Malibu is a beach city in western Los Angeles County, California, situated about 30 miles (48 km) west of Downtown Los Angeles. Known for its Mediterranean climate, a 21-mile (34 km) strip of the Malibu coast incorporated in 1991 into the City of Malibu. The area is known for being the home of Hollywood movie stars, people in the entertainment industry, and other affluent residents. 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. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 12,645.
Signs around the city proclaim "21 miles of scenic beauty", referring to the incorporated city limits. The city updated the signs in 2017 from the historical 27-mile (43 km) length of the Malibu coast spanning from Tuna Canyon on the southeast to Point Mugu in Ventura County on the northwest. For many residents of the unincorporated canyon areas, Malibu has the closest commercial centers and they are included in the Malibu zip codes. The city is bounded by Topanga on the east, the Santa Monica Mountains (Agoura Hills, Calabasas, and Woodland Hills) to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south, and Solromar in Ventura County to the west.
Nicknamed "the 'Bu" by surfers and locals, beaches along the Malibu coast include Surfrider Beach, Zuma Beach, Malibu Beach, Topanga Beach, Point Dume Beach, County Line, and Dan Blocker Beach. State parks and beaches on the Malibu coast include Malibu Creek State Park, Leo Carrillo State Beach and Park, Point Mugu State Park, and Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, with individual beaches: El Pescador, La Piedra and El Matador. The many parks within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area lie along the ridges above the city along with local parks that include Malibu Bluffs Park (formerly Malibu Bluffs State Park), Trancas Canyon Park, Las Flores Creek Park, and Legacy Park.
alibu 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, Surfrider Beach, Westward Beach, Escondido Beach, Paradise Cove, Point Dume, Pirates Cove, Zuma Beach, Trancas and Encinal Bluffs 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 homeowners favor limited public access expansions to some beaches, claiming that many visitors are less likely than residents to respect the beaches or private property.