Photos (clockwise from left): Via Adamson House; Camera Obscura, Photographed by Molly Cranna; Via Channel Islands
The Adamson House
Okay, so maybe tours aren't your thing. They're not really ours either, to tell you the truth! However, nestled right next to movie-star mecca, The Colony, in Malibu, sits a home and property that was — no joke — the highlight of our summer. Now a surfer-bro desto (Surfrider Beach is the dwelling's front yard), the land itself was once inhabited by the Chumash Indians, and the famed Rindge family bought the land while their daughter, Rhoda Rindge Adamson, built a dreamlike Spanish Colonial Revival in 1930. Trust, the sublime tiles (made in the 'Bu, to boot!) will have you Instagramming all day long. We'll leave the rest of the history lesson to the docents, but let's just say there are charming tales of love and drama, all set amidst dope classic décor you won't find anywhere else.
Historic Adamson House And Blue Lagoon Museum, 23200 PCH (at PCH); 310-456-8432.
Camera Obscura at the Santa Monica Senior Recreation Center
Yeah, you read that right, we're sending you to a geriatric hangout! The name may conjure the Scottish band (apologies if "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken" is stuck in your head all day!), but this spot isn't about audios — only awe-inducing visuals. On the second floor, you'll find a periscope, dubbed a "19th Century version of a webcam," that actually sparked the entire invention of photography. It projects images from the panoramic Pacific onto a disk in the middle of the room. It's hard to explain, but once you go you'll understand what a rare encounter you've had (in fact there are only a few of these instruments remaining in the world, two of which are in CA). The best part is that it's free and you can take in the views for as long as you like. Who knows? Maybe you'll meet a new senior buddy while you're at it!.
Senior Recreation Center, 1450 Ocean Avenue (between Santa Monica Boulevard and Broadway Street); 310-458-8644.
Camping On The Channel Islands
Who didn't read Island of the Blue Dolphins
as a tot? If not, here's a brief synopsis: The '60s children's classic was based on the true story of a Nicoleño Indian child stranded for 18 years on San Nicolas Island — one of those oft-blurry mounds right off of our coast. As it turns out, the islands are no longer as isolated as they once were. You can camp on all five, year-round. Private and public boats will charter you there for fairly cheap, but if you want to be super swank, there's puddle-jumping jet services, too! Once you arrive, the fees are only $15 per night, and even though it's only 60 miles from the Santa Barbara sand, it's truly the adventure of a lifetime.
Island Packers, 1691 Spinnaker Drive (near East Harbor Boulevard), Ventura; 805-642-1393.
MAK Center for Art at the Schindler House, 835 North Kings Road (between Willoughby and Waring avenues); 323-651-1510.