Beautiful Malibu, California Sunset
Originally a New Yorker, I dreamed of coming out to California
my whole life, probably after seeing one too many episodes of Baywatch
or Beverly Hills 90210, or maybe a combination of both. But seriously,
I had always longed for a tranquil, sunny and geographically beautiful
location in which to plunk myself down and call home. I found that in
Los Angeles, my adoptive home, and a place where I have lived and created
memories and roots over the last seven years of my life. To be more specific,
California's coastline and mountain range has truly inspired and centered
me, even during the tough times in life. I feel some type of mystical
connection with the Pacific Ocean.
Among the many captivating locations in Southern California,
I have grown particularly fond of Malibu, and I officially declare it
as my favorite city in Los Angeles. After crazy work weeks of non-stop
phone calls, Internet, deal making and breaking and all of the things
that stress us out during the week, I escape to Malibu every weekend where
I become whole again and all seems right with the world (and that's saying
Since PR.com has readership from all over the world and
Malibu, California is a famous destination, I decided to write about my
favorite places and things in Malibu as an insider's guide to enjoying
this amazing jewel of a community along California's coastline.
Along with myself, I have enlisted my friends at Malibu
Magazine to be your concierge for this article. Mia Dinelly is Publisher
and Editor in Chief of Malibu Magazine, and Jason Rouse is Creative Director.
PR.com (Allison Kugel): Jason, tell me about surf culture
in Malibu. Why does Malibu and surfing go hand in hand?
Malibu Magazine (Jason): It's the history of Malibu. Malibu
Surf Rider, First Point [Beaches]
all the greats used to come here
and surf. When you couldn't even get up here, guys were paddling from
Topanga [California] to come surf at Third Point. It's one of the most
perfect points in California. Everybody still knows each other, and it's
just got a great energy to it when it's good.
PR.com: So there's a sense of community and you see the
Malibu Magazine (J): Absolutely. It's changed over the generations
but the old guys are still there. It's interesting, because it's really
kind of a rootsy surf crowd mixed in with high profile celebrities surfing
with you. It's pretty nuts. You try, as a Malibu Magazine, to capture
the roots of Malibu which is kind of a rootsy, eclectic crowd, artists,
musicians, yet you do have these high profile celebrities.
PR.com: Do you think that tarnishes it or enhances it?
Malibu Magazine (J): No, it's always been like that. The
[Malibu] Colony in the forties was built
those houses were initially
celebrity houses. It seems to work, because they don't come here to stand
Surfrider Beach, Malibu, California
PR.com: What is the best beach for surfing?
Malibu Magazine (J): Third Point.
PR.com: Where is that?
Malibu Magazine (J): The top of Surfrider Beach, right
where The [Malibu] Colony starts.
PR.com: That's my favorite beach! What are some of your
favorite restaurants and stores in Malibu?
Malibu Magazine (J): The Malibu Country Mart
(Mia Dinelly Interjects)
Malibu Magazine (Mia Dinelly): Two extremes would be:
for good but pricy sushi would be Nobu. It's great for people watching,
versus a great hamburger or veggie burger and John's Garden, coming off
the beach. John's Garden is right on Cross Creek Road, in The Plaza.
PR.com: What advice would you give to somebody who wants
to learn how to surf?
Malibu Magazine (J): Malibu Mike! He's a good friend of
ours who teaches people how to surf all the time.
PR.com: From beginning level?
Malibu Magazine (J): Yes.
Malibu Magazine (M): He's been in Malibu for years doing
this. He works all the way from Zuma [Beach] to Third Point [Beach], with
lessons and rentals. He guarantees that in your first lesson you don't
pay if you don't stand up.
Malibu Magazine (J): And he's a character.
Zuma Beach, Malibu, California
PR.com: So for anyone who wants to learn how to surf
in Malibu, call Malibu Mike! So Mia, are you from here?
Malibu Magazine (M): Originally I was born in Hawaii. I
was raised both in Hawaii and Los Angeles. When I was ten or eleven my
family came to Malibu and wanted to get a house here for the summers.
At the time I was going back and forth from Los Angeles to Hawaii because
[my parents] didn't want me to lose that [Hawaii] culture. They gravitated
towards Malibu, so we were sharing houses in The [Malibu] Colony. I was
involved with all the camps, Pepperdine [University] Tennis Camp and different
ones. I remember getting in that car and driving up The Pacific Coast
Highway with my parents and getting involved in the community from a kid's
PR.com: Don't you feel a sense of calm and centeredness
when you're here?
Malibu Magazine (M): Without a doubt. If you feel like you're
off balance, just take a walk out into the community, [or] a walk on the
beach, and immediately it creates some kind of balance. I think that's
a little bit of the mystery of Malibu. The beauty is there, you know that.
I remember taking a deep breath and saying, "this is where I want
to be, and somehow be a contributing factor to this community."
As someone who loves Malibu, Mia Dinelly couldn't understand why there
wasn't a magazine that covered everything that Malibu is, from the geography
to the lifestyle to the local businesses and people who are contributing
so much to the community. Malibu Magazine is a direct reflection of how
supportive Malibu residents are of their fellow business owners and fellow
residents. If you are in town, pick up a copy of the magazine at any local
newsstand and let it be your guide to many of the restaurants, boutiques,
events and other happenings taking place in Malibu, California. It's a
great guide for getting plugged into the local scene.
I have my own favorite places that I frequent in Malibu
that I highly recommend, whether you are local to LA, or on vacation.
So, here is my personal guide:
Malibu Pier, Malibu, California
COOGIE'S BEACH CAFE
When visiting any locale, the day usually begins with a great breakfast
or brunch, and I highly recommend the brunch at Coogie's. Coogie's is
a restaurant located in The Malibu Colony Shopping Center, right off of
the Pacific Coast Highway. There is indoor and outdoor seating, and the
menu and service are fabulous. Outdoor seating allows you to take in the
tranquil Mountain View in the distance. The scrambled eggs and zucchini
bread are delicious! When my parents were out here visiting, they liked
the zucchini bread so much that my mother emptied the basket, that wasn't
finished, into a plastic baggie in her purse for the ride back to the
hotel. According to the chef, some of the more popular breakfast selections
are: The Spicy Bayou Scrambled Eggs and the Coogie Cakes - whole wheat
pancakes with banana and strawberries mixed in. You may encounter a 15
minute wait during brunch hours, but it's well worth it! Star gazing is
an extra perk of dining at this delicious café: John McEnroe, Tony
Danza, Gabriel Reece, and Shirley MacClaine are regulars.
Great Surf in Malibu, California
MALIBU COUNTRY MART
Malibu Country Mart is an eclectic combination of clothing and accessory
boutiques, fine dining, outdoor style eateries, coffee houses and a playground
where parents and children gather frequently to swing, slide and play
in the sandbox. For daytime, try Howdy's Mexican Grill, complete
with outdoor seating or The Malibu Mutt for a burger or sandwich.
For sushi and star gazing in the evening, Nobu is a good choice.
Planet Blue is one of the most popular boutiques in town and is
broken up into two stores: clothing and accessories, and beauty supplies
and accessories. Looking for the best skin and hair treatments on the
market? You will find them here! I especially love a skincare line called
Zorica of Malibu. Zorica is a Malibu local who creates her own
skincare line using Malibu as her inspiration. The facial cleanser and
face cream are amazingly gentle and soothing to the skin. I am also a
huge fan of her body lotions. Right now I am using "Malibu Ocean
Mist" spray on lotion. It is the beach in a bottle! If you are visiting
Malibu and the thought of leaving is devastating, take one of these little
bottles with you, and the sweet beachy scent will bring back wonderful
memories each time you spray it on your body. ;-)
TOLA LIFE SPA
I am a spa junkie! I admit it. I can't resist a good massage. I also love
natural plant based aromas, such as Aveda Products. I recently had the
pleasure of visiting this Aveda Concept Spa in the heart of Malibu. The
word "Tola" originates from Sanskrit, meaning "A Balance."
When you enter Tola Life Spa, the atmosphere is quiet and peaceful. My
first service was an Elemental Nature Facial. Vanessa, my esthetician,
guided me through a door to an oasis of candlelight, fountains, and the
sweet smell of essential oils. I was given a pair of slippers, a robe
and ushered over to a comfy chair where my feet were cleaned as I drank
Aveda Herbal Tea. Vanessa then had me fill out a questionnaire to determine
my elements. My main elements were Infinity and Earth. I then chose my
massage oil: Vanilla; and Vanessa began my facial treatment. I was covered
with blankets and received a mesmerizing shoulder and scalp massage as
she cleaned and purified my skin. Needless to say, my face felt like a
baby's bottom after my treatment.
El Matador Beach, Malibu, California
My massage therapist, Alicia, walked into the room, with
spring water and more Vanilla massage oil (which I love!) and I received
a basic Swedish massage. Alicia was great and followed my instructions
perfectly (arms, legs and lower back, please!). What can I say, my body
holds some stress. Both Vanessa and Alicia were wonderful and paid attention
to every detail. The service at Tola Spa is just impeccable! And what
can be more relaxing then visiting a spa in Malibu, California.
It doesn't get any better, let me tell you :)
I then had the privilege to sit down with my massage therapist,
Alicia, to get the inside scoop on this incredible day spa. According
to Alicia, the key to their quick success and amazing reputation lies
in their detail to personal attention of each client, and the unique décor
which provides a true feeling of escape. We then talk about their Hydrotherm
Massage, which is extremely popular and unique to only Aveda Concept Spas.
The Hydrotherm Massage at Tola Spa is done on two water filled pillows,
where you don't have to turn over during the massage. You are able to
lie on your back throughout the entire treatment. According to Alicia,
you get the sensation of floating while lying on the water filled pillows.
This is the most popular treatment requested by pregnant women. The warm
soft floating sensation eases their discomfort, and for women who are
in their third trimester and can't lay on their stomach, it is ideal!
In addition to massage and skin treatments, there is
a hairstylist and colorist on staff who uses, what else, Aveda's Natural
Hair Color. This place is a gem and a must visit, when in Malibu. Tola
Spa is located in the Malibu Colony Shopping Center at 23755 Malibu
Moonshadows, Malibu, California
If you are looking to get a drink and mingle while overlooking the Pacific
Ocean, then Moonshadows: The Blue Lounge is right up the road on The Pacific
Coast Highway. Moonshadows is laid back and casual, not at all pretentious.
There is an indoor bar and an outdoor bar (that I prefer). Outdoors, the
DJ spins while locals hang out and enjoy the breathtaking view. Inside,
you can dine on fresh seafood for lunch and dinner. Get a table right
next to a window and you will see beautiful ocean sprays crashing up against
rocks. Very romantic! ;-)
I'm sure you've heard the old saying - for those of us from
the East Coast, anyway - "Once you go to California, you're not coming
back." Well that one holds true for me. I've been bit by the California
bug pretty bad, especially the one in Malibu. So, I'll leave you with
this. The only disclaimer I must proffer for this article is this: Warning!
If you visit Malibu, California, you may never want to leave.