Is there any shops/bars etc., in Malibu?
Yes, there are a lot of restaurants - many have bars in them as well. There are also some shops, but other than the colony, not any "shopping centers". What type of shops and bars are you interested in and I can anser the question a bit better with some actual places.
Are you staying in Malibu? We stayed for 2 nights and loved the quiet of the town. There really isn't alot of shopping and the Colony that was mentioned has alot of great shops but they were all pretty expensive. The beach is so nice because it isn't very crowded. Are you looking to do something specific?
Thanks for helpful replies. Not really anything in specific interest re: shops. Really I guess any nice bars/resturants etc., - I have no idea what it is like - is it a small town or few roads on the coast - obviously know that it is full of 'rich' great houses etc., on the coast. Can you cycle to it from Santa Monica? I reckon I need to get a map out!!!
Malibu is Pacific Coast Highway along the coast and Mulholland Highway on the ridge of the Santa Monica Mountains. Connecting them are a series of canyon roads. There are also a number of dead-end canyon roads. There's plenty of hiking. Biking in the canyons is for the experienced only. If you want to bike, stick with the area south of Pacific Palisades (which is just up the coast from Santa Monica).
The main shopping area, and one you might find interesting, is at Cross Creek and Malibu Country Mart, where Malibu Creek meets the Pacific Ocean at Surfrider Beach. Just up PCH from Crosscreek is the Malibu Colony Shopping Center, which is a considerably less interesting. Both areas have a variety of restaurants at a variety of prices.
Is there a central/hotel/b&b's in Malibu near the restaurants etc...
There are no B&Bs that I know of, and hotels/motels are limited in Malibu, by design.
If you put "malibu hotels" in the Trip Advisor search engine, you'll get three options. The Casa Malibu Inn On The Beach is close to the Malibu Pier and Surfrider Beach, which is a short walk to Cross Creek and The Colony. That would be my choice.
The Malibu Shores Hotel is in the same area, but on the landside of Pacific Coast Highway, though closer to Cross Creek (you won't have to cross PCH, which isn't a big deal at the designated pedestrian crossings).
An area I'd recommend for shopping, is Sunset Blvd. in Pacific Palisades. Pacific Palisades is between Santa Monica and Malibu (much closer to Santa Monica). However the shops are about a mile or so from the beach area. Shopping here (on Sunset Blvd) I think is similar to shopping on Montana Ave. in Santa Monica but is in a more scenic area near Will Rogers State Historic Park.
There are many state parks in this area (Will Rogers, Malibu Creek to name two) where they have excellent hiking. Also in Will Rogers State Park, there are polo matches on weekends and a museum documenting his life as well as hiking trails.
sorry one last thing. Are they any chilled/good bars in Malibu - I'm guessing there must be local shops and bars or some central place in Malibu and it isn't just big houses and beaches?