Summer's halfway least by "back-to-school" standards.  While the days are long and the sun sets after 8 p.m., summer's heading toward its end at the California Beaches. Those in the know can recall that the best beach sunbathing begins around September and runs through October. That's when the crowds thin, the heat waves come and the hotel prices go down a bit in many beach cities (not in Carmel-by-the-Sea). Bay area folks seem to know about the great fall temps and they book their retreats and holidays for September / October in places like Carmel, where bookings remain strong.  But for the mass of sunbathing beaches in Southern California, Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego, the end of summer isn't such a bad thing at all. 


Beach resources
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 6:53 pm

Long Beach recently got negative publicity for ranking lowest in water quality of the Los Angeles beaches. Yet as we search today’s reports on (, we see the over 90 percent of the beaches in LB are ranking with a score of A instead of F. Then, a beach that we just visited that overlooks the Port of L.A., Cabrillo Beach, ranked very low near the lifeguard tower and parking lot where kids were swimming in the serene looking waters not far from huge tankers from China. is a good source for checking out histories of beaches and their water quality. Unfortunately, it takes real people to trek to each beach and gather water samples. The lag time between test results and posting may not always protect you from bad water. But at least the web site and track records serve to alert the public to long-term problem areas.

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Don’t walk on the Wild Beaches
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 6:17 pm

As you travel the California Coast, you may discover some beaches that are either closed because A) a person has put up a gate or B) there are signs about the beach protecting some sort of bird or animal. Places where you’ll find signs include Malibu (people signs to keep other people out), Lompoc’s Ocean beach, a protected nesting area for birds, Piedras Blancas near San Simeon’s Hearst Castle for elephant seals that molt and even Northern California’s Sea Ranch where you need to keep your distance for the sea lions and elephant seals. If the closures are a bit discouraging, there usually are beaches nearby where you can gain access.

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Beach Fairs
Filed under: General, Events
Posted by: @ 3:00 pm

California Fairs — What is a county without a fair?  Throughout the USA, fairs are a way to bring people together with animals and celebrate food, farm and fun. In big cities such as L.A., TV ads make fun of city people who’ve never seen a cow or know where their milk or beef comes from. That’s the beauty of fairs in places where there is too much city life and not enough connection with the earth.  Add to the farm and harvest aspects of a fair some horse racing (such as Del Mar), or concerts with famous bands and you have yourself a merry little time.  We attended a typical California fair yesterday and found just as we entered the gate (where 20,000 visitors passed through in one hour), a family that goes to the fair each year. The kids have grown from babies to teens but have always embraced the chance to share the fair. It’s a bonding experience, says one teen boy, who stands with his mom, aunt, grandma, cousins and siblings. Fairs are a bit corny (as in roasted corn and corn dogs), they’re a bit hammy (as in pig races) and they’re tons of fun. The fair usually offers an affordable day of merriment, as long as you watch the rides, the vendor sales and expensive meals. But compared to Disneyland with its $60 admission, a $10 entry fee doesn’t look so exorbitant.

One Response to “Beach Fairs”

  1. eventplanner Says:
    I want to let everyone know about the Mid-State in Paso Robles July 25 - August 5, 2007. The line up it outta site with Aerosmith (sold out), Martina McBride, Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, Godsmack with Hoobastank and Leann Rimes, to name a few.

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Great Boat Rides under $10
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 3:27 am

Tourists and locals sometimes just like to take a boat ride. Nevermind that they call it a taxi service. For under $10, you can take trips around some of California’s bays. San Diego Bay Ferry between Coronado & San Diego, Balboa Ferry, Long Beach Aqualink, and Alameda or Oakland Ferry (about $1 more for round trip fare), have the coast covered from the southern border to the bay area.  Smaller water taxi services in Oxnard’s Channel Island Harbor and intermittent service in places such as Eureka (between Woodley Island and downtown Eureka), offer additional options. These are the poor man’s pleasure trips out on the water.  More expensive excursions can range from boat rentals to luxury cruises. 

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Free Music All Summer Long
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 6:54 pm

Micky DolenzWho you gonna’ call for entertainment when they’ve seen it all at the beach? Call a Monkee, of course! California summers put tourists and locals on overdrive with the free outdoor concerts. For instance, Monkee Micky Dolenz performed free at Fashion Island in Newport Beach on July 11. Wednesdays during the summer you can see an all star line up of musical artists at this venue, or head up coast to Seal Beach where you can see sunset concerts at the pier.  In Santa Monica on Thursday nights the Santa Monica Pier Concert Series features Grammy nominees with Latin, Salsa, Blues and a variety of sounds. The outdoor concerts throughout California during the summer months are amazing. If it’s Sunday, then you gotta’ see Surfing Sunday Concerts in Huntington Beach. There are hundreds of free concerts each week. But some of our favorites are at the beach where the weather is cool and breezy.  We list them as we find them on the Calendar of Events. 


3 Responses to “Free Music All Summer Long”

  1. Monkee fan Says:
    The Monkees was conceived as a TV, and Micky Dolenz was a kid actor who grew up in Hollywood. He tried out for a part in the show and got it. The songs that became popular were apparently built around the show and its themes.
  2. cboo Says:
    I’ve heard of Monkeys but not a group called Monkee.
  3. badrock Says:
    Why don’t you post some bands I’ve heard of…shopboyz…

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Outdoor Restaurants on the Beach in SoCal
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 12:40 pm

Beach House CardiffCountless restaurants (hundreds) in Southern California have ocean views. But our favorites are those that offer outdoor dining, the ocean in view and no car traffic nor cement walls & enclosed building spaces between you and the beach. There’s something really special about these beach cafes and restaurants, though they are few. One of the coolest is The Beach House in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. It’s been a while since I tried the food, but I will never forget the outdoor tables near a bank of boulders (where the ocean on rare occasion has been known to splash). Right in front of you the beach-goers pass by and surfers catch waves not far offshore. Really cool! In San Clemente the gem is right on the pier.  The Fishermans Restaurant & Bar is awesome. With history, a hearty menu and daily drink specials, how much better can life be, than being above the sea with your meal.  Finding these spots is not rocket science, but the effort requires getting out and trying them. And be forewarned, they may not be intimate dining spots for a romantic date, as they are susceptible to weather conditions and some people can’t handle a cool breeze or some wind.

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Ode to the Red Car
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 3:43 pm

Red CarIt has been over 100 years since the Red Car operations began transporting people from “the mountains to the sea” in an extensive 1,000 mile rail system that once served Los Angeles and the Southern California beaches.  With the cost of gas on the rise, you can only imagine how popular this red car train might be today. The problem with a large number of public transportation systems is that they are not money-makers, however. The Pacific Electric Red Car was reportedly not a profitable proposition even in the height of its popularity. The system was finally shut down around 1961.  Cities such as Huntington Beach have at their disposal $250,000 (supplied by another government-subsidized agency, Orange County Transportation Authority) in grant monies to study the viability of rebuilding such systems, though they now face challenges with right of way issues. A perfect example of the popularity of a beach train is available in San Diego County, where the Coaster runs from Oceanside to downtown San Diego’s Amtrak station. And you need only visit San Pedro, another beach town, to see an actual red car in action. Visitors and locals can hop aboard a short rail system (one of approx. 18 historical rail systems in the US) to gain a feel for what it was like to ride the red car. A Red Car Museum in Seal Beach pays tribute to the Golden Days of trains, though the vehicle sits on a patch of grass, land-locked in what was once the beach train right of way.

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Shakespeare at the Beach
Filed under: General, Events
Posted by: @ 1:11 am

romeo & juliet playSummer is the season for romance at the beach, a la Shakespeare. It’s simply classic!  Long Beach Shakespeare Company’s  free outdoor performance of Romeo & Juliet on the grass lawns of Aquarium of the Pacific is sponsored courtesy of a L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe (way to go!) As the sun goes down on a breezy, easy, lazy Long Beach Saturday or Sunday evening, it’s a real treat to get out and sniff the barbecue seafood aromas coming from restaurants that line Rainbow Harbor where the make-shift theater is located. I came by boat (Aqualink bus service from Alamitos Landing), and paid the same price as Aquarium parking ($6), minus the wait in summer beach traffic, to experience Shakespeare Southern California beach-style. Located at 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA, the show begins at 6 p.m. with jesters and juggling, then moves into the play at 6:30 p.m. Check the web link for performances and dates. (

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Rip Currents or Rip Tides Are the Number One Killer at California Beaches
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 4:57 am

I visited the beach often this past week, and couldnn’t help notice that the waves pounded offshore.  I watched many youngsters enter the water and worried about their ability to swim in what clearly were rip tides, currents that pull people away from the shoreline. (You can usually see the results of rip currents as choppy, brown water, instead of the normal color of water that surrounds it.)  It was sad to hear about yet another victim’s life taken as a result of  these powerful currents in Huntington Beach on July 6.  An inability to swim, lack of knowledge of the danger and unfamiliarity about rip currents all may have contributed to the untimely death of an local 20-year old. 

Attending the lifeguard public awareness open house in Huntington Beach in late May, their demonstrations were about safetyy…and mostly about rip currents, the number one danger at California beaches.  In some cities on the east coast, an active education program is funded by state and local governments, and is taken into the school system, summer camps and publicized through newspaper and television community service editorials educating the public about rip currents.

As I watched the lifeguards during this busy holiday week, I thought about what a challenge they face, watching hundreds of thousands of people..  It would be nearly impossible to see everyone swimming or to notice someone disappearing.  I have watched several rescue attempts on our beaches, and seen the families who left for the night minus one person they came to the beach with that day. The lifeguards and junior lifeguards hold hands and do sweeps offshore like a net, trying to find a body of a victim. It’s heart-breaking to see  this happen, and to watch the families cry in each other’s arms.  Here are several video clips from the May open house, plus stories about rip tides and ocean dangers.

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Biggest event to hit the Beach - US Open Surfing & Beach Games
Filed under: General, Events
Posted by: @ 2:46 pm

What do a skateboard, a pumped up motorbike, a jazzy surfboard, an electric guitar and sizzling bikini-clad chicks with spray on tattoos have in common? The US Open of Surfing and Beach Games! And it’s slated to hit the beach in Huntington Beach on July 20.  We’re way over pubescence, but we love the energy of this event. Moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas and all the teens, tweens and tots that ignore them hit the hot sand of Huntington Beach for an event that starts out low key but culminates in a huge two-day extravaganza.  Be prepared to park your car in surrounding neighborhoods and walk a mile on the final day as the beach enters a frenzied pitch of sand flying from the thousands of feet tromping through Surfers Village. The event, which is geared toward sports and targets a youth audience with vendors such an electric razor company where boys stand in line waiting their turn for a  free shave from a cute girl in a bikini, allows you to sit in bleachers and watch the happenings going on in several arenas. Just be prepared to wait in line to enter those shows as even the arenas become full.  Cost is free and the fun happens on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier, located at Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street in Huntington Beach, Calif. Event runs July 20 - 29, daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (approx.) It’s wise to book your hotel rooms early as they do sell out on some dates. Our faves are the three beach hotels allowing you to walk over to the events, then have a bonfire at night… Hyatt Hilton, or  Best Western.

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Weather Report: California heats up but the beaches are sweet!
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 2:07 pm

If you’re visiting Palm Desert, Riverside, Sacramento or Napa, you’ll think the day after the 4th of July sizzles even more.  NOOA National Weather Service Forecast ( reports that Sacramento is 105 degrees, Napa 98, Riverside 104 and Palm Desert 114 degrees. At the beach (the place we love most in the summer), you can chill on a 63 degrees in Eureka, 73 in San Francisco, 72 degrees in Pismo Beach, 74 in Hermosa Beach or 71 in Encinitas. Doing the math, there’s a difference of up to 51 degrees from California’s inland cities to its coast. Sometimes we like fried eggs and toast, but we’ll often opt for the gentle touch of a soft wind that kisses our skin at the Pacific Ocean sands. If you’re on the road visiting California, you may wish for air conditioning in the hot zones. But at the beach, you’re going to be comfortable. Be sure to bring a sweater for the evening sunset or beach bonfire you plan to catch. 


2 Responses to “Weather Report: California heats up but the beaches are sweet!”

  1. Babs Says:
    105+ in Sacramento.Whew!
  2. Beach Babe Says:
    It’s cooling down now…and so is the beach!


Beaches - Where to Next - Tijuana?!!
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 12:35 am

Tijuana, Mexico is not well known for its beaches.  Someday they will be better known as property values rise and the pesos for infrastructure filter from the basics such as building tear-downs, that are happening faster than you can believe. For me it seemed natural to follow the path from Borderfield State Beach in San Diego County’s San Ysidro, to what was past the big fence and gate that extends into the ocean, separating to sides of the same ocean and beach between the US & Mexico. A lovely getaway in coastal Tijuana, Real del Mar, features a golf course, spa and ocean views. This is where a portion of the movie, Titanic, was filmed. But what stands out just south of the border from San Diego (the vacation playground), is outrageously tasty food, the nouveau cuisine from some of the world’s top chefs who prefer working in Mexico (versus California).


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Celebrating Unity & Diversity on July 4 - Independence Day
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 12:00 am

I went to several Orange County beaches for the 4th of July and discovered that there’s no better example of diversity than California beaches during the Independence Day celebrations. Several days earlier, a friend, Bill Anderson, a renown artist with a gallery in Sunset Beach, worked at the nearby Los Alamitos Naval Air Station/Joint Training Base, painting images of returning soldiers from Iraq. I likewise met several soldiers at the beach not far from this base, including two Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton. Enjoying the water and writing messages in the sand with their feet, I interrupted on and asked where he was from. He told me his home was in Ohio. These soldiers and thousands of people on the beach embodied what makes California so’s diverse populations.

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4th of July Celebrations in California
Filed under: Events
Posted by: @ 10:29 pm

Are you looking for a place to celebrate on July 4 in California?  There are over 5,000 celebrations in towns and cities around the state. Fireworks are always the most popular celebration, followed by BBQ’s, games, breakfasts and all sorts of fun. Below are a few we found that you may want to check into further, if you’re trying to decide what to do. Since we write about the beach, we can tell you that the Southern California beaches are absolutely packed on July 4.  Traffic comes to a stop, so be patient, and takes some tunes to help the time pass. Also, be creative in parking…don’t get tickets…but do prepare to walk some distance. The streets and highway sometimes close early and don’t open for hours. Visit the Calendar of Events for July to see the celebrations for 2008.

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Beachin’ & Bonfires in California
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 12:40 pm

bonfire photoCatching a fire ring for a bonfire this summer season is not always an easy proposition as eager vacationers and locals stake out a pit.  But the pay-off is a fun gathering that’s not only cheap to put together, but offers  opportunities to sit in the dark around a fire and commune. As the sun sets over the sparkling ocean on one of those perfect  nights, the sound of the ocean surf pounds in the background, muted by the crackling  noises of the fire. Make sure you invite someone fun to your bonfire. Every beach bonfire event needs a comedian such as our amigo seen in the video of having fun at a bonfire.


4 Responses to “Beachin’ & Bonfires in California”

  1. Beach babe Says:
    Can you reserve the pits?
  2. Anonymous Says:
    Calif State Beach camping spots often provide them with a space. Ventura SB is by reservation (and fee) only for special events. But many places such as Grover Beach on the Central Coast don’t require reservations and can just dig your own spot. Huntington, Newport, CDM, San Clemente in Orange County all are in the fire rings only and are on first-come, first serve basis. 4th of July and summer weekends, or special events are the worst times to try to get a ring. Go on a week night and it’s a lot easier. Mid-September to May are not usually a problem, either.
  3. Sandra Says:
    My fondest memories of the beach as a kid growing up in Orange County were of the bonfires we enjoyed. I thought at the time that I’d remember that experience forever. Well, years have passed and I live in Kentucky now. I would love to visit and spend an evening at the beach with a bonfire. Enjoy one for me!
  4. Anonymous Says:
    Not to rub it in, but it’s just another day in paradise. Very nice!


Orange County Beaches
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 1:59 pm

oc mapDid you ever wonder where the beach bonfire locations are?  Or what’s the temperature of your favorite beach? A new section called Orange County beaches offers photos, maps, questions and answers, and this blog for the opportunity to get your questions answered.  Got an event at the OC beach? Send it our way.  It’s all in a day’s play at the beautiful OC Beaches, where the beautiful people go. New today..July 1, 2007. Hot Huntington Beach video of the ocean, sand & sunbathers

Beaches in Cali Getting Hot
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 1:04 pm

tw beautiful beach girlsCalifornia Beaches are heating up for the summer of fun and we just brought back video clips to show the cool action. What’s your favorite beach, we asked an Orange County beach girl  who liked Sunset Beach most of all.  Why sunset?  Well, they said that it’s less crowded and low key. The guy actually likes Dubai beach best, however.

What beaches do you like this summer.  Some friends spent a month at Avila Beach and said it was fantastic. Avila, next to Pismo Beach on the Central Coast, even has a nude sunbathers section (unofficial). It’s really funny watching the Hispanic fishermen all covered up in their long paints, sombreros or ball caps sitting on the cliffs and casting a line as the chics and guys below romp and play with their dogs, sunbathe and soak up rays without a stitch of clothing on.

These are the Cali beaches at their best. You gotta love em. Pick your favorite beach.  We’re going to post our faves, but for now we gotta be honest and say they each have an asset because their so real, so California. Oh, BTW, the girls pictured were photographed on the OC beach, Newport!