One of Southern California’s best-kept secrets, Malibu Lake is located within the Malibu Creek State Park nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. As a platform to some of the best outdoor recreation, old west dining and the future of wine tasting, the region is also rich in Hollywood filming history. In fact, it’s so unique that it’s known as the three magical miles, extending from the Mulholland Highway between Paramount Ranch to the east, and to the south, The Rock Store. Nowhere else will you find 5,000 acres of beautiful, rolling hills and hiking trails where more than 100 Hollywood movies and TV shows were filmed.
While only 30 minutes away for most Angelenos, if you’re coming from Orange County, there’s only 90 minutes between you and an escape that will feel a world away. If you’re coming from the beach, take PCH/CA-1 north to Malibu Canyon Road and head through the canyon for the most scenic route. Just before reaching Mulholland Highway, Malibu Creek State Park will be on the left. Orange County folks should head north on the 405 Freeway and take the 101 north and exit at Agoura Hills.
Malibu Creek State Park
1925 Las Virgenes Road
Calabasas, CA 91302
Drawing visitors from all over the world, Malibu Creek State Park is most famous today as home to the preserved outdoor set of television’s legendary show, “M*A*S*H.” With a long list of Hollywood productions filmed here as early as 1919, some of the most popular productions include “Planet of the Apes” (1968), “Love Me Tender” with Elvis Presley (1956), “The Seven Year Itch” (1955) with Marilyn Monroe, and more recently, “Pleasantville” (1998). Many of the 15 miles of stream-side hiking trails were original footpaths for the Chumash Indians, who inhabited the region more than 10,000 years ago. Beyond great hiking ranging from easy to strenuous, the park also hosts 62 tent campsites, horseback riding, rock climbing and is ideal for mountain bikers who enjoy a steep terrain.
The Rock Store
30354 Mulholland Highway
Cornell, California 91301
After a day of hiking through canyons past locations of famed movie sets, there’s no better place to quench your thirst and cool off than inside of a building made entirely out of volcanic rock. Originally a stagecoach shop circa 1910, today it is known as the most famous motorcycle hangout in Southern California. On the weekends, expect to see celebrity riders as well as vintage and exotic bikes. Most recognized for their hearty breakfasts, homemade chili and, of course, ice-cold drinks, The Rock Store is only open Friday through Sunday.
The Old Place Restaurant
29983 Mulholland Highway
Cornell, CA 91301
Time travel back to The Old Place Restaurant and Saloon in the tucks of the Santa Monica Mountains between Malibu and Agoura Hills. Originally opened by Tom Runyon in 1969, who shared his family name with a popular Hollywood Hills canyon (Runyon Canyon), The Old Place resembles a pioneer frontier from the Old West. If you have a large party from nine to 12 people, the Mailroom promises possibly one of the most remarkable, historically rich, private dining rooms in Los Angeles. Bring your favorite vinyl and take advantage of the vintage record player while enjoying classic dishes such as pot pie with mashed potatoes, old-fashioned cream corn or the fish of the day harvested from the Channel Islands.
29975 Mulholland Highway
Cornell, CA 91301
Before dinner at The Old Place or after a hike through Malibu Creek State Park, head over to another one of Malibu Lake’s unique destinations, Cornell Winery. Known as a portal to the future of Southern California’s wine-making culture, experience boutique, small-batch wines harvested in your own backyard. Cornell Winery is dedicated to connecting emerging wine communities with thirsty fans. Keep in mind, it’s only open Thursday through Sunday and close at 6 p.m. nightly.
Malibou Lake Mountain Club
29033 W. Lake Vista Drive
Agoura, CA 91301
Frame your next special event with views of Malibou Lake and the surrounding Santa Monica Mountains at the picturesque Malibou Lake Mountain Club. Rich in history with a unique story to tell, this venue makes for a 245-acre, idyllic location for a family reunion, wedding or anniversary party. Doubling as a famous Hollywood backdrop, Malibou Lake’s variety of film locations have created scenes as different as the Mississippi River, the north woods of Canada, Philippine swamps and the African jungle. Some of the most famous films shot here include “Frankenstein” (1931), “Quality Street” with Katherine Hepburn (1936) and “The Ring” (2002).
Jessica Blotter has over 10 years experience in the advertising industry and is Founder of Publicly Loved, a Los Angeles media agency at the heart of brands, causes and events. As a published travel writer, she has written for CBS Local, LA Examiner, 944 Magazine and Fairways and Greens Magazine. Her passion for charitable endeavors has led her to volunteer and fundraise for Habitat for Humanity, Much Love Animal Rescue, and Toys for Tots. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.