For college students nationwide, August is the month when summer comes to a close, and many reflect on how quickly summer minutes flew by.

However, there is also a feeling of melancholy seeping through the flurry of first-day jitters and overwhelming emotions as students say goodbye to summer and strive to find and perfect that school-life balance. Below are suggestions of hidden gems to explore in Malibu, ideal for those moments when one simply needs to get away.

1. Ralph’s Beach

Malibu is 27 miles of scenic beauty with multiple beaches hidden by million-dollar houses. This small secluded spot seven minutes from campus is perfect for hanging out, with large houses offering much-needed shade. Drive along Malibu Road behind Ralph’s grocery store, and this public beach access point will be on the left, distinguishable by a gate and a small beach access sign. This spot is perfect for homework, after-school naps or soaking in the sun year-round. Surfers will especially like this spot due to there being few people in the water.

A 2011 alumnus Tyler Hancock often visits this beach spot even long after graduation. “It has everything you want in a beach,” Hancock said. “Clean, serene and offers beautiful views. It is never crowded, which is also a huge plus.”

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Photo by Anastassia Kostin

2. Vitamin Barn

Sunlife is great but this is the original smoothie spot, and is much cheaper ($6 to $9, compared to $10+). Family-run and located right next to Ralph’s, this is the go-to for specialty $3 “shots” (wellness, amino, ginger, wheatgrass, turmeric, etc.) when you need that study pick-me-up or brainpower boost. Play the song “Shots” by LMFAO and pick your (healthy) poison, or for health enthusiasts, pick from a large selection of protein, essential oils, vitamins, probiotics and organic products.

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Photo by Kaelin Mendez

3. Malibu Farmers Market

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday, this market is located right in the Malibu Library parking lot for fresh juices, dark chocolate almond butter, organic fruits and veggies, nuts, oils and many more local food products. For those interested in unique fashion, one can also find handmade accessories and decorations. What particularly stands out about this market is everything centers around vibrant, organic, locally-grown and consciously created products.

Junior Natalie Chan lists the Farmers Market as one of her favorite spots. “It sustains local businesses, has cleaner nutritional options and encourages minimal-to-no waste,” Chan said.

4. Self-Realization Fellowship

About 20 minutes from campus on Sunset Boulevard, this is a quiet oasis for meditation and reflection that redefines peace and loving one’s neighbor. The main message is “all are welcome.” Complete with a Gandhi memorial, lake with swans, meditation garden, mini waterfalls and crystal displays, this spiritual environment welcomes people from all faith backgrounds. They also have temple services open to those adhering to a religion or no religion on Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Junior Kennedy McGee, who discovered the Fellowship through the Social Action and Justice Colloquium, said she enjoys it. “To me, the Self Realization Fellowship was a really special place,” McGee said. “With its many different religious symbols surrounding a beautiful serene lake, it was a great representation of how different religions can coexist in harmony.” Come experience inner and outer peace.

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Photo by Anastassia Kostin

5. Malibou Lake

Yes, there is a lake near Malibu. Known as part of the three miles that run from Mulholland Highway to Paramount Ranch that is technically in Agoura Hills, the lake has been used as a filming location for many films, such as “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “M*A*S*H,” “Gone with the Wind,” and the 1931 version of “Frankenstein.” Its exclusive cabins atop the surrounding hills are also sights to see, making this spot a nice peaceful getaway for nearby hiking trails, dining and natural beauty.

Malibu resident Julian Roberts enjoys visiting the lake in his free time. “It’s nice and relaxing, and I can drive there with a view,” Roberts said.

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Photo by Kaelin Mendez

With summer close to an end, these timeless spots are sure to make it on one’s favorite places list, reminding one that there can always be moments of peace among the chaotic mess that encompasses college life.

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anastassia kostin
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Malibu Farmers Market
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