STAY: David Geffen’s sand-hued lodge, the Malibu Beach Inn, on Carbon Beach, offers 46 guest rooms—42 of them with gas fireplaces—that capture Malibu’s muted luxury. A bar and restaurant on the ground floor have a contemporary, living room feel.
EAT: Nobu, the name- sake restaurant of Japanese fusion master, Nobu Matsuhisa, has moved from the Malibu Country Mart to an oceanfront space that features a larg- er bar and sushi counter as well as a heated patio by the sea. It’s the food you’ll remember, though: black cod with miso, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño, and lobster tempura with sweet onions and truffles. If your mood is more low-key, head to MalibuSeafood,where the sign announces “The reason we don’t open for breakfast is we’re out catching lunch.” Choose from grilled or fried fish, and be sure not to pass up the chowder, a rich, creamy stew chock full of clams. After picking up your order at the takeout window, stake your claim to one of the picnic tables on the deck overlooking the beach.
SHOP: You’re more likely to see model wannabes pushing Bugaboo strollers than surfers scoring gear at the Mal- ibu Country Mart and Malibu Lumber Yard, side-by-side malls where locals come for high- end duds. Cross Pacific Coast Highway to Becker Surfboards, the shop known for its impres- sive selection of boards, wet suits, flip-flops, and sunglasses. The women’s hoodiesandcutoffshad us pining for an endless summer.
DO: A one-and-a-half- mile trek along the Zuma Dume Trail, which hugs the coast and bisects the Point Dume Natural Preserve, isn’t strenuous, but the near-constant ocean vistas should get your heart racing. Follow the trailhead at the west end of the parking lot at Westward Beach, keeping the shore to your right afteryou’veascended Point Dume. A wood deck midway is ideal for taking in the deep blue. If you prefer to ride the waves and not merely gaze at them, rent a kayak at Malibu Surf Shack. Row north from Carbon Beach; a quick trip past the Malibu Pier brings you to the Adam- son House, a landmark 1929 Spanish colonial revival estate famous for its tilework, frescoes, and Moroccan touches. At Paradise Cove you can rent beachfront property—or at least a small plot—for the day. The cost to reserve two lounge chairs and an umbrella is $50; beach beds and private cabanas are extra. On summer weekends the area tends to get overcrowded, but the unspoiled bay, not to mention the tropical drinks at the Paradise Cove Café, are so intoxicating, you’ll hardly notice.
WHERE TO SLEEP
MALIBU BEACH INN, $385-$1,650
WHAT TO BRING
LONGBOARD, SHORT SHORTS
AVERAGE MARCH TEMP
HIGH 61 ̊/LOW 45 ̊
…AND THEN IMBIBE!
Malibu has become a haven for vintners, all of whom will gladly give you a taste
Cielo Winery’s house blends are best-sellers at the Sip, an indoor- outdoor tavern that’s more hippie haunt than stuffy wine bar. Walls lined with black-and- white snaps of rock and rollers lend a ’60s vibe. Ask for “Honey Pie” from the Woodstock Collection, a blend of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and muscat. » 2598 Sierra Creek Rd., Agoura
This six-year-old tasting room offers only one flight of California wines, which changes weekly. What the menu lacks in variety is made up in service from an expert staff. Redwood bar tops and a beamed ceiling give the midsize alehouse a cabin feel. » 29975 Mulholland Hwy., Agoura
Malibu’s premier winery has an outdoor tasting room, which sits in the vineyard that produces the Semler and Saddlerock labels and often features live music. Whether or not you purchase a bottle, you won’t leave empty-handed; guests take glasses home as souvenirs. » 32111 Mulholland Hwy., Malibu
Easy to find on Pacific Coast Highway, the tasting room at the Rosenthal vineyard feels more spacious, if less charming, than the others. Cabernets and chardonnays made from grapes grown just ten miles inland are the house specialties. » 18741 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu
This feature originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of Los Angeles magazine