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Exploring Historic Homes of the Stars

Santa Monica, United States

Check local COVID-19 restrictions before booking

Experience hosted by Hadley

60 mins
Up to 9 people
Hosted in English

What you'll do

Join me for a historical beachfront walking tour of this "Gold Coast" stretch of Palisades Beach Road in Santa Monica, known by many as “The American Riviera” or “Rolls Royce Row.” Once home to stars like Cary Grant and Greta Garbo, it was one of America's most exclusive and fabled streets during its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. The 30 or so eclectically styled summer "cottages" along this stretch were designed by some of California's most notable architects, including Richard Neutra, Wallace Neff, and Julia Morgan. We’ll view the exteriors of the remaining homes of heavyweights like Mary Pickford and Norma Talmadge, recounting tales from the storied coast's scandalous past.
Other things to note
This will be a walking tour on the beach, covering about 1.5 miles. Dress appropriately. This event is weather-dependent. If we are expecting significant rain, we will cancel the event. Tickets will be refunded or transferred to a rescheduled date, depending on your availability.
Join me for a historical beachfront walking tour of this "Gold Coast" stretch of Palisades Beach Road in Santa Monica, known by many as “The American Riviera” or “Rolls Royce Row.” Once home to stars like Cary Grant and Greta Garbo, it was one of America's most exclusive and fabled streets during its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. The 30 or so eclectically styled summer "cottages" along this stretch were designed by some of California's most nota…

Hadley's commitment to safety

This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines—including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practicing good hygiene, and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
Learn more
From $28
/ person
Sun, Feb 21
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Join 5 other guests
$28 per person
$28 per person

Meet your host, Hadley

Host on Airbnb since 2016
  • 7 Reviews
  • Identity verified
Hi. I’m Hadley, a member of the Atlas Obscura community.

I am a journalist based in Los Angeles. I primarily write about hidden and forgotten Los Angeles histories and consider myself an inquisitive urban explorer. I have a personal mission to make the past accessible to everyone. I have led tours for both Atlas Obscura and Cartwheel Art for many years.
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In partnership with Atlas Obscura

Selected by Atlas Obscura
This experience is offered directly by a member of the Atlas Obscura community and has been selected by Atlas Obscura.


Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura is a global community of explorers, who have together created a comprehensive database of the world’s most wondrous places and foods. Community members also host their own experiences, providing special access to the world’s hidden wonders, local marvels, and gastronomical wonders.

Where you'll be

We will explore the "Gold Coast" stretch of Palisades Beach Road in Santa Monica, including the home of Mary Pickford and Norma Talmadge. We will meet at the Annenberg Community Beach House.

Rated 4.29 out of 5 from 7 reviews.

Jennifer
November 2020
Hadley’s tour is amazing! Definitely check it out! I found it fascinating because I had no idea all these beautiful homes had so much history and were so large inside. I love how much research Hadley does, as it really makes the tour a one-of-a-kind experience. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
Hadley’s tour is amazing! Definitely check it out! I found it fascinating because I had no idea all these beautiful homes had so much history and were so large inside. I love how m…
Amy
February 2020
Hadley is so knowledgeable and involves you in the tour so you are not just being talked at the entire time. I highly recommend her and this tour
Dale
December 2019
This was a lot of fun. I’ve bikes past the homes for years without realizing the F. Scott Fitzgerald lived there, and Louis B. Mayer lived there, and this is the house that JFK used to party at, and that’s where Cary Grant and Randolph Scott used to live together. Great body of knowledge!
This was a lot of fun. I’ve bikes past the homes for years without realizing the F. Scott Fitzgerald lived there, and Louis B. Mayer lived there, and this is the house that JFK use…
Conny
October 2019
Hadley is a perfect tour guide. She is incredibly knowledgeable as had written extensively in the subject of historic homes along Santa Monica’s famed Gold Coast. She interwove wonderfully detailed stories about Hollywood Stars and moguls, giving us a fantastic glimpse into their lives/lifestyles. HAdley’s voice projects with excellent volume and cadence, making it easy for all to hear. She invited questions and had perfect answers. Highly recommend any your that HAdley leads!
Hadley is a perfect tour guide. She is incredibly knowledgeable as had written extensively in the subject of historic homes along Santa Monica’s famed Gold Coast. She interwove won…
Brynn
October 2019
This tour just didn't seem ready for prime time. The guide was reading from a script and there's still a lot of unknowns about who lived in the "cottages" and how much the current iterations resemble the original architecture. The information provided wasn't much more illuminating than a typical plaque on the side of a building. Because there aren't any actual plaques we were grateful to learn what we could but felt for the cost there wasn't enough substance, especially for something coming from Atlas Obscura. The guide could have brought more to the table storytelling-wise to make things more entertaining and evocative in lieu of limited archival documentation (or, do more research). Only recommended for other folks who know who Norma Talmadge is and can bring their own contextual knowledge and Old Hollywood reveries to the proceedings.
This tour just didn't seem ready for prime time. The guide was reading from a script and there's still a lot of unknowns about who lived in the "cottages" and how much the current…
Leeaundra
November 2020
Very well researched and engaging tour of the famous beach homes of the stars in Santa Monica. Highly recommended!!

Choose from available dates

1 available
  • Sun, Feb 21
    11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Join 5 other guests
    $28 per person

Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Guest requirements

Up to 9 guests ages 13 and up can attend.

What to bring

Bottle of water

Sunscreen, sunglasses and hat