Local Treasures: Unique Things to Do in Malibu

Table of Contents

1. Ride Horseback with Malibu Riders

2. Visit Saddlerock Ranch on a Tour
    2.1 Hike the Ranch
    2.2 Offroad in a Side-by-Side Around the Ranch
    2.3 Ride in a Vintage VW Bus to Local Wineries

3. Go Hiking on One of Top 4 Fan-Favorite Malibu Trails
    3.1 Escondido Canyon Park Trail to Escondido Falls
    3.2 Solstice Canyon Loop Trail
    3.3 Corral Canyon Park Loop
    3.4 The M*A*S*H Hike at Malibu Creek State Park

4. Dine, Shop, and More at Malibu Country Mart

5. Try Delicious Local Wines
    5.1 Take in Rustic Scenery at Cornell Winery
    5.2 Enjoy Saddlerock Label Wines at Malibu Wines & Beer Garden​

6. Take a Guided Electric Mountain Bike Rides

7. Popular Malibu Beaches

There are few cities more well-known in California than Malibu. This city is known for its numerous famous beaches, the delicious seafood, and drinks, and the celebrities who are known to shop, dine and dwell along the coast.

There are countless fabulous hikes, tours, and places to visit while planning your trip to Malibu.

Whether you are a frequent local or a first-timer from out of state, this guide includes a wide variety of the most unique and unusual things to do in Malibu that don’t just involve going to the beach!

horse trailer parked for tour in malibu

Ride on Horseback with Malibu Riders

Experienced and beginner riders alike are encouraged to explore the gorgeous scenery of Malibu on horseback with Malibu Riders!

This woman-owned and operated company offers guided trail rides in various beautiful Agoura Hills and Malibu locations. The horses available for riding are mellow, well-trained, clean, and receive excellent care.

Guests can select either one-hour rides, one-and-a-half, or a full two hours, with a maximum of eight riders per tour.

A seasoned trail rider will guide guests on horseback through Zuma Canyon (one hour for a non-ocean view and one-and-a-half hours for an ocean view), Paramount Ranch, where numerous movies and TV shows have been filmed (one-hour ride), or Malibu Creek State Park (with options for a one or two-hour tour).

Fantastic pictures and views can be expected, weather permitting. The weight limit is approximately 240lbs for each rider.

Activity details:

  • Address: 5306 Chesebro Rd. Agoura Hills, CA. 91301.
  • Typical time spent: 1 hour, 1.5 hours, or 2 hours.
  • Cost: $100 for the Paramount Ranch ride, non-ocean view Zuma Canyon ride, and 1-hour Malibu Creek State Park, $150 for ocean view Zuma Canyon, and $200 for the 2-hour Malibu Creek State Park ride.
  • Pairs well with: A delicious, nutritious seafood lunch at a nearby Malibu restaurant or a long nap at a nearby beach to prepare for further activities.
  • Best time of the week for this activity: Any time of the week is available for these gorgeous rides.
  • Best time of the day for this activity: Time slots are available for 11:30 or noon for mornings or 2:00 or 2:30 for afternoons depending on the month.
  • Good for solo travelers?: Yes! Meet new friends or enjoy the ride, and appreciate the views and beautiful animal you are riding!

Visit Saddlerock Ranch on a Tour

There are three exciting tour options to explore the beautiful vineyard at Saddlerock Ranch. Saddlerock Ranch is an incredible 1200-acre property nestled between the sweeping Malibu coastline and the rocky Santa Monica Mountains.

Home to the vineyard that supplies the grapes for the Saddlerock label wines, wine-tasting tours have become one of the best ways to enjoy a beautiful day in Malibu while trying local wine.

Several wine tour options last from two to three hours, so these wine tours are great for people planning a half day in Malibu or pairing multiple activities together to make it a fun-filled Malibu day!

Hike the Ranch

Malibu Wine Hikes offers, as one might expect, hiking as the perfect way to get a close-up “behind the scenes” look at the vineyard and the surrounding lands. 

This activity features multiple photo-ops and sweeping views of the Malibu area. This guided mild-to-moderate 2.5-mile hike features adorable and delicious cans of wine at the end of the two-hour hike. Guests will have the opportunity to learn about the viticulture and wine-making process behind Saddlerock wines, as well as the fascinating history of Saddlerock Ranch and the Semler family that owns it.

While hiking, a knowledgeable guide will lead the hiking group, entertaining guests with anecdotes about the property and will offer information about the wilderness and nature around them. 

Chumash Native American cave paintings, an awe-inspiring glimpse into the history of Malibu, are a key feature of the tour for those interested in getting in touch with the land and the people who used to dwell here.

Activity details:

  • Address: 32111 Mulholland Hwy, Malibu, CA. 90265.
  • Typical time spent: This hike is 2 hours.
  • Cost: $49 per person.
  • Pairs well with: A good, nutritious lunch or dinner at one of the numerous restaurants in Malibu to refuel!
  • Best time of the week for this activity: Weekends are busier and more time slots are offered, while weekdays are more laid-back and intimate with limited time slots. It is up to you to decide which vibe you would prefer!
  • Best time of the day for this activity: Early morning or afternoon to beat the heat in the spring or summer. Any time of day in the fall or winter.
  • Good for solo travelers and groups?: Yes, this is good for both! Make new friends as you hike with a group or spend time conversing with the friendly tour guide. Bring a camera for gorgeous nature photography. This activity is also great for big groups and can be booked as a private wine hike tour as well.
side by side driving through saddlerock ranch on 4x4 wine tour

Offroad in a Side-by-Side Around the Ranch

Looking to shake up your outdoor adventure? Another fantastic option to explore Saddlerock Ranch, which involves a little less physical activity and a little more to drink, is a 4×4 wine tour

These tours are two hours long, with an energetic and knowledgeable tour guide driving the vehicle as you and four of your friends and family enjoy the ride! A nine-seater truck is also available for you and eight others for slightly larger parties.

There are numerous stops along the way in which guests can taste five half-bottles of wine while enjoying the views, photo ops, and history of the ranch. 

The wines offered vary throughout the season, but there are generally two white wines, a rosè, and two red wines in the tasting flight that guests will try at specific tasting stops along the way, as well as a cheese and charcuterie board to snack on. Call ahead to announce dietary restrictions.

Activity details:

  • Address: 32111 Mulholland Hwy, Malibu, CA. 90265.
  • Typical time spent: 2 hours.
  • Cost: $400 for a 4×4 (5 guests max.) and $700 for the truck (9 guests max.)
  • Pairs well with: A day at the beach or checking out another gorgeous nearby winery for a day filled with wine and fun!
  • Best time of the week for this activity: Weekends are busier and more time slots are offered, while weekdays are more laid-back and intimate with limited time slots. It is up to you to decide which vibe you’re looking for!
  • Best time of day for this activity: Is there ever a bad time to be chauffeured around a gorgeous ranch in Malibu? The answer is surely not!
  • Good for groups?: Yes! The price is set based on the rental of the vehicle itself so you can split the cost between between whoever is in your group. Make this part of your full-day Malibu date itinerary, grab a few close friends, or invite your favorite family members to join you!
couple sipping wine in vw bus on wine tour

Ride in a Vintage VW Bus from the Ranch to Local Wineries

Our newest tour on Saddlerock Ranch is the oh-so-adorable Vintage VW bus wine tour

A fun-loving tour guide will guide this approximately three-hour tour and drive you and five of your friends and family members around Saddlerock Ranch to try Saddlerock label wines and then to another local winery in the Malibu area!

This tour is the most customizable of the tours offered by Malibu Wine Hikes. Guests may have the option to coordinate with the customer service team and tour guide about nearby pick-up and drop-off locations, particular stops, such as visiting the beach for pictures, and how much time is spent at each location. 

You can even connect your phone to the aux cord and blast your favorite music throughout the tour!

Activity details:

  • Address: 32111 Mulholland Hwy, Malibu, CA. 90265.
  • Typical time spent: Approximately 3 hours.
  • Cost: $600-$625 per vehicle.
  • Pairs well with: A celebration! Birthdays, bachelorette parties, or other exciting events are more than welcome!
  • Best time of the week for this activity: These tours are only offered Thursday-Sunday.
  • Best time of day for this activity: Mornings or afternoons are gorgeous in the Malibu area, so there’s no bad time to enjoy the wine and scenery!
  • Good for groups?: Yes! This tour is generally considered a group activity, as the price is set based on the rental of the VW bus itself and not on how many guests are present. It’s a great way to bond with loved ones over wine, great music, and good vibes!
malibu coastal hike

Top 4 Fan-Favorite Malibu Hikes

There are so many incredible hikes to explore all around Malibu and the surrounding areas. Honestly, there are around 50 hikes that are more than worth checking out for avid hikers with different levels of experience.

To help start you out on your hiking adventures around the Santa Monica Mountains, here are four fan-favorite hiking trails in and around Malibu that are family-friendly, mild-to-moderate, and can promise beautiful views and scenery.

Escondido Canyon Park Trail to Escondido Falls

This out-and-back hike promises some fantastic views, birdwatching, and, of course, waterfalls. 

After a rain, there is the possibility of seeing multiple pools and waterfalls. There is an especially notable Escondido Falls at the end of the hike that drops from a 150-foot cliff—the highest in the Santa Monica Mountains. 

At approximately 3.7 miles, the walk is relatively easy without too many hills.

Hike details:

  • Trailhead Address: 27364 Winding Way, Malibu, CA. 90265
  • Typical time spent: Approximately 2 hours.
  • Cost: Parking is $12 at a small lot nearby. The address for parking is 27807 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA. 90265.
  • Pairs well with: Water, sunscreen, light snacks, and a camera!
  • Best time of the week for this activity: After a bit of rain so that the waterfalls have a chance to fill!
  • Best time of the day for this activity: Early morning to beat the heat and crowds, as this is a popular trail.
  • Good for solo travelers?: Yes! Be sure you have an offline map of the area downloaded just in case you get turned around.

Solstice Canyon Loop Trail

The Solstice Canyon Loop Trail is an easy, flat hike of approximately 3.2 miles long. This hike’s most extraordinary claim to fame is the lovely ocean views along the mountainside.

There may also be a small waterfall to see after some rain. There is plenty of shade on this hike.

Notably, there are a few ruins to explore along the path, including the ruins of the Robert Ranch House, which has been given the name “Tropical Terrace” and is one of the oldest existing stone buildings in Malibu, having been burnt down in 1982.

Hike details:

  • Trailhead Address: Intersection of Corral Canyon Rd. and Solstice Canyon in Malibu, CA. 90265.
  • Typical time spent: Approximately 1.5-2 hours.
  • Cost: Parking is free but limited.
  • Pairs well with: Bringing your pets! This trail is entirely pet friendly, as long as you keep your dog on a leash and pick up after them.
  • Best time of the week for this activity: Any time after a bit of rain to allow the waterfalls and pools to fill. Also, a clear day so that you may enjoy the ocean views.
  • Best time of the day for this activity: Early morning to beat the heat and to ensure you get parking in the small parking area.
  • Good for solo travelers?: Yes! Keep an eye out for exciting wildlife, like acorn woodpeckers and red-tailed hawks.

Corral Canyon Park Loop

Corral Canyon Park Loop is a mild-to-moderate hike about 2.5 miles long. This trail, also known as the Sara Wan Trail, is quite popular and has many gorgeous ocean and canyon views. In fact, Corral Canyon is the last undeveloped canyon that flows freely into the ocean in Malibu. 

As a result, wildlife is often seen here, including deer and red-tailed hawks, as well as a variety of plant life such as scrub and sage. The hike generally hugs a creekbed that leads to the ocean and winds past the ruins of an old chimney and fireplace. Dogs are welcome on leash.

Hike details:

  • Trailhead Address: 25623 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA. 90265.
  • Typical time spent: Approximately 1.5-2 hours.
  • Cost: $12 for parking. There is also free parking along the Pacific Coast Highway if you don’t mind walking to the trailhead.
  • Pairs well with: A delicious meal at Malibu Seafood, which is right next to the trailhead! Also, there is not a lot of shade along the hike, so plan accordingly.
  • Best time of the week for this activity: Any time the sky is clear so that you may be sure to enjoy the ocean view.
  • Best time of the day for this activity: Early morning to beat the heat or around sunset, as you will get some gorgeous ocean views, weather permitting.
  • Good for solo travelers?: Yes. Be sure to download an offline map of the area in case you get lost, which is not likely, as the hiking path is a loop.

The M*A*S*H Hike at Malibu Creek State Park

The M*A*S*H Hike is a roughly 4.75-mile round-trip hike based inland in Malibu. This hike is based around the filming location of the popular television show M*A*S*H, which was filmed from 1972 to 1983.

The trail is relatively flat and has several rusted vehicles left over from the show along the path, with information panels, photographs, and outlines of areas where old medic tents sat during filming to view along the way. Rock formations and signage that fans of the show will recognize are also key sights on the hike.

Hike details:

  • Trailhead Address: 1925 Las Virgenes Rd, Calabasas, CA. 91301.
  • Typical time spent: Approximately 2 hours.
  • Cost: $12 parking fee to enter the park. There is free parking along Mulholland Highway if you are willing to walk about a half mile to the trailhead.
  • Pairs well with: Fans of the hit television show M*A*S*H!
  • Best time of the week for this activity: Any time.
  • Best time of the day for this activity: Mornings are best. The park is open from dawn until dusk.
  • Good for solo travelers?: Yes! Enjoy the scenery and take pictures of the iconic “welcome wagon” from the show and the other M*A*S*H paraphernalia on display.
smoothie bowl from sunlife organics

Dine, Shop, & More at Malibu Country Mart

Malibu Country Mart has a delightful variety of high-end shopping, dining, wellness, and grooming services that can add to a fabulous day of fun.

Refresh your wardrobe and jewelry box with the newest Malibu styles in stores like All Things Bell, gorjana, Crown, and Sunroom.

Detox, get anti-aging treatments, or sweat it out at the gym while taking advantage of wellness services offered at Daily Calm Wellness, 5 Point Yoga, and Nenergy Boost. Get your hair done, or even your dog’s hair, at Cie Salon and Malibu Grooming Co. Grab some coffee or a healthy smoothie at SunLife Organics, Alfred Coffee, or Starbucks.

Lastly, fill up on delicious food and cocktails at any of the wonderful restaurants such as Tra di Noi, Malibu Kitchen & Gourmet, and Malibu Mutt’s Grill.

Activity details:

  • Address: 3835 Cross Creek Rd, Malibu, CA. 90265.
  • Typical time spent: Up to you! 
  • Cost: Generally upscale prices.
  • Pairs well with: Bringing your dog! Dogs are welcome in most areas and stores of the Malibu Country Mart! 
  • Best time of the week for this activity: Any time!
  • Best time of the day for this activity: Retail stores are generally open from 10 am-7 pm, and restaurants and cafes are open from 5:30 am (for coffee-serving cafes) – 11 pm.
  • Good for solo travelers?: Yes! Shop til’ you drop and grab a coffee or a bite to eat before you go!
brick entrance to malibu wine and beer garden

Try Delicious Local Wines at 2 Amazing Wine Shops and Wineries

Visitors may not explicitly know Malibu as a wine-tasting hotspot, but there are several vineyards and wine-tasting destinations that wine lovers are sure to appreciate not just for their beautiful scenery and gorgeous locations but for the delicious wine as well!

There are several places to go during your wine-seeking Malibu excursion, but there are two in particular that are sure to please anyone looking for a wonderful experience and great drinks and food.

Take in Rustic Scenery at Cornell Winery

Cornell Winery is a historic building that sits directly beside the rustic and equally historic Old Place restaurant. 

Though Cornell doesn’t make its own wine, this wine shop showcases a delicious collection of some of the best local wines from Malibu and the surrounding Southern California and Central Coast areas. Guests may purchase flights that showcase some of these wines, and some genuinely unique wines are available here. 

The surrounding scenery of the Santa Monica Mountains is gorgeous, and guests will delight in the many free-roaming peacocks that strut nearby and have become the mascot of Cornell Winery. 

The Old Place is a small ex-general store that sits directly beside Cornell Winery and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the weekends, with limited hours available on Thursdays and Fridays. Food includes “West Coast Fare,” which includes salads, cheese boards, sandwiches, and mind-blowing steaks and BBQ.

Activity details:

  • Address: 29975 Mulholland Hwy. Old Agoura, CA. 91301.
  • Typical time spent: Maximum time spent should be 2.5 hours.
  • Cost: $25 for flights. Prices vary for bottles, glasses of wine, and food from The Old Place.
  • Pairs well with: Lunch or an early dinner at The Old Place Restaurant!
  • Best time of week for this activity: Cornell Winery is only open from Thursday to Sunday.
  • Best time of the day for this activity: Afternoons and evenings! The winery opens later in the day and stays open until 7 pm.
  • Good for solo travelers?: Yes! There is an abundance of outdoor seating and great to-go food options from The Old Place.

Enjoy Saddlerock Label Wines at Malibu Wines & Beer Garden

After taking a hike or a vehicle expedition around Saddlerock Ranch, guests often desire more of Malibu’s delicious local wines. Malibu Wines & Beer Garden is the official Saddlerock label tasting room, located in West Hills in a gorgeous old mission-style building with a lot of history and beauty for guests to enjoy.

Numerous estate wines grown on Saddlerock Ranch are available here, as well as some delightful wines and beer from local Southern California vineyards and breweries.

Even those who have never been to the vineyards on the ranch itself will find the wines delectable and find Malibu Wines & Beer Garden a lovely place to spend an afternoon or evening! This 21-and-over-only establishment is a fun, casual picnic-style tasting room during the week, with food trucks serving delicious wood-fired pizza, charcuterie boards, and salads on the weekends.

Furthermore, a Silent Disco is held every Friday and Saturday evening for those hoping to cut a rug after sampling some of Malibu’s finest vino! Those who want to enjoy specially curated wine and savings can join Malibu Family Wines’ wine club.

Activity details:

  • Address: 23130 Sherman Way, West Hills, CA. 91307.
  • Typical time spent: Approximately 2-3 hours.
  • Cost: Up to you! The wines vary in price, and you may purchase bottles of wine or glasses of wine or beer.
  • Pairs well with: Joining the wine club for jaw-dropping savings on Saddlerock wines and tours! If you visit Malibu Wines & Beer Garden after a tour of Saddlerock Ranch, your colored tour wristband will provide you with further discounts!
  • Best time of week for this activity: Friday-Sunday for fun events and delicious food, or any time after a tour of Saddlerock Ranch.
  • Best time of the day for this activity: Afternoons! On Sunday-Thursday the hours are 12 pm-7 pm, and on Friday and Saturday, the hours are 12 pm-9 pm.
  • Good for solo travelers and groups?: Yes! Taste some fantastic wines, grab a bite, and relax in the gorgeous outdoor seating area with loved ones, coworkers, or solo!

Guided Electric Mountain Bike Rides with LifeRush Adventures

Bicycle riders of all comfort levels will have an absolute blast pedaling their way through Malibu trails on some of the most premium electric mountain bikes available. 

LifeRush Adventures provides e-bikes, safety equipment, and an experienced guide to lead the ride, and guests provide the excitement, the pedaling, and the can-do attitude! Guests are encouraged to engage the electric assist as much as they like to fit their activity level.

The trails are part of the “Backbone Trail” and generally involve a mix of fire roads, paved roads, and single-track trails. There are two beginner rides at a low-to-medium difficulty, where guests may choose a path with ocean views or do a hybrid ride and hike to a waterfall on the “Malibu Waterfall Trail.” 

Two rides that are considered intermediate in difficulty are also available, one of which involves more hills and ocean views, and the other is a ride through the Malibu mountains for panoramic canyon views with a stop near Sandstone Peak to take in the scenery.

Finally, there is an advanced ride that leads through the canyons and also includes an ocean view. This ride is fast-paced and has steep inclines and declines throughout. The easy-to-intermediate rides are approximately 120 minutes long, and the more advanced rides are about 180 minutes, though you can request the extended four-hour Iron Man ride if you’re looking to push yourself!

Activity details:

  • Address: The meeting point for all rides is at the intersection of Corral Canyon Rd. and Pacific Coast Hwy. 26101 CA-1, Malibu, CA. 90265.
  • Typical time spent: Approximately 120-180 minutes.
  • Cost: $159 for the beginner, one intermediate, and the advanced-level rides, $199 for the mountainous and canyon intermediate-level.
  • Pairs well with: Heading to the beach to cool off or a nutritious and delicious meal at a nearby restaurant! 
  • Best time of week for this activity: Any time of the week! For the beginner-level waterfall trail, preferably after a bit of rain.
  • Best time of the day for this activity: Early morning or late afternoon in the summertime to beat the heat!
  • Good for solo travelers?: Yes! Take in the scenery and enjoy choosing your difficulty level by engaging the electric assist and moving at your pace!
waves at point dume

Top Malibu Beaches & Their Biggest Pros

While you can see that there are a variety of unique things to do in Malibu, the beaches are still one of the best ways to get to know the beauty and fun of Malibu.

So , now that you have gotten a taste of some unusual activities, let’s look at what Malibu is best known for: the beaches.

There is quite an abundance of places to go if you want to lounge, surf, swim, or even find a picturesque place to eat with a view of the water. 

Zuma Beach brings the word iconic to mind. It is the largest and most popular beach in Malibu, and for a good reason! At almost two miles long and with a lack of residential homes along this part of the coast, it is the first beach that comes to mind for locals and visitors alike. This area has an abundance of lifeguard towers and plenty of room to find a place to lounge, build sandcastles and get some sun! Surfers, swimmers, and beach volleyball players are also easy to find in this area. With almost two-thousand parking spaces, it is generally the most easily accessible and, unfortunately, most crowded beach in Malibu.

Surfrider Beach is known for some of the best swimming and surfing in Malibu. The waves are plentiful and perfect for surfers! Near the Malibu Pier and Malibu Lagoon, it is a great place to go if you are interested in birdwatching at the lagoon, as it is home to an estuary for hundreds of unique birds or fishing and dining on the Pier. The Pier holds both Malibu Farm Restaurant & Bar and Malibu Farm Cafe, which are fabulous places to eat fresh farm-to-table meals and enjoy the ocean views or the sunset at the same time.

Paradise Cove Beach is a very small beach, mostly known for the adorable Paradise Cove Cafe, which attracts those looking for drinks or nibbles with a beachy vibe. There are places to sit where guests can sip tiki-inspired drinks with their toes in the sand or at classic tables to have fabulous BBQ or fresh seafood. Of course, the beach is a fine place to swim, lounge, or surf.

Point Dume State Beach is known for its gorgeous cliffs, bluffs, coves, and tide pools. There are numerous hikes with ocean views nearby to catch stunning sunsets overlooking the water, and plenty of places to swim, surf, scuba dive, or fish. One of the most notable things about the beach is the opportunity to view migrating gray whales as they move through the area from December to April.

El Matador Beach, part of Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, is surrounded by fantastic natural rock formations, arches, and caves, making this beach a visual wonder. The scenery makes this one of the best beaches to take in the sunset and get jaw-dropping pictures! As well as a great place to take a beachside stroll, there is plenty of room and availability for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and exploring.

Westward Beach is one of the quieter and less-crowded beaches. However, there are plenty of visitor facilities and many hiking trails nearby. Notably, The Sunset restaurant calls this beach home, with options for fine dining with an ocean view and a more casual but equally fabulous happy hour for those looking for a glass of wine, a cocktail, or a bite to eat.

Malibu is more than just it’s stunning beaches. The surrounding area offers an abundance of experiences from hiking to wine tasting and more. To learn more about Malibu, join us for a tour from Saddlerock Ranch or follow us on social media!


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