Local Atmosphere

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4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: It's a gorgeous campus with really nice people and helpful teachers!

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Depends on the person you are, but Malibu is a great, safe, amazing, and beautiful area. Lots of beaches for laying out, swimming, surfing, etc. Very safe throughout the entire city. Shopping can be iffy. Malibu Country Mart offers lots of high end shopping, but 3rd Street Promenade and Topanga Mall are only 20-25 minutes away for more every day brands. Attitude towards students varies, in previous years Malibu and Pepperdine were very disconnected; however, in the past few years the connection has grown.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Things are spread out in Malibu, so you need to have a car to get places, but it's a safe and beautiful area.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: The Beach!!! miles and miles of beautiful sandy beaches, gorgeous cliffs, dolphins, whales, seals. All found at Malibu's best attraction the beach. Santa Monica is near by, there is great shopping and the Pier with rides and games. Thousand Oaks is through the canyon, and there is a great mall there. Chili festival in the fall in Malibu, rides and great food. Hollywood is just around the corner. Its super safe in Malibu, and the locals don't mind us, they just accept us as part of their life. When you think malibu, think amazing beaches, shorts and sandals, and nice cars, beautiful houses, and gorgeous people.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Malibu: small, remote, expensive, not much to do; but beautiful, scenic


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Jackie Fetzer
Huntersville, NC
English Writing and Rhetoric
View all previous student authors

Differences in opinions regarding Malibu probably tells more about the priorities and prior experiences of students than they do about the town itself. To some, Malibu is an irritating 20-minute drive from anything interesting to see or do. To others, it’s a mere 20-minute drive from fabulous Santa Monica or a thrilling half-hour jaunt away from LA. Some scoff at the trappings of wealth and celebrity that Malibu so quaintly celebrates, while others head down the hill to Starbucks to sit and watch for movie stars. Everyone can agree, though, that Malibu is a truly unique place to go to college—surreal, really—and a genuine experience.

The ’Bu is a sleepy little enclave for the fabulously wealthy into which Pepperdine University has rather awkwardly asserted itself. It’s no place for a college student, especially one on a budget, to have a particularly wild time after dusk. On the upside, it is an undeniably beautiful environment for study, reflection, or any sport involving wetsuit-clad human beings trying to tame a vast, violent body of saltwater.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. The Chumash Indian word malibu means "noisy waters" (better than that other sleepy California town, Lompoc, whose name means "stagnant waters").
  2. It hosts the annual Malibu International Film Festival, as well as the annual Malibu Chili Cook-Off. Pepperdine's frats and sororities often join in the latter competition.
  3. A mysterious surfer organization known as "Malibu Locals Only," or MLO, protects its home turf by picking fights with non-Malibu surfing citizens and by spray-painting its three ominous initials onto cement surfaces.
  4. Baywatch was filmed on Malibu's voluptuous golden beaches.
  5. On several nights between March and August, at high tide, the Southern California coastline becomes besieged by "grunion runs," the bizarre spawning ritual of thousands of little translucent fishes called grunion. These grunion runs-the timing of which is based on the moon cycle and can be predicted long in advance-make for very interesting marine biology field trips.
Notable Natives
You name it! Everyone who is anyone in the entertainment industry has at least one home in Malibu.
Local Slang
  • The 'Bu: Abbreviated form of Malibu
  • Chill: Used as an adjective or a verb, as in "I was chillin' with this really chill girl."
  • Plus the hippest and latest surfer culture expressions-nothing you haven't heard on MTV:
Points of Interest
  • Disneyland
  • Hollywood
  • Magic Mountain
  • Santa Monica Pier
  • Universal Studios
Shopping Centers
  • 3rd Street Promenade
  • Malibu Colony Plaza
  • Thousand Oaks Mall and Shops
Movie Theaters
AMC Santa Monica 7
1310 3rd Street
Santa Monica
(310) 289-4262
Movie Theaters
Edwards Grand Palace Stadium 6
4767 Commons Way
(818) 223-0223
Movie Theaters
Malibu Cinemas
3822 Cross Creek Road
(310) 456-6990
Major Sports Teams
  • Anaheim Ducks: hockey
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: baseball
  • Los Angeles Clippers: basketball
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: baseball
  • Los Angeles Kings: hockey
  • Los Angeles Lakers: basketball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Los Angeles: CA: 20 minutes
  • San Francisco: CA: 6 hours
Did You Know?
Don't be surprised if you find yourself jogging around Pepperdine's track with Pamela Anderson or if you see Dick Van Dyke dancing with his grocery cart at a Ralph's grocery store.

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 42 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 43 responses

  • 19% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 12% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 26% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 28% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 16% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 43 responses

  • 26% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 30% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 44% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 43 responses

  • 40% Totally.
  • 42% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 19% No way.


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