Malibu has many attractions, but the beach is fundamental. Therefore, the pecking order of Malibu land goes like this:
- On the beach
- Bluff top, over the beach with deeded rights
- Off the beach, with deeded beach rights
- Near the beach, ocean view
- Near the beach, no ocean view
- Away from the beach, ocean view
- Away from the beach, with 310 area code
- Far from the beach, outside 310 ("Ozarks")
There are a few overlaps, but you get the idea. Inland neighborhoods are up the canyons from PCH, some close to the main areas of Malibu and others more distant. The major inland road is Mulholland Highway, which runs generally east-west through the Santa Monica Mountains, six or eight miles inland, eventually joining PCH at Leo Carrillo State Beach in western Malibu. Canyon roads connect inland areas to the rest of Malibu.
There are a few vantage points in the inland mountains where you can see the ocean, but these are exceptions. Beyond the Malibu City Limits, after the first ridge line, you cross into territory where the mail may be delivered from communities further inland and the telephones may have an 818 or 805 exchange. These areas are sometime denigrated with the name "Malibu Ozarks" even though they may be closer to the center of Malibu than other areas right on PCH.
Inland neighborhoods are more rural and traditional than the beach or landside neighborhoods of Malibu. Inland neighborhoods tend to be small communities which retain traditional American small town values, certainly more so than the glitzy coast. Old timers who still live here will remember when there were working ranches or farms, a few of which survive. Equestrian interests remain high with many horse owners, riding facilities, and supporting activities. In the quiet, secluded valleys there are lakes and streams with endless trails through the mountains. Large blocks of the land are part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and have been acquired by public agencies to preclude development. Prices are lower inland than near the beach, but by no means generally affordable.
Malibu Inland Neighborhoods Guide