A Weekender’s Guide To Malibu — California’s Most Elusive Beach Town

Malibu has some of California’s best beaches, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that the city does a pretty good job of hiding the many access points. But while all the hidden paths and descriptive parking signs might lead you to believe that the most pristine stretches of sand fall on private property, don’t worry, they don’t. In fact, all of Malibu’s beaches are on public land. Still, navigating the area can be puzzling, so we reached out to XPT founders and LA outdoors power-couple Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece ahead of their appearance at this weekend’s 4xFar festival for an in-depth guide to the exclusive-feeling, often-elusive beach town.

Check out Laird and Gabby’s picks below and unlock the wonders of California’s most and elusive beautiful beach.

LAIRD & GABBY: Malibu is a special location because of its glorious nature. For mountain hiking and biking to surfable waves and packs of dolphins. There is a real reason why the Chumash Indians chose this location and you can feel it when you visit. Sure there is shopping and food, but the most powerful thing Malibu has to offer is her nature.

EL Matador Beach

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Beautiful and a little bit out of the way. Beautiful large rocks and waves rolling in and out of the sand. The beach makes you feel like you’re transported to your own little world.

Leo Carrillo State Beach

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📸 just for fun 🙃

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Surrounded by nature with a little bit more of a rigorous walking path. You won’t run into a lot of people at this beach.

Zuma Beach

A huge beach with the chance of spotting dolphins. Just be mindful of the Shorebreak if there is surf. Fun place to surf if you have a little bit of experience in like a shore break. Lots of parking. If you like to do beach activities like volleyball or just ride the bike path Zuma is your place.

Malibu Pier

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Days in Malibu 🏄🏼‍♂️

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You can eat at the Malibu Farm restaurant for tasty and healthy food or shop at the end of the pier. Love that people are walking the pier, and even fishing. Time slows down.

Sunlife Organics

This smoothie and juice bar started in Malibu and a great pitstop at either Cross Creek or Point Dume. You can either get a fresh-squeezed juice or a smoothie with the most nutritional and cutting edge ingredients.


Delicious breakfast served till 3pm! You can definitely find something for everybody, whether you want to eat a little healthier, kids delight, or if you’re in the mood for something that just tastes great.

The Surfrider Hotel

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Our latest RIB collection is here!

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To sit at the top of the hotel in the restaurant enjoying the ocean – it’s a wonderful place to watch the sunset.
Take your pick of hikes

Backbone trail in the mountains and Point Dume natural preserve for more of a beach and sea life type hiking.

Mountain biking

Point Mugu State Park and Backbone trail – both of these locations provide a challenging enough ride, but neither is too intimidating. A beginner or medium-skill level rider will be comfortable here. A beautiful view will always be provided in between huffing and puffing.

For shoppers

The Lumber Yard is great for picking up presents or Malibu memorabilia. Malibu is working hard to keep things quaint so only a few bigger stores but mostly local and hand-curated for that beachy-cool vibe.