If you’re looking to live the Californian dream, a cruise up the PCH to Malibu will do the trick.
Time your drive with the sun and catch the shimmers of afternoon sun on the pacific as you more than likely have a slow roll due to traffic. Break the trip up with a stop at Moonshadows for a drink or hit something a little more mellow like Malibu Farm Cafe (not to be confused with the Malibu Cafe that we will get to later) you can soak up the afternoon sun and have a tasty bite to eat.
Your options for great food range from road side fish joints like Malibu Seafood and Neptune's Net (both great spots for fresh caught fish but also a solid fry up like fish and chips) to the high end trend of Nobu with other spots dotting the canyons and coast that are worth checking out. If you're looking for mountains and a cruise up a canyon, head to Malibu Cafe for outdoor games, an amazing cafe and a spot you could throw a sweet party.
Definitely go overnight even if just so you can score a breakfast burrito at Lily's or a Billion Dollar Bowl at Sunlife Organics... but where are you going to crash you ask? Up out of the fray and bringing you back to the nostalgic roots of California is the Hotel June (formerly named the Malibu Riviera Motel). Check into room 13 and you'll lay your head down in the room where Bob Dylan wrote Blood On The Tracks.
If you’re wanting something more lavish, go see our friends at the Malibu Beach Inn or grab a spot at Nobu's Ryokan hotel back down mid Malibu. If you want salty and sunny hit Surfrider (well positioned to catch the point break at Surfrider Beach too).
Zuma gets you your beach fix with a long stretch of big beach and fun water to wade in and when you want the adventure go up the coast a bit more and Point Mugu awaits.
If you're needing a hike, lucky you - there are almost too many to choose from. If you’re looking for something easy, hit Escondio Falls, which is about 2 hours round trip, or the Rock Pool & Century Lake Trails. It is 4.4 miles so you’ll still be getting in your steps, but it won’t feel like you just spent the last 3 hours on a stair stepper. If that is what you’re looking for, hit Magu Peak Trail. Not quite as long, finishing up around 2.7 miles, but it’s steep and will have you stopping for your breath - both because of the views, and well, elevation gain.
Regardless of your choices you're bound to hit some California gold on that stretch of coast.