There’s nothing more SoCal than an idyllic stretch of oceanfront, but the best things to do in Malibu aren't easy to find. At first, the coastal destination appears to be just a few townhouses, beach parking lots and side roads—however there's actually some of the world's most enjoyable dining, shopping and seaside strolling—you just have to know where to look. Here’s our insider’s guide...if you start now, you can beat the traffic.
The Best Things to Do in Malibu Over 24 Hours, According to a Local
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1. Hello, Organic Smoothie Breakfast: Malibu Farm
Location, location, location: This dreamy spot features both a restaurant at the base of the Malibu Pier and a more casual cafe at the end—either way, you can't go wrong. Add to that locally grown organic ingredients made into delish dishes like chopped salad and cauliflower crusted pizza and we are so there.
23000 Pacific Coast Hwy.; 310-456-1112 or malibu-farm.com
2. Get Blissed Out: Malibu Lake Trail
Before the sun's too far overhead, get some outdoors time in by catching the wildflower explosion in Malibu Creek State Park. Pretty much any trail in the park is worthwhile, but the Malibu Lake trail is especially interesting because besides being a 6.6 mile out-and-back jaunt, you'll pass by grasslands, a rock pool and the remains of the shooting set for the 1970s and '80s TV show MASH. Just be sure to stay on the trails and keep an eye out for wildlife—as the Princess Bride star Cary Elwes discovered recently, there are serpents even in Malibu's eden.
1295 Las Virgenes Rd., Cornell.; malibucreekstatepark.org
3. Lunch At A Fancy Food Truck: Sabor A Malibu
All that fresh-air time in Malibu, whether hiking or doing boot-camp wind sprints, really justifies carbo-loading. Do it in foodie style at this food truck brought to you by a chef who lost his job in the Woolsey Fire. Asada, pastor, chicken tacos and burritos, along with ginormous bacon hot dogs and juicy burgers, make you glad you've worked up an appetite.
31242 Pacific Coast Hwy.; 818-857-8761 or saboramalibu.com
4. Have A Wellness Injection: Nenergy Boost
This boutique wellness clinic offers the latest anti-aging, feel-good therapies to capture the imagination and credit cards of youth- and fitness-obsessed Angelenos: IV drip and ozone therapies. In the first, clients are given a intravenous "push" of concentrated vitamins and minerals such as NAD in a saline transfusion that takes about an hour, while they're relaxing in a padded recliner. In ozone therapy, a client's blood is removed, mixed with concentrated oxygen, then re-injected. We've not tried ozone therapy, but scientific studies report its benefits in pain and injection management. And IV drip therapies have proven promising in arresting metabolism decline. Users report feeling revitalized after a session of either therapy...all the better to keep up with that happy L.A. vibey lifestyle.
23410 Civic Center Way, #2B, Malibu; 424-325-3939 or nenergyboost.com
5. Shop The Coastal Grandma: Bleusalt
This season, TikTok's all about the style trend called coastal grandma, with its dependance on simple clothes in natural fibers, preferably worn in neutral and light colorways. And duh, Malibu is ground zero for this look, which has been the bread-and-butter of label Bleusalt since it launched in 2017. May we suggest starting with the three-yard Tencel wrap, the best travel blanket you'll ever own.
3835 Cross Creek Rd., #19, Malibu; 310-317-4590 or bleusalt.com
6. Seaside Drinks: Mastro’s Ocean Club
Ask for a seaside table for dinner or just have drinks at this classic steakhouse. Either way, it’s the view you’ll be eating up.
18412 Pacific Coast Hwy.; 310-454-4357 or mastrosrestaurants.com
7. Sleep Simply: The M Malibu
A night in Malibu for under $300 a night? It can happen at this motel, rehabbed in 2016. It’s just a five-minute walk across PCH to the beach. Because no one wants to take out a loan just so they can fall asleep to the sound of waves.
22541 Pacific Coast Highway; 310-456-6169 or themmalibu.com
If you're traveling with a larger party or just want access to your own kitchen, check out these private homes for rent, which can be surprisingly affordable when split between multiple guests and rented mid-week:
• Malibu Ocean Front Sanctuary (4 guests): $600/night
• Oceanside Suite on Carbon Beach (2 guests): $584/night
• Cottage Minutes to Malibu Colony Beach (4 guests): $350/night