Wondering if Malibu is worth visiting, even if just for a day? I actually found more things to do in Malibu, California than I expected. They don’t call it the 21 miles of scenic beauty for nothing, the drive from Venice Beach to Malibu was one of the most scenic sections of the Pacific Coast Highway. Whether you are looking to do a day trip to Malibu, or you want to spend a luxurious weekend away there are quite a lot of things to do in Malibu.

If you are looking to escape the craziness of Los Angeles, a short day trip to Malibu could be the answer for you. While there are the star studded restaurants and Malibu shopping that could occupy your time, let this be your guide to Malibu for all budgets to enjoy the beaches, and outdoors during your time in Malibu. 

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Lunch with a view at Malibu Pier aka Malibu Farm Malibu

To start off the day head to Malibu Fishing Pier, where you can grab an amazing breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can even eat at the end of the 700 ft plus long pier surrounded by the waves crashing on the pier as you dine at Malibu Farm. 

This laid back restaurant was a great break from the posh restaurants of Los Angeles. Feeling and smelling the fresh ocean breeze, with a coffee in hand was a great way to start a day of sightseeing.

Malibu Farm was great, there is actually a restaurant at the beginning of the pier and than a cafe at the end of the pier. I chose to eat at the end of the pier for the experience. I tried the scrumptious Swedish Pancakes with berries, and the Surfers rancheros both dishes were done to perfection.

Learn About The History Of Malibu Pier on A Day Trip To Malibu

This Pier has been standing since 1905, and was originally used for agricultural trade purposes. It was opened in the 1930s for the public to enjoy and expanded over the years where people could come for a stroll and fish. After getting badly damaged by storms it closed from 1997- 2008. Now there are shops, a restaurant on the pier, and people still come to fish and watch the surfers at the nearby Surfrider Beach. 

Tips: Parking can be difficult around Surfrider Beach and Malibu Fishing Pier. I would pay $15 USD if you are short on time for the parking lot by the pier, especially on the weekend. 

Point Dume State Beach 

A short drive from the Malibu Fishing Pier and Malibu Farm, is the underrated Point Dume State Beach. Point Dume is perfect for a laidback hike, with jaw dropping views. The 1.4 mile hike was perfect to digest the food I just had, and to get some fresh air. I was there during spring and while California has become accustomed to droughts, I was lucky they received more rain than usual that winter, because the wildflowers were in full bloom all over Point Dume. 

Point Dume is great for heading down to the beaches on either side of it, but a favorite is Westward Beach. However, when you are here you may get lucky and get to do some whale watching. Check out the Youtube below to see what I am talking about!!!! 

There are also falcons, dolphins, and more wildlife that you can come across at Point Dume. The parking situation can be a bit difficult at the trailhead, so head here early if you want to get a spot closer to the tip of Point Dume otherwise it will be a hike up from Westward Beach. 

El Matador Beach 

El Matador Beach is only 8 minutes away from Point Dume State Beach. I did not know what to expect when we came here, but it was a beautiful spot to enjoy golden hour and sunset. El Matador Beach is down a short inclined path, and than stairs, but the rock formations, massive mansions along the waterfront, and the sunset made the hike worth it. 

While here we took sandwiches we got from the Malibu Country Mart to enjoy a picnic on the beach. 

Zuma Beach 

Zuma Beach is an expansive beach that actually stretches from Point Dume’s Westward Beach as far as the eye can see. If you want a day at the beach, Zuma Beach offers a lot of room to spread out, beach volleyball courts, and there is plenty of parking. Zuma Beach stretches for 1.8 miles. There are restrooms and food concessions here as well so it makes it a great beach to spend the day. 

Surfrider Beach – Learn how to Surf or SUP

One of the most famous beaches for surfing in Southern California happens to be in Malibu, California. Surfrider Beach is the perfect place to try your hand at surfing with some lessons. The larger park is called Malibu Lagoon State Beach and it includes the Adamson House a historic home that has been overlooking Malibu Beach since 1929. Want to try something less intense, why not stand up paddle board- SUP with this Viator Tour.

Visitors can now tour the house and the Malibu Lagoon Museum to learn more about the history of Malibu. 

Malibu Shopping 

Malibu Country Mart 

Not far from Malibu Pier is the Malibu Country Mart. Maybe after your Pure Barre Class or yoga class you want to grab a snack or go shopping. Malibu Country Mart has it all including upscale boutiques, and dining from casual to Gourmet. Malibu Mutt’s Grille has come highly recommended for their low key yummy burgers. 

Trancas Market 

I pulled into this shopping center for the Vintage Grocers to grab some food to go to picnic on the beach. There is also a restaurant, Starbucks, and other boutiques. It is a nice place to relax outside as well with a coffee. 

Getty Villa 

Another thing that must be on your list of things to do in Malibu is visit the Getty Villa. Go back in time as you peruse the ancient Roman and Greek artifacts on display. This place will make you feel as if you are in Greece or Rome while you explore the expansive grounds as well as art. It definitely wasn’t what I expected in Malibu. 

Visit Topanga CAFE 27 

While I didn’t get to eat here this spot was highly recommended. The terraced outdoor dining overlooking the Santa Monica Mountain Range is definitely a unique dining experience. If you want to get away from Malibu and see it from above Cafe 27 is the spot. 

Where to stay in Malubu 

Malibu Beach Inn $$$$

Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club $$$$

Vrbo is my suggestion if you are not wanting to break the bank entirely, but want to have a range of amazing accommodations. 

Check Out My Youtube Video: A Malibu Day Trip For All Budgets

This video will give you the best idea of what a day trip to Malibu is like and some things to do in Malibu as well!

What do you think do a day trip to Malibu? Or spend the night?

If you are looking for more things to do in the Los Angeles area check out my article on things to do in Venice Beach, California.

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Here is your guide to to the perfect day trip to Malibu for all budgets, including what to do, outdoor activities, where to stay and eat.