This stretch of California coastline is so ridiculously beautiful, you'd be justified to just pull up a chair and spend the whole weekend looking at the ocean.
We did do an awful lot of that for sure, seeing lots of dolphin and even two whale in the process (which was very exciting!), but we also spent a good amount of time hiking in the adjacent Santa Monica mountains. The nice part about hiking here is that the ocean is rarely out of sight, making it a very different hiking experience from what we normally encounter. Both hikes below were done right out of camp, without having to get into our car and drive anywhere. I love being able to do that . . . it eliminates any concerns about how early we need to leave to make sure there will be room to park when we arrive at the trailhead, and it eliminates any day use fees from having to be paid.
|Our lunch time resting spot with ocean views on day one, when we did an 8.5 mile loop hike from the RV park up to Mesa Point and back.|
|A shaded portion of the trail in Solstice Canyon, ocean views temporarily hidden by the trees, where we hiked to on day three.|
In addition to having access to miles of trails right from the RV park, we also had foot access to what I think is the best fish and chips stand in L.A. County; Malibu Seafood. We walked down a short dirt trail from the RV park, and had dinner there with our friends on Friday night, where we sat for hours talking and enjoying the ocean views and gorgeous weather, before walking about 500 feet along Pacific Coast Highway back to the RV park. (It was too dark by then to navigate the uphill trail back, so we took the road instead.)
We visited the historic and beautiful Adamson House one day, and although we did have to drive a few miles to get there, parking along Pacific Coast Highway once we arrived was plentiful and free.
The Adamson House is perched along the ocean, just south of a row of ocean front homes in a gated community called The Colony. Many movie stars have called The Colony home over the years, including Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio and Sting, and they value their privacy, so getting to the public beach fronting these homes can be a bit of a feat.
First you have to find public beach access, which nicely enough, the Adamson House was alongside. Then you have to pass under this forbidding sign to get to the beginning of the public beach pathway through The Colony, ideally at low tide so you can walk along the wet sand rather than in the water. Apparently walking on the dry sand above the high tide mark is a no-no here!
Initially we were hoping to give the impression that we were locals as we walked along the beach, but the cameras in our hands were a pretty dead give away that we weren't, so eventually we gave up trying to look cool, and just started taking photos like the tourists that we clearly were.
|Look , mom - we're in front of famous peoples houses!|
In spite of the RV park fees being a bit on the high side, we easily came in under our target spending goal of $100 or less per RV day: