As summer comes in full swing, palm trees, beaches and the ocean view would seem to be the perfect image to start the holidays. But what if this vacation view is the sight that you can see almost every day from campus? With its main campus located in the heart of Malibu, Pepperdine University boasts a beautiful 830-acre campus overlooking the coasts and sandy beaches of Southern California. Built within the range of the Santa Monica mountains with a view of the Malibu highway, the university is close to the Pacific Ocean and coastlines that represent the famous beauty of California.
While you immerse yourself in all the opportunities that Pepperdine has to offer, let’s dive in to list the 10 best places to visit from Pepperdine University which represents the university’s iconic location in the romantic and serene Malibu.
10. Getty Villa
A recreated Roman country home with a view of the sea, the Getty Villa prides itself as both a museum and recreation area filled with Greek and Roman antiques, which would certainly make many fans of Greek and Roman history excited. Inspired by Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, a city buried by ash from the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79, the Getty Villa takes on architectural designs from Villa of the Papyri and other ancient sites. The villa is open daily from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and admissions to the villa are free of charge. It only takes a 15-20 minute from Pepperdine to reach the Getty Villa.
9. Malibu Pier
Located in an area once called the Riviera of America, the Malibu Pier boasts itself as a historical landmark with a deep connection to California’s surf culture. Next to the Malibu Pier is Surfrider Beach, known for its three-point break which attracts many surfers all year long. You do not need to be a professional surfer to enjoy the pier, the location also houses many restaurants that offer various seafood delicacies such as Carlsbad clams, baked stuffed crab and whole grilled fish and lobster. Additionally, you can also enjoy your food with a breathtaking view of the coastal area, making Malibu Pier a perfect place to go for a casual summer dinner.
“Malibu Pier is a beautiful and peaceful place,” Senghoung Lim, a computer science student and first-year transfer, said. “The breezy wind with a deep blue ocean view makes a perfect spot for relaxing and enjoying the beach. I can swim, take a good nap on the beach, or get a good tan during the summer. There are also great restaurants on the pier after a tiring day and stores for souvenirs.”
Malibu Pier also houses the Malibu Farm Restaurant and Bar, an oceanside patio bar and dining restaurant. Painted in a simplistic and clean white hue, the restaurant and bar exerts an aesthetic and elegant feel, the perfect ambience to sip your fresh juice cocktails as you enjoy the view of the ocean and the pier.
8. Topanga State Park
Nestled in the Santa Monica mountains, the Topanga State Park boast more than 30 miles of trails through the cliffs, grasslands and vast canyons that make up the breathtaking setting of the area. The name Topanga comes from the Tongva tribe, the indigenous peoples of the Los Angeles basin. Topanga in its traditional language can mean “where the mountain meets the sea” or “a place above.” Considered as one of the world’s largest wildland area within the boundaries of a major city (Los Angeles), the park’s certainly a great fit for hikers and mountain bikers. Dog trails are also available for visitors who would love to bring their furry best friends for a walk.
7. Solstice Canyon
Are you adventurous? Do you love to explore ruins and hidden creeks? If these descriptions fit your personality, then you should definitely put Solstice Canyon in your bucket list. You don’t need to be an expert hiker to walk through the trails of Solstice Canyon. Many describe the main trail at Solstice Canyon as easy to follow with a level field that one can certainly make a trek with only their flip flops on.
Most interestingly, the trail at Solstice Canyon ends at the ruins of the Roberts Ranch House, which unfortunately burned down during a wildfire in 1982. National Park Service currently protects the ruins of the Ranch House, but visitors are open to take a look around the ruins. Beyond the ruins, there lies a small waterfall which produces water from the creek down to the pool of rocks. The mysterious and magical vibe of the canyon certainly makes it a worthwhile place to explore.
6. Point Dume
Have you ever stopped to wonder where’s the exact location of Tony Stark’s mansion in Malibu? Look no further, Iron Man’s large seaside mansion was set at Point Dume, on a cliff overlooking the sea with the fictional address of 10880 Malibu Point. The mansion’s certainly not real, but the high cliffs overlooking the Pacific that made up Tony Stark’s view from the mansion were real.
In addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, several scenes of Planet of the Apes were also filmed in Point Dume’s Westward Beach. Aside from its oceanside plateaus, Point Dume also houses scenic walking trails filled with blooming wildflowers and a cliffside view of the sea. If you’re near Pepperdine, make sure you make time to visit. It only takes a 11-minute drive to reach Point Dume from the university itself.
5. Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak and Mishe Mokwa Trail Loop
Tired from the constant rush of urban life? Take a step back and come visit the Mishe Mokwa Trail Loop. The rugged wilderness of the area will certainly satisfy the desires of anyone seeking to find some alone time or a hint of inspiration.
The loop consists of a 5.7 mile trail that’s perfect for hiking, running and bird watching. The trail features a viewof the canyon’s rocky landscapes and paths surrounded by wildflowers, beckoning for hikers to get lost in nature’s embrace. The Echo Cliffs located in the area attract rock climbers and the stunning sandstone formations in the location would mesmerize any traveler. Phone reception may be poor in the area, but it’s worth the visit seeing how considerably close to nature you’ll be. Maybe you’ll even find an inspiration for your new book or a business venture here too.
4. Malibu Country Mart
Do you want to experience a luxurious dining and shopping experience? Malibu Country Mart might just be the place for you. An outdoor lifestyle center with a taste of both the modern and the classic, the 67 stores at the Malibu Country Mart are housed in buildings that blend in all these aforementioned aesthetics into one. The Mart also offers gardens, sculpture displays, outdoor dining and picnic areas along with a children’s playground. Additionally, the Malibu Country Mart also dedicates itself to promoting sustainability as part of its mission and vision to preserve the environment.
3. Zuma Beach
Known for its cool water and white sand, Zuma beach prides itself as a popular destination for swimming, body surfing and windsurfing. Considered to be a very accessible location, the beach owns more than five parking lots, which makes Zuma Beach a very travel friendly destination. Another cool thing about Zuma Beach? You can watch the gray whales from the coast during their winter migration.
“(Zuma Beach is) a place where you can take a small hike around Point Dume while enjoying the view or just relaxing in the sand,” Joshua Ricks, a sophomore psychology student said. “If you feel like taking a walk, it’s a long uncrowded sandy beach where the mountains meet the surf. You may also get to see gray whales when they migrate.”
Fun fact? Zuma beach is also the home of the Waves, Pepperdine’s national championship beach volleyball team since the team’s first season in 2011-2012. It takes only a 10-minute drive from Pepperdine University to reach Zuma beach.
2. Sycamore Cove Beach
A sandy cove wrapped by the infamous Pacific Coast Highway, the Sycamore Cove Beach boasts beautiful beaches and coves complete with utilities such as picnic tables and barbecue tools, making the location a perfect place for a weekend getaway. What makes Sycamore Cove Beach so popular? Well, the beach’s also adjacent to campgrounds and hiking trails that lead to the Boney Mountain State Wilderness Area on the northern side of the Santa Monica Mountains. Like many of its sister beaches, Sycamore Cove Beach’s also the right place to catch the beauty of Californian sunsets – the 5-miles long beach and white sands automatically make it a perfect place to chill as you watch the sun set below the horizon.
For Sophia Fang, an international student from Taiwan and a first-year transfer student at Pepperdine, the beautiful setting of Pepperdine University and its nearby beaches were not the only reasons that solidified her decision to transfer to Pepperdine. The community and the University’s energy had sealed the deal for her to continue her studies as an accounting student at Pepperdine.
“Watching the sunset feels like a brief getaway from everything else. The colors and the serenity are what I love about sunsets. I am absolutely in love with Malibu beaches, especially Sycamore Cove Beach from going there with friends, to having barbecue and simply chilling out as the sun descends below the horizon,” Fang said. “I have always dreamed of studying at Pepperdine not only because of the beautiful beaches nearby, but also the close-knit community that I can call home away from home. When first visited campus, I knew based on the energy of this place that I will find my spot.”
So, what are you waiting for? Buckle up and make sure to take your family and friends on a trip to Sycamore Cove Beach. If you’re lucky, you might also spot Californian sea lions, harbor seals and dolphins offshore from the beach.
1. El Matador Beach
It only takes 20 minutes to drive from Pepperdine University to El Matador Beach. Known for its iconic stairs, the steep staircase in El Matador Beach allows visitors to walk down from the cliffs to the beaches below while providing guests with an iconic place to take aesthetic pictures worthy of any Instagram or Pinterest post. El Matador’s scenic views also makes it a hotspot for beauty photoshoots that would make any Instagram user jealous! Just make sure you arrive at the beach in the early mornings to avoid crowds.
Other than being a popular photography site, El Matador Beach’s breathtaking view also makes it the perfect place for strolling in the beach and watch sunsets with your family and loved ones. The beach’s rock arches and sea caves, which are accessible during low tides, makes El Matador a hotspot to explore, enjoy the summer sun, and location to get that Instagram post you always wanted. Make sure you tag us when you do!