I consider Malibu my second home. When I am home in Los Angeles, I spend a lot of my weekends in Malibu. The coastal town of Malibu has many draws: its simplicity, its beauty, its relaxing ambiance, and its variety of activities you can do. As well what appeals to me is how dog-friendly it is, my dog is practically becoming famous there.
I find that a lot of people aren’t aware of the things you can do in Malibu, partly this to me is the reason I like it; as less trendy a place is, the more authentic it remains. Since I love the coastal town and frequent the area often, I wanted to share some of the best that Malibu has to offer.
I thought there would be no better way, than for me to share Malibu with you as in staying their myself. I teamed up with @ItsCoastal and booked one of their luxury rentals.
ItsCoastal is going to be another go-to app for finding your stay during travels and your adventure needs. Itscoastal close comparison is Airbnb, though not to be identically compared. It’s easy to navigate, and users can buy, sell, or rent coastal properties, yachts and adventures around the globe. Whether you’re going to Malibu for a staycation and renting a beachfront property, traveling to Italy and renting a yacht, or booking an adventure, you can do it with ItsCoastal. What I find especially appealing is the company’s efforts to give back. ItsCoastal will be cleaning a mile a day with the Ocean Cleanup project to help recover our oceans. The company provides the resources and as well actively involved in cleaning our oceans.
Live. Share. Protect.
Malibu has so much to offer, I couldn’t do everything in one weekend. I planned an extended weekend with ItsCoastal to go to my favorite spots, experiences some local adventures, and share it all with you.
Booking a stay with ItsCoastal is simple. Bring up the app, search “Malibu”, find your rental, log in and start booking.
Malibu was originally twenty-one miles of scenic beauty, but as of 2017, it is now twenty-seven miles of coastline. Malibu offers stunning beaches, some being the most notable in the country. Although with much more to offer, such as their ranch community and picturesque canyons. When people think of Malibu, they usually think only of the beach. I wanted to share something more unique. I decided to stay at a ranch property less than half a mile from the beach to show what more Malibu has to offer.
Staycation in Malibu
Behind the gates leads to Malibu Soffe Ranch, an impeccable private retreat in the hills overlooking Point Dume. This 3 bedroom/3.5 bath house has an open-air, bright space that offers a stay unlike any other. In the front of the house, overlooking the ocean, there is a saltwater infinity edge swimming pool and Jacuzzi. In the back yard, a relaxing stream of water runs off to a pond in the front yard, creating a Zen atmosphere. In the back of the house, sitting on the hill, is a chicken coop, which houses a friendly turkey and a peacock ready to show its feathers. As well a private stable, which houses five beautiful horses. Guests can have the ability to arrange a ride out the back trails of the property.
I have arrived…
After checking in, I decided to relax by the pool while sipping Rose and taking in the peacefulness of Malibu.
For lunch I went to one of my favorites, Cafe Habana, situated in the Malibu Lumber Yard. Cafe Habana is a Cuban and Mexican fusion restaurant owned by Rande Gerber that uses only organic vegetables and fruits, and USDA-certified organic meats. The relaxed, casual atmosphere makes everyone feel right at home. One of my favorite aspects about this local gem is the food. Let’s talk about the fresh guacamole, array of custom margaritas, and my favorite dish, the Kale and Manchego salad topped with grilled chicken. Not very often do you go to a Mexican restaurant and indulge in a healthy entree, and this one I can’t resist getting every time. Another aspect I love about this restaurant is that it’s dog-friendly. Finally, the most noteworthy thing about this place is their Wednesday night karaoke. It attracts celebrities, locals, and people from all over. Some crazy good talents walk in and rock the floor.
My go-to is the Spicy Cucumber Margarita
In the Lumber Yard, you can also find some great shops, including Intermix, Alice+Olivia, Lorna Jane, Allsaints, and James Perse.
Another reason I love coming to this area is that right across the way is Cross Creek Village. Here you will find a variety of shops for women and men, cafes, and more dining options. This is a family-friendly place, offering a playground in the middle of the village.
Talking about my favorite places, I always pop into Sunlife Organics. I’m a big fan of their acai bowls. This time, I got an acai bowl with juice I love called ELIXIR OF LIFE (a blend of turmeric, ginger, lemon, cayenne, black pepper, raw honey and alkaline water). They are fresh even after being kept in the freezer, and I knew I would want something healthy for breakfast.
For the first adventure Itscoastal arranged, I chose to do something not as well-known in Malibu but one of the best ways to see the beautiful views of the ocean and lush landscape: horseback riding. One of the great features of this property is that the horses are owned by a lady named Tally. She houses five horses in the stable and offers private rides through the canyon behind the house. The two-hour ride taken along Zuma Edison Trail, through sagebrushes, trees, and foliage; all while overlooking the Malibu beaches and lush canyon.
Go to ItsCoastal app and book your own a private ride
The first day was both relaxing and adventurous, just like I like it. Now it was time to get ready for a sunset dinner. There is a great selection of places to dine at while watching the sunset. Of course, you have one of the busiest spots in Malibu: Nobu Malibu. Although always delicious, I wanted more of a romantic setting, so I went to Carbon Beach Club Restaurant (CBC) in Malibu Beach Inn. Dining here, you will be on a suspended ocean front terrace, overlooking the Malibu pier and listening to waves crashing right in front of you. CBC offers seasonal Californian cuisine and regional wine accompanied by only fresh and locally-sourced ingredients.
This was a perfect way to end my first night. Malibu, you’ve never looked so good.
Good morning in Malibu
My favorite way to start each day is with coffee and moving my body. That morning, I did my favorite hike in Malibu. There are numerous hikes I love in Malibu, but the one that tops my list is Corral Canyon Backbone trail (Upper Solstice Canyon). Not only will you feel like one of a few people who even hike it, you are also sure to enjoy the picturesque views. At three thousand feet above sea level, the trail through the canyon offers some of the most astonishing views in Los Angeles. On one side, you have Thousand Oaks, mountains and rock formations. On the other, you have the ocean. The light for photography is phenomenal at golden hour.
Another great perk about this hike is that if you wanted to keep it short, the best part of the hike is at the beginning. To find the trailhead, drive to the top of Corral Canyon, about five miles up. I usually choose to park before entering the end into the parking lot, which is right before driving onto dirt. Limited parking, but there seems to always be spots available. Entering the trail, walk along for about five minutes, or until you reach a pathway on your left. Take the path up to the rock formations! Up there, you’ll get an expansive view of the valley floor. The peacefulness and views might put you in a meditative state as they do me. From there, continue in the same direction you came and you will find a labyrinth created by stones. Thankfully, this goes mostly untouched by locals. I walked through the labyrinth, setting my intentions, focusing on my desires, and meditating on those thoughts.
Distance: 7.6 miles or a 15-mile loop.
After a beautiful morning in nature, I had the whole afternoon to spend at a local spa. If I’m sharing the best of Malibu, of course I’m going to share my favorite spa. Not just any spa, Cure Spa Malibu is one of the best spa’s you can experience. Cure was founded by Doctor Lisa Benya, a Board Certified Physician, in 2007. Cure has locations in Malibu and West Hollywood. In the heart of Malibu, sitting above the Pacific Coast Highway and the ocean, this spa is directly across from Nobu and Nobu Ryokan. It’s a full service medical spa and salon, a one-stop-shop for the best beauty, medical and wellness treatments. They offer a wide range of services, including massages, facials, eyelash extensions, hair services, vitamin therapy, botox and more. They will also soon be offering Cyrothearpy and Infrared sauna.
Cure arranged for me to experience some of their best services, starting with a full body massage by Rita. She was so pleasant, and I’ve never felt so revitalized from a massage. Not only was the massage incredible, Rita worked on specific needs. She helped me relax my shoulders so that my posture felt more properly aligned, and she elongated my mid-back, where I sometimes hold tension. I walked out of the massage room and immediate felt the difference.
I next experienced Cure’s Premier HydraFacial MD™. This includes a custom facial, hydrafacial, Glysal & Derma builder treatment. Mara, my esthetician, gave my skin what it needed. The outcome: glowing and hydrated skin.
Before continuing with my next service, I relaxed on the open-air patio. Sipping fresh coffee and listening to the ocean breeze was Zen.
I’ve never had more than two treatments at a time, but Cure wanted to give me the whole day experience. Michael, the owner, recommended their scalp treatment in addition to a blowout. He said the scalp treatment would leave me revitalized for a whole day. My goodness was he right!
Josh started with a scalp massage by applying rosemary and peppermint oil to my scalp. This is designed to stimulate scalps to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. Josh massaged my whole scalp with a special massage brush designed to penetrate deeply. I instantly felt the oil working. The scent, the massage, and the time being pampered truly relaxed me, making this spa experience the best I’ve ever had.
Afterwards, I got a blowout and the outcome was perfect…
Thank you, Cure Spa, for your gracious welcome and a wonderful experience!
Book your visit:
22741 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Two of my other favorite places in Malibu are Malibu Wine Safari and Malibu Cafe at Calamigos Ranch.
I first visited Malibu Wine Safari. Who would have thought something so magical would be right here in Malibu? The gorgeous Saddlerock ranch, spread over one thousand acres, with eight hundred acres covered with rows of grapevines used to make Malibu family wines.
Guided tours take place in an open-air, tiered Jeep, and wind through picturesque hillsides. Stops are made to pet, feed, and visit with the wide variety of animals, and of course, to taste their selection of local wine.
The best choice you can make (if available) is taking the giraffe tour. Stanley the giraffe is famous on the property and is the highlight of weddings held here. Visiting Stanley will surely make your day.
Throughout the tour, they give you the background of the property and who owns it. There are three locations here used for weddings. A visit to Malibu Wine Safari is unlike visiting anywhere else in Malibu, let alone Los Angeles. I consider this a must-do if you come to Malibu for the day or for a celebration of any sort. Guaranteed, you won’t leave there without the biggest smile on your face
Afterwards, I went right down the street to another favorite hidden gem, Malibu Cafe at Calamigos Ranch. This is a great place to spend a morning, a day or an evening. It’s also a perfect outdoor venue, with an open space that is family and dog-friendly. The café offers everything from dining to cocktails to games such as pool, life-size chess, jenga, corn hole and more. Unlike other places in Los Angeles, the café is a little country inside, but that’s part of what sets the perfect mood.
Watch the action unfold…
ItsCoastal provided an array of adventures for me. The next day, thanks to ItsCoastal, I was able to experience a group Paddleboard ride directly off the coast of Broad Beach. Making our way through the ocean early in the morning was a great experience. Our trip was two hours out and back. What an incredible way to see the coastline and also appreciate our oceans. We spotted several dolphins, which is always a blessing to encounter.
The next adventure was my first time learning to surf. ItsCoastal arranged for me a private two-hour professional surfing lesson with Conrad Carr. He and his girlfriend, Malia Ward, took me out to the Hut (a private area near Paradise Cove).
After learning the moves, we headed out to attempt to catch some waves. Happily, I was able to a couple times. Thank you, Conrad and ItsCoastal, for the experience and lesson. At least now I won’t be intimated to try surfing on my own.
Go to ItsCoastal app and book your own private surfing lesson
Taking a little time to enjoy our ocean.
It might not be for everyone, but a common thing you will see in Malibu is motorcycle riders. To me, nothing is more enjoyable than cruising on the back of a Harley, alongside the ocean or in the canyons to avoid the beach traffic. Since I find this to be one of the best things to do in Malibu, Itscoastal arranged a Harley ride through the canyons. Barleys of Harley Davidson in Marina Del Rey and Itscoastal took me on an adventure. Without a car in sight, we were able to cruise through the canyons and enjoy the views, stress-free.