Malibu is a lovely coastal city full of beautiful photo spots – from the breathtaking beaches to the hiking trails and plentiful views and sunset spots.
Located just 48km west of Downtown Los Angeles along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), Malibu makes for a great day trip from Los Angeles, or an excellent place to stop on a road trip of the California Coast.
Keep reading for the best Malibu photo spots!
Accommodation In Malibu
If you’re planning to stay overnight in Malibu then be sure to book your accommodation fast as things can often get booked up very quickly!
Mid Range Hotel:
The M Malibu
High End Hotel:
Malibu Beach Inn
In addition, Malibu has some RV Parks & Campgrounds such as the Malibu Seaside Campground and Malibu RV Park.
MALIBU BEACHES – BEST PHOTO SPOTS
The beaches in Malibu are incredibly picturesque and are a must-visit when in Malibu. Malibu beaches are not only some of the best photo spots around Los Angeles, but some of the best photo spots in the whole of California!
El Matador Beach and Zuma Beach are the two you must visit if you only have time to visit a couple of beaches when in Malibu.
They are both perfect for swimming, surfing, swimming and watching the sunset and are honestly two of the most beautiful beaches in California!
So even if you’re just passing through on a West Coast road trip itinerary, make sure to stop off at these beaches!
Zuma Beach is a long, wide sandy beach and is one of the most popular beaches in Malibu. Located 2.5 miles north-west of Point Dume, Zuma Beach has stunning views and is known for its epic surf.
There are lots of places to rent a surfboard and take surfing lessons if you want a break from sightseeing and photography!
El Matador State Beach
In contrast to Zuma Beach, El Matador is a small and secluded beach. It’s located 4 miles north-west of Zuma Beach and is known for its beautiful rock formations and caves – which make it a popular photo spot, especially at sunset
Point Dume State Beach
Point Dume Beach offers great views out to the Pacific Ocean and is a popular spot to go to watch the sunset.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach
Located 8 miles east of Point Dume in the heart of Malibu is Malibu Lagoon Beach. As the name suggests, there is a lovely lagoon at Malibu Lagoon Beach and it’s quite popular for bird watching.
You’ll also find the historic Malibu Pier at the eastern part of Malibu Lagoon Beach, which is a really popular spot for tourists and locals to watch the sunset.
The Spanish revival Adamson House is also located on Malibu Lagoon State Beach. This historic beach house and gardens is an interesting museum where you can learn about the culture and history of Malibu.
Leo Carrillo State Beach
In Western Malibu, 4 miles west of El Matador Beach lies Leo Carrillo State Beach. There is an amazing sea cave that is totally Instagrammable and definitely one of the hidden places in Malibu!
At low tide you can walk into the sea cave and get some perfectly framed photos!
MALIBU HILLS – BEST PHOTO SPOTS
The Malibu Hills are really beautiful with fantastic views, and if you enjoy walking you should definitely hike one of the trails to the top of the hills. There are lots of trails with stunning views overlooking the city, ocean and mountains.
If you’ve only got time for one hike, the most popular trail is the Solstice Canyon Trail.
This easy 2km hiking trail provides spectacular views of the canyon. There is a small waterfall here as well as some ruins, and it is one of the most popular spot for landscape photography in Malibu.
Malibu Creek State Park
Malibu Creek State Park is full of beautiful hiking trails. Here you’ll also find the Malibu Creek Rock Pools, the M*A*S*H Production Location, and amazing views of the Santa Monica Mountains!
Malibu Lake is also nearby which is definitely worth a visit as it is stunning!
WINERIES IN THE MALIBU HILLS
Malibu Wine Safaris
This unique tour company combines guided safari rides through the beautiful hills of Malibu with wine tasting! You’ll go on a safari-style adventure through the Malibu Hills and there will be plenty opportunities to get some photos along the way.
Wine tour at a Winery
If you’d rather do a more traditional wine tasting, Malibu has a number of wineries where you can do tastings and tours. Some of the mot well-known ones include Rosenthal The Malibu Estate, Saddlerock Ranch and Malibu Family Wines.
Other photo spots in Malibu include:
Malibu Bluffs Park
Located just off the Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu Bluffs Park provides stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and is a popular place to watch the sunset.
One mile from Malibu Bluffs Park lies Pepperdine University. Pepperdine University sits on a hill overlooking the ocean and has really beautiful courtyards, buildings and gardens where you can get some nice photos.
Pacific Coast Highway
The Pacific Coast Highway runs all the way along the coast of Malibu and is a very scenic drive. It is full of incredible ocean views and lots of opportunities to pull over, take some photos and enjoy the scenery.
The Getty Villa
Located just on the edge of Malibu – a lot closer to Los Angeles is The Getty Villa: a fascinating museum that features ancient Roman, Greek and Etruscan architecture and art.
The gardens of the museum are absolutely stunning, with pools, fountains and outdoor sculptures. It’s a great place to take some photos and spend a few hours.
Hopefully these Malibu photo spots were useful – let me know if you find any more!
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Catrina is a Travel Writer, SEO Specialist and ex-Flight Attendant based in Sydney, Australia. She has visited 85 countries and lived in several – including Italy, Australia, United Arab Emirates and England. Her work has been featured in a variety of popular travel publications including Fodors, Escape, Australian Traveller and Bear Grylls, as well as several international aviation and travel companies. The majority of her work however features on her own website – 24hourslayover.com where she has written over 500 travel articles!