The Malibu Guide
At its heart, the city of Malibu is a small town—with its remarkable concentration of some of the prettiest hiking trails in the country, 20-plus distinct beaches, and a close-knit community of local-owned businesses, it’s also so much more than just “27 miles of scenic beauty.” There’s a lot of history here (the land was originally inhabited by the Chumash Native Americans and the ocean breaks were among the first to welcome surfers back in the ’20s), the best of which, many would argue, is still in the making thanks to a recent influx of fledgling shops, boutique hotels, and restaurants. An easy 25-minute drive from LA, Malibu is bisected by the Pacific Coast Highway (aka California State Route 1, if you want to get technical), which runs along the California coast from Orange County, through Big Sur, and all the way up to Mendocino, leaving the beach on one side and the stunning Santa Monica mountains on the other—in other words, road-trip gold.
The Ranch at Live Oak12220 Cotharin Rd., Malibu | 310.457.8700
When you find yourself reaching for your iPhone to check emails in the middle of the night, it's time for The Ranch. This week-long luxury bootcamp in the mountains of Malibu encourages you to power down, let go of stress, and break less-than-healthy habits of the day-to-day; and bring back balance through exercise, diet, massage, and rest. Whether it's a a bowl of their signature granola with almond milk or a bar of their lavender pumice soap, each element of this program has been been curated to ensure guests have the best of the best.
Aja1821 Latigo Canyon Rd., Malibu | 310.457.7024
This gorgeous, twenty-three-acre property sits high in the Malibu hills, overlooking the ocean. Run by shaman, healer, and mystic Inannya Magick, the retreat (which doesn't allow phones) is a center of positive energy in every possible way—there are crystals around each corner, displayed in bookshelves, infused into the spa, and even buried in seven chakra-themed medicinal gardens (to transfer positive energy to the plants). There's an herbalist on-site, and the food program offers raw, plant-based cuisine made with plenty of produce that's grown in Aja's mountaintop gardens. Spa-wise, they offer every conceivable healing modality, from an oxygenated and ozonated water swimming pool, to acupuncture and craniosacral massage to an infrared sauna. Each day is booked in seven-day increments, which allow guests to participate in Magick's full immersive program.
Five Point Yoga23410 Civic Center Way, Malibu | 310.455.6681
Five Point founder Ted McDonald developed the class offering—a mix of Aerial yoga, alignment-centric classes, and Vinyasa flows in various levels of intensity—with the goal of providing his students with a rounded approach to physical and emotional wellness. There’s also an aerial yoga program for the littlest yogis and an online classes for adults, too.
Malibu Acupuncture and Herbs23410 Civic Center Way, Malibu | 310.456.8811
Situated upstairs in a less frequented part of the Malibu Country Mart, Dr. Lauren Freiman’s healing center has a steady following of locals who appreciate her gentle, loving approach to functional medicine and acupuncture in treating a host of ailments (anxiety, reproductive issues, chronic pain, and more). Her services range from traditional acupuncture to herbal remedies and nutritional support, to something called “cosmetic acupuncture,” which is said to target problem areas by stimulating collagen production.
Malibu Shaman23410 Civic Center Way, Malibu | 310.456.5617
This is where you head for all your crystal, sage, incense, singing bowl, and general metaphysical/mystical needs. Going strong since the ‘80s and family owned, this artfully crammed shop is exactly what you’d expect to find in Malibu. With a packed roster of talented psychics and tarot-card reader friends (get a 30-minute reading from Cathy Crystal—trust) there’s usually availability for a last-minute session. There’s also an impressive library and a tarot card section that rivals anything we’ve ever seen (more on what to do with your deck, here).
The Ashram2025 McKain St., Calabasas | 818.222.6900
The only advice we have to those seeking to push themselves through the original back-to-basics boot camp? Stick it out. The seven days of crazy-long hikes, intense workouts, and a cleansing, vegetarian diet will be hard work, but it will also whip you into shape. Not for the faint of heart (or the fussy), this no-frills, no-excuses program is no less grueling (or cushy) than it is in Mallorca—but the OG Calabasas location is just far enough removed from city life to feel like a quiet respite, too.
Water + Spirit25001 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu | 310.804.7920
It doesn’t really get more Malibu than this: a guided meditation experience, performed on paddle boards, out in the Pacific. Creator Jobi Manson—who also owns the shop Sēfari nearby—designs each session to encourage self-discovery and spiritual transformation, working in astrological birth chart readings and journaling to the ritual. Sessions last two to three hours; you can book private or group sessions every morning but Sunday. (You don’t need paddleboard experience or own a wetsuit to participate.)