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Hike Solstice Canyon in Malibu

Remnants of homes lost in fires remain in Solstice Canyon in Malibu (Photo credit: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Remnants of homes lost in fires remain in Solstice Canyon in Malibu (Photo credit: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Solstice Canyon in Malibu is an easy hike with unusual scenery. There are remnants of homes that burned in fires along with a running creek, waterfall and wildlife.  The last time I hiked here, we saw several deer feeding in the woods not far from the hiking path.

Getting to the waterfall takes less than an hour along a wide path that even parents pushing sport strollers can easily navigate, although the last steps to the waterfall are a little more tricky, since it’s rocky. I enjoyed hiking (walking, really) to the waterfall since there was a lot of shade.

Also Read: El Matador Beach Malibu – Picture Perfect

Solstice Canyon waterfall, Malibu, Traffic411

It’s an easy hike to the waterfall in Solistice Canyon, there was water even on a warm September day. (Photo Traffic411)

Hikers looking for something more strenuous can follow switchbacks up a hill, which leads back to the parking lot. This uphill walk is in the sun and can get warm. Solstice Canyon in Malibu is located just across the street from the ocean, so the weather is usually very comfortable.

The trails are clearly marked and there are many different areas to explore in Solstice Canyon. The last fire to burn through this canyon was in 2007 (Solstice did not burn in the 2013 Springs Fire), so there is plenty of lush plant life, trees and shade.

Traffic411 Insider’s Tip:  Bring along a map, there are several paths available once you get on the trails.

Distance from LAX: 30 miles

Getting there: Turn off of Pacific Coast Highway at the 76 gas station (off PCH in between Las Virgines & Kanan Dume Road) Here’s a link to the National Park Services map

Solstice Canyon Malibu

Solstice Canyon in Malibu, CA is an easy hike that offers unusual scenery. You'll see remnants of homes lost in fires along with wildlife, a running creek and waterfall.

[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/solstice-canyon-malibu/thumbs/thumbs_solstice-cyn_aerial-ruins_pfeiffer_traffic411.jpg]6470Ariel view Robert's Home Solstice Canyon Malibu
An ariel view of 'Robert's Home' in Solstice Canyon, Malibu CA (Photo credit: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
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What's left of "Robert's Home" in Solstice Canyon Malibu (Photo credit: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/solstice-canyon-malibu/thumbs/thumbs_solsticecyn_waterfall_traffic411.jpg]310Solstice Canyon Waterfall
It's an easy hike to the waterfall in Solistice Canyon, there was water even on a warm September day. (Photo Traffic411)
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/solstice-canyon-malibu/thumbs/thumbs_solsticecyn_hills_pfeiffer_traffic411.jpg]290Solstice Canyon hills
The hills of Solstice Canyon, Malibu (Photo credit: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/solstice-canyon-malibu/thumbs/thumbs_solsticecyn_robertshome_traffic411.jpg]230Tropical Terrace "Robert's Home" sign, Solstice Canyon, Malibu, CA
Tropical Terrace "Robert's Home" sign, Solstice Canyon, Malibu, CA (Photo Traffic411)
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/solstice-canyon-malibu/thumbs/thumbs_solsticecyn_ruins2_pfeiffer_traffic411.jpg]190Solstice Canyon ruins
Remnants of "Robert's Home" in Solstice Canyon, Malibu (Photo credit: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/solstice-canyon-malibu/thumbs/thumbs_solstice-canyon-stream-malibu-traffic411.jpg]180creek in Solstice Canyon, Malibu CA
Solstice Canyon stream Malibu (photo Traffic411)
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/solstice-canyon-malibu/thumbs/thumbs_solsticecyn_stone-and-tin-sign_traffic411.jpg]140House of Stone and Tin sign, Solstice Canyon Malibu
House built of Stone and Tin, sign, Solstice Canyon, Malibu (Photo Traffic411)
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/solstice-canyon-malibu/thumbs/thumbs_solsticecyn_stone-and-tin_pfeiffer_traffic411.jpg]130Remnants of homes lost in fires remain in Solstice Canyon in Malibu
Remnants of the house built of Stone and Tin, destroyed in a fire in Solstice Canyon in Malibu (Photo credit: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/solstice-canyon-malibu/thumbs/thumbs_solsticecyn_trail_traffic411.jpg]120Solstice Canyon trail
Solstice Canyon is an easy hike for people of all ages. (photo Traffic411).


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Labor Day: 5 free (or low-cost) So Cal Staycations

Palisades Park Santa Monica is a popular spot for a walk, workout or picnic.

Staying in town over the Labor Day Weekend? There are plenty of fun places to explore across Southern California, without spending much money. And, with gas prices at their lowest levels in months, why not hit the road? Here are five free (or nearly free) So Cal day-cations.

Palisades Park: Santa Monica

Palisades Park stretches several blocks across a bluff overlooking the Santa Monica shoreline and Pacific Coast Highway.  Stroll along the tree-lined pathway from San Vicente to the Santa Monica Pier or Third Street Promenade as you take in the gorgeous views. Pack a picnic, or choose from a variety of restaurants to enjoy a meal. The famous Santa Monica Pier is an easy walk from Palisades Park, and admission is free to the pier amusement park.  Tourists from around the world visit Santa Monica and the Malibu coast, so it’s definitely worth the drive across town.

Related: Parking in Santa Monica

Malibu, CA

California's Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) between Oxnard and Santa Monica offer is one of the most beautiful drives in the USA. The New York Times calls this drive through Malibu one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the USA! Here are some photos I took along the way. Story to follow soon, in case you want to try this 30 mile coastline drive yourself. I highly recommend it!

[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibupointdumenaturalpreserve.jpg]59540Point Dume Natural Preserve, Malibu
Point Dume offers a hiking trail down a hill to a beautiful secluded beach.
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_pointdumemalibu.jpg]7450
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_pointmugunavalairstation.jpg]7650
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibupointmugulookoutpoint.jpg]7540Point Mugu Lookout Point
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibucampingthornehillbroomebeach.jpg]6330Beachside Camping Malibu
How's this for a camping spot?!? Thornhill Broome Beach State Park is an ideal place to cool off in the summer. Bring your camper, motorhome or fifth wheel and you're all set!
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibucountrymart.jpg]5600Malibu Country Mart
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[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibustarbucksralphshoppingcenter.jpg]5160
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_santamonicabaygettyvilla.jpg]5580Getty Villa, Santa Monica Bay
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibupointdumenaturalpreserve_0.jpg]4820
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibupchdriveroadsign_traffic411.jpg]4970California's Finest Drive: Route 1 Santa Monica, Malibu, Oxnard
This stretch of California coastline is among the most beautiful in the state. Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) is also a great alternative to the 101 freeway when traveling between Ventura County and Los Angeles.
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Malibu Coast

Pacific Coast Highway will likely be very busy over the holiday weekend, but if you’re patient and feel like a scenic road trip, the PCH drive through Malibu (Santa Monica to Oxnard) offers some of the most stunning views of the California Coast. North of Point Dume, to Ventura County, the coast is undeveloped. You might even recognize the view since it’s a popular location for new car commercials.

A cascading fountain greets visitors at the entrance of Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, CA

A cascading fountain greets visitors at the entrance of Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, CA

Gardens of the World

Soak up botanical beauty at this best-kept Conejo Valley secret, located across the street from the Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center.  Admission is free to Gardens of the World, a stroll through the grounds will take you on a tour of lush landscapes from around the world.

Balboa Island, Orange County

Balboa Peninsula and the Fun Zone arcade are a quick ferry ride away from Balboa Island.

A stroll on Balboa Island will have you feeling like you’re in New England. The quaint streets and bayfront homes are surrounded by water, which will help to keep you cool.  Parking is tight on the island, especially on a holiday weekend. You might want to park in Newport Beach, and walk  across the small bridge that leads to Balboa Island.

Hollywood Bowl

It’s a Los Angeles landmark, but a lot of locals have never been to The Hollywood Bowl.  Movie music takes center stage this weekend, with a concert by John Williams ( Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Arc) and a tribute to the Henry Mancini and director Peter Sellers (The Pink Panther, Breakfast at Tiffany’s) fans will enjoy the tribute to Henry Mancini and director Peter Sellers.

I recently attended a Hollywood  Bowl show at the last minute and was surprised to get a ticket for well under $20. You don’t need the best seats in the house to enjoy the experience. This weekend, tickets start at just $15, and you can avoid online ticketing fees when you buy tickets on site at the box office, just call ahead to make sure it’s not close to a sell out.

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Los Angeles Filming Locations

The Hollywood sign has been featured in countless movies and TV shows.

The Hollywood sign has been featured in countless movies and TV shows.

Sites around the greater Los Angeles area have been the backdrop for countless movies and TV shows. From the beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu, to the rolling hills of the West San Fernando and Conejo Valleys, location scouts in years past didn’t have to go far to find the ideal place for filming.

Malibu’s Paradise Cove beach was almost as  big a star as Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon in Beach Blanket Bingo and other ’60s surf movies.  Harry Medved, author of  several books on Hollywood history, says these same beaches were also used to portray Polynesian and Mexican shores.

About 20 miles inland from Malibu, over the rolling hills of Kanan Road, Medved says The Agoura Ranch in Oak Park was the site of several westerns and other films.

Pacific Park in Santa Monica is one of the few pier-based amusement parks. It's also a location of TV shows and movies.

Pacific Park in Santa Monica is one of the few pier-based amusement parks. It's also a location of TV shows and movies.

A lot of actors called the West San Fernando Valley area home, according to Medved.  The sprawling hills and blue skies were a peaceful alternative to living in the city, yet not to far away from the Hollywood studios.  As I child growing up in the Conejo Valley, it wasn’t unusual to see celebrities from time to time.  I recall my mother pointing out the actor who portrayed Marcus Welby M.D (Robert Young) reading a book on the grass at a Westlake Village strip mall.

The original Bat Cave from the Batman TV series is located in the hills near LA's Griffith Park.

The original Bat Cave from the Batman TV series is located in the hills near LA's Griffith Park.

Click here to listen as Harry Medved shares stories of location filming in the West San Fernando Valley and Oak Park area with my colleague and buddy Pete Demetriou of KNX Radio, for KNX On Your Corner.

 

For more on the history on filming in the greater Los Angeles area, check out Harry Medved’s books Location Filming in Los Angeles and Oak Park.

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Daylight Saving: After Work Getaways!

Get ready to hit the road and enjoy the extra So Cal sunshine that comes with Daylight Saving Time.

With Daylight Saving Time kicking in on Sunday, you’ll be enjoying at least an extra hour of daylight.  So, why not head out on an after-work adventure?  You don’t have to go very far to find a beautiful place to relax and take  in a Southern  California sunset.

Santa Monica and Malibu top my list of quick getaways.  From the bluffs of Palisades Park, to Montana Avenue and the Third  Street Promenade,  click here for more Santa Monica Daycations.

When you’re in the mood for a scenic coastal drive, Pacific Coast Highway through west Malibu is hard to beat. Click here for details on the Malibu Drive from Oxnard to Santa Monica. Your car will be hugging the rugged coastline and there are plenty of places to pull over and enjoy the view. If you hurry, you might even see some whales migrating along the coast, prime whale watching season continues through April.

Related: Conejo Valley Getaway – Gardens of the World

Palisades Park in Santa Monica is a lovely place to enjoy the extra hour of daylight that comes with Daylight Saving Time.

 

An easy work getaway in Orange County could include a trip to Fashion Island.  This upscale outdoor shopping mall offers fresh air, a sea breeze and several delicious restaurants including The Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen and Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion, one of my favorite places for bar dining.

Across from Fashion Island is Balboa Island. A short drive over the bridge and you might feel as if you’re in a quaint NewEngland beach town. You can catch the ferry to Balboa Peninsula.

Pacific Coast Highway through South Orange County will take you from Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach, Dana Point and San Clemente, with plenty of places to enjoy and explore along the way.

Read: So Cal Burgers

When you’re in Southern California, there’s no need to wait for the official start of summer to start your summer vacation. Enjoy!

Balboa Island, CA USA

Balboa Island, CA is a seaside getaway in Orange County. It offers a small town feel on the edge of sprawling Newport Beach.

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[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/balboa-island-ca-usa/thumbs/thumbs_balboaislandchannel.jpg]40Balboa Island in Orange County has a ferry to take drivers, bikers, skaters and pedestrians from Balboa Island to the Balboa Peninsula.
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Shuttle Endeavour’s Final Flight

The Hollywood Sign is one of several landmarks the shuttle Endeavour is expected to soar over on its final flight. (photo: Traffic411)

Southern California is known for its fabulous weather, beautiful beaches and horrible traffic. Any driver will tell you, it doesn’t have to be rush hour to find yourself stuck in gridlock. So, imagine what might happen to L.A freeways later this morning when a 747 jumbo jet with a space shuttle riding on its back soars low across the area.

In just a few hours, Space shuttle Endeavour will make its final flight, leaving Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). But, before it touches down at L.A.X, Endeavor is expected to fly over some of the areas most iconic landmarks.

NASA hasn’t released the shuttle’s flight plan, CBS Los Angeles is reporting these are some of the landmarks where Endeavour will tour: Malibu, Venice Beach, Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood Sign, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, LAX, The USS Iowa, The Getty Museum, Universal Studios, California Science Center, The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, and Disneyland.

CBS LA is reporting this is the possible flight path of the space shuttle Endeavor as it makes its final flight. (credit: CBS)

These landmarks are scattered across Southern California, so Endeavour could be visible in the skies for 90 minutes or more. Many excited people are pre-planning their viewing spots, but there will undoubtedly be plenty of drivers caught off guard when they witness the once in a lifetime flyover. See the CBS story here

The spectacle could cause accidents, as drivers take their eyes off the road. It will likely bring freeways to a standstill. Drivers are advised to pull to the side of the road and stop their vehicles if they want to watch the shuttle flyover today, which is expected to take place between 10 am and noon.

Endeavour will make the final landing of its career at LAX around 12:45 pm PT, where it will be stored in a hanger until next month. Then the shuttle will make its way through city streets to its final home, the California Science Center.

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Malibu Drive: PCH Oxnard-Santa Monica

California's Finest Drive:  Route 1 Santa Monica, Malibu, Oxnard

The coastal route between Ventura and Los Angeles is not only beautiful, it can be a time-saving alternate to the busy 101 freeway.

Here’s a Southern California coastal drive that’s enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike.  And, believe it or not, it is often less crowded than the freeway (101 and 405) when traveling between Ventura County and Santa Monica.  Plus, there’s plenty of fresh air to breathe and beautiful scenery to see along the way.

California Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) near the border of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties is mostly a single lane in each direction.  The smooth road hugs rocky mountains or sandy hills on one side, and the rugged crystal blue-turquoise Pacific Ocean on the other.  The approximately one hour (without traffic) drive takes you past the Naval Base Ventura County (home of the “Seabees” and Point Mugu Naval Air Station) to the Santa Monica Pier.  And, there’s so much to see along the way.

Related: El Matador Beach Malibu “Picture Perfect”

Mugu Rock, a distinctive boulder that stands on the coastal side of the road, can be seen from far away, as you wind along the highway.  You might recognize Mugu Rock, and this stretch of Pacific Coast Highway, since it’s a popular shooting location for TV shows and car commercials.

Malibu, CA

California's Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) between Oxnard and Santa Monica offer is one of the most beautiful drives in the USA. The New York Times calls this drive through Malibu one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the USA! Here are some photos I took along the way. Story to follow soon, in case you want to try this 30 mile coastline drive yourself. I highly recommend it!

[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibupointdumenaturalpreserve.jpg]59540Point Dume Natural Preserve, Malibu
Point Dume offers a hiking trail down a hill to a beautiful secluded beach.
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_pointdumemalibu.jpg]7450
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_pointmugunavalairstation.jpg]7650
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibupointmugulookoutpoint.jpg]7540Point Mugu Lookout Point
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibucampingthornehillbroomebeach.jpg]6330Beachside Camping Malibu
How's this for a camping spot?!? Thornhill Broome Beach State Park is an ideal place to cool off in the summer. Bring your camper, motorhome or fifth wheel and you're all set!
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibucountrymart.jpg]5600Malibu Country Mart
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[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_santamonicabaygettyvilla.jpg]5580Getty Villa, Santa Monica Bay
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[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibupchdriveroadsign_traffic411.jpg]4970California's Finest Drive: Route 1 Santa Monica, Malibu, Oxnard
This stretch of California coastline is among the most beautiful in the state. Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) is also a great alternative to the 101 freeway when traveling between Ventura County and Los Angeles.
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Point Dume is another recognizable landmark.  The flat-topped bluff jutting into the Pacific is visible from miles away.  The Point Dume Natural Preserve offers a path to the Cliffside lookout point.  It’s a relatively easy walk downhill to a pristine beach, but there’s very little parking in the Point Dume neighborhood.

Nearby Zuma Beach is popular among sun worshippers, but can be dangerous for swimmers. If your ‘parking karma’ is good, you might find free beach parking when you turn onto Busch Drive (just south of Zuma Beach).

Related: Hike Solstice Canyon Malibu

Just South of Pepperdine University is the heart of Malibu’s shopping district.  For a relaxing break, stop at the Ralph’s shopping center for a frozen yogurt or Starbucks.  Across the street, Malibu Country Mart, offers an array of dining options and can be a good place to spot celebrities.  (Cross streets are Civic Center Way or Cross Creek Road).

Related: Pacific Park Santa Monica Pier – Carnival by the Sea

Santa Monica is about nine miles away from the Malibu Civic Center area.  This is the portion of the drive where you’re likely to find the most traffic, especially on summer weekends, or during the weekday morning and evening commutes.

Related:  Santa Monica Daycations

The Malibu Coast is a fun daytrip.  If you only want to take the coast one way, hop on the 101 north to Camarillo, exit Pleasant Valley or Las Posas, then head west to the coast, and southbound along Pacific Coast Highway (toward Santa Monica).  Coming from Ventura or Santa Barbara, exit the 101 South at Rice Road, head west and you’ll wind up on California Highway 1.

Note:  The Ventura portion of Pacific Coast Highway is very dark at night, there are no street lights, so it’s not recommended if you are unfamiliar with the road, especially on evenings when there isn’t much moonlight.  Safe travels!!

See the map!  The Malibu Drive:  PCH Oxnard-Santa Monica

 

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