Malibu, California

Malibu Beach RV Park

February 6, 2021

After a few unpleasant weeks (to say the least) up in Northern California, we were ready to make our way south and see what SoCal had to offer. Although we were starting to become a bit jaded regarding the Golden State, we were cautiously optimistic that our next destination, a little place called Malibu, would get our opinions of California trending back in the right direction. (SPOILER: It did!)

We had originally planned on taking the longer, scenic route to Malibu by continuing down highway 1 along the ocean and checking out the famously beautiful Big Sur area. However, strangely enough, each time we tried to adjust our route on Google Maps to take us through Big Sur, the app kept rerouting us back to highway 101 which runs through the Salinas Valley, about 25 miles inland. After some initial confusion, we quickly realized that this was due to a road closure, and after a little more digging we discovered that the closure was the result of a massive mudslide which deposited a large chunk of the highway into the ocean!

After a long ass drive through rather uninspiring countryside largely dominated by agriculture (primarily salad greens like lettuce, broccoli, and spinach), we finally made it into the LA metro area – where we were promptly greeted by a traffic jam just a few miles from our campground, the Malibu Beach RV Park. Thankfully, the wreck didn’t take too long to clean up and we soon found ourselves turning off highway 1 towards this lovely RV park perched high up on the cliffs overlooking the ever-scenic Pacific Ocean. Although this location was drop-dead gorgeous, as we went to park the trailer we swiftly recognized that it wasn’t without downsides – with one obvious drawback, in particular… That sucker was tight!

It was quite stressful, but we eventually managed to Austin Powers the rig into our site. Once the trailer was secured the adrenalin began wearing off, finally allowing us to chill for a sec and soak in these truly stunning vistas.

And the views only got better as the sun began to set...

As you can see, this property was pretty damn impressive! We couldn’t believe how nice this place was, especially given the relatively cheap rates – only $50 a night (about right in line with our nightly average). Given this awesome location and the limited number of campgrounds in the LA metro (like 4 parks total, not kidding), we fully expected a campground like this to be nearing $100 a night.

Unfortunately, as we were getting all set up, we came across another downside for this park – cell connectivity, or AT&T signal to be more accurate. If you’ve read many of these blogs, you’ll know that I conduct a ton of research before we book any of our sites to ensure that we will have adequate AT&T cell service as it is our primary internet source – even to the point of looking at tower maps to be absolutely certain. Everything about Malibu RV Park pointed to good service, hell, the map even showed that there was an AT&T tower just a few dozen feet from the campground. Sadly, when we went to run a speed test, we barely managed to pick up a signal at all! After countless head scratches and walks around the property in search of this supposed tower, we finally found it. Turns out, the supposed “tower” that we were looking for was actually housed in an electrical box right next to the highway, and thus, the signal it emitted was being blocked by the cliffside before it could reach our antenna.

Although this situation was far from ideal, thankfully, we had a backup option – our phones, which run on the Verizon network (which was quite strong) and can be used as hotspots in a pinch like this. However, data is quite limited on this plan (only 8gb), and we blew through what little data we had left in a hurry which required us to pay a little extra in overage fees that month. Hitting our data caps is never ideal, but boy were we glad that we had the optionality!

The cliffs may have bitten us in the ass when it came to cell service, but they managed to make up for it in other departments. During our explorations around the park in search of the tower, we came across a trailhead at the edge of the property which connected to a lovely hiking path leading up into the adjacent Corral Canyon. Given the crazy traffic of the highway below, we were quite relieved to find a hiking option that didn’t even require us to get in the truck. Plus, it also made for some damn good exercise – this hike was a booty buster! I guess you could say that the cliffs also bit our asses in a good way…

In addition to hiking up into the hills, we also ventured downwards to check out the ocean at the similarly named Corral Beach, which was equally as enjoyable, if not more so.

Although accessing the beach wasn’t quite as convenient as the canyon (had to cross the busy highway without a crosswalk), it was 100% worth it. After all, we did get to see some friccin dolphins while we were down there!

At this point in our trip, it had been more than a month since we had last seen any of our friends or family, so we were starved for a little socialization. Thankfully, our draught would come to an end in a big way during our time in southern California.

The first of our many get togethers came on a weeknight when we met my cousin, Rachel, and her boyfriend, James, in Venice for what would turn out to be a delicious dinner at an Indonesian restaurant named Wallflower. Both Sam and I were novices when it came to Indonesian food, but we became big fans after just a few bites!

The hangouts continued into the weekend, so much so that we had to split up in order to see all our peeps. Sam took the truck to Santa Monica to go for a hike with her friend, April (college gal pal), while Rachel and James were nice enough to come pick me up in Malibu before we made our way to Kenneth Hahn Park for a nice little hike of our own. Although I can’t really speak on Sam’s hiking experience, I can say that Kenneth Hahn Park was a lovely little park located right in the middle of the city offering nearly 360-degree views of the LA metro.

Following the hike, we made the quick drive over to Rachel’s (relatively) new apartment where we hung out and snacked for a bit before making our way up the street to the Anderson’s house. By this point I had heard so much about this lovely young family that Rachel had been lucky enough to meet and bond with over the past few years, so it was awesome to finally meet them and tour their beautiful home (complete with a fantastic new backyard/patio layout)!

The last of our social appointments came in the form of a pleasant little get-together with Sam’s friend, Brynne, and her boyfriend, Anthony, at their place up in Moorpark (about 30 minutes northeast of Malibu). Sam and Brynne met during their study-abroad trip in Italy, and although were only together for a few weeks, the friendship blossomed quickly, and they managed to stay in touch for all these years.

The evening marked yet another delightful get together during our time in area. Brynne and Anthony spoiled us with delicious wine and a scrumptious pasta dish that was apparently all the rage on Tik Tok at the time (or so I was told).

Our week in Malibu was a great time and a whirlwind of a trip, but alas, the road (and our reservations) beckoned once more. After spending more than a month along the Pacific Coast, it was time for us to say goodbye to the ocean and venture inland, deep into the Sonoran Desert towards the ever-vibrant (and warm) little city of Palm Springs!