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Archives for June 2013

Pedal Power: Cyclists converge on Wilshire Boulevard

LA's Wilshire Boulevard is often crowded with cars, but not during CicLAvia: Iconic Wilshire Boulevard, Sunday June 23, 2013. (Photo Traffic411)

It’s a dream come true for cyclists who ride on busy city streets: No cars allowed.

Thousands of people had the chance to bike, skate or walk along one of L.A.’s most famous streets. A 6.3 mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard was off limits to motor vehicles during today’s  “CicLAvia — Iconic Wilshire Boulevard.”

Having this often-busy stretch of Wilshire Boulevard all to themselves had riders in a good mood! (Photo Traffic411)

Tens of thousands of pedal pushers and walkers ruled the road, streaming up and down Wilshire Boulevard between Downtown Los Angeles (Grand) and the Miracle Mile (Fairfax).

CicLAvia takes over portions of Los Angeles every few months.  It’s a fun way for friends and families to enjoy the city streets with less traffic and pollution. Want to try it, too? Mark your calendar. The next CicLAvia is scheduled for Oct. 6.

All wheels welcome, as long as there's no motor attached, at CicLAvia's Iconic Wilshire Boulevard event. (Photo Traffic411)

Participants in CicLAvia: Iconic Wilshire Boulevard pedal past Museum Square on Wilshire Boulevard. (Photo Traffic411)


Dad’s Choice: Laguna Beach

The view from Las Brisas restaurant, above Main Beach in Laguna (photo Las Brisas)

The view from Las Brisas restaurant, above Main Beach in Laguna (photo Las Brisas)

What dad would not want to spend Father’s Day in Laguna Beach? This quaint seaside town one hour south of Los Angeles offers breathtaking views of some of Southern California’s most beautiful coastline. Breathe-in fresh air from a bench in the park at the Main Beach Park Playground, or take a walk and enjoy the view.

If you enjoy having your toes in the sand, stroll along the waterline south of Main Beach during low tide. If the tide starts to come in, you can always take stairs up to a sidewalk on Pacific Coast Highway.

My dad loved the beach, and we’d often head to Laguna for a meal and a walk. The Cottage (now apparently closed) was one of dad’s favorite spots. The large shady/sunny outdoor patio was a great place to enjoy breakfast or lunch, right across the street from the ocean.

Visit The Greeter’s Corner, a coffee shop with a large outside deck facing the ocean. The food is good, prices are decent and the view and fresh air are amazing.

Hungry for seafood and a view? Stop by the Beach House.  A steep driveway takes you to this classic dining spot that hugs the side of a cliff, offering an up-close ocean view.  For a fun menu of upscale delights in a kitschy setting, Dizz’s As Is is a local favorite.

Nearby: Balboa Island, CA USA

My dad’s favorite breakfast spot of all time was just north of downtown Laguna at the border of Newport Coast. The Beachcomber Café in Crystal Cove offers open air dining  on the sand in the historic district of Crystal Cove State Park. There is a parking lot on the inland side of Pacific Coast Highway with a shuttle that will take you to the restaurant.  An added bonus, you’re just steps away from a beautiful stretch of beach for an after breakfast/lunch/dinner walk.

Laguna Beach and Balboa Island (pictured here) were two of my Pop's favorite OC getaways.

Las Brisas is an upscale Mexican restaurant perched on the cliff adjacent to Main Beach. This Laguna Beach institution features a large outdoor bar patio surrounded by colorful rose bushes. Las Brisas is a great choice to celebrate a special occasion, or a comfortable spot to sip an icy beverage, enjoy the view or enjoy a So Cal sunset.

Related: So Cal Burgers

Montage Laguna Beach is a world-class resort offering panoramic views of The Pacific Ocean. You don’t need to stay at the hotel to enjoy the scenery. Walk the grounds or have a drink on the deck of the cocktail lounge. The Montage sits on the land that was the filming location of several classic movies, from “Treasure Island” to the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz comedy “The Long Long Trailer.”

Along with being home to several great restaurants, Laguna beach is an artist’s enclave, there are plenty of art galleries to browse in the quaint downtown shopping area.  And, festivals, from The Pageant of the Masters to the Sawdust Festival, there’s often something special going on in Laguna Beach.

Distance from LAX: 52 miles

Traffic411 Tip:  Make Laguna Beach a scenic side trip when you’re traveling between OrangeCounty and San Diego. Driving North on the 5 (Santa Ana Freeway), exit “Beach Cities’ in Dana Point, take Pacific Coast Highway north through Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach, Corona del Mar and Newport Beach and rejoin the 405 from Mac Arthur Blvd. Reverse course if you’re driving South on the 405, exit Mac Arthur Boulevard.

See what it’s like in Laguna Beach right now: Check out the live Laguna Beach Earthcam

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