Tucked away in the Santa Monica Mountains and a short drive from Los Angeles lies a little lake reminiscent of a beautiful movie set. Eclectic cabin homes dot the banks where majestic blue herons stalk the water’s edge, hunting for their next meal. The gleeful sounds of children
laughing can be heard, followed by a loud splash as they release from the rope swing and enter the cool waters. Baby geese toddle around, following their ever-watchful parents as the foggy fingers of the marine layer creep from Malibu over the tops of the mountains and settle onto serene waters. This is Malibou Lake.
A treasure that few know of but many dreams of, Malibou Lake was established in 1922 and was originally conceived as a 352-acre fishing and equestrian preserve featuring weekend cabins for members. It quickly turned into a getaway, its massive lodge hosting social events, tennis
tournaments, archery, horse races, and more while drawing some of Hollywood’s elite to the beautiful mountain retreat, including such famous personalities as Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, and others. Many might recognize Malibou Lake as a location for movie and TV shoots standing in place of an alpine lake in Switzerland, a naval academy for young sailors, the famous Frankenstein lake scene, a getaway for “Modern Family,” and even Lake Scranton on the popular show “The Office.”
After 100 years, Malibou Lake remains a private, membership-based community, but on Saturday, Oct. 1, it will open its gates for a one-time, day-long event for the public from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. An array of activities will appeal to children and adults alike, including everything from food trucks and live music to an art fair and bounce house! California Wildlife Center (CWC) will be on hand to share hands-on insights into local plants and wildlife. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the CWC to help with animal care efforts.
Jacinta Chancellor, Malibu