Three Arch Bay

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Quasi-private beach south of The Arches of "Three Arch Bay" (there are no true private beaches under the California Constitution).

Three Arch Bay is a 29-acre (12 ha) private gated community located at the southern end of Laguna Beach, California.[1] The community features some oceanfront homes with swimming pools built into the intertidal rocks which are replenished by the incoming tides.

While its beach is inaccessible except through the private community, it is not truly private. There are no actual private beaches in California. The California Constitution provides that all beaches seaward of the mean high tide line (the damp or wet sand) are public property, and that the public has a fundamental right to access.[2]


According to a letter of Dana Point developer Sidney Woodruff, the entire 29 acres (12 ha) site was purchased in 1926 for $135,000.[3]

The first rock pool was created in 1929 by film producer Edward H. Griffith. Griffith built his property, which included a lighthouse, for use as a backdrop in feature films.[4] Early movies filmed in Three Arch Bay included Warner Bros.' Captain Blood (1935) starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, and Paramount Pictures' Give Us This Night (1936).[5]

By 1939 lots in the area were sold for $100 down on a $3000 lot. The original sales promotional advertisements warned of "Rattlesnakes Galore." In 1943, at the height of World War II, a boat engulfed in flame drifted around the rocks at the south end of the Bay and toward Bird Rock, followed closely by a Coast Guard vessel.[relevant? ]


  1. ^ Diamond, Babara (August 30, 2007). "Three Arch Bay pays for privacy". Coastline Pilot.
  2. ^ Nelsen, Chad (June 30, 2017). "California's beaches belong to the public — not to the one percent". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  3. ^ "What did Three Arch Bay sell for?". Three Arch Bay California. Retrieved May 6, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "A Little Piece of Hollywood History – Edward H. Griffith's Three Arch Bay Estate". Luxatic. July 24, 2014.
  5. ^ Brennan, Nick (November 2003). "Three Arch Bay". Orange County Home: 126–7.

Coordinates: 33°29′27″N 117°43′56″W / 33.4909°N 117.7323°W / 33.4909; -117.7323