Party Earth Review The official name for this sandy expanse – located steps from the affluent mansions that line Malibu like (really, really fancy) weeds – is Malibu Lagoon State Beach, but most people know it as Surfrider Beach thanks to... ... read full review
23200 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
310-457-9701 (recorded surf, weather and dive report)
310-457-8143 (Park office)
Daily 8am to sunset
Adamson House & Malibu Lagoon Museum: W–Sa 11am–2pm
Malibu, Los Angeles –
The official name for this sandy expanse – located steps from the affluent mansions that line Malibu like (really, really fancy) weeds – is Malibu Lagoon State Beach, but most people know it as Surfrider Beach thanks to the preeminent importance it has played in California surfing history.
Centered on Malibu Lagoon where Malibu Creek drains into the sea at the beach’s northern edge, the area features amazingly consistent, smooth-breaking waves that have attracted surfers from all over the world for decades, from longboarders and high-performance shortboarders to brave newbies suffering the cold stares from fiercely protective locals.
Sunrise finds the dawn patrol of sandy- and silver-haired water skippers straining into their wetsuits, and it’s not long before the Pacific Coast Highway is lined with vehicles as late-comers – most refusing to pay to park in the two beach-side lots – spill across the busy road in a treacherous game of Frogger.
Riding the waves isn’t the only game in town, however. Malibu Pier is popular with saltwater fishermen, the lagoon is home to a museum and historic house, and there’s plenty of excellent bird-watching and lush tide pools to enthrall both the young and young at heart.
Of course, this is Southern California, so plopping down on a towel can easily fill anyone’s day at Malibu Lagoon State Beach, either to snooze, survey the pretty people, or listen to the surfers scream “Akaw!” when they spy that perfect wave.
Surfers, sea kayakers, sunbathers, hard-bodies, not-so-hard-bodies, tourists, bird-watchers, beach bums, fishermen, moneyed locals, and families. All ages.
Malibu Lagoon Museum, located inside the historic Adamson House, features historic artifacts relevant to Malibu.
Charter fishing and coastal tour services normally available at the ocean-end of Malibu Pier – which is also home to a gift shop – but charters are currently on hold due to damage sustained from a large swell in 2011.
Several restaurants and cafés, most on the casual side, can be found down the PCH a short walk south of the beach. Jimmy's Malibu Pier Boardwalk Café (23000 Pacific Coast Highway) at the edge of the Pier offers a range of seafood and traditional café-style grub, though at slightly inflated prices given its location.
There’s a parking lot just south of the Malibu Pier, but most surfers tend to use Lots 1 and 2 further north if they don’t park for free along the Highway. Lot 2 is right by the lagoon near Pacific Coast Highway and Serra Road. Lot 1 is further north near Pacific Coast Highway and Cross Creek Road.
Public restrooms and showers available.
Free Wi-Fi at Jimmy’s.
Parking $8–$10/day in the lots. Parking is free along PCH, but visitors should pay close attention to any restriction signs.
Free admission to the historic Adamson House grounds, $7/adult or $2/ages 6–16 for a tour of both the Adamson House and the Malibu Museum. Adamson House grounds can be rented for special events, including weddings.
Any sunny day.
Malibu Sport Fishing at the end of the pier normally offers sport-fishing charters but they are currently suspended. Visitors can still rent fishing poles. When tours resume, they will depart twice daily for $59 for a ¾-day trip. Call 888-310-PIER ext. 5 for reservations and updates on the restoration.