Malibu Beaches

Head west of Santa Monica on the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, and you’ll soon reach Malibu, which is a beautiful coastal city that is found within Los Angeles County. There are a number of alluring Malibu beaches for visitors and residents to enjoy, and speaking of Malibu residents, many are notable entertainment icons who choose the area for its undeniable appeal. Here, the beaches give way to the rising Santa Monica Mountains, which presents a setting that is utterly ideal. You’ll know when you hit Malibu when driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, as there is a sign that reads “Malibu: 27 miles of scenic beauty.”

Malibu California actually stretches for just 21 miles, and the sign at the city’s entrance point refers to the original length of the city before it actually became a city. This isn’t your average city, however, as you won’t see skyscrapers or many other typical urban sights. Instead, you’ll enjoy views of mountains and canyons, pricy hillside homes, and the shimmering Pacific Ocean. Because there are miles of beaches and acres of parkland in Malibu California, vacations to Malibu most often revolve around enjoying the outdoors. Breathing the fresh ocean and mountain air here is just part of what makes vacations to Malibu so enjoyable, and as such, scores of Los Angeles visitors head here to simply take it all in. Not all of the Malibu beaches are public, as fortunate homeowners along the coastline have made their sandy stretches private, but there are plenty of spots where visitors can set up camp on the beach. Among the most popular public beaches in Malibu California are Zuma Beach, Leo Carillo State Beach, Topanga State Beach, Surfrider Beach, and Malibu State Beach. Hotels and motels are somewhat scarce here, but there are some that can be found along the main highway, and there are also places to stop and get a bite or fill up the tank as you go along.

Zuma Beach is easily among the favorite Malibu beaches when it comes to enjoying fun in the sun. The beach is noted for its clean water conditions, and has numerous lifeguard stands along its wide and long stretch. On summer days, it’s not uncommon to see scores of beachgoers playing volleyball here, and surfing is also among the preferred activities. In fact, surfing is one of the more popular things to do in Malibu, as is the case at most of the beaches in central and southern California. In addition to regular surfing, those enjoying vacations to Malibu can do some kitesurfing at Zuma Beach, and there are also sand volleyball courts here. Other facilities include public restrooms, cold-water showers, seasonal food stands, and watersports rentals, including diving equipment. As a side note, parts of the television show Baywatch were often filmed at Zuma Beach, so you can do your best slow-motion running lifeguard imitation here if you want to get into character yourself.

As mentioned earlier, Topanga State Beach is another one of the alluring sandy stretches that you can visit on vacations to Malibu, and while some don’t consider it to be as attractive as Zuma Beach, it is nonetheless a welcome respite from the urban sprawl in nearby Los Angeles. There is parking available at Topanga State Beach, and among the top things to do here are fishing, swimming, and surfing. The picnic area is a great place to enjoy a prepacked meal of your choice, though like all of the Los Angeles County public beaches, alcohol is not allowed. Restrooms and showers are available at Topanga State Beach, and while the facilities here are lacking a bit, it is close to shopping and dining establishments. There are also hiking trails within easy reach, and hiking in the mountains and canyons is one of the more enjoyable things to do in Malibu when you are not down on the sand. Topanga State Beach is open daily from 6 a.m. until the sun goes down.

Some of the other Malibu beaches have piers where you can do some fishing and enjoy unique views of the sea and mountains, so you’re bound to find a beach here that fits your preferences. At Paradise Cove, you can relax at an oceanfront restaurant while you take in views of nearby Santa Monica and Catalina Island in the distance, so the possibilities are numerous. Exploring the coast and stopping to check out the various public beaches here is the best way to go if you aren’t already familiar with the city, and as mentioned, you can stop along the way to eat or find lodging and such. In addition to hiking and enjoying beach-related activities on vacations to Malibu, you can also camp, go horseback riding, take to the mountain trails on a bike, and so much more!

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