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Ric Romero's one-tank getaway: Malibu

August 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Malibu may have multi-million dollar homes right on the beach occupied by the rich and famous, but that's not all there is that makes this coastal beauty a great one-tank getaway.

There are beaches with plenty of sunshine and lots to do. In fact, Malibu and next door Zuma Beach offer free parking on the street or on Pacific Coast Highway, so a day on the sand won't cost you a dime.

But also on the beach, where the Malibu Creek meets the Pacific Ocean, is the historic Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum.

What really stands out at the Adamson House, built in 1930, is the use of the very handsome Malibu Potteries tile just about everywhere. The tiles are made to look like a Persian-style rug, including the fringe.

On the second floor of the Adamson House, there's a snack kitchen that includes a refrigerator, stove and toaster.

Run by the California State Park Service, the Adamson House is on Pacific Coast Highway, just west of the Malibu Pier, and is available for tours Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children.

Malibu is also known for its canyons. Just off Corral Canyon Road and Pacific Coast Highway is Solstice Canyon.

With free admission, Solstice Canyon is a fantastic place to hike for kids and adults. You can make the trek as hard or as easy as you want it to be, and your walk is among tall trees and babbling brooks. One of the trails takes you to a gorgeous waterfall.

When you get hungry, the locals in Malibu will tell you one of the best places to eat is in a Pavilions shopping center on Heathercliff Road. Toward the back of the center is a small eatery called Lilly's Caf? and Pastries.

Craig Garfinkle says he goes to Lilly's at least four times a week.

"Lilly will tell you, breakfast, lunch or dinner," he said.

For 18 years, owner Lilly Castro has been serving up breakfast burritos from the time they open until the time they close.

"We cook with love. Everything is fresh, and we are family in Malibu," she said.

When you're full from the burrito, work it off with a visit to the jewel of Malibu destinations: the Getty Villa.

The villa is home to J. Paul Getty's extensive collection of Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities. You can stroll through four fabulous gardens, and the kids will certainly enjoy the family forum that features several hands-on activities.

The Getty Villa is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Tuesday. Admission is always free, but parking is $15. Visitors must have an advance, timed ticket, which they can obtain online or by phone at (310) 440-7300.

If you have time, stop by Pepperdine University's Weisman Museum of Art. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Malibu is a haven from the hustle-and-bustle of city life, making it a special one-tank getaway.


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