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Malibu activities...any ideas?

Toronto, Canada
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Malibu activities...any ideas?

Hi,

My husband and I are going to be in Malibu for 3 days in the begining of February 09. I was just wondering what we should do while we are there. We're staying at the Casa Malibu Inn. Has anyone stayed there that might have any "inside" info ie: the beach area it sits on. Can you swim there or surf? Any good restaurants in town that the locals love? Any fishing rental places (rod etc)? Back to surfing.....I have read that there are beaches that are "locals only". Is this true? If so, what would be a good beach for a tourist to surf. My husband is a beginer so it can't be too dangerous a beach. Any romantic areas for a picnic? Great photo vistas?

Thanks!

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Santa Monica...
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1. Re: Malibu activities...any ideas?

I don't know what kind of weather you'll have - it might be cold and rainy. You might get lucky and get a heat wave.

The beach it sits on is narrow, at that time of year there are high tides, so it's pretty rocky. You'll need to wait to see when you're there. Surfrider is just on the other side of the pier, a very short walk, you can sit on the beach there, with a picnic (get the picnic sandwiches from John's Garden in the Country Mart, or get italian picnic from Tra di Noi).

Across the street is Zuma Jay's and they offer surf lessons. Also, you can rent kayaks just next to your hotel.

Restaurants include Nobu, Taverna Tony's, Allegria, Tra di Noi, and my new favorite, Barrel, which is a wine bar but has excellent food.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Malibu activities...any ideas?

Thanks for your info Yoga chick! Do you know if Zuma Jays sells wetsuits? Where do the locals hang out on weekends? What do they do? We always like to try and do/see non-tourist things too while we're away from home. I have read that sometimes dolphins can be seen frolicking in the water. Last year, we stayed in Santa Monica and we drove into Malibu for the day. We stopped at the pier and had a picnic and saw lots of people fishing, and quite a few people in kayaks too and tons of surfers. We saw a sea lion swimming near the kayaks. Pretty neat! So I'm guessing that the pier is a good location for surfing, fishing and kayaking. Are there any other areas that would be nice to kayak? I've seen photos of areas that have large rocks on beaches that look so picturesque (sp?). Do you know of any areas where I can get some beach/rock photos?

Thanks again!

Los Angeles
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3. Re: Malibu activities...any ideas?

I think your idea of Malibu is what you get to see on tv. There really is no "downtown" Malibu or places you can walk around. It's the place with nice houses people are living in and driving in there cars to places of interest in L.A.

Moonshadows would come to mind as a great place to have dinner and there sunday afternoons are legendary. Otherwise you most likely will find yourself heading towards Santa Monica

Santa Monica...
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4. Re: Malibu activities...any ideas?

The restaurants I listed are local hangouts. Malibu is tiny.

Zuma Jay's will hook you up with everything you need to surf. Don't forget that your hotel staff will be very helpful guiding you to anything, like horseback riding. There is no riding on the beach.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Malibu activities...any ideas?

Thanks for everyones help! My husband and I were staying in Santa Monica last year and drove to see Malibu. We thought it looked so lovely that we decided to stay at the Casa Malibu Inn this year for 3 nights and then were off to Santa Barbara for a couple of days and then we're going to stay in Santa Monica for a week. We use Santa Monica as a kind of "home base" for the many daily adventures, activites, (Comedy Death Ray, movie at Mann's Chinese Theatre, Dearly Departed Tour), and such in the Los Angeles area. I realise that Malibu is a small town but I want to find things to do there because we have plenty to do in L.A.

Thanks everyone!

Los Angeles
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6. Re: Malibu activities...any ideas?

malibu is lovely, they have a little center with some shops and restaurants, i think it is close to pepperdine. I am sure yogachick can be more specific on where it is located.

There are also casual diningspot along PCH, here is a great list of fun/nice restaurants in the malibu area, some of which you could go just for the view and have a drink

http://local.yahoo.com/CA/Malibu/Food+Dining/Restaurants/Seafood+Restaurants

Rancho Santa...
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7. Re: Malibu activities...any ideas?

I tend to agree with the sentiment that Malibu is an odd place since it is basically residential. However, here are a couple of suggestions.

1) Getty Villa - Just off PCH. Reservations are necessary, if you drive. Even if you don't like antiquities, it is worth a visit. The buildings and grounds are interesting. It is not large. Food is pretty good.

2) Point Dume - Excellent viewpoint. Sort of tricky to get here. Take PCH north past Kanan Dume Road. As you come down the hill, exit to the left on Westward Beach Road. (Zuma Beach is right here on the right.) Take it all the way to the end. There might be a gate where you have to pay for parking. Park at the base of the point and hike up. Don't worry it is a short steep hike and really nice. Hike over to the east side and there is a lovely deck to take in the view. You'll know you're on the right track because there is a wooden trail. You can hike down to the beach on the eastern side if you like. All very nice. I took my wife here on our second date.

3) Zuma Beach - This is just north of Point Dume. To get here instead of turning left on Westward Beach Road, stick to the right and take the round-about under the highway to the entrance to Zuma. I love this beach because it is huge, lots of parking, very clean, decent although aging facilities, good surf (although more suited to boogie-boarding IMO). Go early before the wind picks up.

4) El Matador Beach is really lovely. You've seen countless times in movies and advertising. It is a few miles further up PCH from Zuma. It is also tricky to find because there is only a simple sign. Be careful crossing against the oncoming traffic. Also, the beach while picturesque (sic?) is rough. Parking is a dirt lot and the hike down is not for everyone. There are pretty much no facilities. Don't forget to pay for parking at the tiny lot.

5) It has been a long time since I went, but I used to drive up Coral Canyon. There is a great lookout point way up at the end of the road. There's a 76 gas station at the turn-off to this road. The view is spectacular because you can see the Valley and the ocean. Again, very rough and ready.

HTH

Lewiston, California
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8. Re: Malibu activities...any ideas?

"The Getty at Malibu" is free BUT requires a advance reservation that you can make on line. Parking is $8. We did it a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday & made them a week only in advance.

California
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9. Re: Malibu activities...any ideas?

You've been given some great suggestions. I'll just add... perhaps you don't want to, "buy a wetsuit." It's not uncommon to be able to rent them (w/out commenting on that particular store). If you think you want to buy wetsuits since you'll be in SoCal for awhile, consider first researching prices at general sporting goods stores (Sports Authority, Big 5, REI, etc.). A local surf store may still beat that price, but at least you'll know what kinda deal you're getting.

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Malibu activities...any ideas?

My husband is thinking about buying a wetsuit because he's really hooked on surfing. A few years ago we went to Tofino, B.C. and that's where he had his first surf lesson. It's been a passion of his ever since! So evey year since then we have to go on one vacation that is built around surfing. I was the one that told him that he should get his own wetsuit but that's just because of the ick factor. That said, he's the one wearing it not me and it really doesn't seem to bother him. He's just so blown away by the whole surf thing that I think it will make him feel like he's a real surfer. We live in the Toronto area and there is a place near by that some people surf in the fall. But the water is cold!!!! So that was the other reason for entertaining the thought of purchacing a wetsuit. But I think that you are right, comedor, he should shop around before hand. This way he'll get a great deal and have a user friendly souvenier from California. His other passion is skateboarding. That's the other reason we stay in Santa Monica. He loves the skatepark there. Is there a skatepark in Malibu? When we were there last year (the one day we were in Malibu), we asked at a clothing store in a strip mall and they told where there was one but all we could find was a bunch of construction going on in the area they told us about.