Malibu Date Ideas That Aren't Nobu

So you need a date idea, but you pay $70k a year to go to Pepperdine and make minimum wage through student employment. Plus, you live in Malibu, an obviously beautiful but somewhat isolated and definitely expensive location. It’s quite the situation. Maybe you’ve tried googling “affordable date ideas Malibu,” but the only article that came up listed Nobu 12 times and then the names of a couple of beaches. 

Well, I’m glad you arrived here because I have a couple of ideas for you (and your special friend). 


I’ll start with the obvious.

  1. 1. Beach

    I know, I know – as a Pepperdine student trying to date, the beach almost seems too easy, and you might even be a little sick of the sand. But there is something inherently romantic about picking up food from the grocery store or even the Caf if you have an enormous amount of meal points and having a picnic on the beach. Beach time can last as long or as short as you want. Spice things up with splurging on a special dessert from Duke’s or Vintage Grocers, trying a new beach (I would recommend Carbon Beach, commonly called “Billionaire’s Beach” – you’ll see why if you go), or bringing magazines, cards, a frisbee, or beach games.

  2. 2. Stroll through or attend an event at Malibu Bluffs Park

    If you’ve ever been to Alumni and seen the park across the street, that’s Malibu Bluffs Park. They host many events (free! or cheap!) throughout the year, including movie nights, concerts, and food truck days. A quick internet search will tell you if something exciting is happening, but if not, take the marked path through the trees and aim left for a beautiful lookout over the ocean and a nice spot to sit for a while. A nice picnic spot alternative if you don’t want sand in your food.

  3. 3. Visit The Getty Villa

    The Getty Villa is a museum in Malibu modeled to look like an ancient Roman villa. Admission is free, although you must book a ticket for a specific time slot. Parking is $20 in the mornings and $15 after 3 pm. The museum is full of beautiful Greek and Roman art, so spend your time deeply contemplating and appreciating it or, more likely, walking by a particularly ugly statue and saying, “that one’s you.” Whatever you do in the museum it’s a good way to figure out if 1) you have the same type of humor and 2) if either of you retained any knowledge from HUM 111.

  4. 4. Grab your laptop and pick your spot

    Now that Malibu no longer has a movie theatre, you’ll have to get creative if you want to watch a film outside of your dorm room. My personal recommendation is to download a movie on your laptop from iTunes or Amazon for a couple of dollars, make sure your computer is fully charged, and then find a good place. If you’ve got a cushy car, congrats the side of PCH is now your personal movie theatre. Or get some blankets and watch Jumanji 2 on the beach or Alumni – just watch out for sprinklers. For the daytime, grab some headphones and go to a coffee shop, the Country Mart, or the area down by Vintage Grocers. Be cautious and respectful and please don’t trespass, but get creative!

  5. 5. Play games and people-watch in Malibu Country Mart

    Payson Library has a pretty decent selection of games and cards that you can check out. Research some good two-person card games or grab a board game, and head down to the country mart. Lunch at John’s Garden or a cup of coffee from Coffee Bean plus card games and watching all of Malibu’s locals walk around is a great daytime date.

  6. 6. Visit the Farmer’s Market

    If your date happens to be on a Sunday, the Malibu Farmers Market is a great place to walk around, try a couple of things, make a few purchases, and spend time together. It’s open every Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm down at the Country Mart. They’ve got all sorts of fun stuff, from produce to pies, and you might even be able to spot a celebrity or two.

At first glance, Malibu has limited affordable options, but with a little creativity, it’s not too hard to come up with a fun date idea. Besides, all that really matters is that you’ve got good company. Have fun dating, and remember that all members of the opposite sex must be out of dorm rooms by 1 am!