Your Guide of Things to Do in Malibu
A day might not seem like enough time to appreciate all the relaxed luxury that Malibu has to offer. But if you’re short on time, passing through the area on a road trip, or just crossing town for a one-night staycation, with Malibu Beach Inn as your home base, 24 hours is just enough time to take in the surf, sand, and sun and leave feeling rejuvenated.
Here’s how to spend every moment of your whirlwind Pacific coast getaway.
Check in to Malibu Beach Inn, then drop your bags in your oceanfront room, where serene grey and blue decor complements the stunning Pacific Ocean just outside your balcony doors. Breathe in that salty air, then freshen up for the first item on your itinerary — happy hour!
Choose your own adventure for cocktail hour. For a see-and-be-seen vibe, dangerously sippable cocktails, and (of course) that black cod with miso, snag a patio table at Nobu Malibu. Settle in for a Yuzu Citrus Cooler or Mia Margarita, and order a few light dishes for the table. The lobster ceviche, grilled shishito peppers, and black cod are outstanding. There’s no better way to enjoy sweeping Pacific views and the best people watching in the ‘Bu.
For a more classic—but no less memorable—vibe, drive 15 minutes up the PCH for happy hour at another icon: Geoffrey’s Malibu. This historic watering hole has hosted celebrities, politicians, and everyone in between since it opened in 1948. Every table has a panoramic view of the Pacific, so there’s not a bad seat in the house. We’re partial to the outdoor patio, where you’ll be surrounded by lush vegetation and ocean breezes. Order a classic cocktail and the ahi tuna tartar or baked brie in puff pastry for a pre-dinner snack.
After happy hour, it’s time for a sunset dinner back at Malibu Beach Inn’s Carbon Beach Club. Tables on the deck, which juts out over the waters of the Pacific, or inside the cozy Waldo Fernandez-designed dining room will both provide ample opportunity to take in the pink-and-orange hued fireball that is a Malibu sunset. Choose a bottle from the restaurant’s extensive wine list as the sun slips below the horizon, then settle in for a leisurely California-inspired repast featuring produce and meats from the region’s finest purveyors. A few staples to get you started are the grilled avocado with Tunisian relish, whole branzino, and pistachio gelato cake.
Finish the evening in your room with a nightcap on your private balcony. Then slip in between your bed’s crisp Italian linens and fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the crashing Pacific.
Wake up early for sun salutations on Carbon Beach, located just steps below Malibu Beach Inn. A morning beach yoga class for up to four guests is the perfect way to start the day feeling centered and calm.
Once you’ve found your zen, your next destination is the CURE Daily Spa suite, where you’ll choose from a menu of pampering spa treatments. A signature facial will leave your skin deeply cleansed and super hydrated. Or try a reiki treatment that will draw upon ancient healing techniques to relax your body and calm your mind.
A morning of yoga and spa treatments would leave anyone feeling hungry. Though Malibu breakfast and brunch spots abound, a quintessential choice is Malibu Farm Cafe, located just down the beach on Malibu Pier. Surrounded by the waters of the Pacific, the cafe serves a variety of healthful, organic dishes with locally sourced ingredients. The vegan chop, cauliflower pizza, bacon corn panini, and lobster roll are all hearty options that will energize you for the next item on your day’s agenda: a beach adventure.
Your visit to Malibu wouldn’t be complete without exploring this idyllic stretch of coastline from a kayak or surfboard. Should you opt for the former, a two-hour kayak or SUP tour with Malibu Surf Shack allows you to explore iconic sites such as Malibu Pier and Malibu Lagoon, and to see up-close some of the marine wildlife that makes this part of California so unique.
More interested in actually getting in the water? Surfing is a favorite pastime of Malibu locals and doable year-round. Rent a board and sign up for a lesson with one of these expert Malibu surf instructors, who will ensure you feel comfortable in the water whether it’s your first time on a board or your thousandth. True thrill-seekers will be interested in Malibu Beach Inn’s Fliteboard experience, which allows you to “fly” across the waves on an electric hydrofoil surfboard.
Once you’ve come down from your fun in the sun, it’s time to wrap up your Malibu getaway. Say “until next time” to your room at Malibu Beach Inn, then make one last stop just up the road at Malibu Country Mart. Commemorate your trip to this little slice of Californian paradise by choosing a souvenir from one of the local shops. Then, hit the road to head home—or on the next stop on your adventure. Malibu will be waiting for you when you inevitably return.