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Is there a name more synonymous with beachy affluence than Malibu? Meandering across twenty-one miles of scenic beauty along the Pacific Coast Highway between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the Malibu Coast encompasses some of the most elite and exquisite beaches in southern California—Topanga Beach, Surfrider Beach, Point Dume Beach, Zuma Beach, Broad Beach, and several coastal state parks.

This is where luxury home buyers find elaborate cliffside mansions, with terraces the size of ballrooms to enjoy panoramic vistas of mountains to the north, oceans to the south. One such Malibu mansion filled in for Tony Stark’s home in the film Iron Man.

Its reputation for affluence is well-earned, but there’s a modest side to Malibu. The residential stretch of the City of Malibu, which runs up to about a half-mile from the coast, is home to a substantial middle-class population. Median home prices are steep on this side of paradise—north of $6.2 million at $3,670 per square foot—but that accounts for a range of list prices from $1.6 million all the way up to $125 million.

Some of these ultramodern mansions have private beaches, but even in this respect, Malibu has a flair for the democratic. City ordinance designates that most private beaches only run to the tide line—in other words, the wet sand is for everyone. From beach cafes to over-water fine dining, it’s easy to rub elbows with Southern-California royalty in the laid-back opulence that is Malibu.

The temperate climate of Malibu makes it a magnet for arts, academia, and culture, including a world-renowned Arts Festival, Film Festival, and Pepperdine University. The gorgeous surroundings have served as locations for numerous films, TV shows, and music videos throughout the decades.

For luxury living in the ocean breeze, there’s no life like the Malibu life.

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