Malibu is 27 miles of coastal SoCal beauty, with pristine golden sands and cool Pacific surf that harken back to the days of Gidget and The Beach Boys.
For those seeking a little adventure, the surrounding Santa Monica Mountains – from Malibu Springs near the Ventura County line down to Topanga State Park near the Palisades – offer plenty of opportunity to get in touch with your outdoorsy side. But if the thought of “roughing it” is a little too much, not to worry; this is Malibu, with plenty of glamping options that balance rugged and refined.
40-Acre Mountain Getaway
This majestic hideaway has an outdoor kitchen, three outdoor showers, two fireplaces, a pool, a hot tub and views that stretch for 50 miles. A large safari-style tent boasts a king-sized bed, porcelain floors, double vanity and full-size stainless steel fridge.
Or maybe an airstream is more your style? No problem, they’ve got one of those, too, which can be rented with the tent or separately. The property accommodates five and is a stone’s throw from several top Malibu wineries.
|Address||30884 Mulholland Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265|
Ruby Red Retro Trailer
Perhaps you’re nostalgic for a little 50’s flare? Well, look no further than this charming red and white camper in the heart of Topanga Canyon. A private driveway leads guests to the Ruby Red Retro just above the property owner’s main home.
Amenities include a queen bed, kitchenette, restroom, and retractable awnings to provide shade when enjoying lunch in the outdoor picnic area. Sorry, not pets or campfires allowed though.
|Address||6325 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA 90290|
This rustic husband-and-wife-owned property is used for everything from weddings to film shoots to, you guessed it, glamping. Visitors can park in the designated camping area and set up a tent wherever strikes their fancy. Or eschew the tent and go for their newest feature, the Conestoga covered wagon, a functional replica of the 19th century real thing, complete with king bed, bunk beds, mini fridge and HVAC. No matter your choice, enjoy access to an oak grove, authentic saloon, mine shaft and mercantile building.
|Address||356 E Carlisle Rd., Westlake Village, CA 91361|
Bring out your Native American roots with a stay in a tried-and-true tipi tucked deep in the heart of Red Rock Canyon Park north of Topanga. Each tipi has a private bedroom, while some accommodations like bathroom, hammock and barbecue may be shared with other guests. Area trails twist through awe-inspiring canyons, over sparkling streams and past cascading waterfalls. Popular activities include hiking, yoga and meditation, mountain biking and birdwatching.
|Address||23601 W. Red Rock Rd., Topanga, CA 90290|
Bohemian Vintage Spartan Trailer
This glamper’s paradise is nestled amidst lush rolling foothills, and the Spartan trailer where you’ll stay is nothing short of a Bohemian mansion. Spartan trailers were built to be mobile homes as opposed to Airstreams, which were travel trailers.
This one sports a queen-size Tempur-Pedic® mattress, lounge area with sofa, fridge, hot plate, electric kettle, dishes, utensils, and sink with running water. The “camping potty” is just outside, and the main house is open to those who need a full kitchen or just want to rock out on the piano. Pets welcome.
|Address||Old Topanga Canyon, Topanga, CA 90290|
Private Yurt at Vessel and Soul Health Retreat
If you’ve never stayed in a yurt, here’s your chance. Originating in Mongolia, these circular tents were highly portable and yet resilient to the elements. But at Vessel and Soul’s retreat in Red Rock, the only elements you’ll contend with are curated gardens surrounded by sycamores and the occasional wildlife sighting. Their yurt sleeps four and includes bathroom and kitchen access. Guests can also book wellness sessions with the property owner that include time in a chromatherapy sauna followed by a cold plunge.
|Address||23405 Red Rock Rd., Topanga, California, 90290|
|GPS||GPS: 34.107822, -118.633941|
Luxury Helicopter Glamping
If money is no object and you want to try something real out there, or perhaps we should say “up there,” this five-star experience starts with a private helicopter ride from Burbank Airport to the top of Topanga Canyon where a clear day offers unparalleled views of the valley below. The locale features a luxury canvas tent and an Airstream (take your pick), heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi and landscaped waterfalls, full outdoor kitchen and stone fireplace, outdoor showers and, what else, a cabana with satellite TV. But if that’s too much modern for you, just go hit the many hiking and biking trails that surround the property.
Things to Do in Malibu
Malibu has a rich history, mild Mediterranean climate and numerous sun-drenched sites that are just begging to be explored. Zuma, Point Dume and Leo Carrillo are beautiful beaches with easy access off Route 1.
The Santa Monica Mountains offer well-manicured trails like Corral Canyon Loop, Los Liones, Temescal Canyon Trail, the Zuma Ridge Hike, and Escondido Canyon Trail that goes to Escondido Falls. There are a number of great hikes in the Point Dume area. The Backbone Trail runs through Santa Monica Mountains. Wildlife as varied as blue heron, sea lions, bobcats and salamanders rule the land, sea and air.
For those seeking a bit more culture on their glamping expeditions, visit the Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum or The Getty Villa, a recreated Roman country home housing rare ancient antiquities.
Strange Family Vineyards and Malibu Family Wines offer tastings of cabs, Syrahs and pinots made from grapes locally grown in the area’s mineral-rich loam. And the Barn at Cielo Farms throws in a farm-to-table dining experience for a tasty vino pairing.
Or just head up to Neptune’s Net (where Keanu learned to surf in Point Break) for some of LA’s best ceviche. If you are looking for someone to handle the logistics for you, check out this popular wine, food, and beach tour.