The Times Travel section's favorite California beaches
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( Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times )
If you've moved many times, you develop touchstones; Aliso Beach is mine. Despite the Laguna Beach address, it's hardly artsy, pretentious or self-absorbed. Instead, it's the sort of place the Cleavers would have visited. Why? There's parking. There are restrooms. It's bordered by a wildlife refuge. You can have a bonfire. And best of all, it's accessible. You don't have to walk down 900 steps to get there. Lazy man's beach? Perhaps. But isn't being lazy what a day at the beach is all about?
31131 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach; (949) 923-2280, www.ocparks.com.