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Overview

The shoreline between Los Angeles and San Diego offers an eclectic string of beach communities, each different. Oceanside, one of the greatest surfing beaches this side of Hawaii, has a pier stretching 1,900 feet - a perfect spot to cast a line. San Clemente State Beach also has a pier and great surfing. For a little history, check out Mission San Juan Capistrano, partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1812. A great time to visit is mid-March, when vast numbers of swallows arrive on an annual migration. The Dana Point Lighthouse pins Dana Point, setting for the Orange County Marine Institute, exhibiting marine creatures as well a historic ...

The shoreline between Los Angeles and San Diego offers an eclectic string of beach communities, each different. Oceanside, one of the greatest surfing beaches this side of Hawaii, has a pier stretching 1,900 feet - a perfect spot to cast a line. San Clemente State Beach also has a pier and great surfing. For a little history, check out Mission San Juan Capistrano, partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1812. A great time to visit is mid-March, when vast numbers of swallows arrive on an annual migration. The Dana Point Lighthouse pins Dana Point, setting for the Orange County Marine Institute, exhibiting marine creatures as well a historic four-masted schooner, The Pilgrim. Northward, picturesque Laguna Beach has long been known as an artists colony, with dozens of galleries. Appropriately it hosts both the Laguna Beach Museum of Art and the seven-week Laguna Beach Festival of Arts & Pageant of the Masters, when models pose as famous paintings. Newport Beach unfurls for 19 miles within a bay protected by the Balboa Peninsula - known for its carnival rides. Sunbathers, volleyball players, and surfers flock to Huntington State Beach, while nature lovers seek out Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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