Visit Laguna Beach launches its new website and interactive kiosk in official Visitor’s Center

Visitors, meeting professionals and locals – welcome to the all-new Visit Laguna Beach website – Visit Laguna Beach has launched a fresh and visually appealing new website, reflective of the recent name change and rebranding efforts. This fully responsive website powered by SimpleView provides an optimal viewing experience across multiple devices, from smartphones to desktop computers.

Responsive and completely re-designed, special features include a new listings layout for attractions, restaurants and lodging; visually appealing, enlarged photos; an Open Table functionality for dining reservations; home page navigation buttons presented through visual tiles introducing categories of interest such as Restaurants, Hotels, Things To Do, Weddings, Plan Your Trip and Photo Gallery; and social media buttons allowing direct connections to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. Click on the customized Map Explorer from a listing or from the maps & information section for an interactive map of Laguna Beach.

Download PDF file here to see the new website explained 

Last, but not least, Visit Laguna Beach has fully integrated their staff blogging efforts into the website, showing visitors an insider’s view of Laguna Beach.

Visit Laguna Beach also worked with MobiManage to develop an interactive kiosk that is on display in the Official Laguna Beach Visitors Center at 381 Forest Avenue. Guests have the ability to sign a digital guestbook, view events, book hotel rooms and restaurant reservations, purchase attraction tickets, create a plan your trip itinerary, print boarding passes, maps, directions and more. 

Visit Laguna Beach is celebrating 28 years of commitment to Laguna Beach and the tourism industry, and is located at 361 Forest Avenue, Suite 200, with its Visitors Center at 381 Forest Avenue. The Official Visitors Center is open daily, Monday – Sunday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Laguna Beach is Southern California’s premier coastal destination located midway between Los Angeles and San Diego and along the southern coast of Orange County. Known as home to hundreds of local artists, and set amid 20,000 acres of wilderness, Laguna Beach is primarily served by John Wayne Airport Orange County (SNA) located just 20 minutes away. Please visit

Summer movie nights at the Ranch – “The Sandlot”

Next Thursday, Aug 21, the Ranch at Laguna Beach is hosting its third free summer movie night screening. This month’s movie is 1993 baseball flick The Sandlot. 

James Earl Jones in a scene from The Sandlot

The movie starts at 8 p.m. (sunset). The theater is in the canyon – a huge screen will be set up on the first fairway.

The taco station, full bar, and popcorn stand open up at 6:30. Kids have the chance to run and play on the first fairway before the movie starts. Lawn games will also be available. Parking is free. No outside food and beverages, please.

Can’t make it Aug 21? There’s still one more summer movie night you can catch - Thursday, Sept 4, The Ranch will be showing Shrek.

Sawdust Art Festival presents Annual Beatles Day

The Sawdust Art Festival presents its annual Beatles Day this Saturday, August 16 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Beatles classics will be covered on all three entertainment stages throughout the day, ‘60s era art and craft projects will be featured at the Children’s Art Spot and Studio One, and Euro Specials will be offered at the Sawdust Saloon. 

Highlights of Beatles Day include Beatles themed art and craft projects such as:

Yellow Submarine –10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Children’s Art Spot, complimentary with admission, ages 4+.

Drawing from the Mind’s Eye – 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at Studio One, complimentary with admission, ages 7+.

“Imagine” – Class taught by Joni Cresci; 1 - 3 p.m. at Children’s Art Spot, complimentary with admission, ages 4+.

60’s Life Drawing – Class taught by Sawdust artist Deborah Paswaters; 1 - 3 p.m. at Studio One, complimentary with admission, ages 7+.

Tie-dye Clothespin Butterflies – 3 - 5:30 p.m. at Children’s Art Spot, complimentary with admission, ages 4+.

“All You Need is Love” Collage – 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. at Studio One, complimentary with admission, ages 7+.  

Additionally, the Sawdust Saloon will be offering Euro Specials during Beatles Day on Saturday, August 16 - 16 oz. Wits End and Stella Artois for $5! 

There will be musical entertainers performing Beatles covers, including:

The Beatroots featuring Jason Feddy

The Beatroots – 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the Main Entertainment Deck

Eddie Allen – 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Tavern stage

Really Classic – 4:30 – 9 p.m. at the Tavern stage 

Mike O’Bryan – 4:30 – 9 p.m. at the Grill stage

Isle of Lucy – 5 - 9:30 p.m. on the Main Entertainment Deck

To check out more details about the Sawdust Art Festival’s 48th annual summer season and calendar of events, please visit or call 949-494-3030. The Sawdust Art Festival is open 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily June 27 through August 31, and is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach with free City trolley service to and from the Act V parking lot. Admission prices are: Adults $8.50, Seniors (65+) $7, Children (6-12) $4, Children (5 & under) Free; Summer Season Pass $18; Annual Pass $24.

Festival of Arts events for this weekend

Youth Arts Education Workshops

Dates/Times: Through August 29

Mondays – Fridays 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.

Cost: $10 material fee/session

Bring out that creative spark in your young artist at the Youth Arts Classes this summer at the Festival of Arts. Kids will enjoy art classes taught by professional Festival artists in mixed-media, jewelry making, collage and more. Meanwhile, parents will have free time to view the artwork on display throughout the Festival grounds. Festival artists will also share some of their creative techniques in a fun and friendly environment that will inspire your kids to come back every week! Open to children ages 5 - 12. Reservations required. For information and a detailed schedule, call (949) 464-4234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Friday, August 8: Wire Sculpture (11am), Pastels (1pm)

Cost: $10 material fee/session


Nightly Music Schedule Daily 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Cost: Free with Festival admission

Friday, August 15: Kiki Ebsen

Saturday, August 16: Burak Besir and Dimitris Jimmy Mahlis

Sunday, August 17: Anne Walsh Group


Art of Cooking Featuring Kiel Andersen, Chef de Cuisine - Watermarc 

Sunday, August 17 Time: 1 – 2 p.m. Cost: Free with Festival admission


On Sunday August 17 from 1 - 2pm Festival of Arts visitors will be elevated to great culinary heights when Chef Kiel Anderson from Watermarc makes a visit to demonstrate his skills and share his flavors. Chef Anderson is the latest local great to appear at the Festival as the popular “Art of Cooking” special event series continues.

An Orange County native, Kiel has worked in the food industry since he was fifteen. While in culinary school at the Art Institute of Los Angeles, Orange County, he worked at Marbella Country Club, Tail of the Whale and Opah Restaurant. He was later promoted to Chef de Cuisine, where he works with Marc Cohen, chef/owner of Watermarc.

Additionally, Sundays at the Festival of Arts features an eclectic mix of music, from Bluegrass and Chill to Jazz/World/Classical fusion. From 2 – 4pm, Sunday in the Park will provide the perfect atmosphere to browse the art gallery, picnic on the green, or simply relax in the beautiful weather of Laguna Beach.

Sunday in the Park, Sunday August 17, live performance by Bree Burgess Rosen

Time: 2 – 4 p.m. Cost: Free with Festival admission 

Founder of Laguna Beach’s No Square Theater and Lagunatics, actress/singer Bree Burgess Rosen will be singing her favorite tunes from Broadway.  

As one of the nation’s oldest and most highly acclaimed juried fine art shows, the Festival of Arts features the artwork of 140 award-winning artists. Patrons can enjoy the work of exhibiting artists, demonstrations and art workshops, daily art tours, live music, special events, dine at on-site restaurants and much more. For a full listing of events, visit

Through August 30, 2014

Open daily from 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Early closing: August 23 at 3:30

Ticket Information

General Admission: Weekdays $7, Weekends $10

Students & Seniors: Weekdays $4, Weekends $6

Free Admission for Children 12 and under, Military, and Laguna Beach Residents.

Festival of Arts Grounds 650 Laguna Canyon Road

(800) 487-3378

Dennis’ Tidbits



August 15, 2014

11 named storms so far – and we’ve had just one pulse

On this date in 1958 during the wee hours of the morning, a rare spectacular three hour display of lightning and thunder with an inch of rain lit up Laguna in fine fashion. 1958 was an El Niño summer with an abundance of monsoonal tropical moisture in place. We were still living up the road in Whittier but every summer we would rent a little beach cottage on St Ann’s right across the street from the Woman’s Club. I was loving every minute of that impressive light show, back when El Niños were still legal, way before that La Niña B---- started running the show every year it seems like. She’s the reason for this extreme drought and four years now of barely any surf.

As of 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 14, tropical storm Karina is a high end tropical storm with sustained winds of 70 mph. with a central pressure of 996 millibars. She’ll most likely reach Category 1 hurricane status by Friday morning. Further intensification is expected over the weekend. Right now she’s located about 450 miles SW of Baja’s tip and moving straight to the west at 12 mph. which isn’t doing us any good as her westerly movement will not send us even a ripple. 


Eleven named storms so far and we’ve only had a little pulse from Douglas in early July and that’s about it. It almost seems like every storm is being trained to move the wrong way and not give us surf.

And where are those huge Southern Hemisphere swells we used to get almost every August? Yet another lackluster summer so far.

Also on this date in 1972 there were three Category 3 hurricanes, Fernanda, Gwen, and Hyacinth spinning off the coast of Mexico. All three storms would eventually send big waves our way. A record total of seven hurricanes formed off Mexico in August of 1972 and we got macking swells from all of ‘em! What has happened to Baja swells? Since 2000 we’ve had a total of only seven notable Baja swells.

Wrapping up the incredible El Niño season of 1997. In early October, tropical storm Patricia was born SW of Acapulco and began moving to the NW (ideal direction again) while intensifying rapidly. Two days later she plowed into our swell window as a high end Category 3 as she continued to race to the northwest at 20 mph. Three days later her waves arrived as a powerful Southern Hemisphere swell was flexing its muscles. 

As an extra added bonus the season’s first full on Santana howler was in full swing. For three solid days we had 30-40 mph offshores, 97 degree air temps, water temps at 72-74 degrees, and relentless 8-12 foot bombs from Patricia and the Southern Hemisphere. Of course it was during the school and work week. A lot of people called in sick, ignoring responsibilities and the ramifications of all the excuses. When it’s that good, nothing else matters! Why doesn’t that happen anymore? 

Have a great weekend! 

See you next Tuesday, ALOHA!

Art-To-Go Names Best in Show – fundraising sale Saturday

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Rick Graves

(Top left-right): 2014 Art-to-Go award winners Scott Squires, Shelley Evans, Kirsten Whalen and Tom Lamb. (Bottom left-right): Stephanie Cunningham, Barry Robin, Betty Haight, Dorothee Naumburg and juror Jeffrey Frisch.

The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts named its 2014 Art-To-Go award winning exhibitors. Best in show titles went to Shelley Evans in the people category, Scott Squires for places, and Dorothee Naumburg for things. Honorable mentions went to Cunningham-Haight, Tom Lamb, Kirsten Whalen, and Barry Robin who also received a people’s choice award.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mike Tauber

A sampling of the items available now at the fundraising sale

Originals in the fundraising sale are available daily on the Festival grounds now through August 24. A special sale, on Saturday August 16, 1:30 – 4 p.m., will feature 20% off all list prices, wine samples, and novelty red message bracelets. Proceeds from sales support artists in need.

Items may be viewed online by visiting and clicking on the Facebook tab. For more information, call (949) 612-1949. Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd, and is open 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. daily.


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