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Vintage Places in Malibu
About 10 miles north of Santa Monica, Malibu (or "The Bu" as locals and wannabe gangstas like to call it) is where much of Hollywood hangs on the weekends to breathe its clean salt air and catch some rays. It has what is said to be the highest concentration of celebrity residents of anywhere in the world, which is why, in its original heyday of the 1930s, it was called "The Movie Colony."
Strolling around the quaint Malibu Country Mart, which features a great health food stand, many designer boutiques, and the uberpopular West Coast incarnation of Nobu sushi, you may spot Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson, John Cusack, Drew Barrymore, Diana Ross, Pamela Anderson, Farrah Fawcett, Shirley McLaine, The Osbournes, or The Arquettes.
Vintage Place #1: Getty Villa
This historic, Mediterrenean-style villa sits on 64 acres of Malibu dreaminess. It holds a stunning art museum and cultural center focused on Greek, Roman, and Etruscan works. Originally purchased by J. Paul Getty in 1945 to house his astonishing art collection, he first opened it to the public in 1954, and after years of seaside wear and tear, it closed in 1997 to undergo an eight-year renovation, finally reopening in 2006 to rave reviews. Visiting the Villa is a more romantic and intimate esperience than the one you'll have as its much larger, more modern sister site, the Brentwood Getty Center. Even if the ancient arts, suits of armor, or Trojan War mosaics aren't your bag, no other L.A. museum can compete with the surrounding scenery. Feel the ocean breeze as you walk through Roman-inspired gardens to a courtyard surrounded by priceless marble statuary. The museum also hosts classical music performances, plays, tours, and lectures. Reservations required.
Address and phone number: 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy., Pacific Palisades. (310) 440-7300.
A Video Tour of The Getty Villa
Getty Villa Website
- Visit the Getty
The visit pages can help you plan every aspect of your visit to the Getty Center and the Getty Villa.
Vintage Place #2: Lake Shrine
Gracing the basin of Santa Ynez Canyon lies the truly stunning Lake Santa Ynez, now called Lake Shrine. It's L.A.'s only natural spring-fed body of water. Spanning over 10 acres and covered in tropical trees, ducks, koi, and lotus flowers, the land was used throughout the 1920s as a location for many silent Westerns, and in 1940, an eccentric contractor named Everett McElroy purchased it to live on after he helped build the 20th Century Fox Studios. He even had his giant double-deck Mississippi houseboat called "Adeline" tranported onto the lake as a temporary home. He later added a Dutch-style wooden mill house, equipped with a working waterwheel, stained glass windows, and Tyrolean carvings. In 1950, McElroy dedicated the land to world-renowned Swami and yoga pioneer Paramahansa Yogananda, who built a temple and an open-air shrine to honor all religions. Through his Self-Realization Fellowship, he lectured and conducted meditative services for the public and luminaries like George Eastman, Leopold Stokowski, and Mahatma Ghandi (who also has some of his ashes enshrined here). George Harrison contributed funds to build the main chapel, and frequently went there for meditation. Think of it as L.A.'s enlightened HQ.
Address and phone number: 17080 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades. (310) 454-4114.
Lake Shrine Video
Lake Shrine Website
Vintage Place #3: Neptune's Net
When it comes to beachy seafood joints, this is the real deal. It attracts stoner Spicoli types, industry shakers, bearded bikers, and the Juicy Couture crowd. Scene aside, the food is a pirate worth. Take a seat on a shabby (but charming) picnic table and pick up your plastic forks. Enjoy clam chowder, lobster, crab, clams, and the freshly grilled catch o' the day. Have a killer view of the Pacific and a cold beer after a long day of hanging ten and baking in the sun. This is hunger heaven.
Address and phone number: 42505 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu. (310) 475-3095.
Neptune's Net Website
Vintage Place #4: Reel Inn
Less of a tough Hell's Angels vibe than Neptune's Net, this is an ideal romantic date spot-if you make sure to go after all the bratty Malibu kids have gotten their dinners. It's a cute Hawaiian shack with a perfect outdoor patio adorned with twinkle lights. You can sip hard-to-find ales and dine on one of the many delicious seafood meals scrawled on the chalkboard menu. They serve the freshest grilled ahi and Cajun-spiced tuna, and the dishes come with a side of mashed potatoes and slaw.
Address and phone number: 18661 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu. (310) 456-8221