Best Beachside Cities in Florida

By: Ben Holdt

Spending a few days at the beach is a great way to get away from the daily stresses of life and relax. With over 8,000 miles of coastline, Florida is second to just Alaska for the amount of land they have touching, sparkling ocean waters. However, the Sunshine State has the upper hand on being near the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. While there may be a lot of towns and cities dotting the Florida coast, there are only a few that indeed offer the best quality of life. Check out the best beachside cities in Florida for your next beach getaway.

Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach Rentals

Panama City Beach Skyline

With 27 miles of white sandy beaches, Panama City Beach is widely known for its ability to ease away any stress that you brought with you on your vacation. This famous town offers waterfront restaurants as well as plenty of scuba activities thanks to its nearby artificial reefs. Families will enjoy the many water parks in town as well as two state parks that offer an up close and personal look at nature. There are plenty of nearby amusements to fill a vacation at the beach when the sand castle building is all done.

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach House Rentals

Cocoa Beach House Rentals

This popular surfing destination is just south of Cape Canaveral along the Atlantic Ocean. Cocoa Beach is known for the waves that descend upon its shores at the end of the hurricane season that offers a great opportunity for avid surfers. Check out local events to book a vacation with plenty of action out on the water as you soak up the sun from the beach. You’ll also find many things to explore in the area including tours of the Kennedy Space Center, the Dinosaur Store, and many fishing charters.

Destin

Destin Florida Vacation Rental homes

Destin Sandy Beaches

Located in Northwest Florida, Destin features plenty of sugar white beaches and sunshine. As a popular destination point for many Midwesterners, the area is well known for its wide range of fishing activities as well as shopping opportunities. You’ll find excellent fishing charters as well as plenty of events year-round to make your vacation unique. Local restaurants feature fresh seafood from the gulf, and you’ll also find plenty of golf courses in the area as well.

Palm Beach

This widely known beach is as far East as you can get on the Florida coastline. Palm Beach features beautiful palm trees along white sandy beaches and plenty of luxury. The beach sits on a 16-mile-long island that is just 0.5 miles wide with plenty of beach area all around. Many wealthy families choose this area for winter homes which have created a luxury experience in town. You’ll find the most excellent restaurants and upscale shops when you’re not enjoying the beautiful beach.

Fort Walton Beach

Fort Walton Beach House Rentals on the beach

Fort Walton Beach

The beautiful emerald waters along Fort Walton Beach are enough to attract plenty of visitors each year. Located between Pensacola and Panama City, the beach is in an excellent location for visitors to get to from other parts of the country. Fort Walton Beach has powdery white beaches and offers plenty for the family to do once a day at the beach is done. You’ll find golf courses, aquariums, and many other attractions that help make this destination a vacation to remember.

There are plenty of places to choose from when looking for a great vacation on the beach in Florida. White sandy beaches mixed with enough great food and nightlife to keep you busy after a long day on the beach is standard for many of these hot spots. Consider any one of the best beachside cities in Florida for your next vacation to the Sunshine State.

Ben Holt is a fresh air enthusiast and loves writing about it. Ben is always looking to make the most of a summer day, whether he is relaxing in his garden, hiking on an off-beaten trail or entertaining friends on his newly renovated patio.

5 of the Best Beachside Cities in California

5 of the Best Beachside Cities in California
By: James Witts

Every beachside area will have the same key ingredients: sun, sand, and water. It’s no wonder residents in SoCal move from city to city within California to experience these beachside towns. It is the charm of the local town or city that makes a beach trip great? Check out these best beachside cities in California for your next beach getaway.

1. Santa Cruz
Located off of Highway 1 in Northern California, Santa Cruz offers a laid back and retro environment. Step back decades as you stroll down the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and peruse the many vintage shops that line the way. You’ll see a historic carousel as well as plenty of good old fashioned family fun with coasters and arcade games. Santa Cruz is one of the best beachside cities due to its proximity to other forms of nature. You’ll be able to catch a glimpse of whales from the ocean as well as tour nature at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Wineries also dot the countryside near Santa Cruz offering their other version of perfection by the bottle. Rent a beachhouse in Santa Cruz here.

2. Carmel
Officially known as Carmel-by-the-Sea, this quaint little town sites on the south side of the Monterey Peninsula south of San Jose. It’s tucked in location offers a quiet and relaxing beach getaway. You’ll enjoy time on the white sandy beaches as well as the windy conditions of the Point Lobos State Reserve. The Mission Trail Nature Preserve is also located nearby with many trails to explore. The town of Carmel itself offers a more mature beach trip with streets full of galleries and fine dining establishments. Rent a beach house in Carmel here.

3. Malibu
There is a reason why this beach is so famous for both residents and visitors. Malibu is a beautiful beach that stretches out for more than 30 miles making this an excellent option for those wanting to take a long run along the water. Malibu is the prime spot for surfing and is well known as one of the significant places that celebrities and athletes call home. The ocean waves are well suited for both beginner and advanced surfers making this a great spot to learn more about the sport as well as see professional surfers in action. You’ll also find amazing fresh seafood dishes at the many restaurants that are located on the pier or right off the beach as well. Rent a beach house in Malibu here.

4. Catalina Island
If you’re a California resident looking for a vacation that is easy to get to but feels a million miles away, Catalina Island is the place for you. This island located just 22 miles off the coast of California feels like an entirely different world with its peaceful community and magnificent sunsets. There isn’t even a traffic light on the entire island making this a common getaway destination for many residents who spend hours a day sitting in traffic. Catalina Island boasts beautiful beaches as well as a casual atmosphere that is sure to put you on island time.

5. Venice Beach
Known for its eclectic style, Venice Beach is a favorite spot for those looking for some far-out beach time. You’ll find piazzas and canals much like its Italian counterpart as well as quaint little shops that line the boardwalk. Venice Beach is a great spot to be entertained by street performers as well as spend an afternoon watching all of the diverse people stroll by. Chic boutiques and food trucks are favorite stops for both residents and tourists alike as well.

California is full of great little beachside towns and cities that create the perfect backdrop to a beach getaway. From the laid-back atmosphere of Santa Cruz and Venice Beach to the surf-loving area of Malibu, to the peaceful getaways of Carmel and Catalina Island, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from for your next beach vacation. Consider all of these best beachside cities in California for your next trip.

James Witts is an eco-conscious home improvement writer. He is constantly trying to find new ways to live off the grid while living in a tiny home with his wife, Andie.

Top 5 Beaches Where You Can Bare it All

2916787894_cc7c44f5e4Banana Beach, Greece - What would you expect from the aptly named Banana Beach, but lots of – er – bananas?  Well get your mind out of the gutter, because this beach is actually a trio of beaches located on the small Greek Islandof Skiathos, whose name came from the yellow-hued sand and the curved shape of their coastline.  The three beaches that make up Banana Beach are Little Banana (also called Sparticus), Big Banana and a small beach separated from Big Banana by a rocky outcrop.  And while one may have assumed that bigger would mean better (especially in this situation) Little Banana is actually the most popular of the three.  Durring the peak winter months, clothed onlookers tend to swarm the other two beaches while leaving Little Banana to itself.  As if there wasn’t already enough to look at, all three beaches have tremendous views of the tree covered foothills that surround the beaches behind you and the crystal clear Aegean Sea in front of you.

5111987645_5d03bd3665Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA – In the city that is known for its liberal lean, Baker Beach is right at home in San Francisco.  Baker Beach is blanketed in clean, fine white sand – not too dusty, not too pebbly – clear sapphire water, and maybe the most dramatic views of any beach you will come across.  Satisfy your inner vouyer, and we’re not just talking about the old men bits and pieces you are sure to see… as you walk the beach you will also catch a glimpse of some of California’s prime real estate – and have a chance to take in the same views that those homeowners enjoy – the cliff houses look out over the bay and the famous Golden Gate Bridge.  Parking is a breeze, free, and just a short walk from the beach, or you can opt to take public transportation, which dropps you off very close by.  Visit in September or October as the summer months tend to be covered with San Francisco’s notorious fog bank.

4910303358_101ac07014Valalta (Rovinj), Croatia – As far as nude beaches go, Valalta is perhaps the Mecca – the destination where all nude sunbathers and naturists feel drawn to and hope to journey to at least one time in their life.  This resort (yes, it is a planned resort, different from some of the naturally occuring beaches that have been gradually morphed into a nude beach over time) is huge, with the beach alone streatching over 3 miles.  Visitors can stay in a variety of accommodation – Valalta offers everything from fully-equipped apartments and bungalows to luxury mobile homes and glorified tents…all with electricity and running water though.  There is also a sports harbor, a number of restaurants, beer that has been brewed in their own brewery, souvenir shop, kids club, and a host of day and overnight excursions.  And if you prefer to get your bare-bronze on in relative seclusion rather than with the rest of the resort, there is a beach that is not an official part of the Valalta Resort that is usually much less crowded.

2773305082_27c5f70fb2Little Beach, Maui, Hawaii – If you like to live on the edge (which you must if your’re reading this post in the first place), Little Beach may be perfect for you.  Although nude sunbathing is technically illegal at the secluded Little Beach – and the rest of Hawaii – it’s referred to as Maui’s “unofficial clothing-optional beach” since the law has not been enforced here for a number of years.  It’s also somewhat of a local’s hot-spot…while the vast majority of beach-goers opt to sunbathe au natural, there are those who wear clothes (mostly tourists).  So if a little thing like illegality doesn’t rock your boat, grab your sandals and towel and make the trek to Maui’s Southern coast, and you will find Little Beach located just North of Big Beach.  Tucked behind rocks and high shrubs, and guarded by a narrow entry, Little Beach is picturesque Hawaii – white sand contrasted by bright blue/turquoise water.

5651319954_6a3b1c6a39Wreck Beach, Vancouver, British Columbia -

Named for a hulking, wrecked vessel that once sat on the sand, Wreck Beach is the shore of choice for Vancouver students. Just several hundred steps below the University of British Columbia, the 3-mile-long beach is a wildlife and nesting area for both bald eagles and bald bodies. Other sections of the beach assume a more carnival-like atmosphere. One stretch on the beach known as Vendors’ Row is a 1-stop shop for souvenirs, refreshments and the ever-important sunscreen.

In Beachhouse.com’s Backyard: Dolphin soars; wipeouts galore at the wild Wedge

It was another wild day at the Wedge, with more surfers and bodyboarders in the water getting worked on Friday morning, as waves in the 15-foot range and bigger slammed the shore.

More spectators lined the shoreline today, with news crews out and the echos of “ohhhhh” ringing loud when one of the insane riders was pummeled by a huge wall of water. There were big-time wipeouts, as well as some amazing rides. If you were stuck in your office and couldn’t make it to the sand, be sure to check out our slideshow HERE.

Wild Wedge thrills and spills on Friday as swell stays strong

Wild Wedge thrills and spills on Friday as swell stays strong

It was a big day for thrills and spills as the guys out in the water tried to take on the big bad Wedge before the swell starts to drop over the weekend. It was day 2 of the swell, a bit cleaner today but more crowded.Check out images from Thursday if you missed them (with newly added evening shots after it cleaned up.)

After you check out the photos, below is a can’t-miss video that hit Facebook last night by photographer and Wedge local John Minar.

A few of us were on the sand Thursday morning when the swell started to hit hard, and all of a sudden a huge dolphin came flying out of the top of a wave, propelling itself way up in the air.

I pulled up my camera and hit the button, but it happened so fast the dolphin was gone in a split second. Another photographer and I looked at each other, mouths dropped “DID YOU GET THAT?!” Neither of us did.

Fortunately, John Minar had the camera rolling, and said he didn’t even see it until he was looking through his footage later that day. It goes to show that the dolphins are the original locals out there, and none of us can compete. Definitely take a few minutes to watch; it’s guaranteed to make your Friday:

*article from orangecounty.com

June 25, 2011…It’s coming!

beachapedia

What is it?

Hands Across the Sand is a movement made of people of all walks of life and crosses political affiliations and the borders of the world.

What’s it about?

This movement is not about politics; it is about the protection of our coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife and fisheries. The accidents that continue to happen in offshore oil drilling are a threat to all of the above. Expanding offshore oil drilling is not the answer, embracing Clean Energy is.

Let us share our knowledge, energies and passion for protecting our planet from the devastating effects the burning of filthy fuels and offshore drilling present.

What can I do?

On June 25, 2011 the people of the world will join hands to champion clean energy solutions to our filthy fuels problem. Embracing a clean energy future now is the path to a sustainable planet.  Click HERE to find an event near you, or to help organize an event in your area.

What are we trying to accomplish?

On a local, national and global level, Joining Hands sends a powerful visual message of human solidarity to our nation’s leaders. We are unified in the defense of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we consume from dangerous, dirty energy sources. Every time we join hands that message is reinforced.

It’s simple and logical. Embrace clean energy. A line in the sand is a powerful thing.

4361019748_ce0e3673fc

Have you heard about Beachapedia?

beachapedia

See what all the buzz is about:

Beachapedia captures decades of experience and knowledge gained by Surfrider Foundation activists, scientists and staff through hundreds of environmental and educational campaigns on our coasts.  By sharing this resource with the public they hope to provide tools and information to help communities make a positive impact on their local beaches.

With cool features like the “Coastal Factoid” of the day and continually-updated “State of the Beach” report, Beachapedia is an awesome resource for anyone and everyone who loves the beach, ocean, waters, or the environment.

Check it out today!  http://www.beachapedia.org/Main_Page

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At the Beach: Kahuna Kupuna Surf Contest

kahunaasz

In Hawaiian, “Kahuna” means “Big Chief” and “Kupuna” means “Grandparent” or “Older member of the community to whom everyone goes for advice and counsel.”  So, “Kahuna Kupuna” means “Big Chief Grandparent” in Hawaiian.

Kahuna Kapuna is the only amateur surf contest in the world that focuses on surfers age 40 and over by offering separate shortboard and longboard heats (pending demand) for men and women in the following age divisions:

  • 40-49
  • 50-54
  • 55-59
  • 60-64
  • 65-69
  • 70-74
  • 75-79

The suggested entry donation is $65 and all net proceeds support Pacifica’s Environmental Family, a 501(c)(3) non-profit fiscal sponsorship organization.

Driftwood trophies, crafted from driftwood collected at Pescadero State Beach, south of Half Moon Bay and Moat Creek Beach up near Point Arena, will once again be given to the top 6 finishers in each division.

There will be a post-contest reception with live music, a full buffet dinner featuring delicious organic mexican food from the Green Enchilada and another lollapalooza of an award ceremony starting at 5:30 PM at the Pedro Point Firehouse. Each contestant’s entry will cover admission for the post contest festivities. A sliding scale suggested donation of between $10 to $20 is requested from additional guests who want to join us at the Firehouse. Will call tickets for your guests are available in advance or during the day of the contest.

For more information visit the official contest website:  Kahuna Kapuna

Karl Strauss Brewery’s Beach to Brewery 2010 – A Beer & Music Fest to benefit Surfrider Foundation

BTBLogo

WHAT: Beach to Brewery Beer + Music Fest

WHEN: Saturday May 8, 2010 from 2:00p-7:00p

WHERE: Karl Strauss Main Brewery in Pacific Beach (Map It!)

Other Info:

  • This year marks the 7th year of supporting the local San Diego Surfrider Chapter.
  • Admission includes a souvenir taster glass and 5 samples.
  • Tickets are $25/pre-sale and $30/at the door.  All proceeds go directly to the Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Chapter.
  • Interested in becoming a Surfrider member?  Buy a ticket to the event and a 1-year membership for only $40 a $50 value.
  • On-line pre-sale ticket sales end at 2:00p on Friday May 7th. Tickets will be available at the door on May 8th for $30 each.
  • Free shuttles starting at 1:40pm are available from Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach and will run throughout the event.   The PB pick-up/drop off point is at the corner of Dawes/Thomas at the edge of the PB Library.  No event parking is available at the Library, so plan accordingly.   The OB pick-up/drop off point is at Dusty Rhodes Park.

Check out this video from their event last year:

Karl Strauss Beach to Brewery from Love Machine Films on Vimeo.

5th Annual Surf Nite in SLO to Honor Irish Big Wave Surfers

Surf_Nite_smallWHAT: SURF NITE IN SLO

WHEN: Thursday, March 18 from 7:30-9:30pm

WHERE: Fremont Theatre, San Luis Obispo

PRICE:
$25 General, $15 SLOIFF Film Society and Students

The fifth annual Surf Nite in SLO is featuring a film from Ireland as part of this year’s focus on Irish films. WAVERIDERS is the critically-acclaimed story of Ireland’s roots in modern day surfing and its most surprising legacy — the emergence of big wave surfing along its forbidding coastline. Paying homage to George Freeth, the father of modern surfing, the story follows the wave of surfing culture from west coast America to Ireland’s unforgiving waters. With stunning coastline, thumped year round by unmatched North Atlantic swells, Ireland is the preeminent destination for big-wave surfers. Featuring pro surfers Kelly Slater, Gabe Davies and the Malloy brothers, and narrated by actor Cillian Murphy, WAVERIDERS culminates in awe-inspiring and nail-biting footage of surfers conquering the largest waves ever surfed around Ireland. In attendance will be director Joel Conroy, European Pro Surfer, Gabe Davies, writer/producer, Lauren McCrossan, and more special guests to be announced soon. The evening will begin with an introduction by AmpSurf founder, Dana Cummings and a portion of the proceeds of the 2010 Surf Nite will go to AmpSurf.

A Surf Nite AFTER PARTY will be happening at Mo/Tav, 725 Higuera St. SLO at 9:30pm. The exceptional Celtic band, Molly’s Revenge, will playing and there will be great drink specials and a chance to meet visiting surf personalities and filmmakers. $10 tickets will be sold at the door (free entrance to Movie Mogul and Filmmaker passholders).

For more information, or to PURCHASE TICKETS, click HERE.

Also sponsored by Dolphin Bay Resort, One-Way Boardshop, AmpSurf, Mo/Tav and Quality Suites San Luis Obispo and the Irish Film Institute.

2010 RockWater Race – 3rd Annual Relay Race From Mountains to Ocean to Benefit Surfrider Foundation

rockwater3flatWHAT: RockWater – A 28.9 Mile Race, from the mountains to the ocean, along the Santa Ana River Watershed to help keep our oceans, waves and beaches clean.

WHO: You and up to 6 of your friends – a combination of runners and walkers, bikers (beach cruisers and mountain bikes, no road bikes) and skateboarders.

WHERE: The race covers 28.9 miles starting at head of the Santa Ana River trail at the border of Orange and Riverside Counties and finishes at the Santa Ana River mouth in Huntington Beach CA.

WHEN:  Race Date: March 20, 2010 - Race Starts @ 9:00AM  Teams are expected to check in at the start by 8:30 AM.

WHY: A watershed is any river, gully, canyon or pathway that drains to the ocean. Watersheds are everywhere and anything on land can find its way to the ocean via a watershed. This means that if you throw something on the ground it may eventually end up in the ocean. Drop a cigarette butt or plastic fork, and it will end up in the ocean, on our beaches, or in the stomach of a fish, sea bird or other marine animal.

Registration is now open for the third annual RockWater relay race hosted by Surfrider Foundation’s Newport Beach Chapter on Saturday, March 20th. RockWater is a 28.9-mile relay race that follows the path of the Santa Ana River, from the Orange and Riverside County line to the river mouth in Huntington Beach, and raises awareness about the river’s connection to our oceans, waves and beaches.

“This is a fun and active way to learn about our local watershed,” said Dudley Tabakin, Vice Chair of Surfrider Foundation’s Newport Beach Chapter. “We hope it will bring greater awareness to the surrounding communities, who may not be knowledgeable of the impact that urban runoff has on our beaches and ocean. If you throw your trash out on the street it will end up in our ocean and on our beaches.”

Teams may register up to seven members to run, walk, bike, or skateboard the trail – or a combination of these. Each team must also have a driver and vehicle to transport team members to relay changeovers. Registration is $100 per team and includes a race t-shirt. Prizes are awarded for first place teams in each category, as well as for collecting the most trash on route and the ‘Wooden Spoon’ is awarded to the team finishing last. Proceeds from RockWater will benefit the Surfrider Foundation’s Newport Beach Chapter and its ongoing efforts to educate the community about the importance of clean water.

CLICK HERE FOR RACE RULES, INFO ON HOW TO ENTER, AND MORE INFO

At the Beach: the Surfrider Foundation 25th Anniversary Gala

WHO: The National Surfrider Foundation, along with host Mark Hoppus of Blink-182, will be honoring actor David Chokachi, and the members of Incubus and Pearl Jam with the organization’s prestigious Keeper of the Coast Award – an award that is presented only once every five years to those celebrities who have made significant contributions towards helping the Surfrider Foundation fulfill its mission of protecting and preserving our world’s oceans, waves and beaches

WHAT: Think of it as Surfrider’s annual gala event on steroids as the event celebrates this quarter-century milestone.  The event will also present the third installment of their Art for the Oceans auction series – Surfrider has commissioned some of the leading contemporary artists to create interpretations of 25 of the world’s most notorious and iconic waves.  Click here to preview some of the pieces that will be up for auction

WHERE: California Science Center’s Wallis Annenberg Building in Los Angeles, CA

WHEN: Friday, October 9th, 2009 at 7pm

At the Beach: Billabong Presents 10th Annual Cosmic Creek Surf Festival

Reserve October 3rd and 4th for Billabong’s 10th Annual Cosmic Creek Music and Art Extravaganza.  Highlights will include a retro-style surf contest, on-the-beach BBQ and silent auction.  And what better way to wrap the event than listing to the fresh and soulful music of Donovan Frankenreiter?

Judging from past festivals, Donovan won’t be alone.  Cosmic Creek will also have appearances by an amazing gathering of famous artists, musicians and surf legends.  In previous years these unannounced superstars have included Jackson Brown, Pennywise, G-love, Warren G, & Sugar Ray.

“Donny and surprise guest musicians will play their hearts out,” says event creator Eric Diamond.”It’s just a super positive symphony of Art/Music/ Food & people all gathered together for Charity,” says Diamond. “Get your tickets now – this will sell out fast.”

Silent auction items such as Italian Cordoba guitars and ukuleles, brought in by Frankenreiter and painted by well known artists including John Van Hamersveld, Wolfgang Bloc, Andy Davis, Tyler Warren, Herbie Fletcher, Jay Alders, Kevin Short, Daniel Chang, Timmy Patterson to name a few, will be on display at 7-Degrees in their outdoor event space.

The event is being billed as “part Woodstock/ Warhol Factory/ surf stomp/ & great Charity event all rolled into one evening.”  Proceeds will help local charities, along with Surfrider’s clean water campaign.

Click here for tickets and here for information about entering the surf contest.


At the Beach: 25th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day

What: The 25th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. Now is your chance to be one of the tens of thousands of Californians that will gather along the beaches, shorelines, and inland waterways of the state to clear away the debris that has been deposited over the past year.

Last year, 73,461 Coastal Cleanup volunteers (a 20% jump from the previous record for volunteer turnout) collected over 1.6 million pounds of trash and recyclables. Covering over 2,800 miles of coast and inland shoreline in 45 counties around the state, the 2008 cleanup also had the largest geographic reach ever achieved.

When: Saturday, September 19th, from 9am to Noon in most locations.

Where: Cleanups will be held at over 750 sites on California beaches, bays, rivers, creeks, parks, roadsides, and highways. Contact your local coordinator for exact locations and other site-specific information, or, for further details, visit www.coast4u.org.

Why: “Coastal Cleanup Day is an opportunity for every Californian to feel their connection to our coast, no matter where they may live,” says Eben Schwartz, Outreach Manager for the California Coastal Commission. “By pushing the Cleanup into every corner of the state, we can clean up a lot of trash before it has a chance to reach our ocean, and in doing so, bind every Californian to one another through our collective stewardship.”

How: Pre-register with your local Coordinator, or show up at any drop-in site (find one close to you at the county contact pages).  Or you can call 1 (800) COAST-4U or visit www.coast4u.org for more information. You can further support Coastal Cleanup Day, by shopping at any Northern California Whole Foods market on Tuesday, September 22nd – 5% of all sales from that day will be donated to the Cleanup Program.

California Coastal Cleanup Day 2009 is supported by the California Coastal Commission, California State Parks Foundation, and the Ocean Conservancy. This event is made possible by the hard work of hundreds of local non-profits and government agencies throughout the state and tens of thousands of volunteers annually.

*content is from CA.gov and the California Coastal Commission site

At the Beach: West Beach ’09 Music & Arts Festival

WHO: All of your favorite artists preforming over one weekend – including Steel Pulse, Ozomatli, Donavon Frankenreiter, Ben Harper, G. Love & Special Sauce, Slightly Stoopid & Pepper!

WHAT: A 100% on-the-beach music festival with 4 stages and over 50 sets to be played!  Tickets range from $30 – $50 depending on the day, or $115 for a 3 day pass.

WHERE: It’s all taking place right smack dab on West Beach, in between Stearn’s wharf and the beautiful harbor!

WHEN: This weekend – September 18, 19 & 20.  The first bands kick off Friday @ 3pm.

WHY: Great music, cold beer and a hot beach…why not?!

Now in its 3rd year, the West Beach Music Festival has established itself as the annual event for Santa Barbara.  Rallying after its dissapointing debut event in 2007  (the then one day event got sacked with rainy weather) 2008′s event saw increased crowds, thanks in part to gorgeous weather and the likes of Jason Mraz, Natasha Bedingfield, Ziggy Marley and George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelicthis.  This year is sure to top even last year’s successful turnout.

Brothers (and twins) Jeremy and Joshua Pemberton, the events orginizers, worked with hundreds of event staff to cure the few complaints that event-goers had from last year:  large event grounds, sound bleed, and poor vendor setup.  “They spoke and we listened,” said Josh Pemberton. “We took a survey last year after the fest, and we were able to make a few stellar changes. The biggest change is we are now allowing ins and outs. We didn’t allow it last year because we didn’t want to impact the neighboring businesses, but nearly unanimously, they are all in support of it. So, you can come and go as you please until 7 p.m. We’ve also brought the footprint down by 33 percent. Walking in the sand can be pretty tiring, [so] this was a no-brainer. We’ve got a great team and careful programming to ensure our stages aren’t competing with each other.”

Another factor that contributes to West Beach’s success is that the whole event focuses on the “community first” mentality – something that goes a long way in a close-knit community like Santa Barbara.  Jeremy says, “If we ever ignore the amazingly talented local acts, we’ve lost track of where this whole thing started—with the locals.”  Orginizers have conciously extended the offer for local bands to dominate some of the most sought-after positions on the lineup.  Isla Vista artists Rebelution and Iration are opening for Pepper and Slightly Stoopid, and Santa Barbaras own Sunshine Brothers are playing before G. Love & Special Sauce and Ben Harper and Relentless7.

2009′s event will also be more integrated with the Downtown Santa Barbara businesses – there will be afterparties following the final preformances each night:

Friday: @ Velvet Jones – S.B. stalwarts Shades of Day and The Naybrhood
@ Sandbar – The Aggrolites and Marc B.
@ EOS – after-party

Saturday:  @ Velvet – SOJA, Passafire, and The Movement
@ Wildcat – Shwayze
Sandbar - Sashamon

Sunday: @ Wildcat – the official post-fest shindig

*For $20, festival attendees can score a VIP After-Party Pass, which gets you into all the festivities without paying a cover fee.

At the Beach: Meet Quiksilver Surf Team Riders 9/17 in Laguna Beach

Over at Quicksilver’s blog they just announced that some of their team riders will be dropping by the Laguna Beach Quicksilver store – now’s your chance to meet the dreamy Dane Reynolds, Freddy Patacchia, Jeremy Flores, Aritz Aranburu, Miky Picon, and Nic Muscroft!  The action takes place this Thursday (9/17/2009) from 6 – 7pm @ 255 Forest Avenue in Laguna Beach – the first 100 people will get a signed poster.