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Annenberg Community Beach House

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

415 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90402, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 9:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Make sure to explore the free-to-visit Marion Davies Guest House and learn about its historic significance. Also, plan your visit on a weekday if possible, as the Annenberg Community Beach House tends to be less crowded and more enjoyable."

What is Annenberg Community Beach House?

The Annenberg Community Beach House at Santa Monica State Beach is a public facility that nestles right on the sands, offering locals and visitors alike a unique blend of history, recreation, and scenic beauty. Unlike other beachfront properties that are either private or limited in access, the Beach House provides an open gate to oceanfront enjoyment for all, without the need for membership fees or residential prerequisites. It's a rare jewel along the coast that embodies a welcoming spirit, much like the living room of Santa Monica’s beachfront.

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Constructed on the site of the former Marion Davies Estate, which was once a lavish private retreat for Hollywood's elite, the Annenberg Community Beach House now embraces the community ethos with its wealth of activities and spaces to enjoy. From a splash in the pool to basking under the California sun, it stands out for its inclusivity and rich programming. On a visit, you may take a yoga class, engage in beach volleyball, or explore the original guest house with its display of 1920s glamour.

History of Annenberg Community Beach House

The history of the Annenberg Community Beach House dates back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, where the property originally served as the glamorous beachfront estate of actress Marion Davies. Funded by her partner, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, the mansion was a testament to Gilded Age opulence, complete with a massive beachfront swimming pool, tennis courts, and guest houses accommodating the era's famous personalities.

Over the years, this historic site underwent several transformations. After surviving the Long Beach earthquake of 1933, the estate continued to host the high-society affairs of Hollywood, but it slowly slipped from its celebrity pedestal when Marion Davies sold it in 1947. The State of California eventually purchased the property, and it was transformed into a beach club during the 60s—though a significant portion was demolished after suffering damage from a winter storm and the destructive wave of development.

It wasn't until Wallis Annenberg of the Annenberg Foundation stepped in with a momentous donation that the estate saw a renaissance. Her contribution led to the creation of a public beach park that pays homage to the site's storied past while promoting a beach culture that is accessible to everyone. The transformation has given us the Annenberg Community Beach House as we know it today—a seamless blend of historical charm and public recreation.

Why is Annenberg Community Beach House Important?

What sets the Annenberg Community Beach House apart is not just its visually appealing architecture or the allure of ocean waves—it's the democratization of a space that was once an exclusive haven for the Hollywood elite. It's a narrative of transformation, from private luxury to public treasure, epitomizing the spirit of Santa Monica's commitment to inclusivity.

The Beach House stands as a tribute to the philanthropic efforts of Wallis Annenberg, whose vision turned this landmark into a space that enriches the public realm. It's a historical touchstone that connects us to the coastal charms and narratives of luxury from the past, yet it remains firmly rooted in serving the present-day community. Showcasing a beachfront experience devoid of economic barriers, it's a testament to a shared value of community and accessibility. This is our Beach House – a statement that it is as much an integral part of local identity as it is a vibrant recreational hub.

Things to Do & See at Annenberg Community Beach House

At the Beach House, visitors are met with a plethora of activities. The historic pool, originally part of the Marion Davies estate, beckons those looking for a swim, framed by views of palm trees and the Pacific. In the sand, one can join pickup games of volleyball or enjoy the sun and surf typical of California's beach culture.

Enthusiasts of history and architecture should not miss the chance to explore the Marion Davies Guest House, where you can almost hear the echoes of old Hollywood parties. Seasonal events and programs, from cultural workshops to beachside concerts, ensure that there's always something new to experience. And let's not forget the frequent art exhibits, which decorate the house walls like the lavish parties of yesteryear once did.

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The site is equally enticing for those looking for quieter pursuits. You can participate in sunrise yoga sessions that fuse the serenity of the beach with physical wellness, meander through the gardens that offer a touch of green amidst the sandy stretches, or simply relax and stare at the horizon where the sky meets the sea. From active play to contemplative repose, the Beach House is a mosaic of experiences that cater to every type of beachgoer.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Annenberg Community Beach House?

The Annenberg Community Beach House is a public facility offering beach access, a pool, a splash pad, volleyball courts, and historic pool house, located in Santa Monica, part of the greater Los Angeles area.

How do I get to the Annenberg Community Beach House?

The Annenberg Community Beach House is located at 415 Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. It can be reached by car or by using public transportation available in Los Angeles.

What amenities does the Annenberg Community Beach House offer?

The Beach House offers a number of amenities, including a beach area, a public swimming pool, a children’s play area, volleyball courts, event and meeting rooms, and recreational classes.

Is there an admission fee for the Annenberg Community Beach House?

Access to the Annenberg Community Beach House grounds is free, but there may be a fee for parking and for using certain facilities, such as the pool, during the summer season.

Are there any dining options available at the Annenberg Community Beach House?

Yes, there is a café at the Annenberg Community Beach House where visitors can purchase light meals, snacks, and beverages.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

415 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90402, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 9:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps