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Soaking Up Malibu's Art and Beach Culture

Sunning, surfing and sightseeing in Malibu
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 19 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Malibu is synonymous with beaches, glamour and celebrities. But--perhaps surprisingly--there's nothing pretentious (or at least not... more »

Tips:  On weekends after 3 pm, traffic builds up on the northbound lanes of PCH as people head toward Kanan-Dume Road for the drive back home... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Getty Villa Malibu

Begin your Malibu tour here, before you're covered in sunscreen and sand. Besides, although admission to the Getty is free, you must schedule your visit online and print out your timed tickets at home. Walk-ins are not allowed. Arrive on time--tickets are held for just 10 minutes after your scheduled time. After exploring the villa, the rest of... More

After leaving the Getty, drive about seven miles north on PCH to this outdoor retail center for free parking and a smorgasbord of dining and shopping options. From PCH, turn right onto Cross Creek Road (pass Starbucks). Turn left in the parking lot or continue to the stop sign at Civic Center Way and turn left to park.

John's Garden, a casual... More

From the shopping center, you can either get back in your car and drive to a nearby beach parking lot (only chance of this is on a weekday) or walk back to PCH.

Cross the highway at the intersection and turn left to reach the historic Malibu Pier. You're backtracking a bit but it's a short walk and worth the ocean views and fresh air.

From the ... More

Here's a good place to spend a couple of hours soaking up local history and trying your hand at catching a wave. The historic Adamson House, wetlands and Surfrider Beach share common ground. The entrance for paid parking (or find free street parking) and to access the nature area is on Cross Creek Road. Walk east across the bridge and follow the... More

5. Zuma Beach

If you're not wiped out yet, consider driving a few miles north to Zuma Beach, one of the largest and most popular L.A. beaches.

Staffed with lifeguards, Zuma ranks among the cleanest beaches in terms of water conditions in L.A. County.

This is a great beach for everyone but especially families. There's plenty of room to toss a football or play... More

6. Topanga Canyon Road

For a change of scenery or to escape PCH traffic, consider hopping on Topanga Canyon Road if you're heading back to the San Fernando Valley. The winding road, which has been the scene for many movie/TV car/bike chases, cuts through the Santa Monica Mountains and meets up with the Ventura Freeway.

Topanga Canyon Road is north of the Getty Villa... More