The “Do-over” of Malibu Lagoon paid for by our tax dollars that began in 2011 demands an update to my previous outdoor day at Surf Riders Beach. The state took away three charming bridges framed in flowers where I once watched the hummers dipping into red Penstemon on the path to Surf Riders because algae was taking over the lagoon. Instead of dredging the lagoon to remove the offending gunk, millions were spent destroying what was a most pleasing affair. The pathway to the beach was detoured around a green cloaked lagoon where workmen were busy driving earthmovers for over two years. The unveiling revealed a barren lagoon with birds trying to re-establish nests in scrawny bleached out snags of trees, thousands of little flags marking the spots where plants will someday grow, and grebes chicks stuck in, guess what? Algae.
Today you must trek about half mile on a shade-less track to get to the shore from the State Beach parking lot. I understand that all of Malibu is on septic tanks and perhaps that is why they couldn’t have a bathroom with running water and instead provided a bank of porta-potties for your pleasure. But, they could have given beachgoers a changing room so that we don’t have to do a surfer strip behind a towel to avoid driving home in a wet suit.
The sequined Pacific remains a glorious affair. I still love to swim in the lake-like waters by the Malibu pier, but now I go to the County parking lot by the entrance to the Adamson House instead of the State Beach lot. There are facilities there that include shower, changing room and real toilets! What a concept. The Adamson house remains a lovely place to stroll through delightful gardens graced with fountains edged in colorful Malibu tiles. A tour of the home of the daughter of Mrs. Rindge, the heiress that once owned most of Malibu, is worth doing
The good news is that Malibu Farm has opened up at the end of Malibu Pier You can easily walk from the county, or public parking lot (south of the pier), to the tip of the pier and enjoy an organic repast while watching surfers sift in and out of the foaming waves. The sweeping 360 degree view from the upper deck of the restaurant takes in Santa Monica Bay, Surf Riders Beach to the North and the Santa Monica mountains behind. The food prepared with local garden fresh vegetables is a delicious bonus to a beautiful outdoor day in L.A.