Southern California abounds with kid-friendly activities and outdoor pursuits, making it the perfect destination for families with children. And in Malibu, you and yours can partake in bike rides, relaxed hikes, and beach watersports against the stunning backdrop of the Pacific.

Whether you need a daytime escape from LA or a coastal getaway in itself at Malibu Beach Inn, here are our recommendations for things to do with your family in the ‘Bu:

Paddle Out at Surfrider Beach

With sweeping white sands and spectacular rock formations, the idyllic beaches of Malibu are reason enough to visit Southern California. And just steps from Malibu Beach Inn, children and adults can partake in watersports at the famed Surfrider Beach, the former hub of California surfing culture. Catch a wave under the guidance of a local surf instructor, or rent paddleboards and kayaks to explore the coastline and see the historic Adamson house from the water (and perhaps a pod of dolphins).

Dine Above the Beach

Carbon Beach Club oceanfront dining at Malibu Beach Inn

At Carbon Beach Club, our terrace is suspended directly above the shoreline. Indulge in elegant presentations of whole branzino, Bucatini Pomodoro, and wild king salmon in a relaxed, familial atmosphere on the shores of Malibu. Indoors, a cozy fireplace, blankets, and beautiful works of contemporary art await.

Walk Malibu Pier

A history dating back to 1905 has made Malibu Pier a recognizable feature on the California coast. Along the boardwalk, families can find fresh, farm-to-table cuisine at Malibu Farm restaurant and café, shopping for beach blankets, fishing rods, and more at The Ranch at Malibu Pier, and opportunities for fishing among the pilings. At the end of the pier, take in panoramic views of the seemingly boundless Pacific and Malibu’s winding coastline.

Whale Watch on Point Dume

From early December to mid-May, 20,000 gray whales make the journey from Alaska to Baja and back. There are countless places to spot the gentle giants from the coast, but the best may be the viewing platform on the bluffs at Point Dume. After you and your family have explored the stunning, boulder-hewn beach below, head to the platform for 180-degree views of the ocean.

Shop (and Play) at Malibu Country Mart

Malibu Country Mart family shopping with playground

Photo: Malibu Country Mart

Set between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific, Malibu Country Mart stands out as one of Malibu’s finest shopping enclaves. One-of-a-kind upscale boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants are accented by beautiful gardens and outdoor sculptures, and children delight in a playground at the complex’s center. With seasonal events from movies under the stars to festive holiday gatherings, it’s the perfect place for families to shop in SoCal.

Hike the Coastline at Malibu Bluffs Park

Perched on the coastal bluffs overlooking the Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu Bluffs Park offers six acres of picturesque athletic fields, a playground with a climbing wall, and tucked-away trails suited for children. Take your family for an easy but scenic hike alongside the ocean – one of the paths leads to the beach – then have lunch in one of three picnic areas.

Ride a Ferris Wheel

You can find family-friendly events year-round in Malibu, with some of the best carnivals and fairs happening during the summer months. Head to the annual Malibu Kiwanis Chili Cook-Off & Carnival, held over Labor Day weekend, for spectacular views from the top of the Ferris wheel and other fun carnival games, rides, and competitions.

Soak Up the Sun on Zuma Beach

Family beach day in Malibu

A laidback day at the beach often makes for the best family memories, whether it includes beach games, building your children’s first sandcastle, or simply lounging in the sun. Take your family to Zuma, one of the largest beaches in Los Angeles County, to enjoy swathes of white sand and the gentle waves rolling in to shore.