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San Diego’s Border Field

Geographically, California’s coastline is a 1,100 miles long, but maybe limitless when it comes to its importance to the image of the Golden State. Think about just some of what it conjures up: the fog- shrouded wilderness of the far North Coast, the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, surf culture and Gidget, the industrial brawn of the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, and the sun-drenched good life of Laguna Beach and La Jolla.

In his new book “The Golden Shore” environmentalist and journalist David Helvarg explores the many faces of the California coastline and how the coast helped shape a distinctly Californian culture and society over the centuries. He also explores efforts in recent decades, some successful, some not, to save the coast from development.

The Channel Islands (Photo via NPS)

The Channel Islands (Photo via NPS)

KCRW’s Saul Gonzalez talked to David Helvarg recently about his book and asked him to name the top five places to visit along the coast.

1. Border Park

2. Cambria

3. Point Sur

4. The Channel Islands

5. The Redwood Coast (anything north of Humboldt Bay)

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