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Scan the Pacific Ocean from Seaview Park in Orange County's Laguna Niguel.

Southern Orange County is richly endowed with regional and open-space parks, which helps to atone for the immense area of valley and hillside now brutally overrun with suburban development. These open spaces allow residents and visitors to appreciate -- from certain vantage points at least -- the broad, rural vistas of the past.

Here's a hot tip about how to reach a spectacular vantage point in open space within the city of Laguna Niguel, overlooking the coast near Laguna Beach:

At Monarch Beach, between Dana Point and Laguna, turn north from Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) onto Crown Valley Parkway. Continue north one mile to Pacific Island Drive. Turn left there and proceed north (sharply uphill) 1.6 miles to Talavera Drive, where you turn left. Proceed to the far end of Talavera Drive, to Seaview Park.

At Seaview Park, a wide, short trail heads west, along a narrow ridge. You pass by several interpretive panels annotating the common species of coastal vegetation found here and throughout coastal Southern California. Notice the differences between the types of vegetation growing on the two sides of the path. Dense chaparral clings to the steep, north-facing slope to the right, which falls a sheer 800 feet to Aliso Creek. A sparser assemblage of mostly coastal-sage-scrub plants lies exposed to the sun's harshest rays on the left (south-facing) side of the path.

The wide path leads to a concrete platform offering a jaw-dropping view of the hills of Laguna Beach spilling down to the ocean. Open land stretches for several miles to the north, in between hillside housing developments. Most of that open land is part of the Aliso/Wood Canyons Wilderness Park.

Beyond the concrete platform, a narrower trail continues. It pitches sharply downward, skirts a residential street, and then rises a little to reach Aliso Peak (a.k.a. Aliso Summit). From there, the ocean shore lies only a few hundred yards away -- and 600 feet of elevation below.

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Southern Orange County is richly endowed with regional and open-space parks, which helps to atone for the immense area of valley and hillside now brutally overrun with suburban development. These open spaces allow residents and visitors to appreciate -- from certain vantage points at least -- the broad, rural vistas of the past.

Here's a hot tip about how to reach a spectacular vantage point in open space within the city of Laguna Niguel, overlooking the coast near Laguna Beach:

At Monarch Beach, between Dana Point and Laguna, turn north from Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) onto Crown Valley Parkway. Continue north one mile to Pacific Island Drive. Turn left there and proceed north (sharply uphill) 1.6 miles to Talavera Drive, where you turn left. Proceed to the far end of Talavera Drive, to Seaview Park.

At Seaview Park, a wide, short trail heads west, along a narrow ridge. You pass by several interpretive panels annotating the common species of coastal vegetation found here and throughout coastal Southern California. Notice the differences between the types of vegetation growing on the two sides of the path. Dense chaparral clings to the steep, north-facing slope to the right, which falls a sheer 800 feet to Aliso Creek. A sparser assemblage of mostly coastal-sage-scrub plants lies exposed to the sun's harshest rays on the left (south-facing) side of the path.

The wide path leads to a concrete platform offering a jaw-dropping view of the hills of Laguna Beach spilling down to the ocean. Open land stretches for several miles to the north, in between hillside housing developments. Most of that open land is part of the Aliso/Wood Canyons Wilderness Park.

Beyond the concrete platform, a narrower trail continues. It pitches sharply downward, skirts a residential street, and then rises a little to reach Aliso Peak (a.k.a. Aliso Summit). From there, the ocean shore lies only a few hundred yards away -- and 600 feet of elevation below.

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A People’s Cuban Christmas Tale, Hirie and Tribal Theory, Snow N Glow Holiday Festival

Events December 2-December 4, 2021
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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