Travel Diaries

Family Staycation in Style on Malibu Beach

by Amanda Blakley

This new season of travel celebrates hyper-local adventures. For my family, this meant heading 10 minutes down the coast and checking into The Malibu Beach Inn, a hotel of 47 all-ocean-view rooms right off the Pacific Coast Highway and on the shores of Carbon Beach—often referred to as Billionaires Beach. Walking distance to Surfrider Beach, cafes, restaurants, hikes, the pier and sweet coastal-inspired shops, this is an ideal location from which to explore beautiful Malibu.

LIFE’S A BEACH

There is nothing like sea air and the sound of crashing waves to lull you into vacation mode. After being shown to our King Ocean View room and walking directly out to the beckoning patio, this is exactly what happened. A bottle of chilled white wine arrived, some glasses were procured and a toast was made to the end of summer but the start of a beautiful Southern California fall.

After the kids had fun with the Toto Washlette (aka the most luxurious porcelain throne ever invented), we decided to don our swimsuits and head right down to the Carbon Beach Club. The helpful attendant set our family up with chaise lounges, yellow striped towels and a large umbrella. If you have ever traveled up and down the coasts of Southern California, you’ll know this is somewhat of an anomaly as all beaches along the Pacific are public, and therefore permitting hotels or resorts to occupy an area of sand with their own loungers appears to be extremely uncommon.

Reclining in the shade with a book in hand as the water laps up onto the rocky shore is my idea of absolute luxury—especially when you haven’t had to haul all the beach accessories yourself. We ordered lunch, French fries and a club sandwich served picnic style, right to our chaises and spent the rest of the afternoon snoozing, reading, swimming and playing in the sand.

Eventually my husband took our boys upstairs for a nap so I was able to enjoy some extra peace and the harmonious white noise of crashing waves and swooping gulls.

Our commute to dinner that evening was idyllic. Walking hand-in-hand along the beach as the sun glowed golden at our backs, we dined at nearby Nobu on the beachside patio, where I was happy to observe that all safety protocols were being followed.

A SHORE THING

We awoke early to the sound of cartoons. Our sons had figured out how to operate the remote control for the TV directly in front of their pull-out bed. We opened the thick blackout curtains to let the sun pour in and ordered room service—so indulgent after spending the past six months on breakfast duty at home.

We all agreed that spending another day on the beach sounded like just the ticket. Laden down with binoculars (to spot dolphins and sea lions), wetsuits and a library of superhero books, we made our way to the sandy shores of Carbon Beach where we passed another glorious day by the sea. I had every intention of renting a stand-up paddleboard, but I got lost in my book and couldn’t tear myself away!

That afternoon we indulged in a siesta. While the boys cuddled into our incredibly comfortable King and fell asleep, my husband and I sat on the patio and polished off the last of the Northern California sauvignon blanc.

Dinner at the Carbon Beach Club Restaurant would surely be a delicious affair, but we had promised the kids a casual meal at the Malibu Farm Restaurant on the Pier.

Just a short barefoot beach walk from the hotel, the Malibu Farm menu is full of seasonal, farm-fresh California cuisine.

Their daily specials are always crowd pleasers for kids and adults alike and the wine list is as local as can be.

Our last night happened to be under the full moon and the commute home from dinner was magnificent. Back in our room, we put the kids to bed with full bellies and I slipped onto the patio to bathe in the moonlight.

 

MORE MALIBU

The next day, we woke with the sun and while I packed up our overnight cases, the boys enjoyed room service. Check-out wasn’t until noon so we snuck in another magnificent beach walk before heading back up the PCH towards home.

If we were visiting from further afield, I would have planned to take in all of Malibu’s natural bounty with a hike at Solstice Canyon or the Point Dume Nature Reserve, followed by a refreshing açai bowl at Sun Life Organics. If a visit happens to fall over a Sunday, be sure to amble around the local Farmers Market in the parking lot of the Malibu Library. Otherwise, stop by The Fig Ranch (across from Point Dume) for fresh produce any day of the week—all sourced by the Intuitive Forager from farms all over California.