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Surfing Soapbox: When it comes to beaches, Laguna is best

Finally, validation for what many of us have known for decades or longer: Laguna Beach is “best in the West” as voted in Sunset magazine’s reader poll. Laguna tops such beautiful spots as Kauai’s Aliomanu Beach and Oregon’s Cape Blanco State Park.

Having grown up on the pristine beaches of Laguna, I’m not surprised. The ocean landscape is so distinct it’s unbelievable. Just look at the reef formations and the isolated, intimate coves that line our coast — mixed in with the cascading cliffs and blowholes — and please, let’s not forget the “Arch.” The only surprise to me is that it has taken this long for such an honor.

When asked “Where’s the most beautiful place you have ever been?” my answer has never changed: Laguna Beach is the most beautiful place that I have experienced. It has the best of both world’s combined. Great places to stay and great restaurants to eat at, Laguna really does have it all when you factor everything in.

Our climate, for the most part, is always tolerable, unlike the humidity you get in the likes of Hawaii and Tahiti, although they do have better waves.


We have a better vibe among our surfers. Cape Blanco State Park is beautiful, I’m sure, but it’s too cold (air and water included) and way too sharky for me. Another thing I know that hasn’t been mentioned or perhaps overlooked is the sand here in Laguna. You won’t find better sand to lie in, after jumping in the water anywhere in the world.

Congrats, Laguna, you deserve it.


JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarrior He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha