There’s a 27-mile stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway that dips and rises, drops then peaks, allowing its riders both the feeling of being enveloped in the coastal cliffs and the exhilaration of cruising above the endlessly blue and shimmering Pacific.
Malibu, California is only 30 miles from the bustling downtown LA, and myriad movie stars, Hollywood elites, and affluent Angelinos are lucky enough to call its beaches and bluffs home. With a Mediterranean climate and breathtaking estates sprinkled across its hills, Malibu manages to make an average day feel like a holiday.
So, when you wake up early on a day off in Los Angeles and are wondering over your morning coffee how to best soak up your daily dose of Vitamin D, why not head to Malibu?
Kickstart your morning with a Hike in the Hills
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or more of a nature-walker, the hills of Malibu provide a medley of trails to suit your style. Each hike has its draws, but when I want a moderate challenge and impressive panoramas, the Los Leones Trail is my top pick. This 7.2-mile hike starts in the Pacific Palisades and winds through Topanga State Park. Relatively graded, judiciously shaded, and beautifully lush, the coastal-canyon trek summits at 1,525 feet. Also, it’s the ultimate view of the sprawling coast makes it so worth the sweat. You’ll know you’ve reached the top when you find a lone bench; sit, stretch, meditate. You’ve earned it!
If you looking for a local Off the Beaten Track hike, check the Deep Creek Hotsprings!
Experience Malibu and reward yourself at Malibu Farm
Malibu Farm is a full-service restaurant and bar at the start of the iconic Malibu Pier. To best appreciate its prime real-estate, I opt to sit outside on the patio, stilted above the waves as they crash on the sandy shore. With something for everyone’s taste, the menu takes advantage of local, fresh produce. Each item comes out of the kitchen impeccably presented and reliably delicious.
One of my favorites on the menu is the Cauliflower-Crust “Pizza”. It has just the right amount of pesto and mozzarella spread atop a perfectly crispy crust. The Chicken-Broccoli Quesadilla and Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad are two other must-orders if you’re looking for shareable starters. Or, if you want something a bit more substantial after burning calories on your morning hike, the Breaded Mustard Chicken Sandwich offers juicy chicken breast.
Cocktail ‘o Clock
The General Manager, David Shoham, is also the Bar Manager and has crafted some signature cocktails just for this ocean-side eatery. Leading my list are the “Watermelon” – mixing cucumber-infused vodka, watermelon and lime juices. Besides that one I love the organic agave; the “Coconut” – featuring toasted coconut-infused rum, coconut agave, and fresh pineapple juice. Special shout-out to the Jalapeno cocktail, as it allows for the awesome flavor of this popular pepper without too much of the heat. And the best part? The agave syrup used in these masterpieces is made in-house! Or, maybe you’re feeling like a chilled glass of wine, instead? I recommend the crisp and dry Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Valley Chardonnay. Yum! www.malibu-farm.com
Taster’s Tip: The Malibu Farm Café, a sister site to the restaurant and bar, is located at the opposite end of the same pier!
Catch the sunset in Malibu
If you’re looking for a change of scenery after your meal and a taste of the grapes of the coast, Malibu Wines is an ideal final destination from which to watch the sun go down over the Pacific.
The Malibu Wines Tasting Room is nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains and offers two labels of wines: Semler and Saddlerock. Choose whether to take part in a tasting flight or indulge in a full bottle. Either way, sip your wine on this estate’s vast lawn or at one of the rustic tables provided. Outside food is allowed, so if you’re still peckish after your bite at the Farm, stop by the Malibu Country Mart on your way for some snacks to graze on while you drink.
As you soak up the last moments of daylight, drinking your fermented grape of choice, you’ll wonder why you didn’t find a way to make all those other ordinary days into extraordinary ones. And, you’ll already be planning your next unforgettable day spent in Malibu.
*Shae is our guest blogger from Los Angeles. She travels with the desire to immerse herself in diverse cultures, seeking new adventure and inspiring others to engage with compassion and expand their world view. Follow Shae on Instagram! @seekvantage