As summer makes its debut along the Southern California coast, it’s only natural to dream of sun-kissed beach days and evenings spent sipping cocktails on the terrace at Carbon Beach Club.

But because those pursuits are possible during every season, perhaps what we are most looking forward to are the world-class gatherings that make summer in the ‘Bu so enticing. From exclusive parties to family-friendly festivals, here are some of the season’s top events happening near Malibu Beach Inn:

Malibu Guitar Festival

Malibu Guitar Festival summer event

Photo: Malibu Guitar Festival

Thursday, May 18 – Sunday, May 21

For four days each summer, some of the most talented guitarists in the world converge for the Malibu Guitar Festival, an annual charity gathering just up the road from Carbon Beach that features superb concerts, jam sessions, guitar demos, and a guitar-themed art show.

This year’s lineup highlights the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, Jamtown with Donovan Frankenreiter, Cisco Adler & G-Love, Tommy Emmanuel, Hunter Hayes, John Hiatt, Steve Vai, Robby Krieger, and dozens more. The performances on Thursday and Friday take place at Casa Escobar, while Saturday and Sunday’s shows will be outdoors at Malibu Village in Cross Creek. And at the main event, happening Saturday from 11:30 am to 10 pm, guests can enjoy some of the area’s best food trucks, a climbing wall, and the close proximity of Malibu’s beaches.

Calabasas Malibu Food and Wine Festival

Calabasas Malibu Food and Wine Festival summer event

Photo: Calabasas Malibu Food and Wine Festival

Thursday,  June 8 – Sunday,  June 11

Showcasing some of the most innovative flavors in cooking, the Calabasas Malibu Food and Wine Festival brings together nearly 40 acclaimed chefs and a selection of distinguished wineries for four days of tastings at The Commons at Calabasas. Indulge in bite-sized offerings along with unique wines, spirits, and craft beers at the grand charity event, which benefits Parents & Teachers Together to support arts and education programs at local schools.

VIP tickets give you an additional hour of tastings before general admission entry, and all tickets should be purchased well in advance. (The event, now in its eleventh year, has sold out for each of the previous nine years.)


Saturday,  June 17; Saturday, August 12

Summer in Malibu marks the return of outdoor family movies at Malibu Bluffs Park. Held by the City of Malibu, CineMalibu brings together residents and visitors for evenings of food trucks, children’s crafts, and movies overlooking the Pacific, including Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory on June 17 and The Little Mermaid on August 12.

Come early for activities beginning at 7:30 pm, and bring your own beach chairs or blankets for the movie viewings at sunset.

Summer Fest

k9 connection Summer Fest Malibu event

Photo: Tom Fox

Sunday,  June 18

For the eleventh year, Summer Fest will kick off the season for both families and their pets. Held at Malibu Bluffs Park overlooking the Pacific, the festivities highlight spectacular music, cuisine, family games, and contests, along with a variety of activities for dogs.

Adults can enjoy the wine and beer garden (with complimentary beverages for dad in honor of Father’s Day) and the silent auction, while kids partake in face painting, craft projects, and an array of games. For canines, Summer Fest offers a dog agility course, yoga with your dog, relays, and other active pursuits, with all proceeds benefiting k9 connection’s teens and shelter dogs.

Fourth of July at Point Dume

Fourth of July event on Point Dume in Malibu

Tuesday,  July 4

There is nothing like watching fireworks over the Pacific on the Fourth of July, and in Malibu, there’s even more to the celebration. A longstanding tradition now entering its eighteenth year, Fourth of July at Point Dume draws hundreds each Independence Day for its holiday parade, picnic, and fireworks viewing on one of the city’s most beautiful overlooks.

In previous years, the parade has started at 10 am, and details are expected to be announced soon regarding this year’s event times. The following picnic, which debuted last year in place of the after-party, encourages classic American values with family activities such as three-legged races, egg tosses, and tug-of-war. At dusk, fireworks ignited from private barges along Malibu’s coastline complete the celebration.

Malibu Kiwanis Chili Cook-Off & Carnival

Friday, September 1 – Monday, September 4

Wrap up summer in Malibu with carnival rides and a bowl of delectable homemade chili. Each Labor Day weekend, the Malibu Kiwanis Chili Cook-Off & Carnival draws more than 10,000 visitors to the corner of Civic Center Way and Stuart Ranch Road to raise funds for those in need. The charity event’s culinary competitions take place on Saturday and Sunday, while the carnival rides, games, and raffles go on all weekend just up the coast from Malibu Beach Inn.