July 4th in Malibu
There is no better time to come to Malibu than over the 4th of July weekend!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s always great here in Da’ Bu’BUT, The 4th of July is like Christmas, Disneyland and your birthday all rolled into one! My own teenagers drive from points unknown to be at Little Dume beach for the 4th of July in Malibu… Once they graduated high school here they flew the coop, but this is the one time every year they come back to nest!!! I asked why and they said its like a huge family reunion at the beach….That says a lot about the great folks in Malibu, they are like one big family here!
By the time the 4th of July rolls around every year, the fog has lifted, The drinks are chilled, the BBQ blazing and good times are had. Here is a run down of local fireworks for your 4th of July festivities!!
This Fourth of July, there will be four offshore firework shows in Malibu:
Malibu Colony Road
Broad Beach Road
and the 21600 block of Pacific Coast Highway.
Needless to say PCH will be busy so give your self enough time to park. There is nothing worse than watching the fireworks while parking your car!!!
The beaches will be crazy crowded so your best bet is to go to Zuma, where there is the biggest beach parking lot in town.
They also have food stands and public restrooms.
If you decide to grab a bite after the fireworks I have a few suggestions…
For amazing Italian V’s On PCH just south of the pier., Vasile the owner is beyond gracious!
Also love the Farm ON the pier. The farm is a casual atmosphere, perfect for you after a sandy sit down in the sand after the fireworks…
If you decide you need late night dining you need Tonys for greek food and dancing ,music and dining. The drinks here are weak but the atmosphere makes up for it. Coogies just reopened as Ollo, a farm to table family restaurant. I will be there trying it out this weekend for sure.
If you choose to be somewhere other than the beach, here are a few options for a nice hike or swim.
Malibu Community Pool
The pool will be open to the public on Friday, July 3, from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, but there will be no swim lessons on Friday. The pool will be closed on Saturday, July 4.
Malibu Senior Center
Closed Friday through Sunday, July 3-5
Trancas Canyon Park
Open from 8:00 AM to dusk daily
Las Flores Creek Park
Open from 8:00 AM to dusk daily
Open from 8:00 AM to dusk daily
Malibu Equestrian Park
Open from 8:00 AM to dusk daily
If you decide to just hang and shop cross creek and the lumbar yard offer the most stores. If you are near Zuma beach I suggest Pinnacle, a nice local womens and childrens clothing store. They are super cool there…
Speaking of cool, stay hydrated, slathered with sunscreen and above all have fun! Enjoy our 27 miles of amazing beaches!
The Grand-daddy of all public beaches in Malibu, is by far, Zuma Beach. Some might argue that Surfrider is “ The ” Beach……if you want to surf, watch surfers, get a date with a surfer, or watch a surfer undress on PCH, then ok, You got me…..
However if you are a normal person hoping to park, have a restroom, and a concession stand while enjoying the sand and surf there is no contest.…. Its Zuma Beach.
Now I used to live above this beach and I can say without any bias that the sunsets here are better than any where else on earth. Seriously. Well the best in Malibu anyway. The sheer size of the parking lot alone makes it worthy of bragging rights. I mean, how can you enjoy a beach if you can’t get to it? I love surf rider, don’t get me wrong, but my god, the parking is a nightmare there….Don’t get me started.
So make the drive up the coast beyond Surf Rider beach and Paradise Cove and get ready for the show. I have friends who are actually blessed enough to live on the bluff above Zuma, unobstrauced views of the Pacific…and they refer to the daily sunset as “ The Show ”.They post their amazing sunsets photos on Facebook all the time.I hate them. Its miles and miles of uninterrupted glory. Besides having a team of Surf and Paddle boarding instructors here you can also whale watch here. Its amazing for whale watching and on “ bad ” days, dolphin watch. One day I was watching a baby whale while she watched me.For what seemed like hours… Sooooo cool. I personally feel the area just in front of The Sunset Restaurant is prime real estate for whale sightings and I am never disappointed. Besides a spattering of surfers, who have obviously lost their way from Surfrider Beach, bronzed beach babes in the sand, parents and kids playing whiffle ball and people walking dogs on the street, you WILL SEE WHALES( during their migration season of course) I mean I can help you with the location but I’m not God!
So, if you walk south down from The Sunset Restaurant at Westward Beach , you will come to the Point of Point Dume. Its a gorgeous view from the top of the point. I see many whales from there( again with the whales…) There is a natural reserve with many areas roped off to simply admire the flora and fauna which is really worth the small hike up the hill! Once you get there , there is a little hike around the point, through sand, flowers, railroad ties, you name it. Very fun easy hike and its a perfect compliment to the beach walk from Zuma, to Westward then on to the point.There is also a beach here that is very hard to get to ( Pirates Cove) which used to be a nude beach back in the 70’s. It’s freaky to sometimes find some time traveler who still think its there and you can see them searching, walking along in a speedo with their can of “ Tab”, zinc oxide and baby oil…
I mentioned dogs before so I’ll elaborate on that. There are no dogs officially allowed on any of our L A County beaches but here at Zuma you are in luck because there is a long walkway where they are allowed and there is also a street that runs along side the beach ( Westward Beach Rd.) and its a great dog walking area. You can enjoy the beach, sunsets, visit with locals and never even get sand between your toes. That’s cheating if you ask me.
I saved the best for last, the main reason you should come to Zuma Beach….The Water is CLEAN HERE! Being north of Point Dume and just outside the Santa Monica Bay, its clean, clean, clean! Now , God evened the scales here, kinda like he did with France….You know, he made France so amazingly beautiful to the point where everyone wanted to live there, so he had to invent the French People to keep them from wanting to. I know I butchered that analogy…So, back to The super clean water….to even the score the waves are huge. If you are nervous in the water, be careful.The waves are really big here but if you follow the patterns of the waves you can time your entrances and exits. It helps to always swim next to one of the 1000’s of lifeguard stations.(Really) Besides, there is always shade underneath them and on hot days , when the skin is melting off your feet, go on over and try and make polite conversation with a lifeguard and catch some shade.
If you come to Malibu and do not visit Zuma Beach you are getting cheated. In this world of $6.00 lattes, $5 dollar a gallon gasoline ( damn, I need newer references here) and 39.00 vodka..its refreshing to find something that is totally free. The beach is free. Always has been always will be. So , park on the street if you must, pack a picnic , and enjoy the sound of the waves, but leave the 39.00 vodka at home . Come see “ The Show”
What better way to spend a day in paradise than to immerse yourself in the simple act of walking within it?
We’ve all read the yelp reviews and seen pictures and videos on instagram of hiking in the hills and cliffs of Malibu— but how many have actually taken the whole day to let go and absorb the privilege it truly is to trek a land so ancient, biologically diverse, and visually stunning?
From a local’s perspective, this land is something to be cherished, walked among, and remembered for what it originally was— the home of a once great people who’s fulfillment in life was seeing the next rising sun down the coast.
Well, I’m here to help you see my home through those eyes, lovely people. So pack a lunch, lots of water, and bring your camera because this land is our land, and I want to share the perfect day in Malibu with you.
#3: Bush Drive
For those of you who like to get that heart thumpin, this one’s for you. There’s great parking, and hardly anyone on the trail compared to Winding Way. (*side note: if anyone ever tells you to check out Winding Way, don’t. It used to be great, and now because it has been so heavily visited and mistreated it’s just… sad. Parking is awful, half the hike is getting to the trail head from PCH and the “waterfalls” are virtually non-existent and anti-climactic… do yourself a favor, and don’t do it. Tell your friends too.)
Anyways, you have two options; one, you can walk to your right on the loop trial that takes you down into the canyon and in the shade amongst trees and a sometimes babbling brook that is very pleasant and mildly rewarding physically
OR! Two— you can tough it like the badass you are and climb that hill for a spectacular panoramic view of the Malibu coast, breathing heavily in awe and satisfaction, and enjoying a well-deserved packed lunch, ya dang viking!
The hill is a fire trail, used as an access to the area in case of a brush fire, but it also doubles as a very forgiving climb to a plateau that, if you are just feeling like conquering the world today, eventually leads to the Backbone trail on Kanan. If you do want to do that, I suggest getting an early start and a ride at the end, because that is an all-day excursion my friend.
#2: Solstice Canyon
So, I’m just gonna go out and say that this isn’t really much of a hike, but it’s an awesome, steady walk, with lots of diversity in scenery and really cool old buildings that have long since been destroyed by time. If you’re the look-around-and-explore type, this is the hike for you today.
I’m not going to go into the details of the history, partially because I’m too lazy to look it up on Wikipedia right now but mostly because they have a neat placard to read once you get there that explains everything and that’s part of the fun you curious thing you!
Now, you’re not really supposed to keep going up the creek, but because I’m a local it’s ok I guess. It’ll be our secret. There are some really sweet water pools up there, so take a look around! Just don’t tear out the roots from the hill, while climbing— it leads to erosion which is no bueno for people who want to come back…
#1: Corral Canyon
This, my lovely people, is the reason man weeps at the site of true beauty.
Alright that was dramatic, but still, this is freakin great. There is so much to do up here, you’ll want to spend the entire day just wandering around.
You’ve got the infamous “Mushroom Cave,” a local teenage hangout covered in paintings and carvings from over the years that has a better view than most mansions out here. Being a local, I can’t just tell you where it is cause them rascally kids will find me and make me pay for my betrayal, but I’ll give you a hint— it’s close to the rock circle, and you have to climb up into it through the boulder it’s hiding in. It may have just been the brownies, but a raven once led me back to this place after I had forgotten about it and wanted to show my girlfriend.. so you never know what can happen up here.
Also, there’s a dang rock circle! It’s enormous, and very fun to add to if you are so inclined. If you like labyrinths, this is almost sort of kind of like one, but rocks! Meditate, snack, stack, whatever man, in this place time practically doesn’t exist and there is plenty to do and see.
It has everything, from an old wrecked car half-buried in the ground, to caves upon caves upon caves to explore— so here’s what you want to do if you are the exploring type; park, then turn around and walk up the path that looks like the set from the Flintstones movie. Just keep going, and enjoy the wonder that ensues.
If you are the trail-type, instead of turning around, go straight and down the hill to the left of the lot. It’s better for mountain-biking, but the walk itself is really fun with lots of loops, drops and trees to shade the journey.
So there you have it— my electronic gift to you, dear reader. Heed my advice, and enjoy one or all of the three best hikes you’ll have in this little bubble on the west coast. Whether it’s to get your heart racing, inspired, or intrigued, you most certainly will not be disappointed!