43. Malibu, CAGet More Info
Why go: Santa Monica tends to be the local beach for Los Angelenos (and LA tourists), but Malibu is just 20 miles up the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. El Matador State Beach features long stretches of sand, massive rock formations, sea caves, and excellent waves for surfing. The town itself is a hot spot for celeb sightings.
Where to stay: The Surfrider Hotel is perched right off the PCH—with beach views as far as you can see. It was originally built as a motel in 1958, but now resembles an upscale surf pad. Even if you don’t stay here, make sure to visit the rooftop bar for sunset drinks.
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