Cultural Experience | Malibu

Malibu Chillin’

How to enjoy Malibu the right way

A couple of months ago a friend let a group of us stay in their Malibu beach house for a night.  We decided to plan an entire day in the beautiful city.  Malibu is located along the Pacific Coast Highway in Los Angeles.  Because of its proximity to Hollywood and its gorgeous location along the beach, it is known to be home to the rich and famous. This land was originally owned by the Chumash until it became a part of the California Mission system like most of coastal California during that time.  In 1891 the land was passed to Frederick and Rhoda Rindge who guarded their privacy for years, refusing the building of a Pacific Coast Railway and guarding from trespassers until the state finally built the Pacific Coast Highway through the land.  The highway lead to more and more people coming through and staying in Malibu.  Eventually, Rindge was forced to sell the land and the Malibu Colony (now a gated community with amazing beach views) was born and home to those who could afford it.  This is when the famous celebrities of Los Angeles started pouring in.

Because we enjoyed our day in Malibu so much, I thought I’d share what we did with anyone else looking for a well spent day in this SoCal beach town.

Early Morning Hike at Escondido Falls: The three of us woke up early at school in Santa Barbara and drove down to Malibu, getting there around 9:00am.  We read about this hiking trail right off the Pacific Coast Highway and decided to go for it.  It turned out to be the highlight of our day.  The trail starts off taking you through the beautiful hills and Malibu mansions , which is a pleasant walk.  Eventually, you go through a small path that takes you into the nature.  Everything is green and lush, there are several trees to climb and sit in.  You’ll feel like a little kid again.  After about a 45 minute walk on easy trails you get to the exciting part where you have to actually rock climb your way up to the waterfalls.  At this point you have the option of stopping there and admiring the falls or climbing up a little higher to get an amazing view.  Another great thing about this hike is how social people are.  Everyone was talking to everyone along the way.  We even went to lunch with the new friends we made.  This is 2 or 3 hour hike is a great kickstart to anyone’s day.


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Panorama at the top of Escondido

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One of the many trees to climb along the way

Paradise Cove: This hike will definitely work up an appetite.  Not even a mile south of the exit of Escondido is the beautiful Paradise Cove.  This is a private beach but the restaurant is available to anyone.  You are literally on the beach, meaning while you are enjoying an amazing meal, your feet are in the warm sand.  This is delicious for brunch or lunch.  I had brunch that day and enjoyed a delicious egg scramble with sausage.  It is a basic American restaurant that serves just about anything you can think of.  It is a bit pricier than other places, but it is definitely worth the few extra dollars.  However, if you are looking to save money, there is an equally amazing place up the highway called Duke’s that serves American and Seafood as well for a more affordable price.  It also has a great view of the beach and a cool beach vibe.

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Paradise Cove with the ocean directly behind


Paradise Cove or Zuma Beach:  After lunch it is time to hit the beach.  That day our friends and I went to Paradise Cove which costs some money to go to. However, there is the free Zuma beach only 2 minutes down the highway.  Both of them are perfect and fun to go to with friends.  Paradise Cove is more quiet and secluded while Zuma is a little more noisy.  Either one you go to you are going to get a tan, feel the warm sand, and play in the ocean so it doesn’t really matter.  Because the waves are not too big at both of these beaches, they are actually the perfect spots to try paddle boarding.  Everyone really enjoyed it and it’s a very quickly learned sport.

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Panorama of Paradise Cove

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Zuma Beach


Sunset: To finish of the night perfectly, our friends took us to this restaurant right on Zuma beach called Sunset.  This place has its windows open facing the water.  It stands literally in the parking lot of the beach.  It serves delicious American and Seafood for a pretty average price. They serve amazing mojitos.  Also at around 9:00pm Thursday through Sunday a DJ comes out and everyone can dance and drink and eat all at once!  It has a really cool vibe on the inside and the staff is very friendly.  If you are on a date or with a group of friends, this is the place to be.

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A group picture right in front of Sunset, showing the view and proximity to the beach

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Cheers from Sunset to a well spent day in Malibu!

If you ever find yourself in Malibu and don’t feel like spending an arm and a leg paying for overprices sushi and shopping all day follow this guide!  Take a hike, eat some lunch, and hit the beach.  You are guaranteed to fall in love with this quaint beach town.  We definitely contemplated moving there a couple of times.

Gian Ryan

UC Santa Barbara | 10 stories

Hi there! I'm Gian. I am currently a sophomore at UC Santa Barbara studying political science. In my teenage years I have been around the states and Europe to places like France, Spain, and England. I have visited Morocco and Lebanon. I am studying abroad in Florence, Italy in the coming fall. I'll be spending my summer in Los Angeles writing some fun and informative articles about traveling in college! Can't wait to get started.

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