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My Trip to The Real Golden Girls’ House

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A number of people have written into us here (okay, maybe three) asking where they can find the Golden Girls’ house in Miami. Few of these people understand that the entire show was filmed on a backlot in LA and the house was actually a model at MGM Studios in Orlando (which has since been taken off the tour). So for someone in Miami to catch a glimpse of the house, all seems somewhat lost.

But not so fast.

A MIAMI ICON IN THE MIDDLE OF BRENTWOOD

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A kind commenter was nice enough to let us know that the house where Blanche, Dorothy, Rose and Sofia spent so many nights eating cheesecake and stargazing on the lanai actually exists. It is located at 245 N Saltair Avenue in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. Apparently it was used for the exterior shots in Season 1 before the Orlando model was built. And the owner of the property according to LA County records? Dave Barry. Not sure if it’s THE Dave Barry, but how can you possible get any more Miami than that?

THE ONLY THING I WANT TO DO IN LOS ANGELES

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I was on my way to Hawaii yesterday and somehow managed a 15-hour layover in Los Angeles. And there was no way in Hell I wasn’t going to go and pay my last respects to Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty at the home that made me move to Miami. Even if it was in Brentwood. I convinced my friend Shannon, who was nice enough to humor me for the evening, to take me the short trip up the 405 to see this piece of TV history. She mocked me endlessly, but if loving the Golden Girls is wrong, well then, “right” has no taste in television.

As we drove down Sunset I saw gate after gate blocking off the streets of Brentwood. I decided that if Saltair was gated off, I would jump the fence; I hadn’t come all the way to Los Angeles to look at a stinking gate. But by the time we got to Saltair, the gates were gone, and it was a straight shot with legal street parking to the Mecca of Golden Girls Fandom. We passed some impressive houses as I watched the numbers go up in giddy anticipation. 145, 171, 201…..

I DIDN’T EVEN NEED TO LOOK AT THE ADDRESS

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I felt as if the words “Produced by Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas” should have been plastered on Shannon’s windshield and the reprise of the theme music should be playing in the background. Maybe a car pulling into the driveway. It was unmistakable, and it was beautiful. There were no cars in the driveway, so we got out. I had purchased my first digital camera the day before for this momentous event, and despite the setting California sun I snapped as many pictures as I could. I’d been looking at this house since I was 4 years old, and here I was, standing in the driveway. Truly, a dream come true.

There was no fanfare at 245 N Saltair. No bouquets of flowers left in memory of Bea Arthur and no commemorative shirts. Just a house on a street with a light in the driveway. After about 15 minutes of picture taking I saw a figure in the front window moving around, and figured it wasn’t Sofia out for a late-night sleepwalk of one of Blanche’s dates sneaking out before his wife caught him. I went back to the car and headed back toward Sunset, with a camera full of memories from the best night I ever had in LA.

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News, Miami: Things to Do, Miscellaneous,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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43 Comments on

"My Trip to The Real Golden Girls’ House"

Doug says:

I wish every Marine could be a Golden Girls fan.

Posted on 08/19/2009 at 10:41 AM

Dan says:

Hey Matt,  My name is Dan. I just want to thank you for sharing your story about the golden girls house. your a cool guy love to chat with you some time maybe over a cheese-cake..lol anyway thanks for your story and info on the golden house. Dan

Posted on 09/27/2009 at 8:13 AM

Tracie B. says:

Thanks Matt for that information. It’s nice to know there are other “true” Golden Gilrs” fans out there. Thanks for sharinf your pictures of “THE” house…..LOVE IT!!!!!

Posted on 10/04/2009 at 5:36 PM

Jaydub says:

Wow.  Thanks for the info.  I’m a HUGE Golden Girls fan.  We visit Palm Springs a few times a year… next visit we are taking a road trip to the Golden Girls House.  What a great picture for our next Christmas card…
J

Posted on 01/01/2010 at 6:41 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

When you do that Xmas card, hit me up over here and send me one. I am the only person I know who has made the pilgrimage.

Posted on 01/01/2010 at 11:44 PM

simon says:

Hi Matt. I’m writing all the way from Sydney, Australia. I would have to say that I am probably Australia’s biggest Golden Girls fan, and even got to meet Bea Arthur in Sydney when she was doing her one woman show here. It has been my dream to see the house that has so many fond memories for me, and that just represents comfort, good times, and happiness. Good on you, and thanks for sharing and making me believe that my dream really can come true! Simon

Posted on 02/04/2010 at 9:20 AM

blu says:

What about the people who live there?  They like this?

Posted on 02/10/2010 at 8:54 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

I mean, I’m not sure. It’s not like this is a major LA tourist attraction. And it’s pretty obscure since even a die hard fan like me didn’t know about it until a little over a year ago.

Also, if you’re going to move to a famous house, especially in Los Angeles, I think you kinda have to expect this.

Posted on 02/12/2010 at 2:46 PM

Jaydub says:

Hey Matt, I added you to our Christmas card list.  I can tell you when we make it down to LA… we will be respectful and take a photo from the street and not disturb the owners of this home… we won’t be there more than five minutes.  C’mon guys, take it easy - it’s not Graceland - there’s no traffic jam… (well ok, it’s my Graceland)
J

Posted on 02/12/2010 at 5:56 PM

Paula says:

Loved watching the Golden Girls ..This sitcom got me through some tough times..Always made my day when I’d watched them..They don’t make them like this anymore.. I absolutely love all 4 Golden ladies..great actresses…Thanks Golden Girls..I still watch the reruns..I’ve seen them all, but still watch..love the house..and always wondered where it was located..Thank you Matt for this story and pictures..

Posted on 04/21/2010 at 5:48 PM

Scott says:

Ok, this is a sad. I live less than a mile from this location, and never knew the real address. To be so close and not know. I can’t believe it. ha ha I am not sure if I can wait to make it a fun weekend afternoon excursion with friends or if I will drive by on the way to work. Thanks for writing this story and posting your pictures.

Posted on 04/26/2010 at 2:14 AM

Robin says:

Wow, so cool that you posted this! I’m torn between feeling disappointed that the real GG house was not in Florida, and happy to see that it’s still there and recognizable. How iconographic it is for us Golden Girls fans! Even the landscaping appears to be the same after 25 years! Great stuff.

Posted on 04/27/2010 at 2:22 AM

Charmaine says:

Thank you for sharing this story and your photos!  What a cool story you have there!  Well, only cool to die-hard GG fans, I guess!!!

Posted on 05/06/2010 at 2:36 AM

JZ says:

Thank you for being a FAN!  Going this weekend!!!  smile

Posted on 05/21/2010 at 9:40 PM

anon says:

i would love to own that house it looks so homey u know wat i mean its comfortable even thought its large its just an all around beautiful home

Posted on 07/13/2010 at 7:20 AM

La Movers says:

This is wonderful news for every people. A good tip is helpful for every body. I think that a Miami icon in the3 center of brentwood. Thanks dude. smile

Posted on 02/18/2011 at 11:06 PM

marco sbarra says:

Hi Matt, I am without any doubt, Canada’s biggest Golden Girl’s fan.
I have seen every single episode and have all 7 dvd’s of all 7 seasons.
It saddens me that only Betty White is still around, I wish those ladies could have lived another 20 years and it has always been a dream of mine to see in person the house made so famous by the show, I will be there someday taking pictures of my own because your story has inspired me to do so, I was a teenager when the Golden Girls started and now in my earlier 40’s and everytime I watch an episode it takes we back to those wonderful days, again thanks for sharing your story
Marco from Montreal Canada

Posted on 02/19/2011 at 12:32 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Thanks, Marco. When I was in LA this past summer (2010) I went again with a friend from college who was also a big fan and happened to be working in LA. Took her as a surprise. We both left flowers in the driveway with a card for Blanche, who had died like a month earlier. I always enjoy being able to show true fans this monument to the Show.

Posted on 02/19/2011 at 3:53 PM

Brooke says:

I absolutely love the Golden Girls! I have been watching them since I was 4. Now I’m 27. I always knew the house was in Cali because of the type of palm tree in the background. I think I will contact California and get the floor plans to the house. I always wanted to live in that house. I definitely plan to visit. Is it just me or did anyone else notice the question mark embedded on the back of their door?

Posted on 02/21/2011 at 10:21 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Never noticed that, Brooke. You mean on the show or in the pics of the house here?

Posted on 02/22/2011 at 7:05 PM

Brooke says:

On the show, if you look at the back of the front door there is what appears to be a question mark. It is embedded there. It appears in almost every episode. Just look! Let me know what you see.

Posted on 02/22/2011 at 7:25 PM

Brooke says:

I’m sorry Matt it is not a question mark, it’s an exclamation point.

Posted on 02/22/2011 at 7:29 PM

Mary says:

Very cool, Matt!  My Nana LOVED the show, as do I. She was 85 when the show began and she used to giggle a lot when she watched, which made it even more fun.  Even though she died in 88, I still think of her every time I see the beginning shot of the house… great memories, and it’s really great to hear of other fans. Thanks for sharing !

Posted on 08/01/2011 at 11:51 PM

Sean Bagley says:

What a great article and a wonderful follow up regarding you and your friend making another pilgrimage and leaving flowers for Rue/Blanche! very sweet. The real homes used in so many TV shows have become so familiar to us, as though we grew up in the neighborhood. The first time I visited the old ranch studio in Burbank where so many Screen Gems shows were shot (Bewitched, Hazel, Donna Reed) I almost cried because I felt as though I grew up there.

Posted on 10/25/2011 at 10:13 AM

Abbie says:

Ive noticed that mark in the door from the beginning and often wondered if anyone else noticed it lol…..I love the golden girls I have all the shows recorded and watch them every night. They let me know that getting older is okay and can be blast as long as you have good friends and family. I would love to make a trip to see the golden girls house! Thanks For posting a pic of the house I’m so happy to know its real!

Posted on 03/24/2012 at 12:00 PM

Marie says:

Thanks so much for your post and pics…I’m glad you found the house…I Lost my mom last year and we used to watch Golden Girls together. It makes me feel like she is still around! Classic show…classic comedy…..classic ladies!

Posted on 04/11/2012 at 8:41 AM

Nick says:

Great article Matt.  I see you still get comments even though it’s been almost 3 years since you wrote this.  Like others, I remember watching this show with my Mom, and that opening music when they show the house still brings back good memories.  Great job!

Posted on 05/09/2012 at 8:10 AM

Lola Rosa says:

Im totally a Golden Girls fan i sure would love to visit there to

Posted on 05/10/2012 at 11:15 PM

Tamara says:

I have been a golden girls fan for years i happened on to this sight thanks Matt! As for me my family calls me Blanch,my mother rose,my sister dorothy and my Grandmother who has passes now Ma lol i guess you could say we all loved the show grin

Posted on 09/02/2012 at 11:31 PM

Thomas says:

I’m a guy and l love love did I say love the golden girls. I started watching when i was very young with my grandmother. The show made want to live in Florida, I am moving there with my wife and kids. It’s great you found the holy Grail lol. Oh yeah and did I mention I’m a black male, love for the golden girls knows no boundaries.

Posted on 01/26/2013 at 10:36 AM

Brooke says:

Someone forgot to mention the first episode was filmed in Florida. Then each subsequent episode was filmed in California. When I commented the first time, I lived too far away to visit. Now I am a mere five hour drive. So it’s definitely on the to do list now.

Posted on 01/26/2013 at 12:46 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

I don’t believe the actual sound stage bits were filmed in Florida. Where did you hear that? I always heard everything was filmed in LA except the exterior shots of the house model in Orlando.

Posted on 01/26/2013 at 6:53 PM

Mary says:

I watch the Golden Girls and everytime I see that house, I feel like it is my home- my only explanation for that lump in the throat and melancholy feeling for a few seconds at the beginning.  Does anyone else feel that way?
Love the Golden Girls concept, my sisters and I dream about when we are old and should be left alone, that we could be like the Golden Girls.

Posted on 03/26/2013 at 10:28 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

But the Golden Girls weren’t really left alone. That was the point.

Posted on 03/27/2013 at 5:20 PM

Tracy Jenkins-Fudge says:

Aw, I’m glad you posted but I’m so disappointed.  I’m currently in Miami and was hoping to see the house.  That’s how I came across this.

Posted on 03/30/2013 at 6:53 PM

M says:

The Golden Girls has always been a staple in my life as I used to watch with my grandmother growing up…as I am extremely close to her. When the beginning song plays, it takes me back to those days. This was a true classic that will never fade. I have all 7 seasons on DVD so I can own this piece of history forever so that when my grandmother is no longer around, I can still have the memories. No other show compares. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore. I live in Florida and had no idea the house wasn’t really located in Miami until coming across this and this was posted over 4 yrs ago and people still reply. Thanks so much for posting.

Posted on 04/27/2013 at 12:57 AM

Dirk says:

It’s just like the apartment exterior of Seinfeld. It’s not actually in New York, but rather in Los Angeles.

Posted on 05/29/2013 at 2:13 PM

sandy says:

I thought maybe the house was in coral gables.  My mom and i used to watch re-runs. She passed away but i still watch when they are on.  Such a great show and talent!  I am surprised and glad others love that house too!

Posted on 07/07/2013 at 10:55 PM

Heidi says:

This show has so many great memories for me growing up in the 80’s. I started watching the show with my grandma at her cabin in the mountains every Saturday night when the show started and then with my little sister. We still watch re-runs! It’s our favorite show to watch together! Four fabulous actresses really made the show great! I love all of them! Rest In Peace Bea, Rue, & Estelle… And Betty ... Keep up the great work!

Posted on 07/15/2013 at 3:38 AM

Juan says:

Wow, watched the show religiously and just now noticed that exclamation point on the door.  Love the show and next time I’m in LA, will visit the house.

Posted on 08/17/2013 at 5:37 PM

Kelley says:

Bea Aurther carved the exclamation point into the door for good luck after the pilot! LOL

Posted on 09/08/2013 at 12:41 AM

Jean Boulding says:

Mary,I read your comment and I feel the same way that you do.I get that lump in my throat and wished so many times that I could live there.I watch them in the mornings for 2 hours.I don’t care if they’re re runs,I watch them over and over and never get tired of them.I hope they never,ever go off air.

Posted on 09/25/2013 at 9:23 AM

Robyn says:

So happy to read these posts. Was just recently given the whole series of golden girls on DVD for my birthday in March. Love the series, love the fashions and jewellery worn by girls. My family come running when they here me laughing sooooo much and watch it with me.
Many hours of fun and sheer joy watching it. We still get the reruns here in Brisbane Australia but nothing like having the whole series .

Posted on 04/06/2014 at 6:23 AM

Robyn says:

So happy to read these posts. Was just recently given the whole series of golden girls on DVD for my birthday in March. Love the series, love the fashions and jewellery worn by girls. My family come running when they here me laughing sooooo much and watch it with me.
Many hours of fun and sheer joy watching it. We still get the reruns here in Brisbane Australia but nothing like having the whole series .

Posted on 04/06/2014 at 6:23 AM

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