• The Local’s Guide to Malibu

Thirty miles west of Downtown Los Angeles, sits Malibu, a first-class beach city that entices surfers and tourists from all over the world. With a temperate climate, clean waves, nice beaches and a lavish culture, Malibu is a year round destination. It is home to some of Hollywood’s greatest movie stars, entertainment moguls, and the upper-elite. Not to mention, films and TV shows have been shot on the sunny Malibu beaches for decades. On the white sand, just feet away from the rolling waves, stand multimillion dollar homes — sky high, extravagant, and upscale.

But Malibu is more than just mansions, celebrities, and tourist-laden beaches. Nicknamed “The Bu” by locals, rustic charm and hidden treasures are plentiful if you know where to look. Hidden behind the expensive shops and fancy restaurants are secret gems bursting with personality and authenticity. So we put together a list of six spots in and around Malibu that epitomize and illuminate the local, charming side of Malibu. Check it out below.

Where to Eat

Malibu Seafood - If you are searching for a casual meal after a day at the beach, Malibu Seafood is it. This fresh fish market and patio cafe was founded in 1972 by commercial fishermen determined to bring you the freshest seafood from around the world. You can pick up high quality fish fillets or shellfish from the market, or order a prepared meal to enjoy on one of their multiple patios overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Hot tip: BYOB.

Neptune’s Net- This classic seafood restaurant and biker bar is a famous, kitschy eatery that serves fresh seafood, burgers and beer on picnic tables. Complete with views of the Pacific, the landmark joint has been serving local surfers and bikers for over 60 years, and for good reason. Neptune’s Net is not so much a secret, as it is a must-visit. Tens of thousands locals and tourists pack the place every weekend for some fish and chips. But don’t let that number intimidate you — the space is large, the staff is efficient, and the food is delicious.

Also check out:

Lily’s Malibu for Mexican classics and the best breakfast burrito you’ve ever had.

Where to Shop

Hidden Treasures Vintage — Though it’s not officially in Malibu (it’s a short drive up to Topanga Canyon), Hidden Treasures Vintage shop has been an LA favorite since the 1980s. This place is outrageous — think Pirates of the Caribbean meets the hippie vibe of Topanga Canyon. Owner and vintage connoisseur, Darrel Hazen, has been selling to celebrities and customers from all over the world, and Hidden Treasures has been featured in international magazines like Vogue and Playboy. Let yourself get lost in this maze-like boutique, and allow your eyes to guide you as you wander from one hidden treasure to the next.

Luv and Sunshine — Meet the cutest home store in all the land. Just a quick trip up Topanga Canyon Road lives Luv and Sunshine, a naturally bright boutique that sells a beautiful mix of vintage, new, and handcrafted home goods. The stock consists of items like Moroccan rugs, jewelry from India, and gorgeous patio accents. New items are brought in regularly so be sure to check out the goods each time you are in Malibu.

Where to Beach

Point Dume State Beach — Clean, quiet, and beautiful, Point Dume beach is an awesome place for locals, families, and tourists alike. Miles of wide, soft sand beaches are surrounded by jagged cliffs and breezy headlands. A quick hike up to the bluff, from the southern end of the beach, rewards you with astounding views stretching from the Palos Verdes Peninsula to the Santa Catalina Island. Keep your eyes out for wildlife — dolphins, whales, and sea lions frequently pass by Point Dume.

Also check out:

Zuma Beachfor a clean and classic beach day. Weekends can get quite crowded.

Leo Carillo State Parkfor one and a half miles of beach at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains. And there is a campground across the Pacific Coast Highway!

Where to get a Post Surf Juice

SunLife Organics — In 2011, SunLife opened their first juice bar in Malibu with the intent to share honest and true nourishment with their friends and neighbors. But beyond that, they wanted a place where people in the community could go to meet up after yoga or a surf and share time together, away from their phones and iPads. Fast forward six years and SunLife has two locations in Malibu and more shops on the way. Hot tip: The Zuma Canyon juice and the Million Dollar smoothie are local favorites.

Photos and words by Joanna Rentz


Malibu Seafood http://www.malibuseafood.com

Neptunes Net — https://www.neptunesnet.com

Lilys Malibu http://lilysmalibu.com

Hidden Treasures Vintage http://www.hiddentreasurestopanga.com

Luv and Sunshinehttps://www.luvandsunshine.com

Point Dume http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=623

Zuma Beach https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32676-d127533-Reviews-Zuma_Beach-Malibu_California.html

Leo Carillo http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=616

SunLife Organics https://sunlifeorganics.myshopify.com

Joanna Rentz https://www.instagram.com/joannarentz/