My father and his father built a beach cottage way back in 1940. Our family owns it still, and that unglamorous little structure remains a touchstone for practically every one of my aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
It’s where many of us spent spring breaks and lazy summers, learned about jellyfish and furtive kisses, got our first taste of beer, and understood the primal connection between the smell of seawater and happiness. As a kid, I used to roll down my car window as soon as we got within a hundred miles of the shore, just waiting for that first whiff. Which brings us to this month’s “Beach Town Getaways” cover story, our guide to the quintessential California coastal communities of La Jolla, Morro Bay, Carmel, Santa Cruz, Pescadero, and Mendocino.
Choosing cover topics for Orange Coast is a weird alchemy of public mood, timing, and visual potential. The idea not only has to appeal to newsstand buyers, it also has to be something our staff finds compelling enough to merit a sustained effort to conceive, execute, and produce one of our lively and informative service packages. The debates are epic, and consensus can be hard-fought.
That said, I don’t remember any dissent when the beach-town story idea came up. The concept connected immediately—and on some visceral level—with every editor and designer in the room when we were deciding on 2015 cover stories last summer. I just remember a lot of smiles and nodding heads. It was approved with no further discussion.
So roll down the windows, folks. Take a deep breath. Enjoy the ride.