Malibu is synonymous with beaches, glamour and celebrities. But--perhaps surprisingly--there's nothing pretentious (or at least not... more » much) about this beautiful, 27-mile stretch of coastline. Walk around in shorts and flip-flops and you'll fit right in with the rest of the tourists and residents (about 13,000) who are here for the same thing-–pristine beaches, mesas and canyons.
Malibu's combined incorporated and unincorporated areas cover about 45,000 acres. The area's diverse terrain from sparkling beaches to rugged canyons has made it a popular filming location. Movies and TV shows shot here include "Gidget," "Planet of the Apes," "Love American Style" and "Mod Squad."
Don't try to see everything. You'll get a good feeling for the place (and make the most of your time) by focusing your visit around the historic Malibu Pier area.
That's because Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is the main drag and it can be tricky navigating your way around to avoid traffic jams and find parking. Residents have learned when and how to shop and do errands to bypass PCH at its most congested hours.
The Malibu Chamber of Commerce recommends that you choose what you want to see and stay in that area, rather than drive up and down PCH, especially on weekends. In fact, if possible, avoid weekends, when traffic crawls to a stop.
Keep your plans simple. After parking, walk to a cafe for a nice lunch and then head to the beach for an afternoon of splashing in the waves. Surf lessons are offered up and down the coast. Why not give it a try?
If you're hoping to see celebrities, you might spot them at the Malibu Country Mart. But remember, it's not considered cool to chase them down. less «