Take Sunset Boulevard, Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard, or Santa Monica Freeway westbound: all these arteries will lead you to the ocean. Take the Pacific Coast Higway north. A narrow city, caught between the ocean and the mountains, it stretches like a snake. The width of Malibu will only become clear to you when you walk the distance from Santa Monica Boulevard or Sunset Boulevard to Zuma Malibu Beach, home to many of the area's stars and fans. Malibu is a state of mind. Throughout the year, surfers in wetsuits ride the cool ocean waves, unless between tides they go for their daily jog. Beneath the foliage lie delightful houses, pretty or foolish, modern or crumbling; in no apparent order, they huddle together along the ocean. Yet this chic town, the only wilderness location near Hollywood, is not conducive to vacationing: on the waterfront, the houses are wedged between the narrow, dirty beige beach and the highway. On the other hand, the mountain and its canyons above offer very pleasant corners of nature, just a few minutes from the waves. You will also notice that the further away you go from the administrative centre of the city, the more beautiful the beaches are. Plan a stop on Point Dume Headland, just before Zuma Beach, where the view of the Pacific Ocean from the cliffs is magical, perfect for bird and marine mammal watching. The Malibu Pier, the city's centre of attraction since 1929, was damaged by the storms of the last century.

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