If you’re looking for a great getaway for the day, one of our favorite places is Calamigos Ranch in Malibu.
This hidden gem was founded in 1947 by Navy veteran J. Grant Gerson and his wife, Helen, on a 15-acre plot of land tucked at the base of theSanta Monica Mountains. Gerson originally called the property Calamigos Star C Ranch (Calamigos is an Indian word meaning “come as my brother, come as my friend”) and operated a year-round Old West-themed children’s camp there for more than 30 years.
As the area around his rural property was becoming more developed and populated, Gerson decided to purchase several plots of adjoining land. Today, Calamigos Ranch is still run by the Gerson family, is comprised of more than 120 acres and is utilized mainly as a special events venue. It is very popular for weddings and other events and is frequently used as a filming location.
Malibu Café, which sits at the center of the property, is a more recent addition to the ranch. The food is served there is delicious, but the dining areas are uniquely stunning. Chandeliers hang from trees and a glam-rustic environment is created everywhere you look.
To classify the place simply as a restaurant would be doing it a disservice. Malibu Café is a wonderful gathering space, complete with games for both adults and kids and tucked away, quiet spaces for relaxation and reflection. There’s even a sweet little lake where you can rent boats and enjoy a picnic lunch out on the water.
Calamigos Ranch is located at 327 Latigo Canyon Road in Malibu. Visit the ranch’s official website here or the café’s official website here. Reservations are highly recommended if you plan on dining at the restaurant, as it is very popular almost all day, every day.