Point Dume Nature Preserve, Malibu, CA
This is one of the nicest hikes in Southern California. It starts out along Westward beach, where you can watch rock climbers traversing the volcanic outcroppings. A paved trail takes you to the top of the point, where you have a stunning view of the channel Islands, and a perfect spot for sighting whales. The trail then drops down into lovely Dume Cove and travels next to the water for a mile or so until you reach Paradise Cove pier. Check the tide tables before you go, as hiking is easiest at low tide. Think ahead and make reservations at the restaurant at Paradise Cove for a mid-hike lunch or dinner.