Los Angeles International Airport is one of the busiest destinations in the country, welcoming direct flights from around the country and world, including New York, London, Paris and on innumerable airlines, including British Airways, Delta, United and Air France. Contact Smith24 for transfers.
Despite the city’s legendarily bonkers traffic, cars are the best way to see Los Angeles and explore the remote beaches and hideaways along the coast. On-site parking is free.
Worth getting out of bed for
Part of the appeal of Native is lounging in a slice of vintage Southern California, with views out to succulent-dotted hills and the sounds of chirping birds and crickets in lieu of car horns. Those disinterested in straying too far from bed can plop into the hammock strung just outside the door, on a hill-facing private deck.
Malibu rose to fame as a global surf destination, so it’s worth rising early to catch Southern California’s best boarders enjoying perfect breaks that average around five feet, but can climb to 20 feet and higher in stormy weather. Locals love Zuma – three miles north of the hotel – and Surfrider, a seven-mile drive toward town. For those interested in testing their own surf prowess, the hotel has a partnership with a local instructor, and can arrange surf or paddleboard lessons, on request. The area is also a prime hiking destination. Point Dume State Beach, just west of the hotel, has a hiking trail with prime ocean views, along with access to a favorite swimming beach, for those who don't mind chillier water.
Hiking is a favourite activity for many Angelenos, and Zuma Ridge Trail is one of the most popular places to kick up a bit of dirt. The three-mile trail wines through a canyon and up grassy hills, past plenty of local plants, with beautiful views. Then ease sore muscles with a visit to Malibu Wine Safari, a sprawling vineyard and animal sanctuary, where you can hop in an open-air jeep for a tour that includes sampling wines and waving to the lucky zebras, bison, and giraffe who live there. Stroll the shops at Malibu Country Mart, a celeb hangout, for cafes and shops, where locals stock up on beachy caftans, vintage-inspired flannels and picnic supplies.
For exceptional sunset views, fantastically inventive sushi and A-list celeb-spotting, reserve a patio table at Nobu. Long a low-key local hotspot, the restaurant recently upgraded to a palatial waterfront space that is perennially one of the top tables in all of Los Angeles. Signature dishes include the Tiradito "Nobu Style", rock shrimp tempura with creamy spicy sauce and crispy rice with spicy tuna. Perched at the tip of the Malibu Pier, Malibu Farm Café has some of the best views in town from breakfast through dinner. The casual cafe offers Southern Californian spins on comfort food, including quinoa oatmeal, vegan chopped salads and an arugula-topped burger. Beloved by bikers cruising the Pacific Coast Highway, Neptune's Net, 10 miles up the coast, is a slice of old, pre-health-consciousness Malibu, where the fryer sizzles and gluten is a deity. Opt for chowder in a bread bowl, an oozing tuna melt or a fried seafood basket, including beer-battered fish and chips or perfectly greasy clam strips. Expect a wait on weekends, but the people-watching is nearly as good as the food.
For easy lunches, head to Malibu Country Mart. Plan a picnic at Malibu Kitchen, where the staff put California spins on classic deli sandwiches. Tra di Noi has a gorgeous patio ideal for lingering over pizza, artichoke salad and a few glasses of wine.
Feeling like more surf culture? The Barefoot Bar inside Duke's specialises in old-school tiki cocktails with prime Pacific views. Pair the city’s best mai tai or a coconut mojito with crab wontons and poke tacos, or get a more substantial burger slathered with mango barbecue sauce.