Falling for The OC’s Beach Towns

Asked what it’s like to bodysurf one of the most famous breaks on Earth, a regular once opined, “It’s the closest thing to the great trauma of being born.”

“When Ole Hanson drove through here in the 1900s, nothing existed between San Juan Capistrano and Oceanside. He cooked up this dream that he wanted to have a ‘Spanish Village by the Sea,’ and unlike so many other developers, he wanted to have a clean slate.

Highlights and Headlines: Spring 2018

South Coast Region

Orange County Beach Towns

Balboa, Newport and CDM

50 Essential Western Travel Experiences. The Wedge, Newport Beach, CA

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Asked what it’s like to bodysurf one of the most famous breaks on Earth, a regular once opined, “It’s the closest thing to the great trauma of being born.” When a big swell hits the Wedge, already gigantic waves bounce off the jetty at the south end of Balboa Boulevard; combining with the next wave, they create magnificent, malevolent monsters that can top 25 feet.” sunset.com Kevork Djansezian / Getty

Green Day drummer Tré Cool gets $1.83 million for Newport Beach duplex

The property, touted as a “classic” beach community spot, is near Lido Marina Village and Lido House, a new, upscale hotel. Click through the slideshow for a tour.ocregister.com Marilyn Kalfus (Photo by Chris Snitko, ModernTake)

A Restaurant. Classically Hip Since 1926

Originally built as a restaurant and service station, construction began on The Arches in 1925, the same year Coast Highway opened up from Huntington Beach to Newport Beach. Founded by John Vilelle and James Sturgeon, it was named by 10 year old Victor Chatten in a contest advertised by them in the Balboa Times. The distinct Mediterranean style of the original buildings, with arches and red tile roofs, quickly made it a recognizable staple of Newport Beach as it helped to shape and inspire the town in its early stages.” arestaurantnb.com

Surf City USA – Huntington Beach

Irvine and Huntington Beach Make Top Ten List of Happiest Cities in America

WalletHub released a survey of the happiest cities in America. Our own Irvine and Huntington Beach are in the top 10 happiest cities, coming in at No. 8 and 9, respectively.” orangecoast.com Alan Gibbons

 

Huntington Beach News Staff

Editor Louis Paul Hart in suit and hat on right about 1915. Having begun with a paper edition in 1904 in Huntington Beach and in the years since, we continue to bring you the news of the people and events that other media’s bypass.” hbnews.us

Corky Carroll: Best beaches to surf in Orange County — for summer or winter, beginner to advanced

Intermediate to advanced: For the most consistent waves with the most power I would have to recommend the area closer to the Huntington Beach Pier. This is sort of the heart of one of the most aggressive surfing communities on the planet and where “the good guys” hang out. Also good in winter, although not as consistent due to Catalina, are the two spots in the Trestles area just south of San Clemente called Uppers and Church. The direction of the swells hits these two breaks perfectly in winter months.” ocregister.com Corky Carroll (File photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)”

South Orange County

90 Candles: San Clemente to Celebrate Its 90th Anniversary

Ole would advertise land tracts in newspapers in San Diego and Los Angeles, and people would come down and get a chicken dinner and the sales pitch. They could mark off lots if they wanted and put down their deposit,” Culbertson said. “When Ole Hanson drove through here in the 1900s, nothing existed between San Juan Capistrano and Oceanside. He cooked up this dream that he wanted to have a ‘Spanish Village by the Sea,’ and unlike so many other developers, he wanted to have a clean slate.” sanclementetimes.com By Eric Heinz

Why the swallows stopped returning to San Juan Capistrano and how people brought them back

Cliff swallows are one of more than 350 bird species that migrate along the Pacific Flyway. They stay in the Northern Hemisphere from March to October. But swallows aren’t returning to Mission San Juan Capistrano in the numbers they used to. A remodel of the mission in the 1990s removed nests from overhangs, and with that loss of habitat, swallows did not return to the mission.” mercurynews.com  By KURT SNIBBE | Southern California News Group

No Surf? How About a History Lesson?

On the surfing front, anybody who rides waves around here should have a brief appreciation for just how San Onofre came to be one of the birthplaces of surf culture on the West Coast. It was first surfed in the early 1920s, although it’s still debated who the first person to surf at San Onofre was. Some say it was Laguna Beach’s George “Peanuts” Larson. Others contend it was Matt Brown and Lorrin “Whitey” Harrison. Given that was nearly 100 years ago, the mystery will probably never be solved conclusively, but it’s fun to banter about.danapointtimes.com by Dana Point Times 

Laguna Beach

City of Laguna Beach – Diver’s Cove

Popular activities include swimming, skin and scuba diving, and body surfing. Hazardous and rip conditions are evident in all directions. This beach is steep and has a shore break under all conditions. The crack around the north point is always a potential hazard and should never be entered or approached too closely.” lagunabeachcity.net

 

 

Spotlight on the South Coast Region in Time for Summer

Just in time for summer vacation. Discover what the locals enjoy. What’s it like to live here?

Life doesn’t get any better than in the famous beach towns and resort neighborhoods – Malibu, Santa Monica, along the South Bay boardwalk. Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Del Mar, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and Coronado.

 

Highlights and Headlines: Spring 2018

South Coast Region

San Diego

Celebrate Spring With These 5 Outdoor Happy Hours

“To kick off spring the proper way, we’ve rounded up a few spots that would make William Willett (to whom we owe this clock-changing tradition) proud. When you’ve sampled all of these, you can start working through our exhaustive guide to San Diego’s very best happy hours, for any time of year.” sandiegomagazine.com/ The outdoor digs at Topside. CHASE SCHEINBAUM | Photo: Justin McChesney-Wachs

40 top things to do in San Diego

San Diego attractions and locations

You will never run out of fun things to do in San Diego, there’s always a fun event, concert or activity and with so many San Diego attractions it’s really hard to choose. So just to get you started if you’re visiting San Diego soon, check out these 40 top things to do in San Diego and you just might enjoy doing some of these activities and places to visit in the city.” http://travelphotodiscovery.com/ by Noel.

North County, San Diego

Sand replenishment begins at Cardiff State Beach.

“Sand replenishment began Tuesday at Cardiff State Beach as part of the San Elijo Lagoon restoration project.Improved water quality, greater wildlife diversity, more public recreational trails and a greater resilience to environmental change are among the long-term goals of the restoration, which has been planned for decades.” Phil Diehl. sandiegouniontribune.com/ (Union-Tribune file photo by Eduardo Contreras)”

If Trump Wants to Drill for Oil in San Diego Waters, He’ll Have to Get Through His Navy

The Trump administration has proposed opening California’s coast to oil drilling. An oil basin near Oceanside could be particularly valuable, but the military says drilling there would disrupt its operations. California politicians and environmentalists have long worried about oil spills — because they’ve seen them before. A 1969 spill in Santa Barbara blackened dozens of miles of coastline, killed thousands of birds and devastated local tourism and fishing. But the armed forces have worries of their own. Offshore drilling could flummox training and operations and, in turn, endanger national security.” voiceofsandiego.org Ry Rivard Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Orange County Beach Towns

South Orange County

Dana Point. Doheny Blues Festival is returning with a new lineup and a new location

“Singer and songwriter Beth Hart will perform at the 21st annual Doheny Blues Festival on May 20 at Sea Terrace Community Park in Dana Point. Founded in 1998, the festival has played host in years past to blues legends Bo Diddley, B.B. King and John Lee Hooker and rock pioneers Chuck Berry and Little Richard. The festival was forced to move this year after the California parks department notified organizers in November that they’d have to find a new venue after two decades at Doheny State Beach.” http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot BRADY MACDONALD (Photo by Studio-E Elena Garm)

Dana Point. Rhythm and Resin: The Waves, and the Beat, Roll on for Danny and Damian Brawner

“Since 1952, Dana Point’s Danny Brawner has been crafting and fine-tuning Southern California culture through his craftsmanship and his music in ways the masses often don’t take time to appreciate. Locals may have to read the back of an album carefully, or ask a local shaper who did the all-important, life-sustaining glasswork on that new surfboard. It may not even be recorded in some cases, but a little research will quickly reveal the Brawner name is deeply woven into the fabric of South Orange County culture.” http://www.sanclementetimes.com/ Daniel Ritz, By Staff

San Onofre’s Nuclear Waste Storage Tanks Already Breaking

“For now though, the waste is still headed to San Onofre, busted bolts and all. All 3.6 million pounds of it. Just a few months into Southern California Edison’s very controversial plan to relocate spent nuclear fuel to holding tanks on the beach at San Onofre, crews are finding the holding tanks aren’t working properly. “We warned them that this was going to happen, and nobody listened to us,” Donna Gilmore of SanOnofreSafety.org told the LA Times. “Now they are trying to tell us: ‘Everything is OK. Don’t worry.’ This is insane. Edison has proven they can’t keep us safe.” www.surfer.com/ JUSTIN HOUSMAN Photo: Ellis

Laguna Beach

A short biography of Tom Morey

“Morey is related to the founders of the Detroit-based Dodge Brothers automobile company. The Morey’s moved to Laguna, California, when Tom was eight. There, he learned to bodysurf on his father’s back. Tom, who loved music almost as much as the ocean, called his invention the Morey Boogie after the boogie blues tempo. Boogie was a type of jazz music that was popular before World War II. As Tom put it: “Boogie swung, and it had a wiggle and a jiggle to it… it was perfect.” www.surfertoday.com Seamus McGoldrick Morey Archive

Laguna Beach. Women’s Surf Team Wins State Championship

“Laguna Beach High School’s women’s shortboard team won the crown as team champion at the Scholastic Surf Series high school state championship. MVP went to freshman Tess Booth, who besides competing in shortboard, also competed in one longboard heat as well.” www.lagunabeachindy.com By : Guest Contributor MVP Tess Booth in action.

Balboa, Newport and CDM

Newport Beach. Newport Harbor ‘is not a port’: Coastal Commission votes to oppose city’s goal of a port master plan

“The California Coastal Commission voted 9-3 on Thursday to oppose legislation necessary to amend the California Coastal Act to establish Newport Harbor, pictured, as a port. The commission voted 9-3, with members Erik Howell, Ryan Sundberg and Roberto Uranga dissenting, to oppose Assembly Bill 1196, which would amend the California Coastal Act to establish Newport Beach as a port — a status it needs before it can seek a port master plan. It would join Los Angeles, Long Beach, Hueneme and San Diego, all deepwater industrial ports.” http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot · By Hillary Davis (File Photo)

Newport Beach. New Film ‘Surfing To Cope’ Details Brianna Cope’s Surfing Through Adversity

“Cope’s trials and tribulations as a blossoming surf star on the world stage is documented in the short film entitled “Surfing To Cope,” which premieres Monday evening at the Newport Beach Film Festival. And she has done all that while dealing with a birth defect. Brianna’s left hand is under-developed, and to cope with everything that comes along with that Cope found the ocean as a great equalizer early on in her life. She has dedicated everything since to the ocean and accomplishing her goals. “The ocean is the one place I wasn’t self-conscience,” Cope told ASN. “I feel so happy and free when I’m surfing. There is no judgement or imperfections, it’s all about the ocean and its beauty.” www.adventuresportsnetwork.com/ Ryan Brower

Newport Beach Film Festival

“The Newport Beach Film Festival seeks to bring to Orange County the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world. Committed to enlightening the public with a first-class international film program as well as providing a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities, the Festival focuses on showcasing a diverse collection of both studio and independent films.” newportbeachfilmfest.com/events/

Surf City USA – Huntington Beach

Rethinking Localism in the Digital Age

“The other morning, I was surfing the north side of the pier in Huntington Beach. The waves were about waist high, the wind was cross shore, and I was not surfing well. After blowing my first wave of the day, I got inside my head with some negative thoughts, which often has a way of ruining my session. I’d clearly dropped in on him and surfed (almost) the entire wave blissfully unaware. Damn, I felt like a moron. I’ve surfed for 20 years and just like the rest of us, I’ll occasionally drop in on people by accident. Occasionally, they drop in on me. Sometimes I get a little mad inside when they do. But I try to practice kindness and have a positive outlook. This guy I’d just dropped in on did a great job of the latter. I paddled back out and apologized. “No worries, brother,” he said. “I was trying to synchronize with your turns.” He laughed and paddled off. I laughed.” www.theinertia.com Simon Short Instagram

Huntington Beach. FIVB Huntington Beach Open: Humana-Paredes, Pavan outlast April Ross, Alix Klineman

“The best match of the Huntington Beach Open was Friday’s championship bracket showdown between two-time Olympic medalist April Ross and new partner Alix Klineman and a Canadian pair that’s ranked second in the world. Ross, considered by many to be the best individual player in the sport, is as rambunctious as ever. She split with Kerri Walsh Jennings after winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics and spent late last season mulling a decision on a partner for a run at the 2020 Olympics.” BOB KEISSER | www.pe.com/ (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Naples to Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Long Beach. If CSULB’s Prospector Pete had a true story, this would be it

“Prospector Pete was civil, even loving, to everyone, respecting the Golden Rule as much as the Gold Rush. He made his wealth quickly and easily and shared it with the vaunted Swiss generosity, building schools for Mexican, Chinese and indigenous boys and girls.” www.presstelegram.com TIM GROBATY (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova, Press-Telegram /SCNG)

Long Beach. Modica’s

“We are located on the ground floor of the Historic Cooper Arms building in downtown Long Beach, California. At modica’s, every dish is created using only the finest and freshest ingredients. We have created a marinara sauce to die for! With your choice of pasta you get delicious baked bread that is made daily and a fresh mesclun salad topped with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.” http://www.visitlongbeach.com

South Bay

Malibu. This Gorgeous Malibu Beach House Is Your Dream Summer Retreat

“Immerse yourself in the epitome of beachfront luxury at this sprawling modern villa situated on the golden sands of Broad Beach in Malibu, California. Planning a California getaway that you never want to forget? Where you choose to stay plays an important role in your vacation memories. This stunning beach house in Malibu is the ideal luxury rental if you’re traveling with a group. A family reunion or friends trip, perhaps? The property is available to book on TripAdvisor.” www.tripadvisor.com

Malibu. A Taste of SoCal’s Finest Lifestyle Awaits at This $75,000-Per-Month Malibu Estate

“With the ocean in your backyard, this dreamy home is the perfect beachfront escape. With summer right around the corner, it’s time to figure out where to go on vacation this year. And while road trips to national parks have an undeniable allure, it’s equally tempting to stay put all summer long. Designed as the ultimate oceanfront escape, 24683 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Calif., can be rented for $75,000 a month—which means you can unpack your swim trunks and enjoy the blissful beachfront abode for as long as your heart desires.” http://robbreport.com/ Juliana Distefano

Ventura County

Ventura. Shopping in Ventura CA | Malls, Outlets & Boutiques

“Ventura offers eclectic, locally owned shops where you can find items you won’t see anywhere else. A variety of these shops lines the streets of Ventura, featuring clothing boutiques, antique stores, home and garden shops, art galleries, gift stores and other specialty shops. Starting in downtown Ventura, just steps away from the beachfront promenade, a walk through Main Street is like no other. Right away, countless storefronts will grab your attention.” visitventuraca.com

Ventura. What $900,000 buys in three Ventura County neighborhoods. There’s even a beach house.

“Here’s a look at what about $900,000 buys in the Ventura County cities of Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Ventura.VENTURA: This two-bedroom cottage, built in the 1950s and since updated, is a stone’s throw from San Buenaventura State Beach.” http://www.latimes.com Neal J. Leitereg (Realtor.com)

Islands along the Pacific Coast

Channel Islands: California’s Majestic National Park You Didn’t Know About

“Remote yet accessible, this archipelago stretches north along the coast from LA, and the Channel Islands National Park comprises the five northernmost islands. Just hours from the city, the National Park sees less than 20,000 overnight campers a year and is the perfect spot to escape the crowds, especially mid-week.The closest islands are visible from the coast, but a deep channel separates them from the mainland. This allowed wildlife to develop in isolation until humans arrived and there are 145 endemic or unique species in the archipelago including the diminutive island fox.”  https://awol.junkee.com Alexis Buxton-Collins Image: Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands. Bald eagle chicks hatch on California’s Channel Islands

“Channel Islands National Park says the two chicks hatched 14 hours apart on Santa Cruz Island, and a third egg chick was expected Friday. The hatchings are a sign of progress in restoration of the species to the island chain where the birds disappeared in the 1960s due to the effects of DDT and other human activities.” https://www.sfgate.com

Are You Ready for Natural Beauty and Awesome Adventures?

We’re nearing the end of our journey inching up the coast of California, town-by-town, beach-by-beach choosing roads that hug the Pacific Ocean whenever we can.

 

Looking for awesome vacations and potential second or first homes we’d love.

 

Highlights and Headlines: April 2018

South Coast Region

San Diego

Point Loma. 7 Things to Do, See, and Eat in Point Loma.

You know that a peninsula is worthy of national monument status when even the “new” lighthouse has been safely guiding ships into port for over 125 years. The city’s history can be traced back to this very spot, and today the area is dotted with pristine marinas, dockside dining, and miles of walking and hiking paths that beckon locals and tourists alike who are looking for fun on the waterfront.” By: San Diego Magazine sandiego.org 

North County, San Diego

Del Mar. Ultimate California beach house wants $18.75M.

This beach house in Del Mar, in San Diego County, is the stuff of dreams—and magazines. Recently featured on the cover of Dream Homes magazine, the 1982 home was designed by architect Sim Bruce Richards, a Taliesin fellow, and the influences of Frank Lloyd Wright are clear.” By Lauren Ro  Courtesy of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

Orange County Beach Towns

South Orange County

Capistrano. More Sharks Offshore, But Don’t Panic. 

Experts Say We’re not on the Menu. Whale-watchers spot a young white shark off Capistrano Beach last May aboard Capt. Dave’s Dolphin Safari from Dana Point.” By Rita Robinson.  lagunabeachindy.com Photo courtesy of Jason and Jenny Armstrong.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach. Art Ninjas Add Local Color by Stealth.

Muralist Jeff Lavinsky during installation of “Main Beach Mandala, located south of Main Beach. lagunabeachindy.com Photo courtesy of Jeff Lavinsky.

 

Balboa, Newport and CDM

Newport Beach. Gray whale entangled off the Wedge in Newport Beach; rescue efforts halted for the day.

Leslie Evarts saw the gray whale in the distance from her Laguna Beach home, grabbed her stand-up paddleboard and rushed out to the water, with hopes of seeing the 30-foot sea creature up close.” By LAYLAN CONNELLY Orange County Register Photo courtesy of Ryan Lawler, Newport Coastal Adventure 

Surf City USA – Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach. FIVB Huntington Beach Open: Humana-Paredes, Pavan outlast April Ross, Alix Klineman.

USA’s Alix Klineman, left, and partner April Ross get tangled up during their three-set loss to Canada’s Sarah Pavin and Melissa Humana-Paredes on Friday at the FIVB Huntington Beach Open.” BOB KEISSER | Press-Enterprise (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Naples to Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Long Beach. Tacos and Mexican food for Cinco de Mayo — the best in the Long Beach area.

 Tacos are popular in Southern California, whether they’re basic with ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, or more elaborate creations, such as these Brisket tacos.” By MERRILL SHINDLER | MrEats@aol.com |presstelegram.com (File photo) 

South Bay

Malibu. Malibu Surfrider Beach.

Malibu Lagoon is comprised of 22 acres of wetlands, gardens, and sandy beach, while Malibu “Surfrider” Beach has almost a mile of ocean frontage with 0.7 acres of property, and famous Malibu Pier is a great place for saltwater fishing.beaches.lacounty.gov 

 

Ventura County

Ventura. California’s Ventura County Coast: Surf, Style & Shakespeare.

As I learned firsthand this summer, the entire Ventura County Coast, comprising the cities of Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo, and Hueneme, on the southern end of California’s central coast, offers many such glorious juxtapositions, embracing surfing, style, Shakespeare, and much more.” By Robert Firpo-Cappiello budgettravel.com  Courtesy Ventura County Coast

Islands along the Pacific Coast

Catalina Island. Avalon Harbor Lights Tour.

Experience the romance and mystery of Catalina by night on this narrated adventure into the hills above historic Avalon. Your open air biofuel Hummer will take you east along the waterfront past Lover’s Cove before heading up to Mt. Ada for spectacular views of the twinkling city and harbor lights below.visitcatalinaisland.com 

Central Coast Region

Santa Barbara County

Montecito. Cheers to Montecito – Visit Santa Barbara.

Along the coast of The American Riviera® lies the town of Montecito, a seaside haven that balances sweeping coastal views and a savory culinary scene. Treat yourself to an extended vacation full of indulgent restaurants, premium wines and coastal bliss.santabarbaraca.com 

San Luis Obispo County

Avila Beach Dining | California Highway One Coast Road Trip.

Our Central Coast beach-side location holds beautiful views with a casual atmosphere. An excellent dining experience is our top priority. Our menu has something for everyone…fresh fish, hand cut steaks, refreshing salads and our specialty appetizers. We offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Come and have a drink at our cocktail bar, or dine on our outdoor patio while gazing out across the beautiful San Luis Bay.http://highway1discoveryroute.com 

Monterey County

Big Sur. 3 Days in Monterey and Big Sur.

En route, you’ll pitstop on the Monterey Peninsula before snaking along through the wilderness of Big Sur. It needs our tourism more than ever, after suffering near economic catastrophe when it was cut off from the outside world during the winter storm season 2017; bridges were destroyed and roads blocked at both its northern and southern reaches. Thankfully, for locals and visitors alike, the northern section has already reopened, across Pfeiffer Canyon, but the southern connection, at Ragged Point, is still under construction (scheduled to open late 2018 but check with CalTrans for fresh updates). “ Crystal Le blog.thedyrt.com Getty Images

Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz: 5 places to catch a good wave.

Steamer Lane is one of the best surfing breaks on the West Coast.ELLIOTT ALMOND (Shmuel Thaler – Santa Cruz Sentinel) 

 

Peninsula Region

Half Moon Bay.  12 Reasons to Love The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay.

The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay was the perfect place for our staycation.  We were not only able to catch up after my week in New York City, but escape the everyday of our area.  We were able to relax without the pressure of needing to do anything and everything (in true Jess- fashion), but could focus our energy on ourselves.  There’s no such thing as the go-go-go attitude at the Ritz, and just being there instantly puts you into a calm and relaxed state.” JESSICA  apassionandapassport.com 

San Francisco Region

San Francisco. New Hotel in a Former Military Barracks Has a Breathtaking View of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Come June 27, Lodge at the Presidio will open as San Francisco’s closest hotel to the Golden Gate Bridge. The three-story building was constructed between 1895 and 1897 as military barracks on Infantry Row for the U.S. Army. The exterior has been entirely preserved, and the renovated interior will have historical elements and spectacular views of the bridge, Alcatraz, and the city skyline.” Miranda Smith afar.com  Courtesy of the Presidio Trust

North Bay Region

Marin County. 15 Of The Best Beaches In California To Visit.

Stinson Beach is a mere 20 miles north of the city of San Francisco and two and a half miles from the secluded (and totally lovely) Bolinas Bay. Once here, make sure you take a dip in the ocean as it’s highly rated as one of the best beaches in California for swimming. If you’re more of a rambler, then take the California hiking trails from the beach lead you to Mount Tamalpais State Park.handluggageonly.co.uk/ 

North Coast Region

Sonoma Coast

Bodega Bay. Escape Reality With a Weekend on the Sonoma Coast.

It can be hard to wrap your mind around Sonoma County, an area that starts 45 miles north of San Francisco. It’s nearly the size of Delaware and encompasses rolling vineyards, dense redwood forests and, perhaps most surprisingly, a wild and foggy stretch of coast. Many tourists know that this shoreline includes the fishing village of Bodega Bay, where Hitchcock filmed “The Birds,” but the Sonoma Coast has many other draws for travelers.Rachel Ward wheretraveler.com/ The coastline along Highway 1. (Courtesy Timber Cove Resort)

Mendocino Coast

Gualala.  Gualala Country Inn.

Hike the trails of the pristine ocean beaches, explore the Redwood forests, or kayak the Gualala River. Dive for the abalone or golf the local Scottish links-style PGA quality golf course.gualalacountryinn.com/ 

 

Humboldt County

Orick. Beaches in Orick, CA.

Surrounded by parks and a natural setting, the small town of Orick offers plenty of outdoor recreation. Humboldt Lagoons State Park offers a marshland habitat of native birds, animals and plants. It is also a prime location for fishing, boating and hiking. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, meanwhile, is most famous as the filming site of the movie Jurassic Park II. In reality, though, this natural area is a haven for preservation of native redwood forest.” californiabeaches.com 

Del Norte County

Klamath. Historic Requa Inn, Klamath, CA.

With more than a century of history, the Historic Requa Inn offers a quaint bed and breakfast in remote Klamath. Uniquely tucked away within a World Heritage Site, towering redwoods surround the inn, with various state parks, recreation areas and the coast all within a 40-minute drive.californiabeaches.com 

What You Missed in March

Magnificent trees, a comfy inn and plenty of adventure.

 

It’s the closest thing to the great trauma of being born. When a big swell hits the Wedge, already gigantic waves bounce off the jetty at the south end of Balboa Boulevard

 

Highlights and Headlines: March 2018

South Coast Region

San Diego

La Jolla Cove. Southern California isn’t exactly known for its snorkeling — the strong waves usually make it tough to see much of anything — but La Jolla Cove, just north of San Diego, is an exception. The area is ringed by tall cliffs that protect the cove from big waves, allowing curious snorkelers to explore its underwater scene. Be on the lookout for leopard sharks, sea lions and dolphins. By Allyson Reedy Shutterstock

North County
Del Mar | Hot Property – A Del Mar estate built for activist investor David Batchelder has sold for $21.5 million, making it the most expensive home sold in San Diego County in more than a decade. (Sam Chen)

Orange County Beach Towns

South Orange County
Dana Point. “On the surfing front, anybody who rides waves around here should have a brief appreciation for just how San Onofre came to be one of the birthplaces of surf culture on the West Coast. It was first surfed in the early 1920s, although it’s still debated who the first person to surf at San Onofre was. Some say it was Laguna Beach’s George “Peanuts” Larson. Others contend it was Matt Brown and Lorrin “Whitey” Harrison. Given that was nearly 100 years ago, the mystery will probably never be solved conclusively, but it’s fun to banter about.” Dana Point Times Jake Howard

Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach. “The five star Montage Laguna Beach resort receive a five-star rating from the Forbes Travel Guide for its hotel, restaurant and spa. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)”

 

Balboa, Newport and CDM
Balboa Peninsula. Asked what it’s like to bodysurf one of the most famous breaks on Earth, a regular once opined, “It’s the closest thing to the great trauma of being born.” When a big swell hits the Wedge, already gigantic waves bounce off the jetty at the south end of Balboa Boulevard; combining with the next wave, they create magnificent, malevolent monsters that can top 25 feet.

Surf City USA – Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach. Irvine and Huntington Beach Make Top Ten List of Happiest Cities in America. WalletHub released a survey of the happiest cities in America. Our own Irvine and Huntington Beach are in the top 10 happiest cities, coming in at No. 8 and 9, respectively. Orange Coast Magazine Alan Gibbons

Naples to Palos Verdes Peninsula
Long Beach. Calls for more research, education as great white shark population grows off California. “Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at CSU Long Beach, said the shark population is recovering at time when more and more people are swimming, surfing and paddle boarding along the coast.” (Photo: AP FILE PHOTO) Cheri Carlson vcstar.com

South Bay

Redondo Beach. As you may infer from its name Redondo Beach features a mile and a half of sandy beachfront as you venture south of the marina and pier area. timeout.com

 

Ventura County

Ojai. Hotels & Resorts in Ojai California | Ojai Visitors Bureau | Things to Do in Ojai. Nestled in a scenic valley surrounded by citrus groves and natural beauty, Ojai is easy to explore while taking in the sights along the way. This is the perfect destination for family vacations in Southern California. Looking for a girlfriends getaway? Golf vacation? Romantic weekend? Solo getaway? Ojai has something for everyone. ojaivisitors.com

Islands along the Pacific Coast

Anacapa Island. “Anacapa is the closest island to the mainland, just 12 miles from the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. Most of Island Packers departures to East Anacapa Island are from our location in the Channel Islands Harbor. islandpackers.com

Central Coast Region

Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara. “Review: Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara. “The former Hotel Vista Mar Monte opened to grand fanfare in 1931. It is a California classic. There is not one hotel building but three…and they are not connected.” MATTHEW. liveandletsfly.com

 

 

 

San Luis Obispo County
San Luis Obispo. “Welcome to Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. For more than two centuries, Mission San Luis Obispo has greeted travelers, pilgrims and guests with open doors and a place to rest. At the crossroads of the Central California coast, the Mission lends heart and spirit to its vibrant surrounding community. We hope you will visit us. We are open year-round.” missionsanluisobispo.org

Monterey County
Monterey. Experience Monterey Bay at This Historic Hotel Overlooking the Surf. 30 percent off Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, a classic coastal gem perched over a magnificent bay. Don’t miss the rooftop spa and the seafood restaurant with ocean views. Courtesy of Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. travelandleisure.com

Santa Cruz County
Judge’s tentative ruling clears the way for potentially huge fines against Coastal Commissioners. Five former and current members of the California Coastal Commission face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for allegedly not properly disclosing private meetings with developers and others, under a 2016 lawsuit. Joshua Emerson Smith. sandiegouniontribune.com

Peninsula Region

Half Moon Bay. Sam’s Chowder House: Brings the Coastside to the Table. Sam’s Chowder House sits steps from the shore with front row views of the Pacific—close enough to spy migrating whales leap from the water—and exceptional seafood that’s gained a loyal following and a shout-out on the Today Show. Yet, the family-owned and operated restaurant offers more than great views and grub. www.visithalfmoonbay.org

San Francisco Region

Ocean Beach. Want to Fight Sea Level Rise? Look to San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. The problem at Ocean Beach will only get worse, because the sea has nothing to do but rise in this era of rapid climate change. So will San Francisco spend the rest of its days shoveling sand in a quixotic battle against inevitability? Far from it—it’s all part of a plan to adapt to inevitability, which could set precedent for how this and other coastal cities fight rising seas. MATT SIMON SCIENCE wired.dom GETTY IMAGES

North Bay Region

Marin. West Marin saloon nurturing a new live music scene. “As the modern world speeds along at breakneck speed, challenging us all to keep up, there are still outposts from old Marin that survive and even flourish. One of them is the Papermill Creek Saloon at 1 Castro St. in Forest Knolls, a 110-year-old watering hole in the heart of the forested San Geronimo Valley that proudly advertises itself as “the best historic dive bar in Marin.”” Paul Liberatore marinij.com

North Coast Region

Sonoma Coast
Sonoma County. A Sonoma Wine Maker’s Locavore Favorites. A native of Sonoma County, Tom Gore Vineyards owner Tom Gore grew up farming and studied agriculture before launching his own wine brand. Felicia Feaster. Tim Gore Vineyards

Mendocino Coast
Mendocino. Bed and Breakfast Mendocino County. “For those who cherish the renewing power of California’s wild and beautiful North Coast, the AWARD-WINNING North Coast Country Inn Bed and Breakfast is a haven to be returned to again and again.” northcoastcountryinn.com

Humboldt County
Redwood National Park: Magnificent trees, a comfy inn and plenty of adventure. Drifting fog adds drama to Northern California’s coastline near Redwood National and State Parks. (Courtesy Marta Yamamoto) www.mercurynews.com

 

Del Norte County
See the Del Norte County Beaches. Del Norte County is the northernmost county in California and, like Humboldt County to the south, it has more wild remote beaches than urban beaches. Crescent City is the largest city in the county and it is located near the mid-point of the Del Norte Coast. californiabeaches.com

Best West Road Trip: Top Winter Stories

Wine and Music for Sonoma Wildfire Relief.

Suing Big Oil over climate change, Santa Cruz eyes wildfire, storm costs.

Headlines and Highlights: Winter 2017 – 2018

Recovery

Central Coast Region. San Luis Obispo Girl Raises Money for ‘People Who Lost Their Daddies in the Fire’. “Segraves, herself the daughter of a firefighter, kicked off her fundraising efforts by contributing her own money earned doing chores, her mother stated. The video was posted on the Wildland Firefighter Foundation’s Facebook page, along with pictures of Segraves and a link to a MobileCause fundraising page.” 

Iconic Big Sur Bridge

Central Coast Region. What To Know Before A Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip… ““The Bixby Bridge is just south of Carmel, meaning you’ll have to pull a U-turn after viewing. But it’s completely worth it. In our opinion, it’s one of the most pristinely beautiful and inspiring places on earth. Anywhere – literally, anywhere. Try to time your trip for early morning or late afternoon, while the sun is still out, giving yourself ample time to make it back onto main roads before dark.”

North Coast Region. Wine and Music for Sonoma Wildfire Relief. “Hamel Family Wines owners George and Pamela Hamel set the stage for John Fogerty: Songs for Sonoma this past Saturday to benefit Sonoma County wildfire relief.” 

North Coast Region. Sonoma County. Two months later, California wildfire victims begin the long road to rebuilding. “But for the survivors like Carlin Rosset, adjusting to the aftermath has been difficult. For starters, she now wakes up her children at 6:30 every morning to drive 35 minutes to and from school. They used to live a short walk away.” 

North Coast Region. California Wine Country Travel Update: Everything You Need to Know to Plan a Trip After the Fires. “First, Northern California’s beloved Napa and Sonoma counties seemed ruined, and then Santa Barbara and Ojai took a staggering hit.” 

A member of Raphael Saadiq’s band performs during the Band Together Bay Area benefit  for the Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund for North Bay fire relief.

North Bay Region.  Musicians band together in SF to benefit North Bay fire victims. “The names kept getting bigger for the sold-out Band Together Bay Area benefit concert, with Rancid, G-Eazy and Dead & Company giving impassioned performances and Metallica closing out the night.” 

History

South Coast Region. Islands Along the Pacific Coast. Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo. “On November 23, 1542, the little fleet arrived back in “San Salvador” (Santa Catalina Island) to overwinter and make repairs. There, around Christmas Eve, Cabrillo stepped out of his boat and splintered his shin when he stumbled onto a jagged rock while trying to rescue some of his men from attacking Tongva warriors. The injury became infected and developed gangrene, and he died on January 3, 1543 and was buried. A possible headstone was later found on San Miguel Island. His second-in-command brought the remainder of the party back to Navidad, where they arrived April 14, 1543.” Wikipedia

North Coast Region. Humboldt County. Bret Harte. ““Harte moved to California in 1853, later working there in a number of capacities, including miner, teacher, messenger, and journalist. He spent part of his life in the northern California coastal town of Union (now Arcata). The 1860 massacre of between 80 and 200 Wiyots at the village of Tuluwat was well documented historically and was reported in San Francisco and New York by Harte. When serving as assistant editor for the Northern Californian.” Wikipedia

North Coast Region. Humboldt County. Since 1890 on California’s North Coast. ““Every large or small logging or mill operation in the redwood country had a cookhouse. It was the hub of life in the temporary community, if it was in the woods. If it was located in a substantial settlement, it served as a “community center”. If the cookhouse was set up to serve fifteen or twenty men in a shingle bolt camp, often a woman and her husband, with a helper or two called bullcooks, flunkeys or cookees, handled the cooking and serving.” samoacookhouse.net

San Francisco Region. A look at the time San Francisco’s Cliff House was nearly blown into the Pacific. “This incarnation of the Cliff House, at San Francisco’s Land’s End, was built in 1894, opened in 1896, survived the 1906 earthquake, only to burn down September 7, 1907.” Photo: Chronicle Archives

Central Coast Region. Santa Barbara’s Biltmore turns 90 with photo show and custom-made wines. Santa Barbara’s Biltmore marks 90 years this year. Longtime photographer Hal Boucher shot a photo of Rosalind Russell, left, Jack Lemmon and his wife, Felicia, at the resort in 1963.” (Hal Boucher)”

San Francisco Region. Here’s what life looked like 50 years ago. “Hippies dawdle at the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets, the epicenter of the Summer of Love, in San Francisco on May 4, 1967.” Photo: Michael Ochs Archives.

 

Offshore

Central  Coast Region. South Coast Region. New offshore oil drilling proposed off California coast by Trump administration. “The Trump administration on Thursday proposed allowing new offshore oil drilling in most of America’s coastal areas, including northern, southern and central California areas like Big Sur.” By PAUL ROGERS | progers@bayareanewsgroup.com

North Coast Region. Mendocino County Steve Lopez on what’s been saved along the California coast. “But property owners are still locking out the public and bulldozers are still revving up to tear into open space. Times columnist Steve Lopez and photographer Allen Schaben are on a road trip from Oregon to Mexico to explore beaches, wetlands, wave-pounded coves, rocky cliffs and the characters who thrive in this iconic realm.”

Central Coast Region. Suing Big Oil over climate change, Santa Cruz eyes wildfire, storm costs. “The city and county of Santa Cruz sued 29 oil companies over climate change on Wednesday, seeking to recoup hundreds of millions of dollars of damages.” 

Central Coast Region. Monterey Bay sewage spill was ‘huge wakeup call,’ company says. “After the massive raw sewage spill into the Monterey Bay earlier this month that shut down beaches along the Central California Coast and prompted a federal investigation, Monterey One Water gave an update at a Monday board meeting on what it’s doing to make sure it never happens again.”

South Coast Region.  ExxonMobil Alleges It Is Victim of Vast California Climate Change ‘Conspiracy’. “Surfers ride waves in front of an oil rig off Huntington Beach on July 31, 2015.” (Credit: Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images)

What You Missed in January

To a degree, you haven’t witnessed our city until you’ve seen all its nature’s beauty.

Bruce Brown. Endless Summer.
While stationed in Hawaii, he’d spent much of his time surfing and shooting home movies of friends riding waves. With his service complete and being back in Orange County, he cut a crude, 90-minute “surf movie” together.

Highlights and Headlines: January 2018

New offshore oil drilling proposed off California coast by Trump administration. The Trump administration on Thursday proposed allowing new offshore oil drilling in most of America’s coastal areas, including northern, southern and central California areas like Big Sur. By PAUL ROGERS | progers@bayareanewsgroup.com

South Coast Region

Huntington Beach. ExxonMobil Alleges It Is Victim of Vast California Climate Change ‘Conspiracy’. Surfers ride waves in front of an oil rig off Huntington Beach on July 31, 2015. (Credit: Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images)

 

Laguna Beach. Uncertainty Clouds Hotel Laguna. The last guests of the historic Hotel Laguna turned in their room keys and its longtime operator turned over the property last week to the landlord, but much else about the iconic downtown property remains uncertain.  Photo by Mitch Ridder.

Newport Beach.  Newport’s iconic Crab Cooker to close and rebuild because of 3-year-old foundation damage. “The Crab Cooker, which has been at 2200 Newport Blvd. in Newport Beach since 1951, will be closed for about a year starting in 2018 while it is rebuilt on the same site. (File Photo)”

Bruce Brown. Endless Summer.

South Orange County.  In Remembrance: Bruce Brown, Maker of ‘The Endless Summer,’ Passes Away at 80.  “In 1958, Bruce Brown landed in Dana Point after a stint in the Navy. While stationed in Hawaii, he’d spent much of his time surfing and shooting home movies of friends riding waves. With his service complete and being back in Orange County, he cut a crude, 90-minute “surf movie” together. Resident surfboard baron Dale Velzy let Brown show the movie in his shop in San Clemente for 25 cents a head.” By Jake Howard

San Diego. 10 San Diego Trails to Get You Outside in 2018. To a degree, you haven’t witnessed our city until you’ve seen all its nature’s beauty. From the highest point in county to the La Jolla Tide Pools and peeks at the Pacific from above your handlebars, there’s no shortage of ways to get outside in the New Year. Go on, now—take a hike! San Diego Magazine

 

 

Long Beach.  Long Beach Airport to start daily service to Hawaii in June.  The historic terminal at Long Beach Airport. Hawaiian Airlines will begin operating nonstop daily flights between Long Beach and Honolulu. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

South Bay. Redondo Beach. Seaside Lagoon. “This isn’t your typical swimming pool. Seaside Lagoon is a saltwater lagoon steps away from the Pacific Ocean. Visitors can swim under lifeguard supervision, and there’s also water slides, a playground, beach volleyball and picnic areas.” Photograph: Courtesy Seaside Lagoon

Ventura County. California Fire Map Update: Thomas Fire Is Second Largest in State History. As the blaze grows, it is on track to surpass the record-holding 2003 Cedar Fire, which killed 15 people and destroyed 273,246 acres in southern San Diego. The Thomas Fire earned the second-largest wildfire designation on Tuesday by surpassing the 2012 Rush Fire, which burned 271,911 acres. This California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

Central Coast Region

Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara’s Biltmore turns 90 with photo show and custom-made wines. “Santa Barbara’s Biltmore marks 90 years this year. Longtime photographer Hal Boucher shot a photo of Rosalind Russell, left, Jack Lemmon and his wife, Felicia, at the resort in 1963. (Hal Boucher)”

Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo CA. The 10 Happiest Cities in the U.S., According to New Research. “Perhaps unsurprisingly, almost 30 percent of the places are in California. There’s really something to be said for near-constant sunshine. Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) is real, and has a dramatic impact on happiness levels for an entire season of the year. And when you’re sad almost every day, it’s hard to rate your life well, or feel natural joy.” Inc Magazine

Peninsula Region

Half Moon Bay. Weather changes push back Mavericks surf contest. Throughout the past week, there was excitement over a west-northwest swell that would bring the largest Mavericks surf of the season. That is now a matter of conjecture, and the once-promising weather forecasts have changed. SF Gate · By Bruce Jenkins

San Francisco Region

San Francisco. Turning blue to ring in the new with frigid Jan. 1 Ocean Beach plunge.  Three hundred people showed up at the foot of Taraval Street for the annual Plunge at Ocean Beach on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. Photo: Steve Rubenstein/ The Chronicle

North Bay Region

Marin County. Historic fire truck finds new home with Marin History Museum. “This 1935 fire engine is being donated to the Marin History Museum, which is temporarily donating the truck to the Marin County Fire Department, after being transported from Sonoma, Calif. on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)”

North Coast Region

Sonoma County. Devastated by wildfire, a California city weighs rebuilding amid a housing crunch. “Jeff Okrepkie stands by the lot where his house stood in the Coffey Park area of Santa Rosa, Calif. After losing his home in the wildfires last fall, Okrepkie has organized a neighborhood group to help those like him who want to rebuild. (Preston Gannaway/For The Washington Post)”

Mendocino County. Luxury Mendocino Hotel | Heritage House Resort | CA.  The Heritage House Resort is a destination you simply must experience for yourself. While our property has undergone a dramatic change over the past five years, transforming from a romantic seaside inn to a contemporary and luxurious boutique hotel, our commitment to the perfect guest experience remains.

Humboldt County. Trinidad. Majestic. Part of the auto wreck scene in The Majestic was shot at College Cove Beach on 19 March 2001. Wikipedia.

Rain, Mud and Despair

From drought to flood, from fire to mud, California bakes, burns and floats, always on the brink of calamity.

She tried to hold onto the door frame, but the force was overwhelming. He was thrown against a fence and pinned there, buried in mud up to his neck.

Central Coast Region

Act One:

Massive Landslide Isolates Big Sur

Rock Slides in Big Sur and Mudslides in Santa Barbara Block Pacific Coast Travel

Big Sur suffers another round of weather woes

More Big Sur Rock Slides

Rock slides from heavy rainfall have CLOSED #Hwy1 overnight south of Big Sur at Mile Marker 42 near Coast Gallery,” Stan Russell wrote late Monday on TheBigSurBlog. “Crews will assess damage & begin clean-up at dawn. Be safe out there!” 

 

What To Know Before A Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip…

Iconic Bixby Bridge in Big Sur

“The Bixby Bridge is just south of Carmel, meaning you’ll have to pull a U-turn after viewing. But it’s completely worth it. In our opinion, it’s one of the most pristinely beautiful and inspiring places on earth. Anywhere – literally, anywhere. Try to time your trip for early morning or late afternoon, while the sun is still out, giving yourself ample time to make it back onto main roads before dark.” 

Act Two:  

Drought, Wind and Fire

Rob Lowe Fights Wildfire, Feeds Firefighters

Rob Lowe Instagram

Rob’s home was spared even though it looked like the blaze was knocking at his front door early Sunday morning. The Thomas Fire‘s been raging for 2 weeks now and has made its way to Santa Barbara where Rob, Oprah, Ellen and Katy Perry’s folks have had to evacuate their homes. 

Act Three:

Rain, Mud and Boulders

Tracking a path of destruction from Montecito’s mountains to the ocean

San Ysidro Creek cut a path of destruction through the center of Montecito early Tuesday morning when intense rain released a deluge of debris from the Santa Ynez Mountains, which were burned by the Thomas fire. 

Family Members Frantically Search for Loved Ones Missing in Montecito Mudslide

Below, in blue, was scrawled “Augie & Karen Johnson,” with a question mark in front of their names. Below and next to it were other names, also with question marks, as people searched for loved ones. One name at the top had been crossed out, with “He is OK” scrawled next to it.  and ,

Mud, darkness and destruction turned Montecito into death trap

“But the rain was heavy enough that she woke up at 3 and watched it with her boyfriend, Norm Borgatello. They stepped out the front door to look, her family described later, and a cold sludge of gravel and mud and boulders picked them up. She tried to hold onto the door frame, but the force was overwhelming. He was thrown against a fence and pinned there, buried in mud up to his neck. She was swept away. “Josie!” he called out, over the roaring river. “Josie!”” 

Photos Of California Mudslides Show How Much Damage It’s Caused

“I came around the house and heard a deep rumbling, an ominous sound I knew was … boulders moving as the mud was rising,” resident Thomas Tighe told CBS SFBayArea. “I saw two other vehicles moving slowly sideways down the middle of the street in a river of mud.” 

After fire and mudslides, Montecito struggles; Ventura and Santa Barbara counties rebound

Montecito Inn – Huffington Post

The Montecito Inn has been evacuated and closed indefinitely. The Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore Santa Barbara, a 22-acre beachfront luxury hotel, is closed indefinitely amid substantial flood damage, a representative said. The San Ysidro Ranch resort, which shut for “an extensive cleaning” after the fire, remains closed indefinitely. Santa Barbara: Visit Santa Barbara spokeswoman Karna Hughes said most attractions are open, including the Santa Barbara Zoo, Old Mission Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. – LA Times

The California deal: Accepting the calamity along with the splendor

“Yes, we have summer and at times a bit of winter, but the cycles in California follow a different calendar. From drought to flood, from fire to mud, California bakes, burns and floats, always on the brink of calamity. We are here by the millions in defiance of reason, lured to a bountiful garden that at times seems unfit for human habitation.” 

Rain, rain, don’t go away. It’s good for this old soul

“Out here, disasters often prey on hillside castles overlooking the sea. If that seems fair or just, try sweeping three feet of muck out of your child’s closet some time. There is nothing fair about any of this. Heartache is heartache. Precious photos are precious photos. No one owns the exclusive rights to hard luck. We can’t take a hint though. This has been going on for decades, and we rebuild in vulnerable areas, because they bring us nearer to nature and soothe our jangled souls. “It’s worth the risk,” we say. “Ever seen our sunsets?”” 

Train service to Santa Barbara restored; 101 Freeway open as far as Carpinteria

“For many travelers, Amtrak trains may be the best way to get from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara for the foreseeable future. Caltrans said late Friday that the 101 Freeway would not reopen Monday, as originally thought.” 

101 Freeway, overwhelmed by Montecito mudslide, to remain closed indefinitely

“U.S. Highway 101, a major north-south artery that carries 100,000 vehicles through the Central Coast each day, was initially expected to open Monday, but officials said cleaning up one part of the freeway was proving more difficult than imagined. In a section of the road near Olive Mill Road — one of the lowest points in the city — there was 2 feet of standing water and storm drains were clogged, Jones said. Once all the mud and debris is removed, the pavement and overpasses must be evaluated for structural safety, and then signs and guardrails reinstalled and lines repainted.” 

 

What You Missed in December

People who live, work, or play there need to become comfortable with the idea that change is coming along the coast.

World Surf League has cleared its final hurdle and will stage the Mavericks big-wave surfing contest within a waiting period running from Jan. 3 through Feb. 28.

 

Change is coming to the Pacific Coast. King Tides. Big-Waves. And Mother Nature unleashed her forces when we least expected it and could afford it. Fires and recovery efforts. Oh, and we celebrated Christmas in our unique ways.

Highlights and Headlines: December 2017

North Coast Region

Arcata. History.

“The Arcata Theatre is a striking combination of Art Deco and Art Moderne architecture. This structure incorporates the geometric Art Deco design with the sweeping curved style of the Art Moderne; a frequent combination in 1930’s theater design. The marquee features neon lighting and is a focal point in the city’s skyline. In the original blue print designs, the neon marquee was nearly twice as tall as it was eventually built. “Best advertising for the town is George Mann’s new sign on the G Street Theater which emblazons to the world at large that south bound tourists are now entering Arcata”” 

Mendocino. Victorian-inspired Mendocino mansion goes to auction for $3 million.

“As a final note, the original (and thus far only) homeowners, Linda E Pedroni and Rudolph H Light, were apparently quite active for years in circles working to preserve oak tree populations, the East Ranch even serving as the mailing address for the International Oak Society‘s election committee.” 

Sonoma County. Artists draw together at Schulz Museum for North Bay fire relief.

Artists for Recovery Victims

Some of the Bay Area’s most hailed graphic novelists, cartoonists and authors — including Dave Eggers, Raina Telgemeier and Stephan Pastis — are converged at Santa Rosa’s Charles M. Schulz Museum on Saturday, Dec. 9, to raise money to support victims of the recent wildfires in Sonoma County. 

North Bay Region

Ronnie Spector, the bad girl of rock, and Summer of Love legends headline benefit concerts

“Ronnie Spector, the original bad girl of rock, a 2007 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, headlined Narada Michael Walden’s 21st Holiday Jam on Dec. 16 at the Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley.” 

 

San Francisco Region

(SF GateView Item)

Naughty is nice as SantaCon invades S.F.

The Santas were kicking off the start of this year’s SantaCon, a worldwide event that features a daylong bar crawl that sends many of its participants to the naughty list. 

Peninsula Region

Mavericks surf contest gets the go-ahead

After months of dealing with a complicated permit process, the World Surf League has cleared its final hurdle and will stage the Mavericks big-wave surfing contest within a waiting period running from Jan. 3 through Feb. 28. Once known as the Titans of Mavericks, the event off the coast of Half Moon Bay now will be called the Mavericks Challenge. 

 

Central Coast Region

Ellen DeGeneres Evacuates as California Wildfires Spread Through Santa Barbara County

Ellen and Montecito Celebrities Forced to Evacuate

DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi live in Montecito, an area where many celebrities own homes, including Patrick Stewart, Jane Seymour, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges and former Vice President Al Gore. Residents there were told to evacuate as the Thomas Fire, which has burned 170,000 acres, has threatened homes in the area. The fire, which began in Ventura County, has pushed into Santa Barbara County 

South Coast Region

California’s Thomas Fire Has Burned an Area the Size of New York

Massive Thomas Fire

Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, has reportedly scorched an area the size of New York City. As of Sunday evening the fire has burned 230,000 acres since it began, and is the fifth largest fire in recorded state history.

South Bay.

‘Re-wilding’ a Santa Monica beach to protect against sea level rise

“At the north end of Santa Monica Beach, there’s a fenced off 2-acre section that looks a bit unkempt. It’s an experiment in “re-wilding,” or restoring the beach to what it looked like before humans altered it. The pilot project, a partnership of The Bay Foundation and Santa Monica, could also help protect the city from sea level rise.”

Long Beach’s Naples and Daisy Lane parades wind down the holiday marching season

Photo For The Press Telegram by Axel Koester.

“Do you want to watch the gaudily decorated toys of wealthy people cruise Alamitos Bay and the canals of Naples? If you don’t have a friend with a canalside home, you’re welcome to join the Great Unwashed as you elbow your way to a vantage point of the decorated yachts, dories and Duffys.”

 

King Tides Apply Pressure To San Diego Coastline

A Monday morning flyover of the region’s coast revealed that the high water levels are having a variety of impacts. People who live, work, or play there need to become comfortable with the idea that change is coming along the coast. The King tides offer that insight.

Drought, Wind and Fire 

Tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes in Ventura; 150 buildings burned and thousands more along the hillside and into downtown are threatened.

 

Official Map of the Thomas Fire
The number of horses killed at a thoroughbred training facility during North County’s Lilac wildfire has risen to 46
Second Time In a Month

California burns in wildfires driven by wind and drought. For the second time in two months, wind-driven fires are tearing through California communities. So far, rows of homes and a psychiatric hospital lie in ruins and tens of thousands of people have fled for their lives. (dw.com/Reuters)

North Coast Region

Artists for Recovery Victims

Sonoma County.  Artists draw together at Schulz Museum for North Bay fire relief. Some of the Bay Area’s most hailed graphic novelists, cartoonists and authors — including Dave Eggers, Raina Telgemeier and Stephan Pastis — are converging at Santa Rosa’s Charles M. Schulz Museum on Saturday, Dec. 9, to raise money to support victims of the recent wildfires in Sonoma County. – (Photo: Santiago Mejia, Special To The Chronicle)

Not the Smoke You Want

Wildfires devastate California pot farmers, who must rebuild without banks or insurance. “She was among hundreds of growers — big and small, fully permitted, semi-legal and pure outlaw — devastated by the fires in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties. Their losses illustrate how, despite new laws to make the industry legal in California, many farmers remain uninsured and trapped in a cash economy that leaves them vulnerable to natural disasters.” – (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Central Coast

Massive Thomas Fire

California’s Thomas Fire Has Burned an Area the Size of New York. Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, has reportedly scorched an area the size of New York City. As of Sunday evening the fire has burned 230,000 acres since it began, and is the fifth largest fire in recorded state history. – (Photo: CAL Fire)

Ellen and Montecito Celebrities Forced to Evacuate

Ellen DeGeneres Evacuates as California Wildfires Spread Through Santa Barbara County. DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi live in Montecito, an area where many celebrities own homes, including Patrick Stewart, Jane Seymour, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges and former Vice President Al Gore. Residents there were told to evacuate as the Thomas Fire, which has burned 170,000 acres, has threatened homes in the area. The fire, which began in Ventura County, has pushed into Santa Barbara county. – (SF Gate)

South Coast Region

Ojai Neighbors Brace for the Worst

Ventura County. Ojai, Calif., Ringed by Flames, Is an Ash-Covered Shangri-La. Ojai, about 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles, has long been a haven for nature lovers, spiritual seekers, artists, stressed-out urban exiles and Hollywood celebrities, all of whom felt protected by the pleasant valley surroundings and pure air. But for the last few days, Ojai has been at the center of the largest of several wildfires ravaging Southern California. The Thomas Fire, which has resulted in at least one death, has chewed through more than 140,000 acres in Ventura County, fanned by unpredictable winds that have battered coastal areas and inland communities like Ojai. (Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Time)

Not Quite Miller Time, Yet

In Ojai, people stock up on gas, water and beer. Many residents in the town of 7,500 had already fled by Tuesday afternoon, worried that the few highways out would be choked with traffic if the flames got closer. Some who stayed were preparing for the worst. (SF Gate)

 

Ventura Hillside Homes Threatened

The Firestorm This Time: Why Los Angeles Burns. Tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes in Ventura; 150 buildings burned and thousands more along the hillside and into downtown are threatened. (wired.com)

 

 

Shortening Cycle of Disasters

Los Angeles County. Doom Season in Los Angeles. Californians live in an increasingly precarious balance with the flora and fauna that surround us. Last winter’s rains brought brush and hillside grasses back to life, but they didn’t resurrect the more than 102 million trees killed by five years of drought; each one becomes kindling for future blazes. Meanwhile, new subdivisions keep being built in traditional fire corridors. The fire season after a wet winter is always an especially dangerous time in Southern California. As the brush grows thicker it can feed powerful flames; they sweep down the same routes in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains that packs of coyotes follow to prey on our dogs and cats. We’ve pushed the landscape to the limits of human habitation. (Credit- Hilary Swift for The New York Times)

Creek Fire Prompts Prayers

Wildfires Rage Across Southern California, 200K Evacuate. Firefighters battle to save one of many homes burning in an early-morning Creek Fire that broke out in the Kagel Canyon area in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles, in Sylmar, California, U.S., December 5, 2017. (The Daily Beast)

Raw Power of the Lilac Fire

San Diego County. Lilac Fire Pictures And Videos Show Blaze Near San Diego California. A fast-moving wildfire broke out in San Diego County Thursday, quickly consuming 2,500 acres, officials said. The Lilac Fire was zero percent contained late Thursday afternoon and had destroyed 20 structures. Another 1,000 were threatened. The fire began along Interstate 15 and State Route 76. Photos and videos from the scene showed flames nearing the highway as smoke billowed throughout the region. (ibtimes.com)

Bewildered Thoroughbreds Scatter In North County

Thoroughbred death toll rises to 46 from wildfire. The number of horses killed at a thoroughbred training facility during North County’s Lilac wildfire has risen to 46, a spokesman for the California Horse Racing Board said Saturday morning. Many horses from San Luis Rey Downs are among several hundred living temporarily at the Del Mar Fairgrounds after fleeing the wildfire. (sandiegouniontribune.com)

What You Missed in November

 Newport Beach is a picture-perfect place to visit any time of year for its stunning coastline, dramatic yacht-dotted harbor and aesthetically inclined locals.”

“Here’s Johnny’s” Malibu Mansion
Wineries across both Napa and Sonoma are open and pouring their best vintages – except Signorello Estate, which burned to the ground on the Silverado Trail in Napa during the October fires.

 

Who are Millbillies? When did Brett Harte move to Arcata? What makes Carlsbad a “walkable town” and Newport Beach a “shop ’til you drop” destination? How much is Johnny Carson’s Malibu mansion on the market for?  And where did Hollywood celebrities “from Clark Gable to Renée Zellwegger” hang out when they were, well, not in Hollywood?

Find out answers to these burning questions (with apologies to Sonoma and Napa valley residents and wineries) with this month’s Baker’s Dozen.

Highlights and Headlines: November 2017

South Coast Region

Floating Concrete House

San Diego. ‘Floating’ concrete house wins top architecture award. “The (awards) jury felt the project was an excellent example of great architecture that is also carbon neutral and energy neutral,” the five-member selection panel said. “The simple clean lines of the architecture reminded the jury of the quality work of (modernist architect Rudolph) Schindler.” Called “The Cresta,” the three-story house sits on a 5,000-square-foot lot, a fraction of the size of nearby sites, Segal said in his nomination form. (Film by Jeff Durkin, Architecture by Jonathan & Matthew Segal. (Courtesy of Bread Truck Films)

Walking Wine Tour

North County. Carlsbad is a lovely ocean-side community just north of San Diego, and directly adjacent to the aptly named town of Oceanside. It offers year-around amazing weather, scenic beaches, dozens of quaint restaurants, and two wineries. Carlsbad is a very walkable town, at least for tourists like us, so we parked our car when we arrived and pretty much walked everywhere we wanted to go! https://winetastingbliss.com/2017/10/wine-carlsbad/#

Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach

Orange County Beach TownsNewport Beach is a picture-perfect place to visit any time of year for its stunning coastline, dramatic yacht-dotted harbor and aesthetically inclined locals. And now—thanks to a tasteful, modern-day reincarnation of a vintage favorite—this Orange County haunt is also a sensational place to shop ‘til you drop. Lido Marina Village (3434 Via Lido, Newport Beach) was first developed in 1971, originally conceived as a small and charming pedestrian- friendly shopping center. It was only last year that private equity investment firm” Hauteliving.com

Long Beach Development Plans

Naples to Palos Verdes Peninsula. Long Beach. “The 1,500 square-foot area is roughly bounded by Seventh Street, Marine Stadium and Orange County. It includes single and multifamily residential neighborhoods and several large shopping centers, such as Marina Pacifica, the Marketplace and Marina Shores.” Long Beach Press-Telegram

“Here’s Johnny’s” Malibu Mansion

South Bay. Malibu. “For the first time in a decade, the lifelong home of comedy legend Johnny Carson has hit the market. Listed by Coldwell Banker, the five-bedroom, four-bathroom Malibu residence can be your new home away from home for a cool $81.5 million dollars.” JUSTLUXE: LUXURY NEWS AND REVIEWS

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Ventura County. Ojai.  “But for those in the know, a historic property 35 miles south of Santa Barbara is the perfect spot for a pleasing respite. Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California, has long been the go-to vacation spot for the Hollywood elite, from Clark Gable to Renée Zellwegger.” PURSUITIST

Avalon on Santa Catalina Island

Islands along the Pacific Coast. Catalina Island. A modern estate perched on a hillside in Avalon has sold for $4.6 million, making it the most expensive home sold on Santa Catalina Island since 2013. Built in 2007, the red-hued home is a confluence of contemporary and Balinese style. Los Angeles Times

Central Coast Region

Montecito Estate in Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara. CONSTANTIA is an estate of unparalleled quality located in the heart of Montecito. Juxtaposed between the mountains and the sea, this Cape Dutch Colonial masterpiece harkens back to a more elegant time, but with the conveniences of a 21st Century home. Hauteresidence.com

 

Peninsula Region

A rancher’s cows relax at the new La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve in La Honda, California,

La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve. Huge new Bay Area open space preserve opens to public. For the past 175 years, it’s been a Mexican land grant, a dairy farm, a hideout for members of Jesse James’ outlaw gang, an oil field, a redwood logging mill, a cattle ranch and a retreat for heirs to the Weyerhaeuser lumber and Folgers coffee fortunes. The Mercury News.

San Francisco Region

San Francisco

From bread bowls to Karl the Fog to our indisputable holy object, the Golden Gate Bridge, scroll through the above gallery for a list of things San Franciscans consider sacred. SF Gate

 

 

North Bay Region

An informal Millbilly gathering

Mill Valley. “An informal Millbilly gathering on a Friday night at the Depot Plaza. From left, Gary Scheuenstuhl, a local drummer and owner of Mill Valley Music; Jesse Lee Kincaid, a local guitarist; and Eric Meade of Fairfax. Says Scheuenstuhl: “The ’60s and ’70s were the golden era here. A lot of my high school friends had to leave.” (Photo by Mary Ann Hogan)” Marin Independent Journal

North Coast Region

Wine Country Rebound

Sonoma and Napa Wine CountryWineries across both Napa and Sonoma are open and pouring their best vintages – except Signorello Estate, which burned to the ground on the Silverado Trail in Napa during the October fires, and a few others that suffered damage. But the classics are still at the top of their games, with favorites like the award-winning Shafer Vineyards (whose Relentless 2008 bottling took home the world’s number one wine prize from Wine Spectator in 2012) unscathed and taking reservations for during-the-week tastings. http://ncwineguys.com/

Bret Harte in North Coast Region

Arcata.(Bret) Harte moved to California in 1853, later working there in a number of capacities, including miner, teacher, messenger, and journalist. He spent part of his life in the northern California coastal town of Union (now Arcata). The 1860 massacre of between 80 and 200 Wiyots at the village of Tuluwat was well documented historically and was reported in San Francisco and New York by Harte. When serving as assistant editor for the Northern Californian.” Wikipedia