Where the hell is Mentone Beach?

Mentone beach

My cousin is getting married, so Kerry and I came down to Southern California for the weekend and are staying with my parents in Mentone.

A few friends on Facebook left me some comments that said, “enjoy the beach!” Kerry was confused at what this meant. Apparently, I never told her about the history of Mentone Beach! The LA Times explains:

At least 60 miles from the coast, where the San Bernardino Mountains shoot through clouds, a signpost painted on a weather-beaten water tower beckons like a desert oasis: Mentone Beach.


Mentone, named for a Mediterranean resort in southeast France, seemed destined for coastal status: Its founders noted that “the climate and vegetation were the same; only the sea was missing.”

That’s right, this is where I’m from. See also, “In search of Paul Bunyan.”

8 Replies to “Where the hell is Mentone Beach?”

  1. If the San Francisco Bay has the most unoriginal city names from Pittsburgh to Alamo to Dublin then the LA area has the most deceptive names. Hawaiian Gardens, Riverside, Lakewood, need I say more.

    1. Lakewood had natural lakes when they built the country club estates and golf course. They are still there, albeit smaller.

  2. I am a bartender at Mill Creek Cattle Company and heard an interesting story about why Mentone Beach is called Mentone Beach. A history proffessor from UCSB came in to enjoy dinner and a cold drink for dinner and we stroke up a conversation. It was interesting to me for this reason. He told me that back in the 1920’s a couple guys started up a business on the east coast selling resort property to customers in our very own mentone beach, by the time they traveled by train or car to the suposed beach front property they were left with the parcel of land that looked like a dessert more than a beach. It was suposedly a really big scam that was pulled off back then and since then we have had a Yaucht club and resturaunts that focus on the name Mentone Beach. This spiked my interest since im somebody that loves digging deep into history.. So if i find anymore info on the story i will let you know. Just thought it might interest you as well.

  3. I always heard that it was Humor. When California falls into the Ocean along the San Andreas fault line…Mentone is on the Mainland and it has sand! Presto Mentone Beach!

  4. I grew up in Mentone and spent a good portion of my childhood swimming at Mentone Beach. There used to be several ponds along Highway 38 on the north side. A stream flowed from one to the next, connecting them. Each pond was deep and large allowing for diving, rafting, and even fishing

    1. Wendy Colvin Hanson,
      Despite the absence now of ponds, are there not still creeks and if so, how easily can those areas be accessed by car?

      Looking on Google Maps, I’m just not finding creek access.

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