If you ever wished you could’ve been alive in the days when you drove your woodie down to the beach for a surfin’ safari and a little beach blanket bingo, then your time has finally come. The Annenberg Community Beach House is a throwback to the days when cool guys and gals gathered on the shores to enjoy some California fun in the sun.
Open daily to the public during the summer months, the Annenberg Community Beach House is still somehow one of LA’s best-kept secrets. A gorgeous pool. On the beach. Right in the heart of Santa Monica. Open to everyone. It’s almost too good to be true.
It has a rich history, too. The Beach House is actually on the old Marion Davies Estate, the beachside love pad built by William Randolph Hearst for his silent film starlet mistress back in the Golden Age of Hollywood. The pool is the estate’s original, all marble and tile refurbished by hand. Marion’s lavish guest house still stands and you can tour it during the day. But beware—we’ve heard the mistress of the house still likes to appear to handsome young gentlemen sometimes.
On a normal day during the summer season, the beach house is open to the public of all ages on a first-come, first-served basis. It costs $10 to get in and you can stay as long as you want. You can take advantage of the pool, the beach volleyball courts right outside, take a dip in the ocean and use their updated pool house to shower off when you’re ready to go home. They even offer classes including swimming, beach volleyball and Esther Williams-style water ballet to make all your MGM musical synchronized swimming dreams come true!
But it gets even better. Just three times a season, they throw their Sunset Swim party, opening up the pool for an adults-only night swim. The final Sunset Swim of 2016 is happening this Friday September 9th from 7pm-10pm. It costs $10 to get in and includes s’mores, frozen fruit bars, big pool floaties for relaxing in and poolside games like ping pong and giant connect four. Basically, a big kid’s paradise.
Always huge fans of a secret party, we brought our Sirens & Scoundrels gang to check out last month’s Sunset Swim and had the time of our lives. There is no alcohol permitted on the grounds, but you can BYO snacks and beverages in non-glass containers. We brought a big group and set up shop in one of the poolside cabanas, then headed straight to the shining star—the pool. It’s huge, gorgeous and deep. Luckily, there were plenty of golden swans for lounging on, bringing that old world musical flair to life.
It’s a rare thing in LA to get to enjoy a night out that also feels like going back to a much more innocent time. Our inner kids came out to play as we splashed around in the setting sun, watched the stars come out overhead, roasted endless s’mores of different flavor combinations and just enjoyed each other’s company. It felt like stepping into a Beach Boys ballad and seeing it come alive all around us…slowed-down, beautiful, full of innocent nostalgia and pure joy for the good stuff in life.
If you wanna travel back in time yourself, be sure to swing by the Annenberg with your gang this Friday night for some good old-fashioned American fun in the sun. Or in this case, fun in the sunset!
Sunset Swim at The Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica. Friday September 9, 2016. 7pm-10pm. $10 entry, adults only, no RSVP required. For more information, visit the Annenberg website: https://www.annenbergbeachhouse.com.
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Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl
© 2016 Sirens and Scoundrels