How to Have a Magical Malibu Minimoon

You don't even need to leave the continental US

Updated 01/14/18

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So you don’t have the time for the full-blown honeymoon of your vision board, and you don’t have the funds for a few days in St. Barths or Hawaii. But there’s zero need to be down. Because what’s probably within reach, especially for West Coasters, is a minimoon in marvelous Malibu.

You may not know it, but Malibu is basically a paradise year round. Sure, there are chilly days that aren’t quite appropriate for a bikini-clad dip in the Pacific, but there are far more gorgeous ones perfect for long walks on the picturesque beaches or a picnic with epic views (tip: the farther north you go the less people you’ll find on the sand). Another novel idea if your minimoon falls in the winter or during June gloom: Just staying cuddled in bed.

The most dreamy ocean-view one to do that in is at The Surfrider Malibu, a brand-new boutique hotel just across the street from the iconic surfing break of the same name. It’s the passion project of newlyweds who spent years lovingly curating and building every detail, and it shows in the 20 gorgeous guestrooms and suites—all with private balconies facing the ocean—featuring yummy Parachute bedding and bathrobes, the comfy-chic rooftop (only open to guests) serving outstanding California wines and locally sourced, organic cuisine morning to night, and personalized service that includes referrals for top-secret hikes and experiences like surf lessons with a pro surfer.

It may be hard to leave the coastal coziness of the Surfrider, but all 21 miles of Malibu have a lot to offer, especially in the way of romantic date nights and meals. Malibu Farm on the end of the pier is perfect for more of that just-picked produce and fresh Cali fare, Neptune’s Net is a fun biker’s stop for when you crave some greasy fried seafood, while Nobu Malibu is an iconic, special option with pristine views of Carbon Beach. (If you want to really splurge, overnight at the Japanese-themed Nobu Ryokan on the same beach.) The Sunset Restaurant near Zuma is a fabulous option if you’re spending the afternoon at the beach, watching for whales or dolphins and sunning, and want somewhere for bubbly as the sun sets.

By day, besides exploring Malibu’s many perfect beaches—the best anywhere close to Los Angeles, hands down—there’s also wine. Uber to Malibu Wines, through the canyons and hills, and spend a fun-filled afternoon tasting or downing glasses of the winery’s juice while listening to live tunes and enjoying the bucolic atmosphere (you can bring your own food, too). Book a Malibu Wine Safari and check out giraffes and other exotic animals along with your vino. Or hang out at Malibu Cafe, where there’s plenty to drink, eat and play (oversized games are scattered about). And it wouldn’t be a minimoon without a massage, at least. The best option: Cure by Dr. Benya Malibu spa, where therapists are some of the most talented in LA at pampering and restorative massages.

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