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Planning a trip to the sunny Southern California beaches? Keep up to date with the latest additions and changes to along with snippets of beach news and events by subscribing to this mini-blog.

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Oct 23, 2016

Upcoming Cruises From Southern California In January 2017

Just in case you were a little curious about where cruises departing from Southern California ports in January are headed, here is a short list:Holland America: San Diego to Fort Lauderdale via the Panama CanalCarnival: L.A. to L.A. via Ensenada and CatalinaCarnival: L. A. to L.A. via Puerto VallartaPrincess Cruises: L.A. to Hawaii and backOceana: L.A. to TahitiSeabourn: L.A. to BarbadosNorwegian: L.A. to Miami

More about cruises from Los Angeles here...

Oct 22, 2016

Free Southern California Maps of Beaches

You hear about this or that beach, but sometimes it is not clear where to find it or how to best get there. To make it easy, we have maps of beaches in each county that you can print (Orange County, L.A. County, San Diego County), or an interactive map with icons on each beach town, or best of all, you can request our awesome free list of beaches in So Cal, which includes arrows pointing to each beach in each area.See our free printable and/or interactive beach maps here...

Oct 21, 2016

Cruises From California Ports

There are basically 5 cruise ship ports in Southern California: Long Beach, San Pedro, (both also referred to as Port of Los Angeles), San Diego, Catalina Island and Santa Barbara. To the north, there is of course San Francisco.

The most common destinations out of San Diego are in Mexico, including parts further south than Baja California. Out of L.A. are Hawaii and Mexico, especially Ensenada.

Cruise Critic lists upcoming cruises from California where you can check reviews and prices.You can also look up your favorite cruise line and see what they have scheduled coming up.More about cruises and cruise ports in Southern California here...

Oct 20, 2016

Beach RV Camping In Southern California

It may be getting pretty cold in some parts of the country, but it is still nice beach camping weather here in So Cal. The crowds have thinned out and October (and May) are the 2 best months at the beaches in my opinion. November can get rainy (we wish!), but it really doesn't get that cold until January. (Cold at Southern California beaches is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit.)

If you have an RV or are renting one, you have options for beach camping. There are places you can camp along the highway at the beach in Ventura. Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach has more amenities.

There are private RV campgrounds in Huntington Beach, Ventura, San Diego and Oceanside. Dockweiler in El Segundo is an RV park closest to Los Angeles, as long as you don't mind the sound of the planes taking off and landing at nearby LAX.

More about Southern California beach campgrounds here...

Jul 27, 2016

Laguna Hotel 99 Steps From The Beach

best western plus brisas spa hotel in Laguna BeachSummertime in Laguna means beaches and art festivals. There are many hotels up and down the coast highway and the Best Western Brisas Spa Hotel is among one of the best located. You only need to cross the highway and find a beautiful beach down the steps. This hotel also has an outdoor heated pool and hot tub. The rooms have air conditioning. Take your complimentary breakfast upstairs and eat al fresco on the ocean view sun deck if you like.

More about hotels in Laguna Beach...

Jul 26, 2016

Tired Of Sitting On Your Duff At The Beach? Take A Nice Long Walk Around Balboa

boardwalk on the balboa peninsulaIf you like to walk and enjoy the beach town atmosphere, Balboa is a great place to do it. You can park near the Balboa Pier on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, and walk down the boardwalk that lines the back of the beach at the ocean side as in the picture above.

Or if you want to go over to the island and walk, head away from the pier towards the bay side. Walk past some shops, arcades, boat rentals and the fun zone to the ferry landing (it also takes 3 cars).

Ride the ferry over to the island, then turn right and walk along the boardwalk which circles the whole island. Maybe this is enough and you can take the ferry on back.

If you have time and energy, go ahead and stroll along the boardwalk between gorgeous waterfront homes and the mini beaches with private piers (the blue ones are public) and watch the pleasure boaters go by.

If you make it all the way to Marine Avenue, turn left and walk the 3 or so blocks through town. You’ll find a few restaurants, gift shops, a market, a Starbucks, and frozen bananas. After some food, some drinks and/or tasty treats, it’s time to head back. You can go back the way you came, or go to the end of Marine before the bridge and go left, circling around the quieter north side of the island.

I have done this walk several times, but have never timed it. I think I would allow about 2 hours and some comfortable walking shoes. Stop and sit whenever you like, there are many benches and the short wall along the boardwalk itself where you can take a break if needed.

More fun in Newport Beach...

Jul 21, 2016

Beach Camping Near Santa Barbara

beach camping at Refugio State CampgroundWithin half an hours drive northwest of Santa Barbara is some of the nicest beach camping in California. You can enjoy the beach camping experience, but still drive into town if you want to see the sights or do some wine tasting or take your kids to the zoo. El Capitan, Refugio and Gaviota are the 3 state beaches where you can camp (but reserve well in advance for summer or holiday weekends), while El Capitan Canyon is across highway 101 and offers more of a “glamping” option.

More about Santa Barbara County beach campgrounds...

Jul 20, 2016

South Bay Beaches In L.A. County

shops and cafes in Hermosa BeachSouth of LAX, or Los Angeles County Airport, there is a long, long stretch of sandy beaches all the way to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. A bike trail connects it all along the boardwalk, and it is great fun to ride along on a beach cruiser (you can rent them in several places), feeling the sea air on your face. There is El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and King Harbor and Torrance Beach. The picture above, shows the shops and restaurants near the Hermosa Beach Pier.

Also, Manhattan Beach Pier and the beaches on either side are a great place to spend the afternoon. Explore Manhattan Beach...

Jul 19, 2016

Carpinteria Camping At The Beach

Carpinteria CampgroundThe great thing about camping in Carpinteria besides the fact that the campground is at the beach, is that it is within walking distance to the main street that goes through the little town. There are restaurants, shops and a summer beach shuttle. It has a great beach town vibe. There is a small train station and you can even take the train in to Santa Barbara (less than half an hour away) and visit the wharf there or do some shopping.

Read more about Carpinteria and other beach campgrounds in Santa Barbara County.

Jul 15, 2016

Santa Barbara Sublime

Ocean View In Santa Barbara CaliforniaFew beach towns are more beautiful than Santa Barbara, with its beaches, mountains, red tiled roofs and palm trees. It’s got the harbor, the beaches, fine restaurants, a zoo, botanical gardens, museums and shopping. You can rent bikes and ride along the boardwalk. What’s not to love? See ways to spend some time in Santa Barbara...

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