There’s never a bad time to visit Malibu. All year long, the Pacific Ocean churns out perfect waves for surfers and bodyboarders to ride, the sun soaks its recipients with doses of vitamin D, and the high temperatures stay predictably between the low-60s and high-70s.

Even with its 12 months of delightful weather, there’s a special magic to retreating here in the winter. The crowds are much lower this time of year than during the summer months, giving visitors prime access to Malibu’s iconic beaches, beautiful state parks, curvy canyon roads, and stunning overlooks. Not only that, but the cooler temperatures offer ideal conditions for enjoying the dozens of hikes in and around Malibu, all accessible via a short drive from Malibu Beach Inn

To help you plan your Malibu getaway this winter, here are a few tips on what to pack, whether you’re itching to get out on the trails or simply looking to relax with a good book and glass of wine with the ocean as your backdrop.

Layer, layer, layer!

The best advice for staying comfortable from dawn until dusk is to layer. Overnight temperatures in Malibu during winter often get into the low 40s, so while the gentle light will be there to greet you upon waking up, you’ll still want to bundle up for breezy mornings and cool evenings.

A wind-resistant jacket will be your best friend to protect against the breeze blowing in from the ocean, and again at night when the sun dips below the horizon. From there, consider what the day’s activities will hold. If you’re going hiking or planning to spend a lot of time at the beach, a lightweight zip-up over a moisture-wicking long-sleeve T-shirt (or short sleeve if you tend to run hot!) should be just right. Pack a favorite scarf or knit hat in case the wind decides to really kick into high gear.

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If your plans are more along the leisurely side of things, a couple of thick layers will feel coziest. Get hyper-local (and hyper-chic) with the California Sky collection from Los Angeles visual artist Joshua Vides x Fendi. Released as part of Fendi’s pre-fall 2020 collection and designed in collaboration with creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi, the line features Vides’ signature monochromatic, cartoon-esque style on a range of women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing and accessories. A couple of our favorites include the Fendi Roma Joshua Vides cotton sweatshirt, Baguette Backpack, and modal-and-cashmere Maxi Foulard

Rain is unlikely (just an average of five days a month in January), but to be on the safe side, a waterproof jacket or umbrella are always nice to have on hand.

Sunscreen is king

Photo by Cecily Breeding

Winter isn’t quite the time to sunbathe on the beach, but that doesn’t mean the sneaky sun won’t do a number on your neck or nose. The sun’s UV rays are still out and about on cooler days, so pack an SPF-infused moisturizer like CURE Purely Physical SPF 47.

Made by the same purveyor that outfits Malibu Beach Inn’s spa, this lightweight, water-resistant sunscreen is chock full of antioxidants and free of chemicals, providing the ideal sun protection for all skin types while and preventing premature aging.

Protect your eyes (and look good doing it)

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The right pair of sunglasses is a fashion must year-round. This is especially true on the California coast, where the sparkling water and bright-blue skies are a recipe for squinting. Treat yourself to a new pair of Oliver Peoples specs for 2021 at Malibu Country Mart. See how you look in a pair of Gregory Peck or Cary Grant shades, or channel your inner Maverick with one of their sleek aviator styles.