In a typical school year, September marks the end of family vacations and blissfully unscheduled days, and the beginning of packed lunches and frantic drop-offs. This, however, is not a typical school year — and while that certainly comes with its challenges, here in Malibu, we like to look on the sunny side.

With many students attending school virtually, saying goodbye to summer doesn’t mean putting memorable getaways on hold. Malibu Beach Inn offers an ideal destination for a mid-school year retreat; here, students can settle into a soothing and inspiring setting to focus on Zoom classes, and parents have endless options for planning adventure-filled after-school activities. (Not to mention, the award-winning wine list at Carbon Beach Club is on hand to unwind at the end of the day.)

So, if you’re looking for a change of scenery in your child’s learn-from-home routine, we invite you to join us for a week (or even an extended weekend) to combine our quiet, education-ready setting with the outdoor explorations of Malibu.

Upon check-in, you’ll find your accommodations equipped with a spacious, clutter-free desk (and a comfy “grown-up” chair), inviting kids to make the space their very own office. The benefit of this quiet space is that it’s not equipped with the distractions of home, and the ocean soundtrack promotes focus and creativity.

While your student settles in for class the next morning (after a hearty breakfast from CBC Restaurant’s in-room dining), parents can soak up rays on the balcony with a cup of coffee and their favorite book, enjoying some much-needed relaxation while staying available as a “teacher’s assistant.” Or, if your child is old enough to work independently, join us on Carbon Beach just outside our doors for yoga at 8am, or take a walk along the sands.

Meditation on the Beach Malibu Beach Inn

When lunchtime rolls around, head down to your upgraded cafeteria on CBC Restaurant’s patio overlooking the Pacific. The fresh air offers you and your student a break, while our extensive kid’s menu will fuel them up for their afternoon classes and homework.

Once schoolwork is done, the real fun begins. Malibu is home to an endless number of outdoor activities, and there’s arguably no better season than fall to enjoy them, thanks to quieted crowds and idyllic warm weather. You can’t go wrong with the stretches of sand we’re best known for — Carbon Beach is a spot primed for building sandcastles and splashing in the waves. Plus, after a day of school, your child will appreciate the instant gratification of running out onto a beach that’s just steps from their room.

Alternatively, take a short walk down to Malibu Pier and Surfrider Beach to watch some of the region’s best watersport participants, or try a lesson for yourselves. With its shimmering swathe of golden sands, Zuma Beach is also popular among kids — and if you’re looking for a reward for schoolwork well-done, gourmet ice cream cones can be found at nearby Café De La Plage.

Another family-friendly spot is Leo Carrillo State Park, which offers a number of craggy outcroppings and caves begging to be explored, along with plenty of tidepools teeming with sea anemones, sea urchins, starfish, crabs, snails, and more.

Leo Carillo tide pools in Malibu, California

Photo: Yes for State Parks via Flickr / CC BY

In a way, Leo Carrillo state park offers a sort of after-school science club, while Malibu’s many hiking trails are a wonderful substitute for traditional PE class. The well-maintained, wide Tuna Canyon trails near Topanga are suited for all ages, while Paramount Ranch is also a family-friendly hiking destination (complete with an old Western town replica that sparks the imagination of kids and adults alike).

Malibu Bluffs Park is another nearby place to expend some after-school energy. Located on a bluff overlooking the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, it offers an easy hiking path with ocean views, as well as a playground, athletic fields, a whale-watching station, and a path that leads back down to the beach.

After an afternoon of adventure, Malibu Country Mart features an array of opportunities for family-friendly al fresco dining (Taverna Tony and Tra di Noi, to name a couple of favorites), as well as another playground for kids. Alternatively, make your way back to Malibu Beach Inn to dine at Carbon Beach Club (and partake in the aforementioned wine list).

If there are still a couple of waking hours left, begin an astrological education with your child by heading to one of our favorite stargazing spots (be sure to download the kid’s edition of Star Walk 2 for guidance), made even more spectacular by the city’s Dark Sky Ordinance.

And if not? Settle in for a good night’s sleep to rest up to do it all again tomorrow — more focused learning and Malibu adventure awaits.