Day Trip: Malibu

One of the best parts about Los Angeles is the proximity of amazing day trip excursions like driving the coastline to Malibu. In Malibu, you can spend the day at some of Los Angeles’ more pristine and private beaches, or you can hike up the Santa Monica mountains for some of its best trails and views. After either, enjoy a meal of fresh seafood and watch the sunset over the ocean.

Surprisingly enough, you can round the point at Point Dume and discover your own hidden nooks to spend the day. With cliffs at your back and a private beach with decent size waves in front of you, it’s not a bad place for a picnic.
Pacific Coast Hwy, California, USA
The journey down Highway 1 is the iconic California road trip, and this coastal route is a great choice whether you’re in Northern California, the central coast, or in SoCal. But there’s something extra special about driving the Pacific Coast Highway as it approaches its southern end. The skies are guaranteed to be blue, the weather begs for a convertible, and the passing sands are alive with sunbathers, swimmers, and beach ball tossers. Start your drive in Malibu and wind down the shoreside highway to Santa Monica. When you get to the pier you’ll veer eastward, but don’t worry, PCH edges back toward the shore once you circumnavigate LAX; then you’re on your way to the idyllic seafront communities of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach.
17985 Pacific Coast Hwy
J. Paul Getty’s original museum is as much about the transporting setting as it is about the pieces inside. When the billionaire oil tycoon decided to open a museum for his extensive collection of antiquities in 1974, he modeled it after an ancient Roman villa that had been buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The estate’s painted ceilings, Roman columns, and marble floors feel at one with the 44,000-strong collection of Etruscan, Greek, and Roman pieces (don’t miss the bronze statue of Herakles, circa 300 B.C.E.). When you stand amid the 64-acre ground’s bronze statues, frescoes, and reflecting pool, the expansive view of the Pacific Ocean offers one of the few clues that you’re in California. A regular stream of theater performances, readings, and academic talks in the open-air amphitheater keeps things heady day and night. Pro tip: Although it’s free, entrance to the Getty Villa requires an advance, timed-entry ticket, bookable online. Don’t miss the 40-minute tours on Thursdays and Saturdays of the four Roman gardens, which cover a fascinating array of mythology and history.
23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
What started as cooking classes and dinner parties using ingredients from owner Helene Henderson’s two-acre organic farm in Malibu, is now a permanent café and restaurant destination on opposite ends of the Malibu Pier. Eggs, persimmons, figs, lemons, pomegranates, apricots, asian pears, carrots, beets, asparagus and fresh herbs are all sourced from her farm and the rest is direct from nearby farms, farmers markets and local produce distributors. Seafood reigns with snacks like the crab cakes, sandwiches like the grilled salmon with black olive aioli and meals like the roasted halibut with a warm greek salad. If you have room, make sure to try the raved-about grilled chocolate cake!
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