Los Angeles Activities
Malibu Creek State Park
1925 Las Virgenes Rd., Calabasas
Nestled into the Santa Monica mountains high above PCH, people call this state park the Yosemite of Southern California because of the many rock climbers it attracts year-round. It's also home to some great wildlife: On any given day, you can almost always find lizards, rattlesnakes, raccoons, foxes, bluebirds, and more up here. If rock climbing isn’t your thing, the park offers a long list of activities such as biking, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, camping, bird watching, and even painting. Fun fact: The park was formerly owned by 20th Century Fox Studios, and has starred in Pleasantville, The Seven Year Itch, and Love Me Tender, among many other films. Note: While you can bring them to your campsite, dogs aren't allowed in the backcountry here.
23200 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu
This immaculately preserved 1930’s Moorish-Spanish-style villa serves an important purpose in the community: to educate visitors about the history of Malibu, going all the way back to the 18th century when the land was home to the Chumash Indians. You can see the entire house, with its elaborate tile work and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean during a one-hour guided tour, and if you visit on a Friday, save some time for a tour of the gardens as well. (Its' history and idyllic setting also make the property a coveted wedding venue.) Also on site is the Malibu Lagoon Museum, offering an even deeper dive into Malibu’s past.
Solstice Canyon Hike
3998 Solstice Canyon Rd., Malibu
COVID-19 update: Open for socially distant hiking although restrooms be closed. The Solstice Canyon is one of the most popular hikes in Los Angeles. There's a route for every level of intensity, from mellow walking to more difficult treks. As you work your way up, you’ll bump into the Keller House, the remnants of a 100+plus-year-old stone cabin which was damaged in the 2007 fires. The true pièce de résistance, however, is the Solstice waterfall, where you’ll also find the Paul Revere Williams-designed Roberts Ranch house. The trails are well-suited for picnicking, mountain biking, and observing local wildlife, an especially thrilling experience for pint-sized hikers. Dogs are allowed, as long as they’re on leash. COVID-19 disclaimer: We are working hard to keep our listings as up to date as possible (deliveries, outdoor dining, etc.), but given the evolving nature of local COVID-19 restrictions, we recommend double-checking the information in this guide with any business you plan on visiting. Also, please note that we have not vetted any businesses listed within our guides for their compliance with applicable safety regulations.
30000 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu
One of our go-to beaches, Zuma is also one of the most impressive in scope, stretching close to three miles along the coast. It’s usually pleasantly un-crowded, too, leaving plenty of room to spread out. It’s also home to a great break for beginner surfers as well as a meeting spot for paddle boarding classes. For kids, there’s a junior lifeguard program during the summer.
23050 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu
Odds are if you’ve seen a Malibu postcard or any surfing movie, you’ve seen Surfrider Beach. Home to the iconic first point surf break, this is one of the more crowded beaches along PCH, though it’s well situated if you’re looking to take in a bit of sun and some surfer-watching after lunch on the pier. Don’t waste time searching for roadside parking; it's easier to splurge for the lot or valet on the pier instead—unless it’s peak season, in which case, it’s every man for himself.
29245 Cliffside Dr., Malibu
Rockier than other local beaches and fortified by picturesque cliffs, Point Dume is ideal for exploring, not just laying out. There’s a hiking trail for taking in the scenery, plus it goes up the bluffs to an overlook spot at the very top of Point Dume for panoramic views of the Santa Monica Bay and a good chunk of the Malibu coast. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the migrating grey whales in winter. There's also plenty of swimming, scuba diving, and surfing here if watersports are your thing.
27420 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu
This semi-hidden beach sprawls over the stretch of coastline where PCH meets Escondido Road. Not quite as crowded as the more spacious beaches in the area, Escondido is the perfect size and vibe for mellow sunbathing or strolling with the family. Parking can get tricky, so its best to park along PCH, and access the beach through a public stairway west of Geoffrey’s. Keep in mind, no dogs allowed.
Malibu Wine Safari
32111 Mulholland Hwy., Malibu
Just off a winding stretch of Mulholland perched high in the hills sits the thousand-acre Saddlerock Ranch—picturesque, with rolling hills, its bucolic grounds also happen to serve as a home to several zebras, water buffalo, yaks, llamas, alpaca, and an attention-loving giraffe named Stanley. During the week, 60-minute-long tours are available for families with littles (48 inches and above) in an open-air black-and-white striped Jeep. Kids have the chance to interact with and feed the animals. On the weekends, adults can book a boozy version which includes a tour through the vineyards, quick history lesson, and a series of tastings. Note: Book early, as the weekend tastings are popular with large groups.
Los Leones Trail
Los Leones Dr., Pacific Palisades
Starting at the end of Los Leones Drive in the Palisades, the best version of this hike ends at the Parker Mesa Overlook in Malibu, which is the perfect perch to have a snack or a meal after a roughly three-mile ascent. (About a mile in, make sure you take a hard left at the Paseo Miramar Trail junction.) There’s not a lot of shade—and because of the unsurprisingly gorgeous view of the Santa Monica Bay and surrounding area at the top, it’s fairly well-traveled—so it’s best to go in the early morning. You’ll see “Los Leones” and “Los Liones” used interchangeably; don’t worry, they’re the same thing. There are a couple small parking lots at the bottom, and ample (free) street parking. Note: No dogs allowed.
2806 Tuna Canyon Rd., Malibu
COVID-19 update: Open for socially distant hiking although restrooms may be closed. Situated in the mountains between Malibu and Topanga, Tuna Canyon Park is less well-known than other parks in the area—which just makes it less crowded and more appealing. There are several trails, but the best destination is the Big Rock Lateral fire road, where you’ll reach stunning views of the surrounding mountains (and the Pacific, of course). The three-mile hike is mostly downhill on the way there—you’ll get a workout on the way back to your car, along with views of Saddle Peak. Getting to Tuna Canyon can be a little tricky; if you’re coming from PCH you’ll be spending a bit of time in the car winding through Topanga roads. Dogs are welcome and parking is free. COVID-19 disclaimer: We are working hard to keep our listings as up to date as possible (deliveries, outdoor dining, etc.), but given the evolving nature of local COVID-19 restrictions, we recommend double-checking the information in this guide with any business you plan on visiting. Also, please note that we have not vetted any businesses listed within our guides for their compliance…