Pat invited me to post my thoughts about PCH.

One of the things that I have enjoyed since moving to Seal Beach is driving south on PCH from Seal Beach as far as I want.  From Seal Beach you can go to Dana Point, then through Capistrano Beach, and into San Clemente.  Eventually you run out of PCH until you can pick it up again in Oceanside.  The marine base interrupts this route.

It’s a relaxing drive and sometimes this is the only thing that allows me to reduce my day-to-day stress.  When I have the time, I enjoy going all the way to San Clemente.  But that’s a rare occurance.

The “magic” of PCH is the ocean itself.  Forty five minutes to Dana Point and another twenty to San Clemente.  Along the way are the beach communities, towns, or areas (whatever they prefer to call their stretch of the beach) of Sunset, Huntington (“Surf City”), Newport, Corona Del Mar, Crystal Cove, the Montage Resort (this is not an area – it’s a resort hotel), Laguna, Ritz Carlton (another upscale destination), Dana Point, Capo Beach, and San Clemente.  Each has its unique character.  And all of it is good.

Along some of these stretches the water is immediately to the right and almost always in view.  In Surf City you can watch the surfers.  Their pier is one happening place.  There is always foot traffic.  At the foot of the pier you can sometimes find kiosks with merchants selling their wares.  Santa Barbara is about the only other place where they have street merchants regularly. 

Further south, the beaches and waters around Crystal Cove are absolutely stunning.  The water is just more blue than anywhere else along the Orange County coast.  And it’s relatively uncrowded.  There used to be a mobile home park right along the beach that the state confiscated and turned into an upscale state park (think expensive and six month reservations).  Above the beaches along that stretch is the old “Date Shake” stand (where they served date shakes) – now affiliated with Ruby’s.  If it’s not too crowded, it’s a nice place to stop for an enjoyable meal.  Be sure to take your time here, enjoy your meal, and enjoy the coast.   It’s beautiful. 

I always imagined driving PCH listening to Miles Davis or John Coltrane but the excitement along the way is better suited for good ol’ rock and roll – you know, Chuck Berry or Creedance Clearwater.  If I ever do PCH late enough, I’ll try the jazz.

On my next post, I’ll tell you about one of my favorite spots on PCH.

Contributed by an anonymous friend.

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