38 New Ideas for What to Do in Malibu This Summer: A 48-Hour Staycation Itinerary
THR's itinerary includes Laird Hamilton's deep-sand group run, a $28 smoothie that's also a beauty treatment and where George Clooney goes for karaoke.
BREAKFAST Stop into Sunlife Organics at Malibu Country Mart or Point Dume Plaza for what the locals order, the Billion Dollar Smoothie ($28) with collagen and vitamin C crystals. “It’s a meal and a beauty treatment. It gives you a serious glow,” says Lyndie Benson, photographer and ex-wife of Kenny G. Or go off-menu like Kendall Jenner and Chris Hemsworth and fuel up on the Yoda (coconut meat, almond butter, dates, cinnamon, kale).
HIKE With waterfalls, swimming holes and panoramic Pacific views, the two-mile Solstice Canyon Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains draws hikers like Taylor Swift and restaurateur Michael Chow, who says it’s “a great place to enjoy the outdoors.” For a more strenuous route, try Backbone Trail, where hard bodies like surfer Laird Hamilton hike and mountain bike. For 360-degree views out to Catalina and the Channel Islands, hang a left onto Zuma Ridge Trail to Buzzard’s Roost — what Khalil Rafati, of the upcoming Food Heals doc, calls “the ultimate hike.” Or do a group run. “We want to get people outside of the gym,” says Jenn Meredith Castillo, co-creator of locally based XPT (xptlife.com for sign-ups). With co-founders Hamilton and Gabrielle Reece, the three-day training workshops ($5,000) — upcoming sessions are Aug. 17 to 19 and Sept. 19 to 21 — take groups of 15 to 20 to such locales as Paradise Cove for exercises like deep-sand running.
LUNCH There’s always standby Malibu Farm (23000 Pacific Coast Highway) on the pier, a favorite of Barbra Streisand, Sean Penn and designer Vanessa Alexander (wife of ICM partner Steve Alexander), who says they “have the best fried egg sandwich ever. My boys flip out for it.” If in town on a Sunday, Malibu Farmers Market at Civic Center Way is a local tradition with the nabe’s notable names and their kids. You’ll spot Cindy Crawford and Pierce Brosnan (with respective broods) picking up seasonal berries and farm-fresh eggs.
SHOP Stop in at The Ranch at the Pier. Here, Kelly Meyer, philanthropist and wife of NBCUniversal’s Ron Meyer, shops for Malibu-grown produce from One Gun Ranch and such beach gear as Soludos espadrilles, Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller watches and Harbour surfboards. 23000 Pacific Coast Highway
BEACH Paddleboarders can rent and launch from the pier, Point Dume or the easily accessed but less-frequented Escondido Beach. A mile-long paddle north leads to picturesque Paradise Cove — Interscope and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine and Laurene Powell Jobs call it home — and further still to the elusive Little Dume, a favorite surf break for Matthew McConaughey, who can access it with a residents-only key. Other hush-hush surf spots include Zeros, Nicholas Canyon Beach’s point break and Staircase and Heavens, both between Leo Carrillo and County Line and led by hidden dirt paths. Newbies can head to Zuma Beach. “The wide-open sand bottom makes it ideal for beginners,” says Zuma Surf & Swim Training founder Kai Sanson, who offers reservation-only lessons ($180 for two hours for two people). Leo Carrillo Beach is one of Malibu’s few dog-friendly beaches and also has tide pools for the kids. Families can visit adjacent Westward Beach, a local favorite for its full facilities. “Best beaches for anyone wanting to visit Malibu are the ones with bathrooms, parking, trash cans and lifeguards,” says Benson.
DRINKS Cool down with al fresco sunset cocktails at Little Beach House Malibu, Soho House’s small, local club for Malibu residents (even current members need to apply for the upgraded “Malibu Plus” membership; 22716 Pacific Coast Highway). “It’s intimate and chic, and the patio feels like the South of France,” says Alexander. Or make a day of drink: One of the area’s young-gun wineries, Malibu Rocky Oaks (877-676-7660), is putting itself on the map with award-winning cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and 14 different Malibu-grown grapes. Day-trippers can book a private visit with house cars (such as Marilyn Monroe’s former Lincoln Capri convertible or a 1929 Packard limousine). Or charter their helicopter to owner Howard Leight’s 143-foot Leight Star yacht for a day aboard the booze cruise. Groups — Camilla Belle recently visited with friends — can book a Malibu Wine Safari, which tours Malibu Wine’s 1,000-acre vineyard on a private open-roof truck, allowing sips over sunset vistas (up to $250 per person; lasafaris.com).
DINNER If not local favorite
s Nobu (snag a daybed for sunset views), try Ollo. OG Malibuites will recognize it as the decades-old Coogie’s, Nate Heydari’s now-shuttered neighborhood restaurant, which has been revamped with an expanded Med-Cal menu and a sleek, light-filled dining room. Says local private chef Gina Clarke (clients include Seal, Maxwell and U2): “My favorite is the roasted half chicken. It has the right amount of char and tons of herbs from the chimichurri that make your taste buds pop.” 23750 Pacific Coast Highway
FOR THE KIDS End their night with a fro-yo run; Kerr and Adam Sandler go to Gromat Malibu Country Mart (3888 Cross Creek Road) for gelato, and Perse prefers Malibu Yogurt & Ice Cream for frozen yogurt (23755 Malibu Road).
CLUBS Extend the night at Rande Gerber’s Cafe Habana (3939 Cross Creek Road), where the likes of George Clooney and John McEnroe let loose for weekly Wednesday karaoke.
STAY If a weeklong staycation is in the cards, get your wellness on at The Ranch ($6,800, including private bungalow), where Lea Michele and Abigail Spencer come to digitally detox. Aesthetes can check into Carbon Beach’s soon-to-come Nobu Ryokan from adjacent Nobu team Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro, producer Meir Teper and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Formerly Casa Malibu Inn on the Beach, the David Montalba- and Studio PCH-designed 18-room hotel takes a cue from its name: Japanese-influenced gardens, soaking tubs, minimalist Brazilian walnut and teak wood, tatami mats and shoji screens.
BEACH RUN Malibu’s 27 miles of idyllic coast is pleasantly untouched. “There is great concern and care of protecting the town,” says architect Richard Landry, who’s designed several Malibu homes, including his own. “The city has done an amazing job of protecting the rural character of the town.” And the preserved natural beauty is unknowingly accessible to the public (despite vocal protests from moneyed residents). Start the day with a beach run. Alexander’s perfect day in Malibu starts “with a beach run along Little Dume, around the Point [Dume], all the way down to the headlands and Westward Beach.” The 2.5-mile run has it all: “sun, sand, wind, surf, sea." Or dive into Pepperdine University’s Crest Facility pool. “The Olympic-sized, outdoor pool is sublime for serious swimmers,” confirms Obsolete Gallery’s Ray Azoulay. 24255 Pacific Coast Highway; 310-506-4000
COFFEE It used to be that the only good java in Malibu came in Starbucks cups. Now, third-wave coffeehouse Cafécito Organico offers coffee with a conscience: fair-trade, sustainably grown coffee beans that are locally roasted. Order yours with organic milk, housemade nut milk or raw cacao. Or do the pro move: Order the off-menu Stimulus Package, a vanilla bean and raw cane juice-layered latte. 29169 Heathercliff Road; 213-550-3738
LUNCH Join locals like Crawford for lunch at beachside shack Malibu Seafood. Order off the simple menu of the day’s grilled or fried fish and dine at alfresco picnic tables.
SPA Post meal, unwind with a seaside massage at Carbon Beach, which gets its “Billionaire’s Row” nickname from its high-profile residents — Ellison, Eli and Edye Broad, Frank McCourt, David Geffen, Peter Morton and Leslie Moonves. Malibu Beach Inn’s oceanfront spa suites (22878 Pacific Coast Highway; 310-651-7777) have terraces overlooking the horizon and pier. The spa is run by Malibu’s skincare queen, Veronica Barton-Schwartz, whose Veronica Spa and Skin Care Center (located 2.5 miles north since 1971) has beautified the likes of Julia Roberts and Miranda Kerr. Those wanting the ultimate facial can book the In-Skin facial (starts at $350), which uses an exclusive-to-L.A. device of lymphatic-draining air massage, microdermabrasion, skin firming radio frequency, electroporation, oxygen, and wrinkle and acne-reducing LED light.
MORE SHOPPING For retail therapy, find your cure at Malibu Country Mart (3939 Cross Creek Road; 310-270-9009).The area’s main shopping center of restaurants, cafe, yoga studios and 38 retail shops is more ritzy than rustic with shops like Maxfield, Ron Herman and Madison. To perfect the California cool look, men can pick up vintage pieces and selvage denim at Double RL — a favorite of Hard Rock heir Harry Morton — and Maison Kitsune hoodies and Golden Goose sneakers at concept store Canvas. “Canvas has the best ‘never heard of’ clothing. You walk in and just have to buy something,“ says nearby Cie Sparks salon’s owner and hair stylist to Jamie Alexander (Blindspot, Thor), Michael Sparks.
To perfect the Malibu beach house look, head to the adjacent Lumberyard, where James Perse’s storefront sells not only his famed relaxed cottons but also bedding, blankets, furniture and surfboards. (Like the look? Shell out $12,995,000 for Perse’s Point Dume residence dressed in his signature minimalist, California-cool aesthetic by his in-house architecture and design teams. Bonus: Buyers have exclusive entry key to Little Dume, a private beach accessed by a resident-only key.)
Other design-focused stores worth a visit include Malibu Beach House — custom upholstered furniture, cashmere throws and nautical-themed rugs for the Nantucket beach chic set — inside Walmart heiress Paige Laurie’s Trancas Country Market (30745 Pacific Coast Highway; 818-817-0550). Sefari (25001 Pacific Coast Highway; 310-804-7920) is favorite of Maria Bello with home goods and accessories for the gyspy jet set: kilim pillows, Moroccan baskets and repurposed canvas totes.
DINNER As the dinner bell rings, Tony Koursaris greets regulars from James Cameron to Dustin Hoffman at his Taverna Tony (23410 Civic Center Way; 310-317-9667). Start with traditional Greek plates (fried calamari and whipped caviar taramosalata are favorites) and join in the late night revelry of live music, dancing and the occasional Greek-style plate smashing.
For a more intimate affair, let Giuseppe Segreto host you like family at Gravina (28925 Pacific Coast Highway; 310-457-0711). James Perse loves the former Sage Room eatery for “great Italian” such as fresh, homemade pastas.