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Malibu day trip from Hollywood area?

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
218 posts
3 reviews
Malibu day trip from Hollywood area?

hi all going the week before christmas and staying near the Grove. we want to check out Malibu and will be renting a car to go there. any suggestions what to check out there and parking etc? also since i will have a car what else i can check out on the way? dont really need to spend too much time there. just want to see the good stuff take a picture and leave lol

9 replies to this topic
Laguna Beach, CA
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24 reviews
1. Re: Malibu day trip from Hollywood area?

What good stuff do you expect to see?

Los Angeles
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16,035 posts
58 reviews
2. Re: Malibu day trip from Hollywood area?

On your way to Malibu, you can either go through Santa Monica and down the California Incline onto Pacific Coast Highway - this will put you in downtown Santa Monica near the 3rd St. Promenade and the pier. Or you can take Sunset Blvd. from Hollywood through West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades and down to Pacific Coast Highway.

There's not especially a lot to see in Malibu, per se, just the coast line and the nice homes on the beach and the bluffs overlooking it, mostly.

Several restaurants right on the water, Nobu for sushi, Mastro's Ocean Club, Duke's, Geoffry's, any of which are good for lunch or go to Malibu Country Mart for that.

Try to drive through the campus of Pepperdine University - beautiful views from the hills that make up the campus - its a private university however so you'll have to ask the guard at the gate to drive through - every time I've asked, they let me.

There's also the Adamson House next to Malibu Lagoon which is an older, preserved house that you can walk the grounds of, etc.

And of course, there's the Getty Villa (technically just outside of Malibu in Pacific Palisades) - if you want to go there, however, you'll need parking reservations in advance.

On the way back, you can return through Santa Monica, but you can also take one of the canyon roads north to the 101 freeway and take the 101 freeway all the way back to Hollywood. The canyon roads literally drive along the edges of huge gorges and if you don't have anything like that where you live, can be interesting to see as well.

Edited: 18 September 2018, 13:11
Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
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3. Re: Malibu day trip from Hollywood area?

Here are some things to do in Malibu:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g326…

I like to drive to Pt. Mugu, turn around there. Nice hiking throughout the area, do a websearch for hikes (I like Hike Speak and Modern Hiker trail descriptions/directions the best) if you like to do that.

Stop at Leo Carillo State Beach for tidepooling (look up low tide online, be there an hour prior to full low, you'll boulder hop, so wear shoes that can get wet).

Run down the giant sand dune nearby, fun for kids of any age.

Adults can enjoy wineries, and Malibu Wines has a Wine Safari - absolutely no one under 21 yo - this one is only for the adults.

Paradise Cove has rentals, otherwise the beaches are not cleaned, some only have porta potties - remember, this is rural, not the city.

Duke's is my favorite stop for a drink, brunch, lunch, or dinner, but there are several places to eat. If not Duke's, we tend to bring a picnic along (stop at Bay Cities Italian Deli in Santa Monica for fantastic sandwiches or sliced meats/cheese/home made Italian bread).

Tour the Adamson House and Gardens and the Getty Villa.

Simply enjoy the beautiful drive, 27 miles of ocean views.

End the day in Santa Monica, stroll the beach, pier, Palisades Park, dinner. If a weekday, you'll not want to return to Hollywood through traffic anyway, and Santa Monica is a great place to wait it out!

Toronto, Canada
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218 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: Malibu day trip from Hollywood area?

Awesome thank you for the detailed info. Def would like to see Santa Monica and the coastline drive with the gorges. So I would leave early morning and come back late at night if I wanted to visit Malibu and Santa Monica?

Santa Monica...
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5. Re: Malibu day trip from Hollywood area?

If you plan a hike, it's best to get an early start, it's cooler in the mornings. If not, you can sleep in, drive to Malibu via Sunset Blvd. at 10 or 11, enjoy the drive, a few stops, then to Santa Monica. The more you plan to do, the longer you should stay. I tend to go hiking in the morning, then lunch afterwards, getting home mid-afternoon. Or I go for a beach day, leave home around 10, return around 3. If you want a hike, beach and Getty Villa, that would be a long day. It all depends on how you want to do it!

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
218 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Malibu day trip from Hollywood area?

My youngest is lazy so prob won’t be much of a hike. Sand dunes though for sure. Week before xmas is prob not warm in la though right?

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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7. Re: Malibu day trip from Hollywood area?

We can't predict weather, it might be clear and crisp, it might be raining.

Don't attempt to drive to the Grove area from Santa Monica anytime between 3 and 7. Wait out traffic by having dinner in Santa Monica.

I love the drive through Malibu, it's stunning. Stop at the Country Mart to see the shops, maybe have lunch at John's Garden. http://www.malibucountrymart.com

Go to the tide pools https:/…

Houston, Texas
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4,939 posts
18 reviews
8. Re: Malibu day trip from Hollywood area?

I love the drive from Hollywood to Malibu via Sunset Blvd, you get to see a wide cross section of some of the most scenic parts of the LA area. I suggest walking the beaches, or maybe a scenic hike in slightly inland Topanga State Park.

Lunch at John's in the Malibu Country Mart, an outdoor mall where you might get a celebrity spotting. Or for some very reasonably priced seafood in a casual setting, the Reel Inn.

I visit this area on every trip.

Los Angeles...
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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13,650 posts
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9. Re: Malibu day trip from Hollywood area?

I like the Malibu Country Mart, too. While it is unusual to see celebrities there, we have done so several times (and in one case, had a memorable interaction with Kelsey Grammer). One time, all of U2 was there. My daughter used to work next to it, so she was there a lot and saw celebrities about once a week.

I like to park at the beach access points behind the Ralph's Center (across PCH from Country Mart). All along Malibu Rd and Malibu Colony Rd there are beach access points (required by law) that are clearly marked (they used to be on Google, can't find them today). Anyway, park on the side of the road near the sign (there's parking at each spot, some larger than others) and walk through the narrow path and stairway down to the beach. The area below the mean high tide line is public. You can then walk to your heart's content on a usually empty beach. There are different areas with rocks where you can sit (and there's one mansion whose rock wall is now below the mean high tide line).

In fact, you'll see nice houses with stairs that used to go right down the beach (now the beach is gone, as the tides are higher than 20 years ago) and the stairs stop in mid air. There are houses where the mean high tide line is now under the house (they are on pilings)!

Anyway, it's a fun and relaxing place to go.

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