Sitting on the deck in the sun with the waves crashing underneath, a beverage in hand, and Kibo beside us in her chair, we realized – we had managed to achieve a near-constant lack of movement.
Hiking replaced with a walk down the block for food, cycling reduced to reading a book about it, and our glasses no longer filled with electrolytes, albeit the liquid tended to be flavored with limes.
The beach house life
We found our little place in Malibu paradise on VRBO – a recently remodeled, gated, dog-friendly, one bedroom, one bath, with a big deck, large flat-screen TVs, Ralph Lauren decor, and comfy deck chairs. Located just down from the Malibu Beach Inn, the location was great and the views spectacular.
Never have two sides of a door been more different. Inside the front door: serenity, with the constant sound of the waves and a wall of glass for watching dolphins, starfish sunning on rocks, and pelicans diving for fish. Outside the front door: the noise and chaos of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) as it winds its way through Malibu.
Things to do in Malibu
In all honesty, we were in Malibu to relax and our to-do list was not filled with any adventurous pursuits. This was a week for eating, shopping, a bit of strolling, and reading by the ocean.
That said, we did venture out a bit along the 21 miles of coastal beauty.
The Malibu Pier dates back to 1905 when it was built to support the shipping of hides, grains, fruit, and other agricultural products. The pier was later opened to the public for pier and charter fishing. Over the years, it fell into disrepair, but in recent years the famous pier has been revived as a site of restaurants, shops, and tours.
A National Historic Site, California Historical Landmark, and a California State Park, the Adamson House is situated along a beautiful oceanfront patch of Malibu between Malibu Pier and Surfrider Beach.
Completed in 1930, the house is a mix of Spanish and Moorish influences and surrounded by large, elaborate gardens. Now owned by the state of California, both house and garden tours are offered throughout the year.
Take a walk on the beach
While signs along the PCH proclaim “27 miles of scenic beauty,” according to the city of Malibu, the actual length is 21 miles since the city was incorporated in 1991. The majority of the 21 miles is lined with warm, sandy beaches.
While there are a few public beaches in Malibu, the state of California owns the land below the high tide on private beaches, with that area also open to the public (generally meaning you can walk on the wet sand or in the shallow water).
Each morning after watching a glorious sunrise over coffee, we’d walk down the street a block to the La Salsa and get takeout breakfast tacos & breakfast burritos. Made to order, inexpensive, and very tasty, our breakfast fare came with chips and our choice of about 8 types of salsa. A perfect start to the day.
Because of our close proximation to the Carbon Beach Club at the Malibu Beach Inn, we were frequent visitors.
The setting is beautiful, with a surprisingly reasonably priced wine list. The salmon was the best we’ve ever eaten – served with forbidden rice, Japanese mushrooms, edamame, baby bok choy, and miso broth.
In the evening, the fire pits keep you toasty as you watch the sunset over a glass of wine.
Crumbs. Oh my. We stopped in on our arrival day to get a couple of cupcakes and ended up having one every night we were in Malibu. Red Velvet, Devil’s Food, and oh, the Arte Lange – scrumptious.
Enjoying a Champagne St Germain cocktail, while admiring the gorgeous ocean view on the terrace at Geoffrey’s Malibu, certainly sets the stage for an idyllic Malibu lunch. The Grilled Ahi Nicoise Salad and the Seafood Paella were both delicious, as were the rosemary rolls.
Albeit a bit touristy, Duke’s is a Malibu institution with beautiful views and friendly staff. We had Mai Tai’s, which we hadn’t had in a decade, but the Hawaiian-inspired atmosphere seemed to inspire it.
Afternoon out to Santa Monica
On a cloudy day that didn’t seem to be getting any better, we headed to Santa Monica for lunch and shopping (it was sunny by the time we got there).
Armed with a list of suggested restaurants from a former Santa Monica local – Huckleberry, Father’s Office, and Blue Plate Oysterette – we opted for the latter. The cute little place across from the ocean quickly became crowded. We ordered beers, fried clams, mussels, and oysters. The oysters were fabulous – we had to order another plate.
Following lunch, we strolled down the 3rd Street Promenade, a shopping area with street performers ranging from clowns to musicians.
Malibu and photography
Out of respect for the privacy of the rich and famous that call Malibu home, we left the long lenses in the bags, and all photos for this article were taken with an iPhone. Although we do not take paparazzi-style photos, a pro-line camera with a 70-200 lens can be intimidating by those hounded by the paparazzi while they are simply going about their daily lives.
Apologies for the lower-quality images.
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