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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Experiencing Greater Los Angeles: Laguna Beach, Orange County

This time last year, my wife, teenage kids and I were in Southern California for about a week. A highlight, for sure, was spending an afternoon enjoying Laguna Beach. 

Laguana Beach is perhaps the most  quintessential California beach town. Certainly, one of - if not the - most beautiful. We parked in neighborhood, and walked a couple blocks to the beach. 

This is one of several different steps leading down to the beach. Tide coming up, and so my kids wanted to find a wider beach. So, drove about a mile north, parking in another neighborhood, and walked to the Main Beach.

After enjoying the water at Main Beach, I decided to walk about and explore a bit. I walked back along the south along the coast to where we originally stopped. This is looking south from the overlook at a set of stairs.

And looking north.

What can you say? Laguna Beach is simply beautiful. Even a broken down wall is gorgeous. Anywhere else, this would probably be covered with graffiti.

In Laguna Beach, local residents instead have painted a classic an beautiful painting. Artwork that, for some reason, is not destroyed by vandalism or taggers. 

Sorry for whoever's house that was ... but I admire the local artists painting over the cement walls and creating something of beauty. 

Another view, looking north. Yes, the beach is small. So what? 

I turned around at some rocks and headed back. 

Another set of stairs - this one with beautiful ceramic tile. 

I decided to head back through a neighborhood. Turning back around, I love the simplicity and beauty of this of the stairs and ocean beyond. In many ways, this one photograph summarizes Laguna Beach. 

Walking south along the Pacific Coast Highway, I noticed other paths towards the beach. Before you get too excited, real estate in this community is expensive. Very expensive. 

Walking along the Pacific Coast Highway, the PCH, south toward Main Beach. I would add that traffic along the PCH has can be horrible on weekends, especially during the summer. If you visit, don't expect to roll into down around 2pm and expect to find a place to park. 

Plants planted along the side of the building. Really impressive. If you'e from Laguna Beach and happen to know the street address of this building, please let us know in the comments below. 

Laguna Beach has a long connection with the arts. The Laguna Beach Artists Associate began in 1918, and the Laguna Playhouse, founded in 1920, is considered the "oldest continuously running theatre on the west coast". Above, some of the colorful and whimsical artistic banners along the Pacific Coast Highway. 

Another banner - celebrating both art and the beach. 

And surfing. What would a California beach community be without surfing?

Above, one of artist Ken Wyland most famous murals. This is the first of what would become 100 "Whaling Walls" painted around the world between 1981 and 2008. The the 100th is located in Beijing, China. 

Back in my single days, I lived in Irvine, about ten miles north of Laguna Beach. I really took for granted. Rather than try to end with something profound, I'll just end it here. 

© 2018

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