My Favorite Southern California Beaches, With One Memory About Each

Inspired by @nikkilounoel
  1. Laguna Beach
    Laguna is high class. We were not. When I was a kid, the fancy people flocked here but it wasn't without its bohemian artist contingent. The stores carried clothes, jewelry & art so far out of our price range, I felt I didn't have the right to even look. My slightly morbid memory is when a friend took me to Las Brisas Mexican Restaurant. Apparently O.J. Simpson & Nicole Brown Simpson had a summer home in South Laguna and were regulars at the restaurant's bar. She wanted to check it out 🙄
  2. Newport Beach
    My beach of choice. Spent pretty much everyday for several summers at Newport. One day we'd go to 15th St. Or 26th. Or 17th. You met different groups, cliques and ages at different streets. Beach house parties right on the boardwalk. Best memory has to be driving my boisterous and rowdy BFFs to and from. My car was a piece of shit but at least I had one.
  3. Victoria Beach Tide Pools
    Technically Laguna, Victoria Beach is its own little area. We trudged down via long winding stairs although there are probably easier ways to get there. Walking through sand & rocks, leads to the best tide pools this side of Hawaii. Best memory? With environmental science class, Cypress College, on a Saturday morning. I'll never forget holding my first octopus-how it looked and felt. Digging for sand crabs. The mussels, hermit crabs, urchins, sea plants.
  4. Huntington Beach
    Huntington was our 'family' beach. I lived in Garden Grove until I was 10, before we moved to Orange. We would drive straight down Hwy 39, which landed you right at the beach. Picnic foods, soda pop, sunburns and sand castles. My mom lived in flip flops way before it was cool-but she called them zories. (Remember I was born in Japan...) The best of times.
  5. Santa Monica Beach & Pier
    Lots of randomness. Rich folk slumming, crazies, skaters, military and tourists. The beach was pretty dirty there-trash and dog poo could be anywhere. I think it's better now. (Let me know if it isn't) Good memories of riding the carousel with a cute boyfriend.
  6. Seal Beach
    Only went to Seal Beach once but it was memorable. One of my junior high teachers took three of us to the beach after we stayed at her house in Pasadena, CA (that would NEVER happen in 2016!) Singing till we were hoarse, eating too much candy, feeling special hanging with a 'cool' teacher.
  7. Manhattan Beach
    Isn't it pretty? I don't remember this. We visited my Aunt Ruth every summer when she lived here. She wouldn't take us to the beach 'cause you kids will get sand all over my car'. Good call.
  8. One more Newport Beach story...
    There's a great bike path along the Santa Ana River bed. It's paved, fairly flat and goes 15 miles from Orange to the Pacific Coast Highway. My dad and I rode our bikes one summer afternoon but when we got to Newport Beach, we decided we're NOT biking back. We called my Mom to bring the pickup and Dad treated us to dinner at the Crab Cooker. I can't believe it's still there-funky charm, fabulous food 🦀
  9. Long Beach
    Maybe Long Beach shouldn't be in this list cause I don't really remember any sand-but there was a place called The Pike. A fairly crappy amusement park with the typical carny types, Marines looking for love and retro photo booths. Riding The Hammer when I was 10 forever scarred me. 😱 Now the big draw is the Queen Mary. It's haunted you know.