with your loved ones. And if you’re in the mood for some adrenaline, consider signing up for a night surfing lesson to catch some waves in the moonlight. No matter what you choose to do, Malibu at night is sure to captivate you with its beauty and charm.

Malibu may be known for its beautiful beaches, but the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. The Malibu Pier is a vibrant nightlife hub, offering a variety of entertainment options. Visitors can enjoy live music performances, grab a drink at a beachfront bar, or simply take a romantic stroll along the pier under the moonlight. For those who prefer a more laid-back evening, a visit to the Malibu Country Mart is a must. This upscale shopping center transforms into a cozy gathering place at night, with its charming boutiques and inviting cafes.

Hiking Trails and Outdoor Activities in Malibu

Nature enthusiasts will be delighted by the wide range of hiking trails and outdoor activities available in Malibu. The Solstice Canyon Trail is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. This scenic trail takes you through a picturesque canyon, offering stunning views of waterfalls and lush greenery. For a more challenging hike, consider exploring the Backbone Trail, which spans 67 miles and offers breathtaking views of the Santa Monica Mountains.

If you’re looking for a unique outdoor experience, Malibu Creek State Park is a must-visit. This park offers opportunities for hiking, camping, and even rock climbing. For those who prefer water activities, Malibu has plenty to offer as well. The beach at Point Dume State Beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and even whale watching during the migration season. If you’re feeling more adventurous, consider renting a kayak or paddleboard to explore the stunning coastline from a different perspective.

Malibu is also home to numerous vineyards and wineries, making it a great destination for wine lovers. Take a wine tasting tour to sample some of California’s finest wines while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Malibu countryside.
No matter what outdoor activities you enjoy, Malibu has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike, a relaxing day at the beach, or a leisurely wine tasting tour, Malibu’s natural beauty and diverse outdoor offerings are sure to impress.

Top Attractions and Landmarks in Malibu California

In addition to its natural beauty, Malibu is also home to several top attractions and landmarks. The iconic Malibu Pier, stretching 780 feet into the ocean, is a symbol of the city and offers stunning views of the coastline. The Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum is another must-visit destination, showcasing the history and culture of Malibu through exhibits and guided tours. For a taste of Hollywood glamour, a visit to the Getty Villa is a must. This stunning villa, modeled after an ancient Roman country house, houses an impressive collection of art and artifacts.

Where is Malibu California Located?

Malibu California is located in Southern California, approximately 30 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. Nestled between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Malibu offers a unique blend of natural beauty and coastal charm. Its proximity to Los Angeles makes it an easily accessible destination for both locals and tourists alike.

Accommodation Options in Malibu California

When visiting Malibu, there are several accommodation options to choose from. From luxurious beachfront hotels to charming vacation rentals, there is something to suit every traveler’s needs. The Malibu Beach Inn offers upscale accommodations with breathtaking ocean views, while the Surfrider Malibu provides a trendy boutique hotel experience. For those looking for a more secluded getaway, the Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club offers rustic-chic accommodations amidst the stunning Malibu landscape.

Dining and Food Scene in Malibu California

Malibu is a haven for food lovers, with its vibrant dining scene offering a wide variety of culinary delights. For seafood enthusiasts, a visit to Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market & Patio Cafe is a must. This local favorite serves up fresh seafood dishes with a stunning ocean view. For a taste of California cuisine, Nobu Malibu is the place to be. This world-renowned restaurant offers a fusion of traditional Japanese flavors with a modern twist. Additionally, Malibu Farm Restaurant, located on the Malibu Pier, offers farm-to-table dining with a focus on organic and locally sourced ingredients.

Shopping in Malibu California

For those looking to indulge in some retail therapy, Malibu offers a variety of shopping options. The Malibu Country Mart is a popular destination, featuring a collection of upscale boutiques, galleries, and cafes. Here, visitors can find everything from designer clothing to unique home decor items. Another must-visit shopping destination is the Malibu Lumber Yard, an outdoor shopping center that offers a mix of high-end retailers and local boutiques. Whether you’re looking for the latest fashion trends or one-of-a-kind souvenirs, Malibu has it all.

Events and Festivals in Malibu California

Throughout the year, Malibu hosts a variety of events and festivals that showcase the city’s vibrant culture and community spirit. The Malibu Arts Festival, held annually in July, features works of art from local and national artists. Visitors can browse through a wide range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and jewelry. Another popular event is the Malibu Chili Cook-Off and Carnival, held over Labor Day weekend. This family-friendly event offers live music, carnival rides, and of course, delicious chili tastings. From art and music to food and wine, Malibu’s events and festivals offer something for everyone to enjoy.

Should You Rent A Car?

Yes, you should rent a car. especially if you are flying in or really just want to surprise that special someone. Renting a car is an excellent option for getting around the state and exploring its many natural wonders.

Tip: Can be expensive-check out our partners at for the best deals.

Where to find the best deals on flights and hotels

Finding the best deals on flights and hotels can be a challenge. Luckily, we have you covered!

Many travel websites offer discounted rates on flights and hotels, so check out these sites if you’re looking for something specific in Washington state or just want an idea of what’s available. 

Our top two picks are as follow…

  • Expedia: Well known for having good deals
  • WayAway: The option to get cash back, you can learn about the cash back option here.

Conclusion: Experience the Best of Malibu California

From its stunning beaches to its breathtaking hiking trails, Malibu California offers a wealth of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sandy shores, explore the natural beauty of the Santa Monica Mountains, or indulge in exquisite cuisine, Malibu has something to offer for everyone. Plan your visit to this coastal paradise and experience the best that Malibu California has to offer.

Dream Vacations:

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I’m Nick — a traveler and photographer with a knack for shooting the world’s most beautiful places. Over the last decade, I’ve circled the globe, visiting countless countries, to bring home photos that cross language barriers. With fluency in five tongues, I believe in the power of communication to unlock culture. My travel blog, Traveling Kangaroo (yes, it’s a real animal!), is here to inspire you to take your own leap around this rock. I’ll continue to post about my journeys as I explore everything our world has to offer — one adventure at a time.