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PIctured Above: The Malibu Pier extends out into the Pacific Ocean.

Located about 20 minutes up the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica and nestled between the beach and the ocean lies Malibu. Known as a celebrity getaway, a huge surfing spot, the Beverly Hills by the sea and houses that perch off of jagged cliffs high above the PCH, Malibu is a relaxing and fun locale that is away from the hustle and bustle of LA. Malibu is one of the most legendary coastal communities in the world. Known for its pristine beaches, beach front properties, surfing mecca, mountains and of course celebrities, Malibu is the perfect spot to get away from Hollywood for a day. Only 20 minutes up the Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu is so segregated from all the excitement of LA and Hollywood, you can easily feel like you are on your own island in the Pacific.

The beaches of Malibu extend dozens of miles in either direction starting at the Malibu Pier (PCH and Malibu Colony). It is here that you will find both public and private beaches. The private beaches are attached to the multi-million dollar ocean front properties. The public beaches are easy to find and do not have any properties on them. It is along the public beaches that you can enjoy the site of dozens of surfers actively seeking the next wave. Unlike movie and tv portrayals of surfers in constant motion, you'll notice they spend a great deal of their time waiting for the next big wave. And when it comes, like a home run hit at a baseball game, it is exciting to see them all compete for the big wave and see who can stay on it the longest.

Due to the heavy entertainment/wealthy executive population that line the beaches and cliffs of Malibu, upscale shopping has taken route in this community over the years. Two of the biggest areas to check out are the Malibu Colony Plaza and Cross Creek/Malibu Marts. The Malibu Colony Plaza is situated on the PCH at West Malibu Road. While not a destination of high end shopping, the mall is a known celebrity hang out where the likes of Cher, Shirley McClain, Pamela Anderson, Sharon Osbourne and Barbara Striesand are routinely spotted. Remember, its a common misperception that celebs are freely seen wandering the streets of Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood at all times of the day. Malibu, Brentwood, Beverly Hills are the prime areas they live and hange out.

The Plaza is just walking steps to the Malibu Colony, the famous private living area of Malibu that is home to many celebrities. In addition to seeing a potential celebrity its a perfect place to stock up on your beach picnic, or get refreshed before driving back down into Los Angeles, or for a day trip up the PCH to Santa Barbara.

Located across the beach and on the north of the PCH you will find the Cross Creek/Malibu Country Marts. Home to a variety of shops, many of which are boutique, the whole environment is very leisurely and reflects the relaxed atmosphere of the entire community. The shopping is very diverse in this area ranging from upscale men's and women's wear to book stores and specialty pet stores.

Much of the PCH is a very busy freeway like design that lines the coast and ultimately becomes the famous 1 highway up the coast of California to San Francisco. In the Malibu area there are many lights, local bars and restaurants so traffic slows down considerably, and the PCH for the most part is the "main drag" of Malibu. It is along the PCH you'll find most of Malibu's dining delights. On the outer southern fringe of Malibu is Duke's, a restaurant located right on the beach. As soon as you enter you will feel like you are on an island in Hawaii. The property extends out in the ocean and where ever you sit you will be treated to a 360 view of the Pacific and Santa Monica further to the south. For a more casual dining experience there is the Barefoot Bar also attached to Dukes, where you can enjoy burgers, nachos and cocktails out on a deck that overlooks the ocean as well. Further up the PCH is Moonshadows, another restaurant/bar that extends out into the ocean.

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