Where to Rest Your Head: If there are two words you need to work into your vocabulary, the Vacation Gods would certainly want them to be “luxury” and “beachfront.” With these thoughts in mind, the Malibu Beach Inn delivers a getaway delight for those who simply must insist on relaxing while they soak up the spirit and beauty of the California coastline. Sure, Malibu is one of the most exclusive communities in SoCal, but the staff (European-trained and multilingual) and the atmosphere (the sound of ocean waves) here will make you feel like you were meant to rock this zip code all along—though don’t expect any visits from local denizens Kate Hudson and Mel Gibson just yet. But don’t spend too much time enjoying these thoroughly decadent accommodations and amenities (32-inch flat-screen plasma TV, MP3 player dock, natural tile showers)—as the natural beauty of this coastal community is all around you. Listen: that, my friend, is the sound of the ocean. Stay for the sunset if nothing else.
Get Your Arts and Culture On: Obviously, Malibu’s beaches are key draws here so we would be remiss if we didn’t recommend an infusion of surf culture via a visit to the iconic, historic (built in 1905) Malibu Pier. Plus, the Getty Villa (www.getty.edu) is nearby and it will easily supply a treasure trove of Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities for your discerning patronage. By the way, it’s called the villa cuz it’s modeled after a first-century Roman country house, the Villa dei Papiri, in Italy.
Why You’ve Gotta Come Back: The Malibu Pier Surf Museum—within site of the famous Surfrider Beach—is scheduled to open later this year (www.malibupiersportfishing.com). Also check out the Weisman Museum of Art (arts.pepperdine.edu/museum) and the 1930 Adamson House (www.adamsonhouse.org).
Malibu Beach Inn, 22878 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, (310) 456-6444; www.malibubeachinn.com.