As a native Angeleno, I've spent more than my fair share of time exploring the coastline of Los Angeles. Growing up just inland from Malibu, we could easily hop over the canyon to the coast for an afternoon of sunshine and body boarding usually at the seemingly endless Zuma beach. But being a creature of habit, we'd go for an afternoon session and head right back home.
So when Salt & Wind asked me to day trip and explore one of my favorite local coastal towns with fresh eyes and a new pair of Maui Jim® sunnies I jumped at the chance to day trip to Malibu and explore all there is beyond the surf breaks. We all know a solid pair of sunglasses can help you enjoy the view no matter where you are, and I was excited to take their innovative lens tech for a spin while exploring Malibu.
First, the coast. Yes, a drive along Highway 1 is in seemingly every Los Angeles-based movie ever made so that's a must. And after said drive up Pacific Coast Highway (PCH to us locals), we stopped at the ideal first stop, Malibu Farm. This darling little farm-to-table restaurant is set at the end of Malibu Pier so you can taste the best of our region's produce all while you have an incredible view. (By the way, this is also a prime spot to grab a snap or two of the surfers at adjacent Malibu first point surf break.) Be sure to order the decadent, custardy coconut French toast bread pudding, or for something quintessentially Cali, the black bean breakfast burrito.
But there is way more to Malibu that just coastline. There's some killer hiking (even a trail with a waterfall when the weather is right), some of the most chill shopping in Los Angeles, and even wine. Yup, just inland there's a handful of wineries and they're worth discovering. We first headed to Malibu Wines, which is pretty much the perfect spot for wine tasting while basking in the warm SoCal sun. Known for its festive scene more so than its wines, Malibu Wines has a ton going on this time of year, including live music on the weekends from 12 PM until close and the sprawling grassy knoll makes for the perfect spot to post up for a picnic. (Don't forget to pack a blanket, cheese, crackers, and, of course, your Maui Jim® sunnies!) Oh, and maker sure to visit the onsite store, The Market, which has a great selection of hats and artisan wares from local California crafters.
For some more traditional wine tasting, Cornell Winery is the pick (though they don't make their own wine so are really more a tasting room than a winery, but they are a great tasting room at that). They are usually pouring a mix of Malibu-made wines as well as some Central Coast wines so you can get an idea of the styles of wines grown from Malibu up through Big Sur.
But we then headed back to the coast because, well, that is what Malibu is known for after all. On our day trip we headed to El Matador State Beach, which I'd shockingly never been to despite it being the backdrop for truly iconic movies (I'm talking Grease and The Notebook). The walk down the stairs to the jagged caves and arched rock formations is a sight in and of itself not to mention the gorgeous beach. But right now, the bluff lined with bright yellow and purple California wildflowers and flowering agave is proof that Spring is in full bloom.
I have to admit, I'm one of those people that gets particularly teary eyed this time of year. (And no, it's not just me getting emotional over the stunning spring wildflower bloom.) I have incredibly sensitive light blue eyes, and that paired pollen and bright sun can really do a number. Sporting the Maui Jim® sunglasses really helped on my little Malibu adventure: their PolzarizedPlus2® tech really made it so that every detail was crisper and cleaner and without glare or harmful UV rays. Actually, I've been on the hunt for a stylish pair of polarized sunnies for all the adventures I've been on, but I've always come up empty-handed. Not only do Maui Jim® glasses look stylish, but they also actually improve the view by making the world look more beautiful with their patented
I'm all about acting like a tourist in your own town from time to time, so I rounded out my day I hit up an oldie-but-goodie, Malibu Seafood. If you're someone who enjoys an ice cold beer with your fish tacos after a day at the beach, be sure to hit up the gas station just a block north on PCH, because, while Malibu Seafood is BYO friendly, but it doesn't serve beer or wine.
Watching the sun go down in my Maui Jim® shades, while noshing on my fish taco, I felt a gratitude for growing up so close to an incredible beach town like the Malibu.
Photography by Krista Simmons and Michael Kretovics
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