A hidden beach in California is due to reopen, having not been set foot on by the general public in over four decades.
California is world famous for its beaches. Now, in a triumphant victory for beachgoers, a former secret beach will reopen, allowing visitors to enjoy this slice of paradise for the first time since the 1980s.
Public access has been granted to open Escondido Beach, which was kept hidden from the public eye when wealthy homeowners in the area obstructed access to the beach years prior, despite this technically being in grave violation of the local laws.
California beach to reopen – a slice of paradise unveiled at last
Earlier this month, the California Coastal Commission approved an agreement to reopen Escondido Beach, well-known for its calm waters and shimmering sands.
However, it has been inaccessible until now. The beach was cut off from public access through a string of cunning manoeuvres and construction projects which rendered the access path inaccessible – which would generally be illegal by Californian law.
On 7 June, an agreement was made, after a long legal battle, to allow the general public access to this hidden coastal gem for the first time in 40 years, and this groundbreaking step signifies a triumph for the principles of fairness and inclusivity.
In a recent statement, Californian coastal commission chairperson Donne Brownsey shared her delight, saying, “Beaches are California’s crown jewels, and public access is a core mission of our law”.
Furthermore, she acknowledged the public’s right to enjoy the Californian Coast, adding, “Access is for everyone, whether you live down the street or in the Central Valley or you’re visiting from across the globe.
“We hope this enforcement action sends a message to other property owners who may be hiding or blocking access to this coast that it’s time to return those beaches to the public”.
The long-awaited reopening – $3 million plans are in place
True to its name Escondido, which means hidden in Spanish, the beach has remained elusive to visitors since the 1980s.
Since then, beachgoers were required to pay a parking fee or walk half a mile via the renowned restaurant Geoffrey’s since homeowners blocked direct access.
As part of the agreement, those exact homeowners have confirmed that they will fund the restoration efforts to rectify the situation, which is set to cost $3 million.
Up until the 1970s, the beach was easily accessible from the road until obstructions such as mailboxes, palm trees and private driveways were put in place as a means of blocking it off to the public – something which was in serious violation of the law.
Plans moving forward – constructing an accessway
Among the two wealthy homeowners who took deliberate action to privatise this section of the coast was the former CEO of Paramount Pictures and MGM, Frank Mancuso Jr.
Plans are now in place to construct an accessway both at its intended location and off the Pacific Coast Highway, along with dedicated parking spaces and an on-site restroom for beachgoers.
With the barriers finally lifted, locals and visitors alike will soon have the opportunity to bask in the splendour of Escondido Beach.
This long-awaited reopening promises a renewed connection to nature and a rekindling of the shared joy from experiencing the stunning beauty of California’s coastline.