Maybe if you were a super-famous Malibu celebrity type, you wouldn’t want the rest of us romping around the beach directly in front of the house you’d bought for many millions of dollars. Even though, by law, all California beaches are open to the public, wealthy and famous or not.
Now, this week, the California Coastal Commission is celebrating the opening of a new accessway to the most fought-about celebrity beach in the world: Malibu’s Carbon Beach, a.k.a. Billionaire’s Beach. Who lives on Billionaire’s Beach? Over the years, the mile-long shore’s residents have included Oracle’s Larry Ellison, actors John Travolta and Courtney Cox, and music tycoon David Geffen. And over the years, too, some of those residents have fought very hard to stop the conservancy from building pathways that would let the general public walk past the expensive houses and reach Carbon’s glorious sand and surf.
The billionaires have mostly lost. The first accessway to Carbon Beach, named for Doonesbury’s Zonker Harris, opened in 1983. A second opened in 2005. The new accessway (which celebrity restaurant fans can find by heading 1/3 mile east of Nobu Malibu ) is officially named the Carbon Beach West path. Like the others it leads to a beautiful piece of coastline that seems exclusive but which, in fact, belongs to each and every one of us.