Maybe it was the fact that were still many, many, many inches of snow on the ground or maybe it was that slippery slope/Internet “rabbit hole” that takes you from one website to the next and then suddenly (or actually, quite a while later) instead of finding what you were really looking for, you end up dreaming of travel…of where you’d like to go…but in this case where I’d like to go back: Crystal Cove Cottages.
I first discovered this collection of ramshackle history more than 10 years ago on a visit to the Los Angeles area, but these little beachfront shacks have been part of the California coastline for more than 60 years.
It all started with the movie industry back in the 20s, where this stretch of California was used as a backdrop, along with movie props, to replicate the exotic coastline of Tahiti and Hawaii. Many of the movie sets were then salvaged by local families to build rustic (and illegal) cottages along the beach. In the 30s and 40s, there were a total of 46 cottages, all used as summer residences for many working families. Tales abound of kids running barefoot all day and trumpets announcing happy hour every evening. It was a real-life Gilligan’s Island and Swiss Family Robinson, all rolled into one.
Eventually, the land was sold to California State Parks, and during the 1980s and 90s, many of the cottages had fallen into disrepair. But in 2001, a preservation plan was put in place to protect the entire area with its three-plus miles of rugged coastline, the remaining cottages, and 2,400 acres of wilderness.
To date, 24 of the original cottages have been restored to their unique and historical beauty and are available for rent year-round through the Crystal Cove Conservancy. There is also a great beachfront restaurant, The Beachcomber Cafe if you only have a day to explore. Crystal Cove State Park is just an hour south of the Los Angeles International Airport.
Renting a cottage, located smack-dab on a protected three miles of beach or overlooking the ocean from a bluff-top perch, a Getty or Carnegie couldn’t buy a better view.
Lori is a content writer at Sun Country Airlines. When it comes to what she loves most about Sun Country, it’s all about the affordability and nonstop flights from MSP (oh, and the ease of Terminal 2). Her favorite destinations are the ones she hasn’t been to yet, but can’t wait to explore, including Portland, Austin, and Santa Rosa.