20 Things To Do In Malibu

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Malibu is well known as the home of some of the best beaches and surfing spots in the United States. A hub of celebrities, socialites and casual tourists, it is certainly a great destination for a relaxing vacation. However, beyond beaches and surfing, most people know very little about Malibu.

Those interested in sightseeing or more activities usually head to nearby Los Angeles instead, which is a shame, as Malibu has a great deal to offer. Start with these 20 things to do in Malibu and you’ll soon discover there’s more to the area than sand, sea, sun and surf.

Also read: 20 Landmarks in USA


20 Things To Do In Malibu

Malibu tanned woman in a white sports bikini sitting crossed-legged on the sand drinking juice from a coconut
20 things to do in Malibu.

1- Embrace History At Adamson House Museum

Adamson House is a beautiful beach house, which was erected in 1929 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style.

With its façade beautifully decorated with tiles, its interiors filled with classic furniture, and both surrounded by stunning gardens, the house has been converted into a museum, where visitors can see and appreciate the historical styles of the area with their own eyes.

Adamson House Museum is at 23200 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265.

2- Explore The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

things to do near malibu (Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)
Exploring the Santa Monica Mountains is one of the top things to do near Malibu if you love being outdoors.

Located immediately to the north of Malibu, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the largest urban national park in the world. Covering nearly 157,000 acres, it is filled with over 500 miles of hiking trails.

With both flat and mountainous sections, stunning rock formations, abundant wildlife, vibrant coastal chaparral, beautiful panoramic views, and idyllic picnic areas, the Santa Monica National Recreation Area is the perfect place to go exploring and enjoy the Californian landscape.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is at 26876 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas, 91302.

3- Soak In The Sights At Point Dume

unique things to do in malibu two people and a dog walking along the beach
A beach walk on Point Dume State Beach is one of the best things to do in Malibu to avoid crowds.

Point Dume is a secluded cove and the southernmost point in Malibu.

The rocky cove protects a beautiful beach and sand dunes, which are hidden away from the masses and boast an incredibly tranquil atmosphere.

With the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Chanel Islands that are available from its bluff viewpoints, Point Dume is an equally perfect destination for people looking to take in stunning views or enjoy a relaxing day laying on the sand.

Point Dume is at Cliffside Drive & Birdview Avenue, Malibu, 90265.

4- Take A Stroll Out On Malibu Pier

things to do in malibu today jetty at Malibu Lagoon State Beach
Swimming and sunbaking at Malibu Lagoon State Beach are popular things to do in Malibu today.

Erected around 1905, the Malibu Pier is one of the most iconic locations in Malibu.

Stretching out into the Pacific Ocean, it is home to a small yet beautiful collection of shops and restaurants.

Visitors can take a stroll along its length to pick up some seaside staples, before sitting back and relaxing with a drink or meal, while taking in the stunning views or doing a spot of people watching.

The pier is even a popular spot for recreational fishing, due to the significantly reduced disturbances in the water that arises from being further from the shore.

Malibu Pier is at 23000 California Route 1, Malibu, 90265.

5- Go Swimming In Malibu Lagoon

fun things to do in malibu california beach houses right on the lagoon
Renting a beach house on the lagoon is one of the fun ways to enjoy a Malibu vacation.

The Malibu Lagoon is a 110-acre scenic area that includes one of the most popular beaches in the entire United States.

Everyone from tourists to celebrities come to relax on its golden sands, away from the more crowded beaches found in LA.

The lagoon itself is the perfect option for people hoping to swim in the sea, without having to worry about the powerful currents present in the unprotected areas of the ocean.

Meanwhile, the area outside the lagoon is a popular surfing spot, known as Surfrider Beach, which was the first designated “World Surfing Reserve” on Earth.

Malibu Lagoon is in Malibu, California, 90265.

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6- Spot Some Whales At Malibu Bluffs Park

malibu things to do orange sky over the ocean
Another amazing thing to do around Malibu is to watch the beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Malibu Bluffs Park is a beautiful community park in the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

With sports fields and a playground, it is a fabulous place for families to spend a relaxing day out, enjoying the fresh air and fabulous views.

However, the most popular feature is the “Whale Watch” installation.

With a bench in the shape of a whale’s tale and a number of telescopes, it gives visitors a great place to look out to sea and try to spot some of the region’s iconic marine wildlife.

Malibu Bluffs Park is at 24250 California Route 1, Malibu, 90265.

7- Spend An Afternoon Relaxing On Little Dume Beach

things to do in malibu pineapple wearing headphones
Enjoy a Californian summer vacation and tick these things to do in Malibu off your bucket list.

Little Dume Beach is a beautiful, sandy beach, backed by towering cliffs that create a truly secluded atmosphere.

It is one of the best spots in the region for surfing, due to the powerful breaks in the area, yet is much less well known than options like Surfrider Beach.

This makes it the perfect option for those wanting to spend a day on the waves, without being surrounded by mobs of people.

Little Dume Beach is at 29208 Cliffside Drive, Malibu, 90265.

8- Uncover The Hidden Treasures Of The Sea Cave

fun things to do in malibu Rock sea stacks jutting out of the sand
Photographing the rock sea stacks on the beach is one of the things to do in Malibu for photographers.

The Sea Cave is a picturesque, secluded opening in the Malibu cliffside, located just off of Sequit Point.

While difficult to find and only accessible when the tide is out, it is more than worth a visit when you get the opportunity.

The deep cave carves its way away from the ocean and is filled with marine wildlife and the sort of scenery normally reserved for adventure movies.

Whether you want to go on an adventure or simply take in a unique view of the California sunset, there are few better places to do so than right here.

The Sea Cave is at 36000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265.

9- Set Sail To Channel Islands National Park

Malibu things to do steep coastal hills and emerald water
Exploring Channel Islands National Park is one of the top things to do in Malibu for nature lovers.

Located just off the coast of Malibu, Chanel Islands National Park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and offers some of the most wonderful views and landscapes you will find anywhere in California.

There are countless species of unique birds, rare animals like the island fox, island fence lizard, island night lizard, deer mouse, and spotted skunk, as well as vibrant plant life and waters filled with wonders.

With regular boats departing from nearby Oxnard, the Chanel Islands are the perfect destination for anyone seeking a true Californian adventure.

Channel Islands National Park is at Channel Islands Harbor, 3900 Pelican Way, Oxnard, 93035.

10- Discover The Natural Beauty Of Escondido Falls

romantic things to do in malibu Santa Monica Bay
Watching the sunset over Santa Monica Bay is one of the romantic things to do in Malibu.

Located deep within the Escondido Canyon, Escondido Falls is a stunning waterfall, split into both upper and lower sections.

Visitors will hike through the canyon, along a popular trail, while crossing creeks and experiencing the true Malibu landscape, before being greeted by one of the most stunning natural features in the area.

Escondido Falls is on Escondido Canyon Trail, Malibu, 90265.

11- Visit To “Charlie’s House” From Two And A Half Men

Despite the majority of the iconic sitcom Two And A Half Men being set in Malibu, it was largely filmed on a sound stage in a Los Angeles studio.

However, the outside of Charlie’s Malibu beach house is very real and is actually located in Malibu.

In fact, it is located in two places.

The front of the house is located on a residential road in north-eastern Malibu.

Fans of the show can take a drive to see this famed location for themselves.

However, it is a private home, so make sure to be respectful and don’t trespass.

The iconic rear of the house is a little harder to view, as it is located on Malibu Beach in the Malibu Colony gated community.

That said, those who do gain admission will not only see one of the show’s most iconic locations but may also spot any number of the A-list celebrities who live in the colony.

Front Of House: 2315 Live Oak Meadow Road, Malibu, 90265.
Rear Of House: Malibu Beach, Malibu Colony Road, Malibu, 90265.

12- Enjoy The “Best Beach In America”

things to do in malibu with family El Matador State Beach
Spending time on El Matador State Beach is one of the fun things to do in Malibu California.

El Matador Beach is actually a collection of three medium-sized beaches, located at the base of some of Malibu’s famous cliffs.

With its combination of long, sprawling sections of golden sand and stunning geological features, El Matador Beach often ranks among the best beaches in the United States.

While this means it can sometimes get a little crowded, there are plenty of quiet times too, as well as amenities like bars and parking located nearby.

This makes it a destination well worth checking out for any beach lovers wanting to experience the best that Malibu has to offer.

El Matador Beach is at 32350 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265.

13- Hit The Waves Off At Zuma Beach

things to do in malibu at night lifeguard stand at dusk
Surfing at Zuma Beach is another of the fun things to do in Malibu for active visitors.

Zuma Beach is the perfect destination for those who have never tried surfing before or are inexperienced, yet want to take part in Malibu’s favourite pastime.

With surf shops in the vicinity to rent or purchase gear from, lifeguard towers to keep you safe, currents that are strong yet not overpowering, and even a fabulous beach to relax on when you’re done, Zuma Beach truly is an aspiring surfer’s dream.

Zuma Beach, Malibu, 90265.

14- Hike Through Solstice Canyon

Solstice Canyon is a sprawling inland canyon filled with numerous walking trails, with options available for both gentle strolls and more strenuous hikes.

With the remains of old stone structures, a waterfall, picnic areas, vibrant wildlife, and dog walking areas, it is a perfect opportunity to explore the Malibu landscape away from the waterfront.

Solstice Canyon is at 3455 Solstice Canyon Road, Malibu, 90265.

15- Have A Cultural Experience At The Getty Villa

things to do in malibu with kids manicured garden and fountain in front of the villa
Visiting the Getty Villa is one of the top things to do in Malibu. The design of the villa was inspired by ancient blueprints of the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum.

Located just on the eastern outskirts of Malibu, the Getty Villa is a stunning mansion designed in the style of a 1st-century Italian villa.

The former home of oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty, it is one of the two campuses of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

In addition to its stunning architecture, visitors will be treated to a collection of more than 44,000 artefacts, covering Greek, Roman, and Etruscan civilisations between 6,500 BC and 400 AD, making for a truly historic experience.

The Getty Villa is at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, 90272.

16- Treat Yourself To A Meal At Moonshadows Malibu

Moonshadows Malibu is considered by many to be the best restaurant in Malibu.

Known for serving modern American cuisine and a range of handcrafted drinks, guests can sit on the tiki-themed patio and enjoy dining and drinking while soaking in the stunning ocean views.

Moonshadows Malibu is at 20356 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265.

17- Visit The Iconic Paramount Ranch

things to do in malibu this weekend old western buildings
Exploring Paramount Ranch’s old western town is one of the things to do in Malibu with kids.

Located near Malibou Lake in the Agoura Hills, the Paramount Ranch is an iconic site used as a shooting location in various Hollywood films for almost 100 years.

Visitors will discover an old west town, complete with locations such as its famed church, while it is surrounded by stunning hiking trails.

Whether you hope to see a location from one of your favourite films or simply enjoy the Californian countryside, the Paramount Ranch is a great place to do so.

Paramount Ranch is at 2903 Cornell Road, Agoura Hills, 91301.

18- Attend An Event At The Firestone Fieldhouse

cool things to do in malibu Pepperdine University sign and grounds
Watching sports at Pepperdine University is one of the popular things to do in Malibu.

The Firestone Fieldhouse is a 5,000 seater indoor arena, located on the grounds of the famed Pepperdine University.

Its primary usage is as the home venue for both the men’s and women’s Pepperdine Waves basketball and volleyball teams.

As, by far, the most popular sporting teams in Malibu, this makes the Firestone Fieldhouse the perfect place for sports fans to get their fill of competitive action during their visit.

It is also the second-oldest arena in the West Coast Conference, which adds a historic edge to the experience too.

For those who aren’t interested in sports, the arena even hosts everything from concerts and conventions to lectures and ceremonies, so it is definitely worth checking what is on while you are in town.

Firestone Fieldhouse is at 24225 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265.

19- Appreciate Californian Art At The Frederick R. Weisman Museum

The Frederick R. Weisman Museum is an art museum located on the grounds of Pepperdine University.

Established in 1992, it specialises in Californian art by both renowned and lesser-known artists.

It is a perfect opportunity for art fans to come and see some of the best works from the area and appreciate the styles native to the region.

Frederick R. Weisman Museum is at 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265.

20- Cheer On The Athletes Competing At Pepperdine University

top things to do in malibu waves crashing on a rock with blue sky
Watching the waves crashing on rocks at low tide in Leo Carillo State Beach is another inspiring thing to do in Malibu.

While Pepperdine University’s basketball and volleyball teams are undoubtedly their crown jewels, the university also has a number of outdoor sporting venues as well.

With a baseball stadium, football pitch, and tennis centre, sports fans can spend a day cheering on the young athletes as they hone their skills while soaking in the beautiful rays from the Californian sun.

Eddy D. Field Baseball Stadium, Tari Frahm Rokus Field, & Ralphs – Straus Tennis Center: Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 90265. 

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Steve Burden is an avid traveller and experienced writer. As a former pro wrestler, Steve used to travel frequently for work throughout the USA and Europe. Having spent the last decade travelling all over the world in search of new sights and experiences, he has turned his love for travel into a new career helping others decide on the best places to visit, as well as what to see when they get there.