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Santa Monica to Malibu: A Visual Guide

Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip
Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip
From Venice Beach’s painted lifeguard towers to Malibu Farm’s never-ending pier, the Los Angeles coast offers a dreamlike cultural tour of West LA

Along the winding coast of Southern California lies an iconic route through every oceanfront haven in West Los Angeles. The Pacific Coast Highway is one that drivers don’t mind getting stuck on, thanks to views panning from San Diego to the Golden State’s northern border. But the trappings of a true LA experience lie in the portion of the PCH from Santa Monica to Malibu.

Travelers driving the coast of Los Angeles can wander into everything from Patrick’s Roadhouse — the bright green Irish shoreside shack that locals love — to El Matador State Beach, which is a rocky hideaway bay perfectly suited to sandy picnics. For the traffic-bound, there are a variety of must-visit hubs along the Los Angeles coast in which to lie out and dine out.

Santa Monica: Patrick’s Roadhouse

Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip
Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip

Malibu: Malibu Pier

Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip
Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip
Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip

Malibu: Surfrider Beach

Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip
Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip
Shea Salisbury / Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip

Malibu: El Matador State Beach

Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip
Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip
Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip
Shea Salisbury / © Culture Trip