iconic malibu pier

One of the most beautiful places to enjoy the beach in Southern California is the Malibu Fishing and Sport Pier.  While it lacks the amusement park and sheer number of shops and cafes found on the Santa Monica Pier, it offers far more than many other Southern California piers.

cafe at malibu pier
The cafe and gift shop at the end of Mailbu Pier.

The historic landmark is located in the heart of California’s surf culture. Surfers from around the world come to Surfrider Beach adjacent to Malibu Pier, known for its three-point break that offers rides of 300 yards or more. It was once home to a restaurant called Alice’s Restaurant, after the Arlo Guthrie Song.

Alice’s Restaurant on the Malibu Pier was a place where surfers could rub elbows with Hollywood celebrities to ride out the big waves at the end of the Malibu Pier.  The iconic restaurant was closed in 1995.

Currently there are two restaurants on the Malibu Pier. At the far end of the pier is is a casual cafe with counter service.  At the entrance to the pier is a full restaurant and bar with a beautiful dining room, bar and outdoor patio.  Both restaurants are operated by Malibu Farm, famous for their fresh, local organic cuisine.  I can attest that the potato salad and soup I ate when there was the best I’ve ever tasted.

Benches and fishermen line the sides of the pier and it is one of the most relaxing spots to be found.  Nearby are coastal harbor tours, beach equipment rentals, and other restaurants and shops.  And there is also a gift shop at the far end of the pier.

The pier 112 year old pier was closed for a time after damage from two major tropical storms, but is is back open with plans for even more good things such as a surf museum.

There are only two drawbacks.  One is that the beach is more rocky than other beachs and you will have to step over the rocks to get out onto the sand.  The other is parking.  The parking lot is small (it was $10 to park the last time I was there) and there is very little street parking nearby.  On weekends during the summer and heavy tourist seasons, it can be difficult to find a parking space.

That said, you should still put the Malibu Pier on your bucket list when you are visiting Los Angeles.  It is one of the most beautiful and peaceful spots on earth.  It’s a great escape appreciated by tourists and locals alike.

california stock photos

Open daily from 6:30am to sunset.

23000 Pacific Coast Highway Malibu, CA 90265

Located on Pacific Coast Highway (CA 1) 11 miles west of Santa Monica.

Malibu pier
Malibu Pier at Suset