Annenberg Community Beach House Tour
We offer free walk-in tours every Friday-Monday from 12-2 p.m.
415 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica. No tours this month on October 21-23.
Santa Monica Conservancy docents will be on hand to share the rich history of the Annenberg Community Beach House site from the 1920s into present day. Our free 20-minute docent tours are available on a walk-up basis for individuals and groups of up to six people. Just head to the Marion Davies Guest House where you will be greeted by a docent. No reservations required.
If you are interested in learning more about this historic site and would like to attend a tour, please click here for additional information. Hours are subject to change with short notice from October through May. Please call (310) 458-4904 to confirm dates and closures.
The Story of the Marion Davies Guest House
Once the site of a grand 110-room mansion designed by Julia Morgan for William Randolph Hearst and his companion, actress Marion Davies, the property was a hot spot on Santa Monica’s Gold Coast where Hollywood celebrities came to enjoy the sun, the sea and fabulous parties at the Davies estate. Davies, a movie star, was a pre-eminent Hollywood hostess; she and Hearst reigned as virtual royalty, hosting film luminaries and heads of state.
The original mansion was torn down in 1956, but a guesthouse and the splendidly tiled swimming pool remain. Those historic assets have been restored and enhanced with new facilities for public recreation.
Some years back, when the concept of developing a public beach house at the site evoked controversy, the Santa Monica Conservancy initiated a community support group known as Friends of 415 PCH. Led by Board member Joel Brand, the Friends rallied hundreds to the cause of preserving the historic site and renovating it for the public’s use. Happily, they prevailed.
The City of Santa Monica selected the Santa Monica Conservancy to develop and operate a docent-guided tour program for the Annenberg Community Beach House.
Each year in January, the Annenberg Community Beach House and Santa Monica Conservancy throw a party for Marion’s birthday. Marion herself often makes an appearance! Information is usually published starting in November for the following year’s event.
To celebrate Marion’s 125th birthday back in January, 2021, the Annenberg Community Beach House hosted a virtual celebration in lieu of a live event. Stir up a Sunset on the Beach mocktail and celebrate the life and times of Davies – silent film actress, famed party hostess, and the original Beach House resident. Watch the virtual celebration below.