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A Sampling of our Glorious Coastal Communities
The Crowned City

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Glorietta Bay, and San Diego Bay, Coronado is linked to the mainland by the spectacular Coronado Bridge and a narrow strip of land called the Silver Strand. In other words, to the surprise of many visitors, Coronado is not an island, though with its quiet, charming atmosphere and warm, sunny climate, it often feels like one!

Just 13.5 square miles in size, the sparkling seaside town boasts 28 miles of beaches. Coronado was formerly accessible from downtown San Diego only by ferry. The San Diego-Coronado Bridge was built during the 1960s at a cost of $47.6 million. Completed in 1969, the 2.12-mile-long bridge has an orthotropic design.

The city has about 29,000 full-time residents (including those in military quarters), and attracts some two million tourists every year. It has one of the lowest crime rates in the county, and that’s attributed to the fact that there are only two entrances to the city.

Coronado residents are among the most highly educated in San Diego County, which may be why the city hosts so many arts and culture venues and events. The Lamb’s Players Theater is San Diego’s only year-round professional theater group. The Coronado Playhouse has provided community theater for more than 50 years. Spreckels Park is the site of Art-in-the-Park, where local artisans display and sell their works on the first and third Sunday of every month.

Local Realtors say that the city can be divided into three residential areas. The “Village” includes downtown, the Hotel Del, and the area around it. It’s here you’ll find plenty of palm trees and tile. Golfers love the Village because it’s so close to the 18-hole Coronado Municipal Golf Course. The Glorietta Bay Marina is also nearby.

“Coronado Shores” is the second residential area. It’s a narrow strip of land along the south side of the Silver Strand, close to the Village. High-rise condos are the housing of choice here, and ocean views are spectacular. Many wealthy Mexican citizens own here.

The third residential designation in the city is the “Coronado Cays,” an exclusive, gated community on the bay side of the Silver Strand. Most homeowners have private boat slips just steps from their doors. This is the only community south of Newport Beach to boast such a feature. At the center of the development is the prestigious Coronado Cays Yacht Club.

The Jewel of San Diego

There are a number of caves along the ocean in La Jolla and some people believe the community’s name has its origins in the Spanish spelling of an Indian word for “cave.” Others insist it is a variation of the Spanish word “la joya,” which means “the jewel.” It’s not easy to argue against the latter claim, because La Jolla really is a jewel. Seven miles of beaches, a spectacularly sculptured coastline, virtual palaces perched for whitewater views, sidewalk cafes, art galleries, exclusive and trend-setting boutiques, La Jolla is a perennial favorite in the travel sections of websites and newspapers all over the world. Like the San Diego Zoo and Sea World, La Jolla, which lies about 12.6 miles north of downtown San Diego, is always on the “must-see” lists of tourists.

La Jolla is not incorporated — it is a part of the city of San Diego. The community’s northern boundary is below Torrey Pines State Park and the southern part encompasses the Bird Rock area and ends at Turquoise Street where Pacific Beach begins. With 42,468 residents, population growth has been relatively slow over the last decade or so compared to other parts of San Diego County. There is simply very little room left for new growth. The weather is superb: The average high and low temperatures are about 75 and 65 in July; 71 and 50 in January.

The community has world-famous status as a scientific center. It’s the home of the University of California at San Diego, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Stephen Birch Aquarium, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, as well as a number of thriving bio-tech companies. The presence of these institutions and companies is one of the major reasons La Jolla has such a highly educated populace; some 67 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Many scientists and professors have only a five or 10-minute commute to work.

Besides its multiple distinguished art galleries, La Jolla is home to the stunning Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Also, in recent years, the La Jolla Playhouse theater has become internationally known thanks to its commitment to producing new plays…plays that often end up on Broadway. Finally, La Jolla boasts one of the top municipal golf courses in the U.S. ­ the Torrey Pines Golf Course. It hosts the Buick Invitational PGA Tournament each winter. This summer the Torrey Pines Golf Course hosted the PGA US Open.

Artist Colony & World-Class Resort

The city of Laguna Beach is well known as a unique beach community and artist’s colony with seven miles of city beaches running along its nine square miles. The resident population of about 26,000 enjoys the ambiance provided by the sandy beaches, canyons, and coastal hills. During the summer, several million visitors are drawn to the resort environment for its picturesque beaches, art festivals and the Pageant of the Masters. Laguna’s village scale shopping district, blufftop walkways, and tram system create a pedestrian environment and scale that is unique in Southern California.

By the middle of the last century, the city had already caught the eye of Hollywood filmmakers. Stars like Bette Davis, Mary Pickford, Judy Garland, Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, Mickey Rooney, and Ozzie and Harriet Nelson maintained homes in town.

Today, Laguna Beach has become a full-fledged resort town. Its newest addition is the Montage Resort & Spa, which draws its own Hollywood crowd. Locals and visitors alike can stroll in the new public park that was created along with the Montage, explore tide pools, and enjoy the sunsets over the Pacific — just as the Indians, Spaniards, and early artists who recognized Laguna’s charm did in times gone by.

The town is host annually to the Festival of the Arts and Pageant of the Masters. Recognized internationally as the best presentation of its kind, the Pageant presents startlingly faithful re-creations of classical and contemporary works, using real people to pose and look exactly like their counterparts in the original works. The 90-minute presentation in an outdoor amphitheater includes a professional orchestra, original score, live narration, intricate sets, cutting-edge lighting, expert staff, and hundreds of volunteers with an the ability to pose without moving a muscle!

Laguna’s universal allure is best expressed on a famous gate built in 1935 that today stands at the corner of Forest and Park avenues. It reads, “This gate hangs well and hinders none, refresh and rest, then travel on.”

A Gorgeous & Glamorous Address

It is no wonder that so many people find their dream homes in Newport Beach. With 25 square miles of oceanfront, bayfront, and harbor waters, including two piers, charming islands, and wide sandy beaches, people have described the views of and from Newport Beach as “right out of a French Impressionistic painting.” It’s too bad Renoir and Monet didn’t live long enough to paint it. Newport Beach’s harbor has more than 15,000 boat slips, and the city has the largest concentration of pleasure craft in the United States. The city offers excellent golf courses, and, because of the balmy climate, golfers can play year-round.

Located 46.2 miles south of Los Angeles, Newport Beach has several communities, and each is unique in its characteristics. These communities include East Bluff/Harbor View, Newport Heights, West Newport/Lido, Lower Newport Bay/Balboa Island, Balboa Peninsula, West Bay/Santa Ana Heights, Corona del Mar, and Newport Coast.

Newport Beach has more than 300 restaurants, many with the best ocean views in Orange County. Boutiques abound. Some of the popular shopping areas include the Boardwalk Shops at the Newport Pier, Corona del Mar Plaza, the Crystal Cove Promenade, and the famous Fashion Island mall, which calls itself Southern California’s premier open-air retail center. Its ambience is that of a Mediterranean village.

The city’s 83,000 population is made up primarily of people who love the outdoor lifestyle…especially boaters and golfers. There are so many celebrities who own primary or vacation houses in Newport Beach that you can actually take a boat tour of their homes (or former homes).

The Pride of The Palisades

Just north of Santa Monica and south of Malibu lies Pacific Palisades, named for and located on the bluffs where Sunset Boulevard meets the Pacific Ocean. Pacific Palisades is surrounded by six major canyons that wind their way from the Santa Monica Mountains to the ocean. They add beauty and contrast to the community, because some are uniquely blessed with lush vegetation, wildlife, underground springs, and streams and brooks. Because of the geography created by the canyons and mountains, many Pacific Palisades residents enjoy panoramic views of the ocean shoreline, forested canyons, and spectacular undeveloped mountain landscapes.

The 27,000 residents pride themselves on their community’s “small-town” feel. “Pacific Palisades reminds us of what a community should be like,” says a local Realtor who lives and works in Pacific Palisades. “The wide range of schools, access to local and state parks, community activities like the Fourth of July Parade, Santa on the Village Green, shopping at the Sunday Farmer’s Market, or cheering at an AYSO soccer game represent the attraction that has led to the Palisades becoming a much sought-after place to own a home.”

The town attracts upscale young families for the high quality of the local schools. Besides the numerous top-notch private schools, all of Pacific Palisades’ public schools are charter schools, which means they have autonomy over their budgets and curricula and there is a lot more parent involvement than in a non-charter school. Pacific Palisades’ proximity to the production facilities of L.A.’s entertainment industry makes it popular, too, with screenwriters, directors, producers, and TV and film stars. Among celebrities who live or once lived in Pacific Palisades are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Martin Short, Tracy Ullman, Tom Cruise, Billy Crystal,Whoopi Goldberg, Sugar Ray Leonard, Chevy Chase, Bill Cosby, Steven Spielberg, and John Goodman. The late Walter Matthau was one of the first stars to break the “Beverly Hills or Bel Air?” tradition by moving to Pacific Palisades. The community attracts beach lovers, too. Residents are just a 10-minute drive from Will Rogers State Beach.

The compact, tree-lined, four-block Pacific Palisades “Village” offers a range of amenities from cappuccino to clothes for all ages. A local Realtor says few people from outside the community come to shop in the Village. “As a result,” she says, “people who live in the Palisades come to know the shopkeepers personally.” She says the community is only three miles from the wildly popular Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, where shopping is king during the day and nightlife rules after the sun goes down.

The diversified topography of the community gives buyers a wide range of atmospheres and home styles to choose from. “We have single-level homes cascading down the mountains with spectacular views of the Santa Monica Bay; rustic canyon retreats reminiscent of Mill Valley; and the flats around the Village for the ‘urban’ buyer who wants to be within walking distance to schools and shopping,” says another Realtor who loves the area, adding that most of the celebrities live in an area called Palisades Riviera.

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