Twenty miles north of Santa Monica, Malibu is synonymous with luxurious celebrity isolation, along with hillside wildfires, which routinely smoke those same celebrities out of their gilded confines. Malibu’s Surfrider Beach was the surfing capital of the world in the 1950s and early 1960s, and is still a big attraction (the surf is best in late summer; check the surfing report at Wsurfrider.org). The beach is part of Malibu Lagoon State Park, a nature reserve and bird refuge, and nearby is the Adamson House, 23200 PCH, a stunning, historic Spanish Colonial-style home built in 1929, featuring opulent decor and colourful tilework. The adjoining Malibu Lagoon Museum, formerly the Adamsons’ five-car garage, chronicles the history of the area from the days of Chumash people to the “gentlemen” ranchers and the birth of modern surfing.

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