5 Must Do things in Malibu
1. Drive down the Pacific Coast Highway
The stunning views of the drive along the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica to Malibu is reason enough to make the trip to the posh beach town inhabited by celebrities. For the star struck souls, there are Hollywood Celebrity Homes’ tours for Malibu that you can take from Los Angeles to hopefully spot someone you’ve only seen on the big screen.
How to get to Malibu from Los Angeles
I took the metro from Hollywood/Vine to Downtown Santa Monica, which took me approximately 1 hour, and boarded the 534 bus from Downtown Santa Monica to Malibu which was an hour as well. The bus routes and timings can be found at www.moovitapp.com
2. Take a walk on Malibu Pier
The gorgeous Malibu pier reminds one of a picture postcard with the stunning blue of the water below, an all white pier with white and blue buildings on the pier. The sight of families enjoying their weekend with a picnic on the pier, a little girl running with her ice cream cone, a father teaching his son to tie a bait to the fishing line were reminiscent of home and the simple pleasures of childhood.
The Malibu Farm restaurant is beautiful on the inside as is the view from its patio seating. The Ranch at the Pier has the cutest souvenirs and beach wear, and is worth the visit, but tread carefully as there are no prices on the merchandise; which had me looking for the exit with even more fervour than my dash to the shops with the SALE sign on the window! Again, I assume, true to the Malibu style of shopping!
3. Surf at Malibu Lagoon State Beach
The beach at Malibu Pier and Malibu Lagoon State Beach are both popular surfing destinations, while the Malibu Pier forms the eastern boundary of the world’s first surf reserve.
How to get to Malibu Lagoon State Beach
Malibu Lagoon State Beach is a short 10-minute walk away from the Malibu Pier. It is located at the point where Malibu Creek meets the ocean, and pools up to form Malibu Lagoon.
I witnessed my first surfing competition with a big crowd of surfing enthusiasts and sports photographers, all of whom were transfixed by the acrobats of the sea. I watched in awe as each contestant skilfully glided through the water, caught the wave of their liking and rode the unpredictable wave with finesse, balancing on the board like a gymnast unfazed by the change in the wave, only to come back with the surf rolling onto the white sandy beach. The temptation to try my hand at surfing is mounting- if only I were a stronger swimmer!
4.Hike to Escondido Falls
Where does the Hiking Trail start?
The hike starts at Winding Way Trail (27807 Pacific Coast Highway) where you can park your car. There is a Porta Potty behind the parking lot which is the only restroom around the trail, so brace yourselves and use it, else you can let nature deal with your call from nature!
I don’t usually need an excuse to go to the beach, but I wanted my day at the beach to be rewarding, so I decided to hike to the Escondido Falls in Malibu first.
It is a moderate 6km hike to and from the falls, with a fairly steep uphill climb in between, but worry not, as the trail levels out soon, and hallelujah for when parts of the trail goes downhill. I passed a few beautiful homes at the beginning of the trail (I got to see what these homes are like without going out of my way for it) before reaching the signage for ‘Edward Albert Escondido Canyon Trail and Waterfall.’ Take the left downhill towards the thicket and you will start to see the creek. The trail is clearly marked so you won’t get lost in the wilderness. You feel one with nature as you go deeper down the trail, almost as though it’s just you and the sounds of the insects and birds. This trail is dog friendly; so feel free to bring your furry friends for a nice day out.
My excitement to see the falls was mounting, the summer heat was getting to me, and I was running low on water. Then finally, I hear voices in the distance, and maybe the sound of splashing water. I quicken my pace, almost at a jog now, I’m almost there, and I’m ecstatic! But the end to my long and tiring hike was almost anticlimactic- there was no waterfall! All I got was a trickle from the gargantuan rocks in front of me! That is when it dawned on me, California was almost in a drought, and it was the end of summer, so most of the water had dried up.
Best time to visit the Escondido Falls
The best time to view the falls is the beginning of the year, so please keep that in mind before you start your hike there.
Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a glass half-full kind of girl, so I let the beauty of the creek, the trickling water from between lush green rocks, the dogs jumping in for their swim, and the fresh clean air around take me over.
5. Relax at Paradise Cove Beach
How to get to Paradise Cove Beach
The walk from Winding Way Trailhead to Paradise Cove Beach was about 0.8 km and took me just under 15 minutes.
The beautiful beach, the pier and especially the Paradise Cove Beach Café that serves up really good food, was a sight for sore eyes! The beach is small and you can rent beach chairs and cabanas, but be aware that they are a bit pricey, true to Malibu style. I walked up to the pier to enjoy the views the economical way, seated on the many benches facing the water. Since it was the weekend, it was getting crowded pretty fast, so I decided to head on over to Malibu Pier and Malibu Lagoon State Beach.
I hope you are enjoying touring LA with me, follow me to Part 5 where I hike the Runyon Canyon, and window shop on Rodeo Drive!