Malibu is a beach city north of Los Angeles famous for the celebrities who live there in expensive homes. The Pacific Coast Highway runs right through it, and there are plenty of beaches and a couple of museums to enjoy.
Malibu is renowned for the multi-million dollar homes of the many celebrities who live there, taking advantage of the beachside life while being less than an hour's drive from downtown Los Angeles and about 45 minutes from Los Angeles International Airport.
However, Malibu has a population of about 12,000 and not all of them are celebrities. You do need some serious cash to live here, though, as property prices are among the highest in California. The most expensive homes here go for over $100 million. To put that into perspective, for the cost of one home in Malibu you could buy million-dollar homes in 100 different places around the USA!
The most expensive homes are naturally overlooking the ocean, right on the beach, and some of these are just a few hundred yards from the Pacific Coast Highway. Drive through Malibu and it would be wonderful to know which famous movie stars you're driving right by. Well, you can, thanks to this Google Map which lists current and former famous names who have lived in Malibu. Just click on it.
Bob Dylan? He lives right by Point Dume State Beach. Stop off at Malibu Bluffs Park and you're very close to Bill Murray, Jane Seymour, Charlie Sheen, Mel Brooks, and several more. Go to Malibu Lagoon State Beach and you're within a few hundred feet of Linda Ronstadt and Tom Hanks. Escondido Beach is where Cher lives.
Many celebrities naturally want to guard their privacy, and you will see some signs for private beaches, but there are no completely private beaches along the whole California coast. All beaches are public as far as the high-tide line, which means they almost all are. The most the rich and famous can hope for is a partly-private beach, with a small strip of sand which they could, if they wished, fence off.
Some stars are comfortable with their celebrity, though, and are able to frequent the local bars and restaurants without being hassled for autographs the whole time. For anyone who does want privacy, the Malibu Colony is a gated community.
Signs used to say that Malibu had 27 miles of scenic beauty, though these days they usually say 21 miles, which is the length of coast that's strictly within the city limits. Whichever, that's still a lot of coastline and there are plenty of beaches to choose from, including several state beaches.
Malibu has the Mediterranean climate typical of Southern California, and there's no time of year you need to avoid. It never gets below freezing even in the worst of winters, and from spring through to fall you're likely to find temperatures in the 60s and upwards. The record high is 104 degrees, and that was in September, while one November it even reached 100 degrees.
It can rain at any time but with very little in the summer months. From April right through to October Malibu gets less than one inch of rain a month.
Malibu does have its cultural side too. The main attraction is the Getty Villa, an art museum which is part of LA's J. Paul Getty Museum. It is devoted to the cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria, and has over 44,000 items, with about 1,400 on display at any one time. It's right on the Pacific Coast Highway at the southern end of Malibu, just as you leave Santa Monica if you're driving north. Look for the entrance sign on your right.
Malibu's other main cultural attraction is the Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum. This mansion was built in 1929 and was the home of the family who originally owned much of Malibu. It's an interesting stop for those who are interested in history, and what life was like for a wealthy family in the early 20th century. It too is right on the Pacific Coast Highway, on the beach side next to Malibu Lagoon State Beach.
Malibu naturally has some very high-end restaurants, like Nobu Malibu and Moonshadows, but don't be afraid to stop there to eat if that kind of place is out of your price range. There are plenty of medium and budget dining options too. They do have regular places like Subway, cafés, and pizza places as well. For a really special place to eat, try the Malibu Farm Pier Cafe, right at the end of the historic pier.
Hotels, however, are another matter. There are few places to stay in Malibu, and they are mostly very expensive. One of the least expensive is The M Malibu, which describes itself as a motel, but this is no Super-8 and you're still likely to pay over $200 for a room, even out of season. Airbnb's aren't much cheaper either.
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