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Paradise Cove Stories

At Paradise Cove, we love to hear your stories about experiences you’ve had here at Paradise Cove. Tell us about holidays you’ve spent here, beautiful walks on our beaches you’ve had, tidepools you’ve see, memories with your family here, etc. Or read stories submitted by others below to hear firsthand what a special place it is. It’s like paradise without the airfare!

Just add your story by filling out the form below. We’ll take a look at it and we may just add it right here live on our website!

16 comments
  1. Vicki says:

    My grandparents Mark and Tess Kunkel were some of the first families to have a trailor at Paradise Cove in the early 50′s. I grew up spending just about every weekend and summer with them. My grandpa and some of his friends built a theater area at the back of their trailer for the residents to view movies and slides called the lower 40.

    My grandma decorated the club house for many parties that the residents had over the years. It holds wonderful memories for my brother Jimmy and myself. We remember the Betty-O and the Gentleman and playing on the pier and the rocks and fishing on our grandpa Marks boat.

    Paradise Cove, Paradise Cove, how we loved Paradise Cove!!! Vicki

  2. Zoe says:

    When I was only about 7 years old and before the Beach Cafe was there, there was a little hut near to the ocean that sold the best snow cones on earth..or so I thought at that time in my life. I would go with my mom (RIP) and another friend and her mom.

    I have so many fond memories of Paradise Cove as a child. And now with the Beach Cafe’… I have a granddaughter on the way and am hoping to create the same memories with her.

    Thank you.

    Zoe

  3. Paradise Cove Visitor says:

    I grew up in the San Fernando Valley and started going to Malibu in the very early fifties.

    We first started going to a beach that we called “Dead End Malibu”. You know it today as Malibu Road,it did not go through in those days. When I was a little older we discovered Paradise Cove. It was always so quiet and peaceful. One day in the mid sixties and friend and I went there to go Scuba diving. It was great. When we came out of the water, we found another fellow had laid out his towel close to us. He was amazed by our equipment and started asking questions. He was very interested in trying to do it himself. After speaking with him for a few minutes we realized that he had just started to play Heath Barkley on the Big Valley. His name is Lee Majors.

  4. Paradise Cove Visitor says:

    My parents brought me to Paradise cove when I was 2 months old (that was in 1955) and we spent every summer at the Cove. I remember eating the hotdogs and burgers purchased at the walk-up window of the snack shop and eating them in the …tiki hut. It was a raised platform on the beach.

    Surfers stacked their boards next to it and a large cable ran out to a floating platform that we would swim to with our father. During the early 1960′s, our neighborhood (located in Van Nuys) would have beach parties at Paradise Cove and the kids had to build sand walls to keep the high tides away from the blankets. We were there one day when they were filming the original Mod Squad and watched them drive a motorcycle off the end of the pier over and over. I remember when my parents where shocked when parking went up to $5.00 per car. I remember how difficult it used to be to leave without the traffic signal now in place at the entrance. My grandparents owned a construction company and helped repair and build sections of PCH in the 1940′s.I have photo’s too, but I need to scan them and then try to download them on your site.

    Lhani van Lamsweerde

  5. Paradise Cove Visitor says:

    I was a “Valley girl” from Canoga Park. Really though I was always a “Surfer girl” at heart. I grew up coming here. We had many friends with vacation homes, such adorable homes! I have soooo many memories from playing under the pier, hiking, hanging out, up until I was about 17, laying on the beach, seeing many Celeb’s! Michael J. Fox was in a chair next to me on the sand and shared his food from the snack bar!!! :0

    I have lived in Temecula (near San Diego) for 19 yrs.

    My husband and I are getting ready to sell, rent a place here and buy in PARADISE COVE!!!!

    I can’t wait, it’s where I am supposed to be!

    Lesli Callahan

  6. Amanda Battista says:

    I live in New York, we crave Paradise Coves food!! We love it there!! We love the stories we love the place and welove the food!!!

    Its just a great place, if you go to Cali you have to know and go to Paradise Cove…Just wanted to say hi from New York!!

    Amanda Battista

  7. Paradise Cove Visitor says:

    In 1962 my folks bought a mobile home and put in Paradise Cove.

    We would come down for the weekends. In 1963 I started doing odd jobs for Mr. Morris on the weekends.
    When summer started I lived at the Cove and worked almost full time. There were several of us young guys who worked in the restaurant and the park. I remember having to scrub down the restrooms up in the park and paint them. We strung barb wire on the property above the cove.

    At night we would ride around in an old army jeep with the security guard who was also a part-time actor. It was the summer before my senior year in high school and just before we moved from California to Houston, Texas. It was the best summer of my life. The kids I got to know, the folks who made the Cove work, like the two Bennies, the movie stars ( Roy and Dale had a weekend home at the Cove). But I have never gone back. Maybe this summer.

  8. Paradise Cove Visitor says:

    I was in California on business and took a drive over the mountains from Agoura Hills.
    Shortly after I arrived I was on Hwy 101 and saw the Paradise Cove sign and thought ….that’s what I am looking for Paradise.

    When I parked I got a drink and walked out to the beach and sat down on a chair. With a tremendous amount of stress from family illness, work, finances etc I found myself for the first time in 10 years relaxing in a way I thought was not possible. I listened to the ocean waves breaking on the beach and watched the seagulls fly free along the beautiful sunset. For those who have the fortune of living here, you are so lucky….

    That night I never went back to my hotel, I stayed in Malibu and slept on the beach.
    It was the best night of the last 10 years.

    Note. If any wealthy person ever wanted to write off a tax loss I would be more than grateful to be the recipient!

  9. Lee Rhodes says:

    I am an Englishman, an Actor and a Writer. And I was an Englishman, an Actor and Writer in Paradise Cove back in the summer of 2002! I had gone over to LA from London to attend an Acting seminar and afterwards had a spare couple of weeks to explore.

    My wife and son came over and we spent a few days here and there driving around stopping at various places along the Pacific Coast Highway. Then one day we saw this sign that read “Paradise Cove”.

    We thought that sounded nice and drove down the lane. I have been to many places all over the world but when we arrived, I started to feel like this place was familiar. Both my wife and I had felt the same feeling when we arrived in California and now this “Cove” was like being acquainted with an old friend.
    We parked the car, go our things and went straight to the beach and got a seat. We were welcomed with a smile and a friendly “Hi” from the waitress. We had an ice cold soda and a steak sandwich, which was just great, but then…yes then…we had something we had never heard of, Key Lime Pie! “what’s that?” we both said. And then they brought it to us and a new love of dessert was discovered! I could probably write an essay or a whole TV show about Paradise Cove!
    I am glad I have found this website and I can’t wait to visit again!

    See you at the cove one day. Lee Rhodes, London May 2007

  10. Maria Hannam says:

    Back in the 70′s when I was a young girl my family and I visited Paradise Cove religiously approx 3 times a week every summer. We lived in Canoga Park and loved the beach. My mom always preferred Paradise Cove because it was a nice clean beach and the pier was awesome. I remember my cousin John and I would boogie board all day long, paddle out halfway out to the pier and hope we could get back in without being pummeled by a big wave (not so easy when there had been storms)! The best was the full ride-in on a wave all the way to the sand. We built many sand castles, threw wads of wet sand at the birds under the pier, went for walks to the nudie beach (ssshhhhh!), and had many great snacks at the snack bar.

    Rockford Files was filmed here many times on our visits. I think that’s why my Mom liked to go! I got to meet James Garner and even got his autograph.
    He was so nice – all we did was go up to the trailer and knock! We also saw “Wonderbug” filmed there (my Mom is in a background shot), Happy Days (remember the shark episode?), and The Hardy Boys. The best part of the Hardy Boys was that so many people were watching it being filmed, my cousin and I had the water to ourselves (I was too young to be impressed with Shaun Cassidy)!

    I have many many fond memories of the beach. When I go back to visit CA I try to stop in and eat at the restaurant. It’s a shame what the storm did to the pier (we used to love going out to the end, watch the fishing boat come in and getting snacks at the little store up there. The beach has gotten smaller and rockier but it’s still Paradise Cove and is always one of my “happy places”.

    Maria Hannam

  11. Brad Seibert says:

    My wife and I had two meals at the Beach Cafe and brought our son and his girlfriend along the second time. We were spending a California Christmas with our two sons and their girlfriends in a loaned Condo in Malibu. The cafe was a great find for us. It has a great nostalgia feel to it as you arrive…like I’ve been here before. I told my wife that it seemed just like the place that “Jim Rockford” had his trailer. On our second visit she found out that it was the place “Rockford Files” was filmed. We had two great meals and a great time!

    Brad Seibert

  12. Jerry Esten says:

    I spent many happy years at the cove. Had lots of great trips with the late Captains, Jack Ward & Bill Hutchinson.We caught most everything from bass to white sea bass, even albacore when it seemed impossible. We used to fish every Monday, and developed good relationships with the crews and the other “regulars”. it was a happy time!

    I was always treated well by the crews and Mr. Joe Morris. I began making lures and the tackle shop put them in and sold the heck out of them. Mr.
    Morris suggested I make an oversized jig for a display. I did. Soon all the dealers seemed to want them.

    Joe was innovative and had great savvy.

    he expressed concern that I should do well. I was a kid back then. I did very well and Joe was still around when I was well on my way.

    Soon as I figure out how to post photos here, I will do so.

    I would love to see the photos of others that were taken from the 50s onward.

    Thanks,
    Jerry Esten

  13. Mike Scriber says:

    The year was 1966 and my step father was transferred to Vancouver from Toronto. He was an engineer who was born and raised in California. We had over 3 months to get to Vancouver before his posting took effect.

    It was decided that we would go to California to see his family before arriving in Vancouver.

    I had the most memorable time of my life when I met my Step Grandfather (Mel Hendricks), who lived in a mobile home at Paradise Cove.

    I remember the pier being much longer than it is today, with a snack bar and bait shop at the end of the pier. Many a day i would wet a line at the end of the pier to see what i could catch. Usually it was only a cold. I had never been to the ocean before and foraging around the rocks at the base of the cliffs usually resulted in some very interesting finds.

    Mel ran a charter boat off of the pier and I would work the boat with him if he had someone important renting it for the day. I had the pleasure of fishing with Lucille Ball, (actually I only baited her hook for her), as she was a little squeamish with live bait. She was a beautiful lady who took the time to get to know a young lad from Canada who couldn’t stop stepping on his tongue in her presence.

    I was able to fish with Jerry Lewis who was a little more serious in real life than in his movies. Boy could he yell at a kid if he wasn’t quick enough with the snacks.

    Although I didn’t know them at the time i also helped Jane Fonda and Peter Fonda on their fishing expeditions. It wasn’t until later when I saw some of their films that i realized i had met part of a famous family.

    My Step Grandfather made sure that my 3 months in California were memorable, as I had the run of the beach on most days.

    I understand that surfing is no longer allowed at Paradise cove, but that is where i learned how to surf at the encouragement of Mel who thought that no normal person should be denied that pleasure.

    I am pleased to share this little story with everyone, and I hope that the area brings as many happy memories to you as it has to me.

    I will one day get back to paradise cove with my wife and kids just to show them the area that for such a short time had such a large impact on my life.

    Sincerely,
    Mike Scriber

  14. Chris Wizner says:

    Tuesday, November 30th, 2004
    by Chris Wizner

    It’s ironic that I’m writing this story because I’m the one who built this site. Now let me tell you how I ended up working together with Paradise Cove. It all started about 5 years ago when I was 16 and just started to drive– I’m 21 now. I lived in Agoura Hills (Over the hill as we say in Malibu) and always loved the beach. One day I met some girls who invited me to come hang out with them on the 4th of July. Well one of the girls named Helen happened to live in Paradise Cove. This was the first time that I had heard of the place. When I came down that night for the 4th of July I had one of the best and most remunerable nights of my life. Things went well with a girl and I saw some of the most spectacular fireworks under the full moon on a hot summer night. I didn’t forget about Paradise Cove ever again after that.

    Not too long after, I had a winter formal event for high school and the most beautiful date ever. When someone asked where we should go to eat before the event, I mentioned Paradise Cove Beach Cafe. Everybody loved the idea of eating at the cove. I’ll never forget the moment when I heard the waitresses at Paradise Cove start singing happy birthday to me (although it wasn’t…. thanks to my friend Jana Sobel) and gave me THE BIGGEST FREAKIN CHOCHOLATE CAKE YOU’VE EVER SEEN. Once I took my first bite, I knew instantly that it was the best chocolate cake I had ever had in my entire life. They still give that huge cake today and it’s every bit as good. It’s called the Mile High Chocolate Cake.

    The next time I came to Paradise Cove was for another 4th of July…and then another…and another…and another. Besides that, it’s become my hangout since several years ago when I moved to Malibu. I love taking walks on the beaches or just hanging out with all the people on the sand at the cove. I especially like taking beautiful dates to the cove and drinking wine with them on the sand during sunset.

    I’ve gotta say…out of anywhere I’ve been…. Paradise Cove Beach Cafe has the best breakfast ever. They have the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had in my life and the best french toast AND THE BIGGEST BELGIAN WAFFLE YOU EVER SAW. I’m not trying to advertise….. it’s just that good. E-mail me yourself if you don’t believe me. We’ll go out to eat and you’ll see.

    Anyways, after already having a long history of hanging out at the cove and loving the place so much I finally ended up meeting Bob Morris…. in an interesting way I might add. When I was 16 I started my own advertising agency called Vivid Candi. At one point when I had moved to Malibu several years ago I thought it’d be a great idea to divide a full page ad space with placement in every local magazine into 4-6 spots to highlight different types of restaurants and their current short term promotion. It was going to be strictly short term promotions to boost short term business and cut advertising cost dramatically with collective advertising. It was called “Taste of Malibu” and I pitched it in person to nearly every restaurant in Malibu. I literally walked up to the managers or owners and started trying to talk business and leave them with a sales kit I had made. Well I left one with Paradise Cove…. called several times… and 2 weeks later faxed a letter trying to reach Bob Morris to discuss advertising. One day several weeks later I came back and checked my voicemails and got one from Bob Morris himself. At this point he was just a well known name to me attached to my favorite place without a face since I hadn’t ever seen him or met him. I returned his call right away and he invited me down to the cove to meet.

    When I met Bob, I still thought at that point that he had called because he wanted to advertise in my “Taste of Malibu” advertising program. So of course I brought all the “Taste of Malibu” paperwork, rates and samples to show him. It turned out that within a minute of meeting face to face Bob made it clear that he had no interest in my “Taste of Malibu” advertising program. He told me that he had heard my voicemail and heard the part that mentioned I was a full service advertising agency. He asked me to show him any work I had done. Luckily I had several of my portfolios in my car and ran out and got them. Bob liked my work and decided to give me a chance to work with him on some advertising projects. Within a few weeks I was working on anything from the postcards you get at his restaurant with your check to strategizing niche advertising campaigns. Now it’s been several years and I’m still working together with Bob Morris in addition to his close business associates Paradise Cove Mobilehome Park and Calamigos Ranch. I don’t know how I’m so lucky that things worked out where I get to work with a place I love more than anywhere (even Hawaii…and that’s saying a lot) and with people who having been such a pleasure to work with that I don’t even consider it work in my mind. I like doing it and I’m passionate about it. I’ve also got to admit that I’ve learned an incredible amount from working together with Bob Morris over the years. The guy is brilliant and always has something new up his sleeve. Best of all, he clearly enjoys everything he does as much or more than myself with my own company and he does it with a classic sense of humor tainted everywhere he goes. Just walk around his beach cafe and read some of his signs (i.e. Dresscode: none)…. that’s Bob for you.

    By the way, if you’ve read this entire letter….. now you’ll know why the slogan I created for Paradise Cove Beach Cafe is “A Memory in Every Visit”. Paradise Cove is magical and beautiful. Why be anywhere else?

    Chris Wizner
    CEO

    Vivid Candi, Inc.
    Chris@vividcandi.com
    Located in Malibu, California

  15. Phyllis Brown says:

    Many years ago, when I was about 10 or 11, while visiting my father in LA, he took me to this cool restaurant. I remember it was cool, because he told me that the place sat right next to where they shot ‘The Rockford Files.’ Well, being a kid from New York, that was serious business. It also didn’t hurt that I was a big fan of ‘Rockford’and James Garner (still am to this day!) I remembered the restaurant, and the beautiful setting, but we never got to go there again. Still, I always recalled it as a fond memory.

    I recently made my first visit back to LA since 1987. My father passed away in 1998, and I hadn’t been able to return since then. Wanting to be able to hold as many of those memories as I could, I tried to find the location, but had no such luck. While in my hotel, they happened to have a tourists channel-with all the things to ‘see and do in LA.’ They mentioned ‘Rockford’ and needless to say, I knew that I’d found the place!

    The staff gave me great directions, and once there, the service and food were fabulous! Most of all, it helped me come back to a place I had shared with my Dad. That meant more to me than anything I can express. The beautiful setting was the perfect way to spend the afternoon. I plan on making an annual trip to LA, and Paradise Cove will be at the top of my list!!!

    Thanks for a wonderful day and great memory!

    Phyllis Brown
    Located in Staten Island, New York

  16. Adam Ross says:

    My name is Adam Ross. My family as played a large part in the history of Pacific Palisades. If you’re reading this and you’re one of my old friends from there, I want to say hello and I hope you are well.

    My story goes back to the 70′s when James Garner was staring in his hit TV show “The Rockford Files”. Any of you hard core Paradise Cove Patrons, and (of course, you local residents in the moblie home park), will remember that the trailer that was Jim Rockfords “TV” residence was kept and filmed in the Paradice Cove Parking lot. Well, I’m 40 yrs old now, but I remember like it was yesterday, how cool Jim Garner was to us kids always coming down to the cove with our families for the best food and great times. Jim would let us hang around while he was between takes. His patience and genuinely great personality made him very popular with my friends and me. Back then we would swim to the end of the pier and back until we could move our arms.

    Those days spent at Paradise Cove will be with me forever as some of the best memories of my life.

    Thank You to the Paradise Cove Restaurant, local residents, and Jim Garner for making my preteen years very special. Of course the food and great times have continued to this day inspite of the unfortunate storm damage. Keep up the good work and many future generations will echo my story for decades to come!!

    Sincerely,
    Adam Ross

    Grandson of Rocco and Margaret Ross

    Nephew of Rich and Roberta Donohue

    “Love to the Family when you read this!”



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