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What do you think of when you think of Malibu? Hollywood stars? Expensive homes? Barbie? (Yes, I’m a child of the 80s.) I think of all of these things, so when we had a chance to make a quick stop to Malibu Beach, we took it.

Malibu: The Plan or More Accurately, the Non-Plan

When we planned our first trip to California in 2019, we knew we wanted to include some beach time. Kristin and I had never even been near the Pacific Ocean, so squeezing in a beach visit or two was definitely a goal. There are a lot of choices, of course, but in the end, we chose Malibu and Santa Monica Pier.  One reason we chose Santa Monica is that it’s the end of Route 66, and we live blocks away from the historic highway in Joplin, Missouri. If you want to check out more about our quick stop in Santa Monica, click here.

We didn’t exactly plan to go to Malibu, but I’m glad we did. Here is how we ended up spending a chilly evening on a beach there.

How We Got to Malibu

On our first day in California, we’d spent the morning on the Walk of Fame. After lunch on the Sunset Strip, we headed out to Griffith Observatory. After checking out the planetarium and the Hollywood sign, we drove out to Santa Monica Pier and the beach. Yes, we pack a lot into our trips! We always say that we never know when we’ll get back.

The pier was hopping with people, and we had fun walking around the area. The ocean at the beach was really rough, and I thought the water was pretty cold, but my travel companions never seem to mind. We played in the water for a bit, and then Jeff had the idea to drive out to Malibu. Why not? I was game to see another beach.


We drove along the coast on the Pacific Coast Highway, Highway 1. We weren’t exactly sure where to stop, so eventually we just picked a place that said it had public beach access. There weren’t any showers for afterwards, though, so if that is important, you may want to look for that.

Malibu California

I believe we were at the public access point for Malibu Beach. We walked though a door and a passageway from our parallel parking spot by the highway. We found ourselves walking the beach in front of some pretty amazing houses!

Malibu California

The scenery is gorgeous, and we had the beach nearly to ourselves. A couple and their dog joined us for a while, but we didn’t see anyone else.

Malibu California

Again, I thought the water in June was pretty cold, but Jeff and Kristin had a good time playing in the water. It also wasn’t as rough here.

Malibu Beach California

We stayed until sunset, and then we decided we were hungry. We had a glamourous dinner at a nearby McDonald’s. It’s nice to know you can find fast food that is familiar, even in Malibu.

On the way back to our lodging at Magic Castle Hotel in West Hollywood, we drove north through the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. This is the area I think about when I think of driving through the hills near Los Angeles. This drive was also an unexpected gem of our detour. The hills are beautiful, but it was getting too dark for great pictures.

If you’re planning to spend some time in Los Angeles, be sure to include some beach time, especially if you live in a land-locked area. Next time, we might try Huntington, Redondo, or Long Beach. There are so many great places to explore; it’s hard to fit them in when you’re on a short trip.

Malibu Beach
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  1. Malibu Beach is so iconic…what a fun place for a beach day! I was surprised about June Gloom in California and how chilly it can get…but still nice!

  2. Cindy Moore Reply

    Definitely beautiful beaches in California and the one at Malibu is spectacular! Glad you got to work in a stop there.

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