Take the Scenic Route Through Hidden Topanga Canyon to Malibu

Travel Advisor Erika Pontius with a green sweater and sunglasses on her head.
Curated By

Erika Pontius

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  • USA

  • California

  • Los Angeles

  • Malibu

  • Food & Wine

  • Beaches

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

ocean waves rolling onto a beach
Curator’s statement

The Westside of Los Angeles is a treasure trove of all sorts of experiences. You can hike or enjoy a scenic drive within the Santa Monica mountains, you can discover delectable eats at the hidden local hot spots, you can shop 'til you drop or you can hike countless beautiful trails and take in the crisp ocean air. The possibilities are endless! Let's highlight all the hidden treasures of Malibu and Topanga Canyon!

The Fora Difference

Book with Erika to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay

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Calamigos Ranch

Charming ranch perfect for a romantic stay or a wedding featuring trickling waterfalls, weeping greenery, quaint rustic surroundings and flowing branches decorated with fairy lights.

Hotel June

Mid-century modern meets California cool in this new hotel already featured on everyone’s hot list.

Fora Perks
  • $50 food / beverage credit daily.

  • Upgrade subject to availability.

  • Welcome amenity.

Malibu Beach Inn

Wake up to the sounds of the waves at this boutique hotel located right on the beach.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Travel Advisor Erika Pontius with a green sweater and sunglasses on her head.

Unlock perks by contacting Erika to book your trip.

Best things to do in Topanga Canyon & Malibu

aerial view of a beach dotted with people

Scenic drives to the beach (one of the best things to do in Topanga Canyon)

  • Via Pacific Coast Highway from Point Dume to Point Mugu Rock

  • Via Topanga Canyon Blvd (from The Valley i.e., Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, etc.) - If you take it the whole way it will drop you off at Topanga Beach near Pacific Palisades, just north of Santa Monica. Alternatively, you can turn left on Mulholland Highway for a back way to Malibu Creek State Park.

  • Via Malibu Canyon Road - Just past Malibu Creek State Park, you can continue down Malibu Canyon. It will take you past the Malibu Hindu Temple and let out at Malibu Country Mart.

  • For some tight hairpin turns through the canyons, you can take Decker Canyon Road from Mulholland Highway and back down toward the coast.


  • Point Dume - a little off-the-beaten-path with ample parking

  • El Matador - best accessed at low tide, features a shallow beach with rock formations that are fun for the budding photographer or model

  • Zuma Beach - catch all the rays at Zuma Beach

  • Leo Carillo - explore caves and tidepools

  • Point Mugu - most famous for Point Mugu Rock

Sites of Interest


Best places to eat in Malibu & Topanga Canyon

Take the Scenic Route Through Hidden Topanga Canyon to Malibu - Best places to eat in Malibu & Topanga Canyon
  • SunLife Organics - Start your day off right with a Blue Majik smoothie or a Dragon Bowl.

  • Malibu Farm - First come, first served café at the end of the Malibu pier, overlooking the ocean boasting fresh, local fair.

  • Geoffrey's Malibu - This oceanfront seafood hotspot is a great place to go for brunch or an early dinner as the sun dwindles.

  • Café on 27 - Nestled within Topanga Village, an oasis of delicious eats with surrounding canyon views.

  • Inn of the Seventh Ray - Upscale dining tucked away in the beautiful Topanga Canyon.

  • John's Garden - Casual to-go eatery within Malibu Country Mart offering pressed juices and healthy sandwiches. Great to take with you to the beach!

  • Nobu - Fabulous sushi and atmosphere.

  • Tra di Noi - Delicious Italian food in a casual setting that overlooks the Malibu Village Playground. Great spot to end the day if you are traveling with children.

  • The Sunset Restaurant - Hidden within Point Dume, this oceanfront restaurant is a great place for lunch or dinner.

  • Rosenthal Wine Bar & Patio at the Malibu Estate - The Malibu experience won't be complete without a visit to Malibu Wines. Their large selection is best enjoyed with a group of friends.

Travel Advisor Erika Pontius with a green sweater and sunglasses on her head.

Travel Advisor

Erika Pontius

Get in touch with Erika

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Malibu and, more broadly, travel to Los Angeles.