El Matador State Beach, Malibu, California (Larry Brownstein/Photodisc/Getty)

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What to do in Malibu

Malibu, a small beach community a few miles up the coast from Santa Monica, is a funny combination of laid-back surf culture and wealth (and, because of its proximity to Hollywood, the celebrities who go with it). With more than a dozen state and county beaches scattered along a 27-mile stretch of rugged coastline, the place just oozes California cool. Over the decades, Malibu itself has had starring roles on big and small screens, making its expanse of sunny coastline familiar to fans of everything from Gidget and Iron Man to Two and a Half Men , all of which were filmed in the area. So when you roll off the beach and into Starbucks, try to look nonplussed when you see Courtney Cox or Tom Hanks next to you in line.

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