Cottage #13: The Beaches Cottage

DSC_6299 copy #13 BEACHES COTTAGENestled on the southern-most point of Crystal Cove’s Historic District, Cottage #13 is perhaps Crystal Cove’s most famous landmark.  It is often referred to as the “Beaches” Cottage, for its beachside portrayal in the 1988 film, starring Bette Midler, of the same name.

Before its rise to famous-movie-location stardom, however, this quaint cottage was simply home to six couples that first visited the cove as campers in the 1920s.  They quickly fell in love with the area, eventually constructing one of the earliest cottages in the district.  During the 1930s, a major storm severely damaged the cottage, forcing four of the six families to cut the arrangement short.  This unfortunate turn of events left the two remaining families, the Parkers and the Lees, to tend to the damages.

With immense dedication, the Parkers and Lees rebuilt and expanded their original cottage into its modern day iteration that still stands today.  Their cottage became one of the very few cottages to house the same family since its inception, with Phyllis Parker-Loewe and her daughter Nancy being the very last tenants of Cottage #13.

Today, the Beaches Cottage pays homage to the early art of filmmaking that was once commonplace in Crystal Cove.  Although major Hollywood productions are not really filmed in the park anymore, the Beaches Cottage has been transformed into the Beaches Film & Media Center to commemorate Crystal Cove’s cinematic roots.  The cottage will be open to the public throughout the summer on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., when a Crystal Cove State Park docent will be available to provide tours of the historic cottage.

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