Wow, it was fun to work on this cover story! For “Favorite Places,” we reached out to longtime county residents: arts leaders, business owners, community activists, chefs, and many of the people we’ve highlighted this year.
It was delightful to chat with folks and hear their anecdotes of special spots. People shared memories of beach locales, great restaurants, and the sense of nostalgia for a specific time in their lives. Common themes emerged: community gathering places where we feel welcome, outdoor settings with amazing views to get away from the din, and somewhere to gain perspective and look at nature. Lucky us; we have all of those by the dozens in O.C.
I’ve spent more than a month pondering my favorite place. Should it be Segerstrom Center, where I’ve seen invigorating performances for more than 25 years? Or Back Bay, where my family and I have taken hundreds of bike rides and walks, always stopping at the same points to rest and marvel at the view? Or there’s Huntington Beach, where I first lived in Orange County and would pass Bolsa Chica Wetlands almost daily.
But I think the location that resonates most, no matter the season or my mood, is Corona del Mar. I first visited in college with a friend whose parents lived on Hazel Drive—“People actually LIVE here?” I marveled. We take out-of-town guests for sunset strolls along Ocean Boulevard. A walk on the sand at the state beach on a lonely, gray weekday recently gave me solace after a loved one died.
My kids immediately think of Little Corona when I say “Let’s go to the beach,” and I flash back to toddler versions of them walking (and whining) up the long hill afterward.
Reconnect with great places or discover a new one as you look over the many reasons to love it here.
My Favorite Things In This Issue
➜ Perfect Getaway Palm Springs in the winter: What a great town for a relaxing getaway.
➜ O.C. Events The panto shows at Laguna Playhouse are delightful. This month’s visit by John O’Hurley as Captain Hook will make the holidays even more special.
➜ One Final Bow Don’t miss your last chance to see Hal Landon Jr. in his iconic performance as Scrooge this month.
➜ Philanthropy The organizations we highlight in our Philanthropy section this month are just a few of the many doing wonderful work in O.C. all year.