LONG before Malibu was a colony to its current elite citizenry, the area was the home of the Chumash Indians (for a couple of thousand years, through the early 1700s). Just north of the Malibu Pier is Malibu Lagoon State Beach, the site of a variety of interesting things to see and do--for children and adults.
The wetland habitat, where freshwater meets saltwater, serves as a fish nursery as well as a migratory stop--part of the Pacific Flyway--for birds traveling south from Alaska to Mexico each winter. Displays at the entrance provide an introduction to the creatures found in the tide pools and the birds and sea life that inhabit the surrounding area.
The Malibu Lagoon Museum houses exhibits documenting the history of the area's dwellers. In August, "Surf's Up" takes a look at the popular local sport, beginning with its early days when George Freeth used an eight-foot-long, 200-pound board. The Adamson House (pictured), the lovely 1929 Moorish-Spanish Colonial Revival-style home adjacent to the museum, showcases the lavish use of tiles produced by Malibu Potteries between 1926 and 1932, including a 20-foot-long tile replica of a Persian rug. The pool, adjoining bathhouse, fountains and walkways throughout the 13-acre beachfront grounds also are decorated with tile.