Letter: Guide for Fun at Our LGBTQ Beach—West Street

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If it’s warm, there will be a crowd beginning on Memorial Day weekend at South Laguna’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning or queer beach—West Street. Here’s a survival guide for a fun time.

Transportation includes cars that can be parked on Coast Highway or on streets near West Street or better yet, leave the car in town and take the Laguna trolleys or OCTA Route 1 to the West Street intersection.

West Street is one of Laguna’s largest beaches. People fail to read warning signs posted on stairways which warn that the surf is considered a shore break because the slope of the sand causes waves to crash down on bathers. I know because I dislocated my left arm at West Street. Check the color of the flag on lifeguard platforms. They can be green, yellow, or red. Check with the lifeguards if you want to know the surf conditions.

Nearby parks and restaurants include the Village Green park one block south of West Street and one block east of Coast Highway. It has tables, barbecue grills, a play lot, and a large patch of grass. North of West Street is Treasure Island Park, which hosts beautiful beaches, coves, tables that sit from two to eight people, shower, and two restrooms. No grills are allowed. The Montage’s Mosaic bar and grill is located outside, overlooking the ocean next to one of the hotel pools. Across the street in the shopping plaza, there are four restaurants including Z pizza, starfish, La Serena, and O Japanese cuisine across from Gelson’s.

Food and lodging: The Ranch is within walking distance of West Street beach up in Aliso Canyon, 1,400 feet from the beach. It has an indoor-outdoor restaurant, nine-hole golf course, pool, and hotel rooms. A lower priced motel, the Lodge is directly east of the Montage entrance. It has a pool.

Picnics and nearby cafes: West Street beach is somewhat isolated. Bringing food and a fridge is a good idea, but remember the Laguna Beach police beach patrol may ask you to open your fridge if they think you have alcohol, and remember there is no smoking allowed anywhere within the city limits, including the beach. The Lost Pier Cafe directly north of the beach is on the sand. Other cafes south include South Swell Donuts, Papa’s Tacos, AbhA, and Coyote Grill.

Emergencies – call 911 and remember Mission Hospital’s 24-hour emergency room is one mile south, and my dermatologist suggests using a sun lotion with at least a 45 SPF.  Let’s make 2022 a fun summer at West Street.

Roger Carter, Laguna Beach 

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