A tour of Malibu
Even though my neighbor and I have lived in Southern California for over 20 years, we still enjoy doing the tourist thing. So we decided to do the Malibu Movie and Celebrity tour. Since we live by Long Beach, we allowed two hours to drive to the pick up location in Santa Monica. Parking wasn’t so bad, but we were glad to have the extra time to see what was available. The corner lot was eighteen dollars, but the garages scattered around were nine dollars max, and we felt, more secure.
Our scheduled pick up location was The Georgian Hotel, a cute blue art deco place on Ocean Blvd. We sat down at 0939 and relaxed over coffee on their patio, enjoying the sunshine, ocean breeze and view of the beach. If you are staying in the beach area they will pick you up at your hotel.
The mini bus was prompt at ten AM. Lucky us, we were the only ones who had booked that Thursday, so we had a private tour. Angelique was our guide and she was very informative. She started out immediately showing us the points of interest closest to Santa Monica: Will Rogers State Park, Mary Pickford’s House, with some references to Hearst Castle and the train which went there, and the site of the original Getty Museum.
The next place was Pepperdine University, built up on a hill overlooking the ocean. She knew so much history, any buffs would be pleased. We stopped at Hope Park there, a 911 memorial built in memory of one of the participants who was a graduate, with money donated by his widow. I loved the quotes about freedom carved in the stones.
I was so fascinated by the information she was giving us I forgot to take notes sequentially as I had intended, and had to play catch up later. So more of the sights we saw, but not necessarily in this order:
- Surf-Rider Beach – where Gidget was filmed
- Malibu Pier – location shots of Alice’s restaurant
- Zuma Beach – where Charlton Heaston encounters an embedded Statue of Liberty from Planet of the Apes. As an extra, while we were scanning the waves for dolphins, a whale showed up. First time the guide had seen one there.
- Duke’s Restaurant – where famous locals eat
- The entrance to Regan Ranch
- Larry Hagman’s penthouse suite
- The Twin Peaks of Twin Peaks
- Beaurivage Restaurant – hangout of The Rat Pack, remember them: Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop, and sometimes Shirley McLaine.
- Beach park land donated by Michael Landon.
- Kristy’s Restaurant – One of Shirley McLaine’s hangouts, they have a drink named after her
- Sage Restaurant – where Pierce Brosnan has been sighted
- One of the original Pony Express buildings, now a restaurant
- Several wineries, and at one shop, all of Merv Griffen’s were sold out, but Emilio Estavez’s was available and also Rosenthal’s of Raleigh Studios.
- The Biggest Loser site, with beautiful sculptures of horses. She offered to let us out for photos, we saw who was probably participants, and declined, not wanting to be mistaken for them and have our photo taken by other tourists.
- An awesome Hindu Temple over several acres, such beautiful structures, I could visualize it by the Taj Majal
- Paramount Ranch in The Santa Monica Mountains, the location for the filming of M*A*S*H, Bonzana, Planet of the Apes, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, and others. I could visualize Jane Seymour walking down the street going to her clinic.
- Some of the homes and areas of homes pointed out to us belonged to Martin Sheen, right on the beach, Cher, with beautiful palm trees, Peter Lawford, Brad and Angelina, Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQueen, Bob Dylan and Charlie Sheen.
- The Bachelor House – no we didn’t try to get inside
- We drove the road where the Tour de California is held, usually as a prep for the Tour de France. I couldn't imagine biking up and down those hills.
- By the Malibu Country Club
- Through Historic Old Malibu
- Past the guard gate to Malibu Colony, home and former home of such notables as Johnny Carson, Goldie Hawn, and I think Barbara Striestand.
We were back promptly in 3 ½ hours from our tour. I imagine if more people were there we would have seen less for the amount of time it takes for a group to load and unload from a bus, even a mini bus. We lucked out to not max out our time in the garage. Since it was lunch time, we headed to the Staples center area to dine at Trader Vic’s, another wonderful time. By the way they have wonderful Mai Tai’s. I only know that because I was not driving, and my girlfriend encouraged me.