Plan a Road Trip  
Travel Questions  
Ask a Question

Distance between Malibu and Santa Monica

Driving non-stop from Malibu to Santa Monica

How far is Santa Monica from Malibu? Here's the quick answer if you make this quick drive without any stops. Of course, traffic is going to make a big difference so make sure you check that before leaving.

Nonstop drive: 22 miles or 35 km

Driving time: 38 minutes

Even on a short drive, it might be more interesting to stop along the way and explore the local area. You can scroll down to see the calculation if you drive with stops.

Flying non-stop from Malibu to Santa Monica

Now let's assume you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line between Malibu, California and Santa Monica, California. Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula.

Flight distance: 18 miles or 29 km

Flight time: 32 minutes

The straight line flight distance is 4 miles less than driving on roads, which means the driving distance is roughly 1.2x of the flight distance.

Your plane flies much faster than a car, so the flight time is about 1/1th of the time it would take to drive.

This is a relatively short flight in a private plane, but you might be planning to book a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. Scroll down to see a more realistic calculation that takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time.

Malibu to Santa Monica road trip

Let's say you're actually planning a road trip to Santa Monica, and you want to stop on the way to explore. If it's a real road trip, you might want to check out interesting places along the way, or maybe eat at a great restaurant. That's what Trippy is perfect for, helping you figure out travel plans in detail.

Road trip: 1 day of driving

With the full itinerary planned out, we can estimate your total travel time for this trip.

Travel time: 21 minutes on the road


Start in Malibu.

Drive for about 5 minutes, then stop at Malibu Seafood and stay for about 1 hour. Next, drive for another 5 minutes then stop at Nobu Malibu and stay for 1 hour. Drive for 6 minutes then stop at Rosenthal Wine Bar & Patio and stay for 1 hour. Drive for 5 minutes then stop at Temescal Canyon Park and stay for 1 hour. Drive for 5 minutes then stop at Third Street Promenade and stay for 1 hour.

Finally, drive for about 5 minutes and arrive in Santa Monica.

To see all the details on this itinerary, including recommended restaurants, hotels, and things to do along the way, check out the full road trip planner:

Malibu to Santa Monica airports and flights

In the quick calculation above, we assumed you had a private plane and just wanted to know the time in the air from city to city. But for most of us, we're going to be flying on a commercial airline (whether it's first class or coach). So that means we really need to account for all the extra travel time getting to the airport, waiting for our flight, and making it to the destination.

To give you a better estimate of real-life travel, we've put together a flight itinerary with actual airports. Eventually you'll be able to customize this plan, choosing your own airports and flights. But for now, here's an example we've selected to give you an idea of how traveling might work between airports.

Departure airport: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Arrival airport: Bob Hope Airport (BUR)

With the airports selected, we can estimate the travel time to and from the airport, based on how far the airport is from downtown.

Getting to the airport: 70 minutes

Getting to your destination: 44 minutes

Now finally, let's look at an example flight from LAX to BUR and figure out how long it would take to fly including take-off and landing, and time to taxi on the runway.

Commercial flight time: 32 minutes

So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from Malibu to Santa Monica including time spent getting to/from the airports, an estimated wait time of 2 hours at the airport for TSA security lines and waiting at the gate, and the actual flight itself.

Total travel time: 4 hours

Plan a trip to Santa Monica

Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to Santa Monica, California. A great place to eat might be Gjelina. Trippy members can suggest things to do in Santa Monica like Santa Monica Pier. Check out some of the questions people have asked about Santa Monica like Drinks in SM?. Click the button below to explore Santa Monica in detail.

How far is it the other way?

The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line (or driving the same roads back and forth). But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse directions to get the distance from Santa Monica to Malibu, or go to the main page to calculate the distance between cities.

If you happen to know Malibu, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about Malibu!

Return to top of page
At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 22 miles
driving time of 38 minutes
flight distance is 18 miles
flight time of 32 minutes
55 Malibu travel answers
206 Santa Monica travel answers

Get Driving Directions

© 2017             Travel Questions   ·   Destinations   ·   About Us   ·   FAQ   ·   Privacy Policy   ·   Terms of Service