Malibu Travel Guide

El Matador State Beach
Some of the grounds at Malibu Wine Safari--a great activity for the bachelorette party I was on!
IMG_1685.jpg

It's hard to visit Malibu and not fall in love with the views from every cliff, cute restaurants and slower pace right outside the city of busy Los Angeles. It has a relaxed feel that is still chic enough to attract celebrities and other socialites who work in LA. It's on the quieter side so it provides the perfect escape from busy life. The cliff side views of the ocean make it easy to see why people are willing to spend what they do in order to live there. It's laid back-surfer town feel and sweeping views are hard to beat! 

Here are my recommendations for where to stay, where to eat, and what to do! Reach out to me to plan your next trip to Malibu (or anywhere!) via email at carly.robinson@smartflyer.com. You can also visit the Cozy Traveler website to learn more about how the process works and fill out this contact form to get in touch. 

Malibu Farms Cafe
El Matador State Beach

Stay

Malibu Beach Inn: Perched right above the beach, you can hear the waves crash from your room. It has a laid back, simple aesthetic with a small hint of coastal decor. Great restaurants are really close and the beach is right at the hotel so the location can't be beat. Still, the rooms are quiet and it provides for a relaxing getaway. In line with that, there is of course a spa! There are 47 rooms, all super serene!

Added Amenities When Booking With Me:

  • $80 breakfast credit per day, per room to be used in dining room, room service or beach
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Upgrade upon arrival, subject to availability
  • King Pier View or Queen Ocean View categories will receive an automatic upgrade at time of booking

Nobu Ryokan: As in the hotel that houses the restaurant that every celebrity & their mother (okay, maybe just the Kardashian's mother) is posting on Instagram. This hotel has Japanese inspired decor that is simple and sleek enough to work beautifully in this beach town. It is located right next to Malibu Beach Inn, with tons of restaurants and the beach right there as well. If you somehow get tired of the beach, you can hang out in the garden by the fireplace as well. It is a small property with only 16 guest rooms. Eating sushi there is almost a requirement! 

Added Amenities When Booking With Me:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Two eggs, Bacon and Apple Pear Salad Breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

The Ranch MalibuIf you're not necessarily looking to explore the area and just want a retreat in a beautiful destination, then definitely consider The Ranch Malibu! Its a luxury fitness retreat in a stunning place. The Ranch offers three acclaimed results-oriented, fitness and wellness programs, each designed to recalibrate the mind and body through an intense fitness and wellness regimen paired with a highly structured nutritional diet. This is not your typical spa or resort vacation. This luxury boot camp is dedicated to improving the quality of one's life by improving their health.

Added Amenities When Booking With Me:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests (Given the nature of our program, all meals and snacks are included in the fee and guests are served a set menu for the week.)
  • Choice of one of the following services: additional daily massage, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment or cholesterol testing.
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi (in bedroom only)

Villa Rentals: Did you know that travel agents can book villas (aka nice houses)?! Malibu has a ton of amazing rentals that can fit your needs. These are perfect for large group gatherings with friends or multi generational family vacations!

Malibu Farms Restaurant (I went to the cafe)
Malibu Farms Restaurant

Dine

  1. Malibu Farms: The cutest seaside atmosphere with wooden chandeliers that sway in the wind. There are two Malibu Farms eateries located on the pier right next to each other, the more casual cafe and the restaurant. Both have a relaxed vibe that beg to be photographed. A diverse menu with some healthy, fresh options and of course frose. Malibu Farm Restaurant accepts reservations for dinner but besides that it's first come first serve. 
  2. Nobu: See and be seen! This restaurant is where Hollywood and Malibu collide. Sushi fans also rejoice! It's locate above the beach with great views of the ocean so even if you go for cocktails and skip the meal, its worth it. Make a reservation ahead of time. 
  3. Cafe Habana: Corn and cuban is how they describe their cuisine and no one's mad about it. The menu features all of your tex-mex favorites that are all simple and done well. The atmosphere is laid back but romantic with hanging lights and greenery. 
  4. Geoffreys: The go-to white tablecloth, upscale spot in Malibu. With international cuisine with coastal views its a perfect spot for a romantic dinner. 
  5. Malibu Seafood Cafe: They make fast-food seafood a cool thing. Their line proves this to be true. If you look good seafood in a super casual atmosphere, this spot is for you. Just walk up and order at the window!
  6. Malibu Burger Co: They've got all of the classic burger options as well as plant based choices with vegan cheese and various bowls. 
  7. Taverna Tony: Tzatziki anyone?! Taverna Tony serves Greek food with live Greek Music. If you're looking for it to be livelier, head there on a weekend night. 
  8. Calamigos Beach Club Restaurant: A five acre ranch with mid century decor located along the beach. It's a little further off the beaten path but you won't mind once your toes hit the sand for the beach bar! 
Some of the grounds at Malibu Wine Safari
Stanley the giraffe loved the bachelorette party girls

Play

Malibu Wine Safari: A completely unique experience in a stunning atmosphere. You can choose from different tour options but the combination of getting to see the safari animals and do wine tasting is hard to beat. You get to feed animals (the friendly ones), see some others, and taste red and white wines that they grow in their on site vineyards. Feeding Stanley the giraffe is definitely a highlight! The property is huge and has such gorgeous views of rolling mountains and cool rock formations. The tour guides are super friendly and witty. Just make sure to get a ticket in advance and show up with plenty of time before your tour start time to check in. 

Malibu Wines: The sister property to Malibu Wine Safari, where you can go to keep drinking your favorite wine that you tasted via shuttle after the safari. It's definitely off the beaten path but you can go there just for wine tasting as well. They have live music some evenings and a food truck that frequently comes on site. 

El Matador State Beach: Talk about a stunning place! Being at El Matador feels like being in Portugal or some far away place. The cliffs are massive and stunning and the rock formations that jut out of no where are so cool. Grab a blanket and head down the long and steep path to the sand, it's so worth it! 

Hike: There are lots of well known hikes in Malibu that each have special qualities. Solstice Canyon hike is a popular one with different levels of difficulty. Check out the perrenial waterfall, as long as water is actually flowing from it (sometimes it gets dried out). Tuna Canyon Park and Charmlee Wilderness Park are some other frequently hiked spots, to name a few. 

Nicholas Canyon Beach: A classic beach along a pretty U shaped section. Park at the lot up top (you need to pay) and then climb down the stairs to the put your toes in the sand. This is a great spot to surf!

Surf: Speaking of surfing, if you are talented enough then you won't want to miss out on surfing in this iconic destination. Some of the most popular surfing spots are Zuma Beach, Nicholas Canyon Beach, Surfrider Beach, Topanga Beach, Topanga Beach and County Line. 

Point Dume State Beach: A boardwalk, a beach, and sea lions all gather in this spot. It is a nature preserve that is located along a coastal bluff. Ascend the trail to the sand dune and take in the incredible views.  

Feeding the animals at Malibu Wine Safari was equal parts amazing and gross haha

 

Drink

Moonshadows: Seaside spot with great views! Perfect for a day drink and some grub.

Rosenthal Wine: Wine bar in a cute outdoor space. They have events, including live music so make sure to check out their calendar. 

Nobu: This spot has made this list a lot but there aren't many nightlife places in Malibu and this is a good one to grab a drink. Be warned that even they don't stay open late. 

Our safari vehicle!
IMG_1639.jpg