Adamson House – Malibu

DSC_0104 Adamson House sign

Teri’s Take

When I die and go to heaven (hopefully), my wish is that it looks exactly like the Adamson House in Malibu.  Perched on a perfect spot, you can watch the sapphire sea. feel the cool, ocean breezes and soak in the lucious California sun all in a beautifully understated Spanish style house filled with Malibu tiles.  I mean seriously?  Does that not sound like heaven to you too?

So, I have been going to Malibu for years.  It used to be a quick 20 minute ride through the canyons from the valley.  My son is a surfer.  No, actually …surfing is a way of life for my son (click here, scroll to #11 and you’ll understand).   First Point as it’s known by the locals is right next to Adamson  House.  How many days have I sat lulling in the sand watching him catch his break and never once meandered over to this spectacular gem.  This is why it’s so great to have Kelli with me.  Instead of putting it on my ‘to do’ list..I actually do it!

Adamson house is truly one of those quitessential Los Angeles spots, with it’s vast history of Malibu, Los Angeles and California.   The amazing Malibu tiles are everywhere and the views of the fabled California coastline are priceless.  It’s truly a must see for anyone visiting and yes, for all of us old jaded natives that need to get out and appreciate the beauty and history of or little Pueblo.

Okay, I’m done lecturing (more to myself than anyone), and now I just want to share with you my favorite things from this spot.  Besides, the views,  there are beautiful gardens and tiled fountains everywhere.  Look away from the ocean for a moment and the magestic Santa Monica mountains peak out from behind the lush greenery.  Although it’s situatated on Pacific Coast Highway, it’s quiet and serene, with only the occasional gull making a ruckus on the beach somewhere.

And then there is the history. The Adamson family is quite interesting and truly pioneers.  Built by Rhoda May Rindge Adamson from land she inherited from her father, she  and her husband Merritt began building the house in 1930.  The couple and their three children eventually moved from their home in Hancock Park to the wilds of Malibu.  And it was wild!  Even as a kid growing up here in the seventies, Malibu was isolated and quite a treck. But well worth it.

Long after both of them passed away, the State of California purchased the property intending to turn it into a *gasp* parking lot!! Really State of California?  Really?  Luckily the powers that be at Pepperdine restored it and then made sure is was designated as a California Historical Landmark.  Thank goodness!  That forward thinking and appreciation of the past allows us to get a glimpse into what life was like in the early part of last century in one of the most coveted and expensive pieces of land on the planet.  I, like Kelli am looking forward to another visit to view the interiors.

Here are some of our scenes from this heaven on earth.

Kelli’s Take

I had heard about a lovely tile encrusted house in Malibu, although I didn’t know the name of this famous house on the beach.  Now I know, it’s The Adamson House.  It’s one of these hidden treasures we’ve driven by on PCH many times and didn’t notice.  Teri and I drove to Malibu on a Tuesday unsure if it was a designated day to tour.  As we drove over the hill from Malibu canyon we were greeted with the mass of American flags on the Pepperdine campus. (See our last post).  Well, the house is not open on Tuesday for touring, but the grounds alone are reason enough to visit.  If you haven’t been here before, do it, and bring a picnic!  It’s a breathtaking spot right on the ocean.

From the beautifully kept grounds you have a view of Malibu Lagoon (with a view of the famed “Malibu Colony”) and also the Malibu Pier.  I had never been on the Pier before, so that will be another post (it’s very cool).  This Malibu area is really a “Layers LA” experience for me.  There is so much of Malibu hidden from your car view driving down PCH.  We’ve always driven the beautiful canyon roads from the valley to our spot on Zuma Life guard station #6.  Honestly I always thought what’s the big deal with Malibu (Laguna was my true love)  I didn’t even know all of the “fanciness” at the Malibu Country Mart.  Oh right… “country” mart”, not exactly what I’d call “country with it’s fine retailers and delicious restaurants.  No offense Malibu Seafood and Gladstones, I thought you were the only ones in town.  Oh Malibu, how I misjudged you.  I didn’t know, I just didn’t know.

Oh, back to the Adamson House.  It’s full of LA history and and inspiring California art.  I hear there is a tile “oriental rug” in the house.  We will be going back here to document the interior of this historic home.  Their website says a visit to the Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum opens the door to “LAYER UPON LAYER” of intriguing Malibu history.  It’s a National Historic Site, a California Historical Landmark, and a California State Park, and even a wedding venue.  It’s free to walk around the grounds.  Admission is $7 for adults, $2 for kids 6-16 and 5 and under free.

23200 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265






DSC_0108 wood carving

DSC_0111 Bench


DSC_0115 mosiac

DSC_0119 (1) iron door

DSC_0121 fountain ocean

DSC_0133 scary fountain

DSC_0134 stairs

DSC_0139 tile pot

DSC_0126 malibu pier

_MG_3898 _MG_3900 _MG_3904 _MG_3909 _MG_3913 _MG_3914 _MG_3917 _MG_3919 _MG_3922 _MG_3923 _MG_3925 _MG_3927 _MG_3928 _MG_3930 _MG_3932 _MG_3933 _MG_3934 _MG_3938


_MG_3940 _MG_3941 _MG_3942 _MG_3943 _MG_3944 _MG_3947 _MG_3948 _MG_3950 _MG_3951 _MG_3953 _MG_3954


"Dog Wash Tub"

“Dog Wash Tub”


DSC_0141 Adamson House hours

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *