Cities Journal

Top 21 Small Cities In California

3. Malibu
Photo credit: Terri Hodges / Flickr

13. Malibu

Malibu Barbie’s namesake, a notoriously upscale beach town with a star-studded population, has some surprisingly chill and inviting spots tucked between its opulent mainstays. While gated neighborhoods and upscale homes and condos take up much of downtown Malibu’s coast, the city also offers gorgeous public parks and great beach access.

The beaches must be worth the trip because some Malibu homeowners went to great lengths to keep the public out of their backyards. They posted misleading and fake signs that mimicked real “no trespassing” and “no parking” signs, but that actually blocked access to perfectly public beachfronts.

For the City of Malibu accessible public art is another big priority. The local government posts news and events online for local residents, including updates on programs such as the Keep it Clean campaign. One story revealed how they recently commissioned a local artist to paint the storm drains throughout Malibu. If you happen across a wire pen slightly off the coast, that’s another effort to protect the local aquatic ecosystem. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Malibu’s family-friendly tourist draw and world-class research facility, the town is currently working to protect the great white sharks that live and thrive off the coasts of California.

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