Malibu is an affluent beach city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 12,645. Malibu consists of a 21-mile (34 km) strip of prime Pacific coastline. Nicknamed “the ‘Bu” by surfers and locals, the community is famous for its warm, sandy beaches, and for being the home of many Hollywood movie stars and others associated with the entertainment industry. Signs around the city proclaim “27 miles of scenic beauty”, referring to Malibu’s original length of 27 miles (43 km) before the city was incorporated in 1991.
Most Malibu residents live within a few hundred yards of Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1), which traverses the city, with some residents living up to a mile away from the beach up narrow canyons, and many more residents of the unincorporated canyon areas identifying Malibu as their hometown. The city is also bounded (more or less) by Topanga Canyon to the east, the Santa Monica Mountains consisting of Agoura Hills, Calabasas, and Woodland Hills to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south, and Ventura County to the west.
Malibu’s beaches include Surfrider Beach, Zuma Beach, Malibu Beach, Topanga Beach, Point Dume Beach and Dan Blocker Beach; its local parks include Malibu Bluffs Park(formerly Malibu Bluffs State Park), Trancas Canyon Park, Las Flores Creek Park, and Legacy Park, with neighboring parks Malibu Creek State Park, Leo Carrillo State Beach and Park, Point Mugu State Park, and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and neighboring state beach Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, that was once part of Old Malibu (before Malibu became a city), and better known as pristine beaches, El Pescador, La Piedra and El Matador.
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District serves Malibu with three elementary schools: John L. Webster Elementary School (grades K-5, located in central Malibu), Juan Cabrillo Elementary School (grades K-5, located in northwestern Malibu’s Malibu Park district), and Point Dume Elementary School (grades K-5, located in northwestern Malibu’s Pt. Dume district).
Private schools include: Calmont, Our Lady Of Malibu (Catholic), Colin McEwen High School, New Roads,and St. Aidan’s School.
Malibu High School (MHS) provides secondary public education for both middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12). MHS is located in the northwestern region of Malibu.
Pepperdine University, a private college affiliated with the Church of Christ, which is located in central Malibu, north of the Malibu Colony at the intersection of the Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon Road. Malibu is also served by Santa Monica College, a community college in the nearby city of Santa Monica to the south.
Malibu is located at 34°1′50″N 118°46′43″W (34.030450, −118.778612). Its City Hall building is located at 23825 Stuart Ranch Road (34°02′21″N 118°41′35″W). The eastern end of the city borders the Topanga CDP, which separates it from the city of Los Angeles. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.8 square miles (51 km2), over 99% of it land. Malibu’s dry brush and steep clay slopes make it prone to fires, floods, and mudslides. Poor grading practices and over-irrigation or leaking pipes exacerbate the tendency for landslides.
Carbon Beach, Paradise Cove, Escondido Beach, Surfrider Beach, Broad Beach, Pirate’s Cove, Westward Beach, Zuma Beach, and Trancas are places along the coast in Malibu. Point Dume forms the northern end of the Santa Monica Bay, and Point Dume Headlands Park affords a vista stretching to the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Santa Catalina Island. Directly below the park, on the western side of the point, is Pirates Cove, named for rum-runners during Prohibition who liked the secluded beach for offloading their cargo. Because of its relative seclusion, Pirate’s Cove was previously used as a nude beach, but since nudity is now illegal on all beaches in Los Angeles County, nude sunbathers are subject to fines and/or arrest. On the eastern side of the point is “Little Dume”, a surf spot which is accessible only by an unmarked trail below Wildlife Drive which has a locked gate. Surfers often paddle out from Paradise Cove to the area when the waves are breaking.
Like all California beaches, Malibu beaches are technically public land below the mean high tide line. Many large public beaches (Zuma Beach, Surfrider Beach) are easily accessible, but such access is sometimes limited for some of the smaller and more remote beaches. Some Malibu beaches are private, such as Paradise Cove, which charges an entrance fee to keep the crowds at bay.Although access to most all Malibu beaches can be obtained after a bit of a walk, the issue of expanded public access is continuously addressed and debated by the city. Many Malibu homeownersfavor limited public access expansions to some beaches, claiming that many visitors are less likely than residents to respect the beaches or private property.
Carbon Beach has been described as “the world’s most expensive sandbox” with an estimated real estate cost of greater than US$200,000 per square foot.