BEACH POOL OPENS: Other people in faraway places may wonder if it is really true that people in California swim in beautiful pools just steps from the ocean. People elsewhere? This rumor is confirmed. Annenberg Community Beach House is one of the much-loved favorites for this sunny pursuit, and as luck would have it the pool will be open all Memorial Day Weekend. There's a new reservation system for booking your day at the pool, if you haven't been back in a bit. Happy beach-close splashing, splashers.
FIESTA HERMOSA: Arts and crafts booths steps from the ocean, two stages of live music, Beatles and Doors cover bands, a carnival, a food court, and Hermosa Beach totally Hermosa-Beach-ing the happy heck out of the proceedings, in all of its chilled-out, sandy-footed ways? It's no wonder this mega festival has stuck around since 1972. It's one of the biggest draws for artists, and for everybody, so be patient with parking, then prepare to stroll and soak in vibes of the no-worries sort. May 24-26
TOPANGA DAYS: And speaking of good vibes that are both easy and breezy, there is Topanga Canyon, and there's the long-running Memorial Day Weekend festival that encompasses tunes, crafts, pie eating, watermelon seed spitting, three-legged races, and a host of small town, summer's coming pleasures. There's a parade, too. Cost per day? Twenty five dollars. Years this has been around? Forty one. So many early '70s fests come out to play at this time of year. Good stuff. May 24-26
GARDEN GROVE STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL: As tempting as it would be to simply type the word "shortcake" over and over again for the next few lines, we shall not. But truth? Shortcake is a major part of the four-day berry bash, given that a huuuuge -- extra u's required there, you betcha -- shortcake is cut up and handed out to guests on the first night. Music, contests, rides, and more strawberry sweetness round out the weekend-long, oh-so-old-school favorite.
GRAND PRIX VIEWING: Want to catch the racing action from Monaco, willing to get up very, very, very early on Sunday, May 25, and want to enjoy a nice breakfast to boot? Coast Beach Cafe and Bar has you covered. The Shutters on the Beach eatery'll broadcast the speed-famous race starting at 4:30 a.m. Breakfast and bubbly are on the bill (think Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Eggs Benedict, and Vanilla Waffle, and think $55). Then say "salut" to the sunrise on the beach.