Explore Malibu History with these Fun Facts

Ever wonder how Malibu came to be or what events in history have led it to become such a unique and creative place? Well, wonder no more!

Enjoy these interesting facts about our starlit city and explore the history behind the birth of our famous seaside community, including surrounding Malibu attractions from the Adamson House to the legendary Getty Villa….

  • Malibu was originally settled by the Chumash, Native American settlers. The name “Malibu” was derived from the Native American word “Humaliwo” which means “the surf sounds loudly.”


  • Most of Malibu’s land was privately held by Frederick Hastings Rindge and Rhoda May Rindge until 1929, when the state won a court case that allowed construction of what is now known as the Pacific Coast Highway to begin in Malibu.
  • The Rindge house, originally built for the family’s yacht, is now known as the Adamson House (a National Historic Site and California Historical Landmark) and is situated close to our luxury Malibu hotel, beside the Malibu Pier.


  • Once construction of the Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu became inevitable in 1929, May Rindge was forced to subdivide her property and begin selling and leasing lots throughout Malibu. Malibu Colony was one of the first areas inhabited after Malibu was opened to the public. Today, Malibu Colony abounds with celebrities and remains one of Malibu’s most famous districts.
  • In 1974, oil tycoon J. Paul Getty opened the Getty Villa in Malibu as his second museum in a building inspired by the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum and incorporating additional details from several other ancient sites. After closing for extensive renovations in 1997, the Getty Villa reopened in 2006 and is currently home to a vast collection of Greek and Roman sculptures.


  • In 1976, Cat Stevens had his famous near-death experience in Malibu, when he nearly drowned while he was swimming. Shortly thereafter he converted to Islam, adopting the name Yusuf Islam.
  • From 1961 through the mid-80’s, 22878 Pacific Coast Highway – the current address of Malibu Beach Inn – was home to two popular tiki-themed restaurants: the Tonga Lei Polynesian Restaurant for much of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and the Don the Beachcomber Inn for a short stint in the mid-80’s.
  • In 1989, 22878 Pacific Coast Highway became the official home of the Malibu Beach Inn. (Also in 1989, Actor Martin Sheen was named honorary mayor of Malibu!)


Malibu Beach Inn’s History

Although Malibu Beach Inn has only been around since 1989, it’s history is also rich and wonderful. Here are a couple interesting facts about our boutique, luxury Malibu hotel…

  • In October 2006, Malibu Beach Inn underwent extensive renovations, including completely refinished interiors and exteriors, the addition of the Carbon Beach Club and expanded meeting space. The renovations were designed to complement the property’s location on Malibu’s exclusive Carbon Beach.
  • In October 2007, after renovations were complete, Malibu Beach Inn re-opened its doors as the only luxury oceanfront hotel in Malibu, offering unparalleled levels of luxury and service!

To learn more about the history of Malibu Beach Inn, check out From Pink to Chic: A History of Malibu Beach Inn.

Special Thanks: Getty Villa photo courtesy of http://www.getty.edu/visit/villa/. Adamson House photo courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.com.

Malibu: Your Summer Vacation Hot Spot

Summertime has arrived, and there’s no better place to soak it in than the California coast. It may come as no surprise that Malibu is California’s most famous seaside community, not only because of its natural rugged beauty, but also because of the unique low-key resort vibe that locals call “that Malibu feeling.”

Sure, Malibu is a playground for the rich and famous…but when you check in to the Malibu Beach Inn, you’re the star and it’s your turn to have all the fun!

Malibu Beach Inn is the ideal location for enjoying all things Malibu, including the beach, the ocean, Getty Villa, Malibu Lumber Yard & Malibu Country Mart, Malibu Pier and Pepperdine Center for the Arts.

Immerse yourself in the beauty and nature of Malibu. Our staff can help you find the perfect hiking trail or direct you to legendary surf spots like Zuma and Surfrider beaches.

Marvel at the majestic canyon views and peaceful isolation of Mulholland Drive, Point Mugu State Park and Nicholas Flat Trail Malibu. And be sure to stop at the gorgeous Adamson estate next door, where you’ll see how early Malibu royalty lived.

A short walk away is the incredible Malibu Country Mart, where you can check out Planet Blue, John Varvatos, Oliver Peoples, one of the three unique Ralph Lauren stores, or one of among 65 upscale boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. Take a Crumbs cupcake break in the Malibu Lumber Yard, shop at the stunning stores or just sit back, relax and enjoy this celebrity hot spot.

There’s so much to do, and yet you might just find yourself sitting back and relaxing on the beach. Go right ahead…after all, it’s your vacation!

Learn more on our website or give us a call at 1-800-4MALIBU and let our concierge help you plan your perfect Malibu vacation today!

Malibu-beauty everywhere!


Water lily in bloom at The Getty.

One of our favorite places to spend a day…


Another view in the Getty Villa.

September 2, 2013

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