Tag Archives: Laguna Beach

Aliso Beach Your Home


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Aliso Beach is a special, special place for me in Laguna.  It is a favorite spot of water photographer and filmmaker Scotty Carter, who over the course of working on helping to promote his photographic art, has become extended family.  With his work, the team at Aliso Beach can help you Aliso Beach your home with the incredible photography of waterman Scotty Carter.

The smell of the ocean, the merciless pounding of its shore break waves, the soothing breezes, the aqua-green water color, and the coastal hills offer a tranquil setting to beach goers while the body boarders,  soft top surfers, and the skim boarders all make this an interesting and spirited community that I have enjoyed being a part of.

One of the ways we humans show our appreciation for the natural environments we covet is to display art featuring it.  Why?  It is not explainable in many ways, but we are so deeply connected to nature that the places we experience leave a mark on us that is both unforgettable and difficult to explain. Our homes are a reflection of who we are and the art reminds us of the outdoor settings that in part define us. We are moved by sun, sea, waves and coastal breezes. This little place we call Aliso Beach is one of those locations that leaves us better than we were before we visited!  You can’t put a price on the wonder, tranquility and soothing that this incredible slice of Laguna Beach delivers.

If you love Aliso Beach, and would like to include Aliso Beach art and imagery in your home, contact me at info@alisobeach.com.  If you are like me, you love Aliso Beach and it is a part of you.  I recommend the 72 x 48″ size because you can look up at and feel like you are in the barrel.  It’s priceless!



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Scotty Carter Showroom At Woods Cove Fine Art


Woods Cover Fine Art Gallery

February Art Walk Event At Woods Cove Fine Art Gallery

It has taken several months of hard work, advice, renovations and good people with a shared vision and enthusiasm rallying around the idea of creating opportunities for artists to show art in Laguna Beach, California.  This Thursday, February 4th, 2015, the Scotty Carter Showroom is officially open at Woods Cove Fine Art. We are proud to be a part of this movement in South Laguna Beach.  We invite you to enjoy a night of incredible art, music, good people and refreshments down at the gallery located at 1963 South Coast Highway on the beach side of the  road above the breathtaking Woods Cove in Laguna.  For those visiting galleries on the north end of town that would like to see the Woods Cove Fine Art Gallery, a new stop has been added to the Trolley route that drops off at Diamond Street just south of the gallery.  We believe this will give many people to see the new gallery that may have not come before because it was tough to get to.  That ends this Thursday! Laguna Beach First Thursdays Art Walk now connects with south Laguna via the Trolley, making this new gallery more accessible to residents and families that enjoy this once a month event.

The event is 6-9pm. Come see water sculptures by Scotty Carter including his new distressed wood frame metals in large format and his large canvas speaker unit.  Come test out his speaker unit using bluetooth technology to play your music using a smart phone to communicate and play through the speaker.  It is amazing!  All art sales include something you can’t get at the typical gallery.  Because the gallery is operated by Laguna Foundation For the Arts, a government recognized 5013c charitable organization, a tax deduction is possible with your purchase of art.  30% of the gross sale goes to the foundation which gives you a write-off of that dollar amount at the end of the year.

There will also be music from Jackie Pember and Eric Henderson.  Thursday night will be a great opportunity to see cool art, listen to amazing music and wash the experience all down with a glass of red or white wine!  We hope to see you all down there!  Don’t miss out!

Posted in Aliso Beach Events, Aliso Beach News, Art Events, Laguna, Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Also tagged , , , , , |

No Doubt


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Red Pelagic Crab Laguna Beach

There is no doubt as it relates to the presence of an El Nino affecting Southern California ocean waters.  Two years of ocean temperatures warm enough to wear trunks and a rash guard into December, two venomous yellow bellied sea snakes washed up on Southern California Beaches, increased shark activity along the shore including incidents with Hammerhead and Great White Sharks, incredible fishing, rare whale sightings and the the second coming of red pelagic crabs in Laguna Beach are all evidence of warm waters driven by El Nino.

We have had a lot of weather so far this year.  According to Irvine rain totals as of 2:00 pm 2015 rainfall totals measured in Irvine, California are at 6.49 inches and climbing as a slow and steady storm blankets Southern California with rain.  We have already surpassed rain totals from 2014 in Irvine, and with 4.79 inches of rain falling in 2015 for Laguna there is no doubt that we have blown by last year’s totals on what should be a wetter than normal year.  While we can expect Laguna Beach to have more rain than last year, El Nino’s wettest months tend to be January and February.  This means that while we will surpass 2014’s rainfall totals but won’t power past the 14.39 inch average annual rainfall for Laguna Beach in the calendar year.  Expect 2016 rainfall totals to be a higher than average rain year and to reflect the El Nino everyone now seems to agree is happening.

Powerful storms have also slammed the coast with dangerous waves and tidal surges causing flooding events.  The Ventura pier took a beating with 20 foot waves that took several bites out of it and causing it’s closure.  Some of the images that have come from that wave event show large waves swallowing a decent portion of the pier.  They will keep the pier closed at least through winter to assess the damage and make plans for putting it back together.  I have been predicting that this would be a year that piers would come down with the projected El Nino and the waves that typically come with the storms associated with this weather condition.  Let’s all hope that Huntington Beach, San Clemente and the piers of San Diego don’t endure a similar fate.  If this early season is any indication of what to come, they could be in trouble.  OC Beach Park maintenance workers have momentarily won the battle with tides and waves pushing sand into the parking lot.  This could be a year where waves are consistently in the parking lot which does put accessibility for beach visitors in question as Aliso Beach suffers from the determination of Mother Ocean when she is stirred up by El Nino driven storms.

My Laguna friend Gracie Wellsfry sent me a photo of a Red Pelagic Tuna Crab which normally lives at sea and calls tropical waters south of us home.  You may recall that shores along Balboa in Newport Beach were covered in a half foot of crabs earlier this year in a rare event along the Southern California Coast.  As far as I can remember, this is only the second red pelagic crab event that I have seen with the last one occurring in the 1990’s while body boarding at Manhattan Beach.  2 incidents in one calendar year is both unexpected and something I can’t recall ever happening.  You will enjoy the picture Gracie took from Laguna Beach and a red pelagic crab comfortably resting in a muscle shell.


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Happy Birthday Ron Pringle


Happy Birthday Ron Pringle.  Laguna native Ron Pringle is someone I have had the chance to get to know a little bit over the years.  51 years young today, I imagine he is out looking for a few waves to celebrate another day of life. If you read what he writes on social media and you truly hear what he says, you know he sees life as a gift. A talented musician, body surfer, all around waterman and smart dude, I have always enjoyed talking with him.  He has always said hello and stopped to talk with me when we cross paths and I have always really appreciated that. I would say that Ron understands people and that he genuinely takes interest in others.  He is the kind of guy that anyone would be glad to call their friend and he makes others feel like they matter.

Happy Birthday Ron Pringle.  Hope your special day brings you together with family, good friends and plenty of waves.  See you soon!

ron pringle, laguna beach, south laguna, aliso beach

Ron Pringle doing what he loves!


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Laguna Beach State Marine Conservation Area


Aliso Beach is a part of the Laguna Beach State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA).  In 1999, the California legislature signed into law the Marine Life Protection Act (MPA) in recognition of the need to protect the state’s valuable marine ecosystems, marine life, water and beaches.  This very important undertaking involved the California Department of Fish and Game and the California State Parks.  One of the most vital elements of this law passed was the protection of a region as opposed to the protection of a specific individual species.  It makes sense to me.  The goal of the new law was to preserve marine life, marine habitat and marine sanctuaries.  With videos I am seeing online from underwater, I feel like not only are these protections and laws a big deal, but also they are working.  The MPA was also geared to help with marine resource management. We all lose if we allow our coastal areas like Laguna to be picked over and fished out to a point that there is nothing for future generations to see and there are no fish to eat.  The law strikes a balance and goes a long way to preserving fish stocks and the habitats required to nurture their growth and strengthen their numbers.  This is a great thing for Laguna Beach.

March 12 2015 Sun Gazing Aliso Beach

Aliso Beach Sunset looking over Aliso Creek towards Treasure Island

Under the Marine Life Protection Act, among the many protected coastal areas in the state of California is The Laguna Beach State Marine Conservation Area.  This 3.44 square mile stretch of Laguna Beach Coastline is a no take zone meaning you cannot fish or remove any marine resources from an area that stretches south from Goff Island near north of Treasure Island Beach at the Montage and North from Table Rock at West Street Beach and extending 2.5 miles offshore.

There are two other Marine Protection designations along the Laguna Beach coastline.  The first protection area covers Laguna’s northern border at Abalone Point south to Goff Island.  This 6.27 square mile protection zone extends up to 2 miles offshore.  This is a no take zone, where the removal of any natural habitat to include marine life, plants, and rocks.  Simply put, do not pick things up, step on mussel beds, pry sea life from the tide pools or remove rocks.  All of that is against the law and a part of rules important to preserving Laguna’s coastal resources.

The last protection zone is strange to me because it lumps part of South Laguna Beach into the Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area which is south from Table Rock through the southern point of Laguna Beach at Three Arch Bay and ending at the Dana Point Headlands.  The protection extends to a mile offshore and is a limited take zone with provisions for the non-commercial take of lobster, sea urchin, and fin fish by line and hook or spearfishing so long as it is done below the average low tide line.  It also allows for commercial taking of coastal pelagic fish by round haul nets, spiny lobster and sea urchins.


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Tsunami Warning


By now my friends I am sure you have heard there was an earthquake registering between 7.9 and 8.3 on the Richter Scale off the South American Country of Chile with 3 aftershocks above 6.0.  It sounds pretty serious to me and there is a Tsunami Warning for Hawaii and the West Coast from San Onofre to San Luis Obispo. It is being reported on Facebook among members of the community that a tsunami is indeed on the way and due to hit at around 4:45 Am.  I myself will have finished my work for the night, watched a little bit of the debate, and indulged in a couple of hard to obtain micro brew IPA’s from Bob’s Fine Wines and fallen asleep. I feel pretty good well off the coast and in the hills.

In spending a grip of time on Facebook, I am seeing much of the community is either joking about the effects of a tsunami hitting this area or genuinely concerned. I don’t know how it will work out. Some in the community have indicated that their smart phones have lit up with this so-called tsunami warning, and whether or not this is precautionary or coming to fruition, it appears that there is some concern with beaches as far south as San Onofre, through Aliso Beach and the Laguna area all the way up to Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo.  It sounds like to me that there is potential to tear us a new one and the unknown in the science of offshore earthquakes and tidal waves leaves potential for damage and loss of life.  Let’s hope not!  For good measure, here is the Surfline Tsunami Report for review.

Interestingly enough, there was a 4.5 earthquake today in Big Bear which may have produced a small aftershock late afternoon and early evening strong enough to disorientate the newest member of the beer tending staff at a local tasting room I enjoy.  Pure speculation on my part but his behavior or reaction tonight was either wack and something I don’t want to know the root of or there was just enough earth moving to put the  clumsy and butter-fingered dude from the east coast  in a semi-state of alarm.  Ohhhhh he is special, no doubt about it. The small tsunami should arrive between 4:30 and 4:45 Am to Aliso Beach and Orange County producing a wave that pushes to the shore at a size that correlates to a disappointing surf report when compare to the recent run of waves. With yesterday’s tsunami warnings, the wave could produce a push that messes with the currents and rip tides in a way that is significant enough to warrant beach closures into tomorrow afternoon. There is also potential for damage to boats and harbors.

Aliso Beach has already had high tides with big surf recently so I would be surprised if this wave or series of waves did much to outdo the sand and sea weed that has been in the lot for a couple of weeks.  If it is not too much to ask I am pleading for compassion from Sue Nami in the hopes that none of the 7 fire pits are dragged out to sea and the water stays in the ocean!  It may be wise to avoid the water tomorrowallowing nature to take its course. I don’t feel like anyone will be missing anything when it comes to quality surf given the run we had for about 10 days.  Perhaps the remaining men and women competitors of the Hurley Pro feel otherwise so I will pray for their safety.

With the 2004 Indonesian and 2010 Japanese tsunamis, coastal communities understand globally the potential for a series of devastating waves following ocean borne earthquakes.  While this tsunami warning won’t amount to much, it does serve as a wake up call and reminder of what could happen. With visual evidence of the arrival of this wave or waves occurring before sun up, I will assume that some people will venture out into the water tomorrow morning.  Not even the 72 hour rule for pollution ripe with bacteria and carcinogenic urban run-off can keep some of these folks out of the ocean, and especially Aliso Beach with it’s propensity to be mucked up with the flow of the Creek during and after rain events for several days.

I am feeling like we have been lucky and have somehow avoided dangers that lurk in our oceans when the ground shakes beneath the sea floor.  There has been much talk recently about the vulnerabilities of Califonia and the Pacific Northwest to tsunamis.   For those vising the beaches tomorrow with hopes of being in or near the water, please be careful.




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Fall Season


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Fall Season Aliso Beach

The weather is still warm but mornings become a little cooler as we head for the fall season.  Kids are back in school and the volume of people in Laguna and at Laguna Beaches drops.  Less people are in the water and in the way with the warm water and South Swells we enjoy. It is the time of year that locals gladly take back their beaches.  I don’t say that because we don’t want people to come visit, and we certainly understand the value of tourist dollars entering the city of Laguna Beach.  The problem is that in the summer, locals get overrun by visitors and tourists at Aliso Beach and neighboring beaches to an extent that we are pushed out.

Again, I would like to make the point that we share our local beaches.  Coastal living for us means being at the beach daily.  It is a lifestyle that we enjoy and embrace as a part of who we are.  Aliso Beach centers us and keeps us sane.  Outside of summer, we can get into the parking lot at any time, whereas a typical summer day at Aliso Beach, the lot is full by as early as 10:00 am. For us wave riders, this nuance of Aliso Beach summers means that if we don’t get to the beach early, we aren’t parking.  On days that we work and can’t get there in the morning, and on days that the tide and swell aren’t right until later in the afternoon, we are squeezed out of our beach. To put this more bluntly, we often can’t enjoy the beaches we know and love. The pain of this stings a little because for so many of us, the beach gives us a calm that makes everything okay.

For many of us, the summer crowds at Aliso Beach are too much!  Many of us shy away from the beach if we are not there early. It hurts a little to see that the Aliso Beach parking lots are full.  There is even no space on the hill on South Coast Highway or in the secondary lot across the street.  The snack bar has a line of hungry people. Trash cans are full of trash and the bees are interested in the half eaten food and drinks tossed away.  Doing what they do, the bees can be annoying.  Some folks are kinder to our beach than others when it comes to removing their trash. If we are lucky enough to get some water time, the beach is stacked with people creating a maze of people lying on towels, huddling under beach umbrellas and reserving the fire pits  to get out of and back to our cars in the parking lot. Sea gulls look for unsuspecting beach goers to swipe food from. Lines of people wait to wash the sand off at a single shower.  Restrooms accommodate many people and  become a little nasty. There are too many people in the water making it really difficult to catch any waves where the inexperienced swimmers, and body boarders aren’t in the way and putting us in danger.

During the summer months, we know what we have to give up, and this is absolutely why we look forward to the Fall Season at Aliso Beach.  The hustle and bustle that came with summer eases. There are less cars on the road and in the parking lots.  Children and parents are focused on the return of their children to school. The congestion and noise that comes with everyone wanting to be at the beach all at once  fade.  The Fall Season at Aliso Beach ushers in a restored order.  The beach once again becomes a source of peace and tranquility where one can quiet the mind and take in the natural landscape without feeling like people are piled on top of each other. To be able to stare at the ocean, breathe in the cool air, and dip our toes in the soothing waters without crowds is a gift.  Local wave riders benefit from less people being in the water in the Fall Season and it is as if you can hear them collectively exhale as they realize that their sanctuaries have been returned.  While it is real easy for local people to be put off by the summer crowds, it is an experience that allows us to avoid taking the Fall Season for granted.  Aliso Beach is a special place during the Fall and we cherish this time of year.


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Happy Ending


Not everything in life has a happy ending.  Call it the human experience.  Several days ago, I posted in a Laguna Beach forum trying to get clarification the Laguna Beach Smoking Laws and how they impacted Aliso Beach.  I did that knowing full well how vehemently against smoking much of the non-smoking people of America have become.  We are no longer in the dark as to the health issues created by smoking and inhaling second hand smoke.  Armed with that, many people have given up the habit and have joined non-smokers who absolutely do not want to be around cigarette smoke in public.  When I made the post I was trying to relay a message to someone from Texas who was inquiring about the laws.  Since I made the website, you would think I knew the answer right off the bat.  I could not recall seeing any signs or rules tied to Aliso Beach in parking lot signage or posted rules on the OC Beach Parks Aliso Beach website. I could have said he was okay to smoke there but the laws have changed over the years and I suspect they will continue to change.

Shortly after the post I had one particular response to my assertion that it did not appear that there was a law prohibiting smoking at Aliso Beach, and that language in the Laguna City and California State laws made it hard to understand the rules.  Keep in mind that Aliso Beach is run by the County of Orange and so there is a different set of rules.  If I had to guess those laws will mirror each other in the future when the lack of tolerance for smoking continues to gain momentum and pushes city, county and state officials to apply the ban uniformly.  When I pointed out the confusion created by the language in the Laguna Smoking Ban and the California State Smoking Ban, a member of the Laguna Beach forum accused me of being a child for trying to interpret the rules the way I wanted.  I told the guy I wasn’t a smoker.  I had nothing to gain from smoking being legal at Aliso Beach or not.  All I really wanted to do is give the smoker from Texas the right answer as it relates to Aliso Beach so that he could avoid a not so happy ending in the form of a pricey ticket if he was cited for smoking.  Another member of the forum headed down to Aliso Beach and got the answer that lifeguards and county personnel could not enforce the Laguna Beach Smoking Ban and Laguna Police Department could.  A former lifeguard in the forum said that it was legal to smoke at Aliso Beach and a friend of mine who is a lifeguard mirrored that sentiment.  Another group member had a relative that regular attends cigar club meetings there.  So as it turns out, smoking is legal at Aliso Beach. It is amazing to me that just trying to find the answer can be turned into being hated on for trying to find the right answer. Imagine the guy comes down here all the way from Texas and local people and law enforcement dampen his vacation telling him not to smoke and receiving a fine.  I wouldn’t want to be the guy that set him up for that.  As the moderator of the Forum so eloquently stated, she respected this dude for reaching out and trying to stay within the rules.  She recognized his effort to follow the laws.

It took an extra day for my own lifeguard source to respond and say it was legal.  When I emailed him that news he had already been here for two days and headed back.  The cool thing was is that he found a way not to smoke while he was here under the belief that his cigarettes and two pack a day habit would get in the way of his experience of the cool breeze, mesmerizing blue-green waters, warm sand, cool temperatures and fresh air.  If that isn’t a happy ending I don’t know what is.  I hope the Texas man can internalize his amazing experience here at Aliso Beach without cigarettes and parlay that into the two pack a day habit that has certainly claimed some portion of his health and quality of life.

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Beach Stories, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, Laguna, Laguna Beach Also tagged , , , |

Aliso Beach Bees


In anticipation of high surf from Hurricane Delores down off Cabo San Lucas, I spent a few hours watching the waves at Aliso Beach.  It was a typical day there.  The coastal side parking lot was full and cars lined the south bound lane of PCH on the incline headed towards Dana Point. Umbrellas added color to the beach, children frolicked in the playground, young girls in bikinis cooled off at the water’s edge, families reserved the fire pits for evening festivities and lifeguards watched the every move of beach visitors taking on the pounding shore break.  The waves weren’t big today, but even a 3 footer hitting the shore at Aliso Beach is cause for alarm when it comes to lifeguards keeping everyone safe.  It was business as usual.

I sat on the benches overlooking the sand and ocean and as I watched people and the waves, I became aware of the bees swarming the trash cans looking for sweet foods and drinks. Have you ever had a bee try and squeeze itself into a soda can while you were drinking it? If you are like me, you have taken a drink and had to spit out an aggressive bee that could not keep its mouth out of my sugary drink.  A sting on the inside of the mouth or a swollen tongue doesn’t sound like a great day at the beach to me.  While I have been disappointed by Yelp Reviews on Aliso Beach that degrade my favorite Laguna Beach due to the bee and trash can problem, I do understand that some are allergic to bee stings, no one wants to be stung by a bee while at the beach, and there is nothing good about a child or anyone getting stung at the beach whether they are allergic or not.  Aliso Beach bees buzzing around the trash cans are hardly a new problem. They have always been around during the summer and on warm days.

I watched a heavy set elderly women struggling up the narrow sidewalk with her walker and a small dog passing by where I was sitting on the bench. I thought to myself, “Oh God.  Don’t let her get stung”.  She didn’t seem to be aware of the bees and nor did they seem to bother her much. The bees seemed to be more interested in getting at whatever goodness they were after in the receptacles as she walked past me and I would say that was a good thing.  While the bees hardly noticed the lady as he lumbered by, they seemed to get in my face every so often and I wanted no part of it.  I must admit though, the Aliso Beach bees situation did encourage me to leave the beach before I got more sunburned than I did.  20 minutes of one eye on the waves and the other on the bees getting after the trash can left me with a slight burn.  Sunscreen my friends is never a bad thing and the less toxic kind the better, or so I am told.

Organize Chaos online has a nice piece on how to avoid bees and the problem is that the best solution would require the county to move the trash cans away from the beach. The trash cans line the sidewalk inches from the sand.  On the north end of the beach especially and extending through the snack bar area, beach visitors walk right past these trash cans on the way to the sand and water.  I will assume that the trash cans won’t be moved because there really isn’t any extra beach real estate to relocate them.  For that reason and the attraction of the bees to the trash cans, I stand by my advice to steer clear of them and take your trash back to your cars from the beach if you feel it is unsafe to stir up the bees looking for a free meal and drink.

If I were you and visiting the beach I would do the following to avoid Aliso Beach bees:

1) I would bag up all trash from food, snacks and drinks, seal them and take them home with you.

2)  Walk around the trash cans to and from the beach at a safe distance

3)  Watch children closely.  Their youthful exuberance and ignorance might not allow them to be aware of the bees.  There is nothing good about a bee sting at Aliso Beach for a child or parents.

Aliso Beach bees aren’t trying to be a pain in the you know what, but you do have to be aware of them.  As the founder of the Aliso Beach website, I hope you and family enjoy the beach this summer!  Be safe!

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Fourth Of July


Fourth of July is a wonderful holiday and it is  a great excuse to take family and meet friends down at Aliso Beach. This year, 2015, promises warm beach weather, warm ocean water and relatively safe ocean conditions, making it a great Independence Day to be at the beach.  Today is the Friday before the holiday, the beginning of a weekend celebration that many people take off of work.  I have already been nearly taken out by someone running a red light on my left turn, seen a cyclist clipped by a car, had someone honk at me on a signaling right turn and been shut out of a parking spot at Aliso Beach.  The truth is that for us coastal people that love local beaches like Aliso, we often get shut out because the demand for use of the beach exceeds the number of parking spots.  I circled the parking lots at Aliso Beach Park and Salt Creek Beach Park for 20 minutes before realizing my chances of enjoying a slice of the beach pie were slim because I got there around midday.  Trust me when I tell you that I knew that parking would be an issue.  Everyone wants to escape the heat and be by the ocean and Aliso Beach is the only place that has a metered parking lot on the coastal side in Laguna Beach.  The odds were pretty good that I wouldn’t ever park my car and its my own fault.  I know what happens on warm days and holidays as well as anyone!

I suppose that reading the above you would get the idea that I am sour.  I am not really, but I would be lying to you if I said that being caught up in a mad dash to fill every last parking spot to enjoy Aliso and neighboring Laguna beaches wasn’t stressful and worth completely avoiding.   I know how to avoid this situation and so I think it is worth giving you  a few tips to enjoy Aliso Beach on 4th of July.  These tips are crucial to your being able to secure a spot on the beach.

Aliso Beach Tip 1: Parking

Get their early.  I can’t be the only one based on experience that knows this is the case.  Aliso Beach Park opens at 6:00 am and closes at 10:00 pm.  4th of July falls on a Saturday this year so you can expect to see more people competing for the beach than if it were on a weekday.  Normally I would tell you to get parked in the lot on Fourth of July before 11:00 am.  Seeing what I saw today, I am revising that recommendation for you to get parked in that light before 9:00 am.  If you and family have your hearts set on Aliso Beach fire pits then my recommendation changes significantly.  Please see Aliso Beach Tip 2.

Aliso Beach Tip 2: Fire Pits

This is the number one question the website gets on Aliso Beach.  Just yesterday I was asked how someone could reserve a fire pit for 4th of July.  I would be shocked if I didn’t get that question as it relates to 4th of July but I am surprised that it is one inquiry that I have received.  It does not get any more competitive for a fire pit than on the fourth of July at Aliso Beach.  Per County of Orange Guidelines, the fire pits are first come first serve. You can’t call anyone or reserve online which is a good thing because a policy like that would give most people little to no chance of getting a fire pit.  Again, the park opens at 6:oo am.  If it were me and I had to reserve a fire pit for my family on fourth of July, I would be down there at 5:00 am before the lot opens and park on the coastal side hill of South Coast Highway, lug my gear down to the beach and attend the fire pit so it remains yours.  It is important to note that County of Orange rules do no allow unattended fire pits to be reserved.  The rule speaks to fairness. If there wasn’t this rule, people would be putting their stuff out there the night before with the expectation of having their spot when they arrive.  In an inquiry yesterday I was asked if you could put your stuff out there the night before.  Per the rules, the answer to that is NO.  How that would play out in real life, I have no clue.  I am pretty sure that someone will do this.  The reality is that it is extremely competitive for Aliso Beach fire pits and while I don’t condone this behavior, part of me understands why someone would do it.

Aliso Beach Tip 3:  Protect Yourself From The Sun

Aliso Beach weather this week has reflected a warm week down at the coast  and the sun this time of year is directly overhead.  That means that the intensity of the sun is as high as it can be in Southern California.  I have been in the water several times over the last two weeks for 3 hours at a time and despite the use of sunscreen still got a little tore up from the sun.  My lower lip took the brunt of it and I am paying for it a little.  Carmex is currently my best friend although I do not recommend putting yourself, your kids or family members in position of being sun burned.  It ruins a good time!  So here are my tips.

  1. Bring a canopy so that you, family and children can get out of the water and return to the shade.  It will be plenty warn under the canopy, trust me.
  2. Bring sunscreen with a high SPF and do not be afraid to reapply especially if you or kids are going to the water and returning multiple times.
  3. Do not forget that lips and ears sunburn so apply sunscreen accordingly.
  4. If your hair is thinning be aware that a scalp skin sunburn is possible and it hurts.
  5. Bring hats and sunglasses that shield from the sun.
  6. Where long sleeve rash guard shirts in the  water.
  7. When in the water, make sure to put sunscreen on the lower legs and calves…they burn too!
  8. If you buy into the chemical issues with sunscreens, consider using mineral based zinc oxide as sunscreen and consider wearing a long sleeve surf shirt or rash guard.

Aliso Beach Tip 4:  Water Safety

Check with the lifeguard tower and attending lifeguards to understand what the wave conditions will be like.  Remember the colored flag designations and the messages they provide us based on color.  Green is safe.  Yellow signals caution.  Red means 99.9% of people at the beach should not be in the water and perhaps especially at Aliso Beach.  The report for surf over the weekend though is that it will be small at Aliso Beach.  Keep in mind that there is a little punch of waves hitting beaches that face south like Aliso and that with change in tides and the arrival of new swells, this shore break still presents dangers. If you are reading this post and would like to know what the waves will be like for Fourth of July, please take a look at the Aliso Beach Surf Report courtesy of our friends at Solspot.

Aliso Beach Tip 5: Alcohol

Alcohol is not permitted at Aliso Beach.  I assure you that there will be representative of the Laguna Beach Police Department working the holiday to make sure that alcohol is not being consumed at Aliso Beach.  Don’t get me wrong, Aliso Beach strikes me as a wonderful place to crack a beer and watch the ocean and people, but if you get a hefty fine and ticket because you violated this law, please don’t say that I didn’t tell you so. Plain clothes officers and  uniformed police offers will be prowling the beach for violations so don’t ruin your holiday weekend. Leave the alcohol at home.  Besides, you can’t fully enjoy the scenery of Aliso Beach buzzed!


This is as far as I will take this.  Get there early to get a parking spot,  Get there way earlier to reserve a first come first serve fire pit.  There are only 7 and when they are attended, there are no more.  Make sure you bring protection for the sun which may include sunscreen and a canopy to lounge under on the beach.  Check with lifeguards for current ocean conditions for safety and skip bringing alcohol to the beach.  Happy Fourth of July everyone from AlisoBeach.com!







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