Zuma is easy to find, and thanks to the wide sweep of blonde sand that has been attracting valley kids to the shore since the 1970s, it gets busy on weekends and summer afternoons. Pass around Point Dume to Westward Beach.

Point Dume State Beach begins once you pass through the parking gate south of the Sunset restaurant. Keep walking down the beach and navigate a short trail to semi-private Pirate's Cove.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Malibu & Pacific Palisades attractions

1. Westward Beach

1.15 MILES

At this west-facing beach, the surf thunders and rip currents can be strong (so you'll want to be a strong swimmer), but the water is crystal clear, and…

2. El Matador State Beach

4.69 MILES

Arguably Malibu’s most stunning beach, where you park on the bluffs and stroll down a trail to sandstone rock towers that rise from emerald coves. Topless…

3. Frederick R Weisman Museum of Art

6.12 MILES

This art museum on the Pepperdine University campus hosts temporary exhibits of mostly 20th-century art (Claes Oldenburg, Dale Chihuly, Roy Liechtenstein…

4. Pepperdine University

6.12 MILES

Self-assuredly holding court on 830 acres atop a grassy slope down to the ocean where deer graze at sundown, this private, Christian institution has views…

5. Legacy Park

6.99 MILES

On gently rolling hills across from Malibu City Hall and next to the Malibu Country Mart, this 15-acre park is a microcosm of six SoCal landscapes all in…

6. Malibu Colony

7.08 MILES

Malibu has been celebrity central since the 1930s, when money troubles forced landowner May Rindge to lease out property to her famous Hollywood buds…

7. Malibu Lagoon State Beach

7.34 MILES

This salty marsh is where Malibu Creek meets the ocean, attracting migratory birds and their human admirers. It underwent a major native-species…

8. Adamson House

7.41 MILES

Up on a bluff overlooking Surfrider Beach is this gorgeous Spanish-style villa, which used to belong to the Rindge family and is awash in locally made,…