How to get from Berkeley to Malibu?
August 9, 2011 8:24 AM   Subscribe

What is the best route to drive from Berkeley, CA to Leo Carrillo State Beach, just above Malibu?

Leaving the Bay Area today and hoping to avoid traffic on both ends. We have gps, but it doesn't seem to be giving us a direct route without hours of backtracking. Arrival time is more important than a scenic route, although we are not opposed to a nifty cut through canyons. We'd like to be on the beach by late afternoon.
posted by simbiotic to Travel & Transportation around Malibu, CA (9 answers total)
Well, if timing is the issue, take 5, no question. 580 to 5, then I'd go 101 north (it's really going west there though) and drop down on 23 (Decker Canyon). On drop down earlier on Topanga to PCH.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:28 AM on August 9, 2011

Otherworldly glow is close -- definitely take the 5, but when you get down in towards LA you want to be sure to get on the 405 south to the 101. That'll save you a bunch of time.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:38 AM on August 9, 2011

Oh right. I was skipping over that bit but it's important!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:50 AM on August 9, 2011

Another suggestion. From I-405 in the San Fernando Valley, take State Route 118 to Simi Valley and go south on SR 23 (now a freeway). From Thousand Oaks you can either follow SR 23 (Decker Canyon Rd, as otherworldlyglow said) or get on to US 101 going north. Take Las Posas Road in Camarillo, turn left. After about 8 miles of sod farms you reach the coast near NAS Point Mugu. Take SR 1 south from there.

This isn't quicker, but I tend to go to great lengths to avoid 405 and 101 in the valley.
posted by zomg at 9:00 AM on August 9, 2011

The two most viable routes are the 580->5->118->23->101->23->1 or the 580->5->405->101->Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon->1. Both routes are ~7 hours.

The first will bypass more traffic than the second but its hard to tell which is the fastest.
posted by euphorb at 9:26 AM on August 9, 2011

Given the posting and current time, plus the late afternoon arrival, I would avoid 101 at the SF side if your route. It gets jammed at rush hour maybe an hour south of SF. 5 mist if the way, though soulless, is faster and more reliable.
posted by zippy at 9:40 AM on August 9, 2011

I know the area and I would take 'euphorb's' first route 118->23->1 -- you'll likely to avoid possible backups on the 405 and Malibu Canyon.
posted by mrmarley at 9:43 AM on August 9, 2011

Just talking about the end of your route here as others are correct 5-405-101 is best: if you are not experienced driving decker canyon aka Rte 23 please don't take it. The last couple times I've gone down it for exactly this purpose I have been stuck behind a terrified tourist going 5mph and as a result had smoking breaks at the bottom. If you are inexperienced or have people in the car who will vomit on you take Kanan or Potrero. Both are faster than the freeway. Have fun! I was there last week and it was a blast.
posted by boobjob at 10:22 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding Kanan-Dume road. A lot easier.

(And you will score a few local points, if you care, if you refer to your destination from now on as Secos.)
posted by Danf at 2:32 PM on August 9, 2011

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