Best of Los Angeles – Escape to Malibu

Posted on June 10, 2009 by

As the last installation of  Melanie’s Best of LA series, my favorite LA guru gives us a lowdown on what to do and see in Malibu. Check out her blog on couple travel at Travels with Two where she charms us with whimsical travel tales.

Malibu Melanie

Here’s what we love most about Malibu, the 27-mile-long beach town famous for its remote beaches, surfing lifestyle, and movie star residents.

Topanga Canyon by MelanieThe journey is half the destination.  There are at least six stunning routes to Malibu, each one a vacation unto itself, with gorgeous valleys, creeks, mountains, hills and hikes.  Our two favorite routes are hippie-vibe Topanga Canyon and towering rocks/ocean view Malibu Canyon.

 Hang out at the beach.  Once you’re in Malibu, check out our three favorite beachesPoint Dune for soft white sand, Broad Beach for mansion ogling and El Matador for seclusion and exotic rock formations.  All three are just minutes from each other. 


Matador Beach

Eat as if you own a mansion.  At  Geoffrey’s, park your car for free on Pacific Coast Highway, walk down the driveway, and enter the world of the rich and famous.  The autos at valet are some of the world’s most expensive, though the food is not.  The star attraction is the location: A glass-walled terrace on a cliff overlooking the Pacific.  Dress is generally pretty spiffy, but high heels aren’t recommended for the walk down and back up the driveway.

Geoffrey's Restaurant by Melanie

Paradise CoveEat as if you live in a trailer park on the beachParadise Cove is a combination beach cafe/upscale mobile home park, the latter of which is a uniquely Malibu concept.  Park free with validation, rent some Adirondack chairs or grab a table right on the sand to dine on the yummy salad bar and watch pelicans.  It’s sort of like having your own beach house for the day (albeit with a bunch of strangers). 

Eat as if you live in Greece.  At Taverna Tony, sit out on the bougainvillea-covered, sun-dappled patio long enough, enjoying their complimentary and amazing caviar/garlic/avocado dip, their plenty-for-two Vegetarian’s Paradise platter and Greek Village Salad, and you’re bound to have what people in LA simply call a “sighting.”  As in, “Did you see Ellen Pompeo at that Greek place?  Best sighting I’ve had in a while.   Who knew she eats?”

All this and cuddly waiters from Crete.  Fantastic

Taverna Tony

 Find some peace.  At the tail end of Sunset Boulevard, on the left-hand side and 1/4 mile before you reach PCH, is the meditation garden/pond of the Lake Shrine Temple of the Self-Realization Fellowship.  On the weekends, it’s generally open to the public.  Park for free and treat yourself to this manmade tribute to floral quiet and reflection.

Self Realization Fellowship by Melanie



Melanie Waldman lives in Los Angeles and writes the couples’ travel blog, Travels With Two. Her blog has been nominated in the Lonely Planet Travel Blog Awards.



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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

7 Responses to “Best of Los Angeles – Escape to Malibu”

  1. Amy @ The Q Family June 9, 2009 9:33 pm

    The view at Geoffrey's is goegeous!! Actually, the view of Malibu is amazing in all the photo you post. What a treat to live nearby such a beautiful place.

  2. Lilliy June 11, 2009 6:57 am

    I am loving this Los Angeles series!

  3. Melanie June 12, 2009 9:13 pm

    Thanks, ladies! You should come see Malibu for yourselves — the air is so clean, and the people are really friendly. It's the perfect vacation spot within the huge, sprawling city of L.A.

  4. Dave and Deb June 13, 2009 7:39 pm

    Beautiful, I want to go to all of the places mentioned above. I love that you can park for free. Can you take an RV and park over night. That would be fun. I can't imagine the mansions on Malibu Beach.

  5. Melanie June 16, 2009 4:02 pm

    You can park an RV for free far out in Malibu, just a few miles beyond the Ventura County line. Not a bad scene to wake up to…For a great view of some of the most spectacular Malibu mansions, just past El Matador beach on the right side of PCH, head up Encinal Canyon Road, and stop at either of the first two turnouts. Completely ridiculous that anyone should actually have a tennis court or infinity pool overlooking the Pacific!

  6. Gary November 19, 2009 3:22 am

    Malibu is amazing. I had a friend who lived out there for a few years. He had a really nice (modest) house with a key to the gate of the neighborhood's private beach. It was idyllic but he soon got bored. That's the problem with actually living in Malibu. No matter how close you feel to Los Angeles, you really are pretty far from the city. Oh wait, maybe that's the point! Thanks Melanie!


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