Laguna Beach and San Clemente in Orange County have both been named among the most charming towns and small cities in California in a survey conducted by TravelMag.com.
The online travel magazine invited travel writers, photographers, and selected professionals to name the California towns they consider the most appealing. Those surveyed were asked to choose their top three towns and small cities with populations of between 1,000 and 200,000. All of the votes were then added up to produce the final 20.
Located within 20 miles of each other on California’s Pacific coast, about an hour’s drive south of Los Angeles, both Laguna Beach and San Clemente were popular choices among those surveyed.
Renowned for its hidden coves, majestic canyons, pristine beaches and thriving art scene, the seaside resort of Laguna Beach is a major tourism hotspot all year round.
Just to the south, San Clemente attracts visitors with its dramatic views and powerful winds that help make it a superb surfing spot. Its pretty Spanish-style architecture is also a strong draw, lending the city a distinctive appearance rich in character and charm.
Elsewhere on the list, San Diego County is well represented in the Top 20 by the towns of Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Julian. Encinitas is best known for surfing and was even named in National Geographic magazine’s list of the top 20 surf towns in the US. Beyond the waves, the town is also home to the San Diego Botanic Garden, along with sidewalk cafes, meditation gardens, and yoga studios.
Located amid the picturesque Cuyamaca Mountains, an hour’s drive northeast of the city of San Diego, Julian boasts a charming historic district. But the real attraction here is the town’s signature apple pie, made with locally grown apples.
Other towns and small cities appearing in the Top 20 include Arcata in Humboldt County, the beach city of Carmel-by-the-Sea on the Monterey Peninsula, Healdsburg in Sonoma County, and Idyllwild in the San Jacinto mountains.
To read the full survey, visit http://www.travelmag.com/articles/most-charming-small-cities-california/
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