Free Trolley for Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and San Juan Capistrano

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Beginning Friday, June 9, 2017 and extending through Labor Day (Monday, September 4, 2017), the City of Dana Point’s daily summer trolley service is back to better serve the visitors and residents of our beautiful community. This summer, an extended operating season and an expanded service route for the Dana Point Trolley will be serviced with 5 open air style trolleys to ensure wait times are maintained at 15 minutes or less throughout the expanded route.

Passengers boarding the Harbor Shuttle can expect similar wait times. Similar to last year, the Dana Point Trolley route will run from Capistrano County Beach at Coast Highway/Beach Road/Palisades Drive in Capistrano Beach to the Monarch Beach Resort and the Ritz Carlton, where it will connect with the Laguna Beach trolley. Stops near other major hotels, the Lantern District, Doheny State Beach, Coast Highway timeshares and Doheny Village, among other areas, are included within the Dana Point Trolley route. 

Based on valuable feedback received from the community throughout our 2016 Dana Point Trolley program, six additional Dana Point Trolley stops have been added to the route for the Summer 2017 season:

• Stop #2: Strands Beach Parking Lot

• Stop #12: Costco Shopping Center

• Stop #13: Connection Point with the San Juan Capistrano Trolley

• Stop #14: Dana Point Community Center

• Stop #15: Park Lantern/Dana Point Harbor Drive

• Stop #23: Monarch Beach Promenade Shopping Center

The Dana Point Harbor Shuttle service will continue to connect with the Dana Point Trolley at the Golden Lantern and Dana Point Harbor Drive intersection (Stop #’s 6 and 17) and will allow travel to the Ocean Institute, Baby Beach and the Harbor businesses and restaurants. Similar to last year’s trolley program, the City must sustain its ridership counts to retain grant funding that helps pay for a large portion of the Trolley costs. Thanks to you, the daily summer service, expanded trolley service route and the addition of a 5th trolley to serve the community is a reflection of the impressive ridership numbers from last summer’s program. We need everyone’s help to keep our Dana Point Trolley program running strong for years to come by hopping onboard during the weekdays and the weekends. Parking options throughout the Dana Point Trolley route have been identified on the route map for the convenience of visitors and the community. Please spread the word!

The Dana Point Trolleys and the Harbor Shuttle are handicap accessible and are free of charge. Riders will be able to access real-time Dana Point Trolley and Harbor Shuttle locations and wait times on their smartphones with our custom app (Android and iPhone Search: Dana Point Trolley) or with the use of the trolley tracker at

5 Gifts Mom Will Love


  1. Perfume! If you have a good idea of the types of fragrances your Mother likes- that is a great place to start. Tell a sales person at Nordstrom or Sephora what types of perfumes or scents your Mom prefers and they can help you. Everyone likes to smell pretty, and it makes for a great gift she will appreciatepexels-photo-128945
  2. Flowers! Seems cliché but most woman do love fresh flowers, and it shows that extra thought was put into this special day for Mothers. McCools Flowers is local and has an array of beautiful bouquets that can be delivered. For those of you closer to CDM, Blooms is an amazing flower stand that can create a fresh arrangement. pexels-photo-196655
  3. Photo Collage! Go through old photos with siblings, you and Mom, fun family get-togethers and trips. Important birthdays, holidays or graduations. Think of the moments that were captured at a particularly happy time and drop those into collages designed at You can make them online and even have them already framed. If you are a last minute person, you can print your creation to show her what she will be receiving in the mail in the days to come. woman-hand-smartphone-desk
  4. Customized Notebook! If your mom loves lists, recipes or just journaling- this is a great gift. has cute designs that you can customize. pexels-photo-286483
  5. Candles! Candles are something that people generally don’t like spending money on but are a pretty, decorative and most importantly fragrant gift. If your mother likes bubble baths or a good kitchen candle to keep odors at bay- this is a good idea. Candles in decorative tins or timeless glass are nice and they can be found at Planet Beauty.

Caruso’s Tip: Keep Mosquitoes from Feasting on You

  • Blow them away. Almost any breeze — anything above 1 MPH makes it very difficult for mosquitoes to fly. Use fans on a low setting in the evening.

  • Buy tightly woven duds — particularly high-tech athletic apparel. The tightly woven fabric keeps mosquitos out.

  • Wear light colored clothes. Mosquitoes use their vision to search for food sources during the daylight hours and light colors are less attractive to them.

Imagine your next home…

Buying a home is a big decision that involves thinking about many different needs and desires. In order to pinpoint your best options, your buyer’s representative will want to know as much as possible about your preferences.

These questions can help get your thoughts flowing_

Often, open-ended questions like this paint a clearer picture of where you want to live, as well as raising important considerations that may have been overlooked if you limit your conversations to “basics” like the number of bedrooms and baths.

Envision yourself in your new home and share your story with your buyer’s representative. It will bring you one step closer to turning your dreams into reality!

April is Garden Month

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April is Garden Month

Spring is upon us and it’s time to start planting (or planning) your garden if you haven’t already. There are so many reasons to grow your own fruits, vegetables, herbs or flowers:

  • Fresh picked fruits and veggies are packed with flavor and nutrients
  • You can grow varieties of plants you won’t find at the market
  • You can save money by starting plants from seed
  • A bountiful harvest allows you to cook, can, freeze, or share with friends and neighbors
  • It lets you spend more time outdoors with nature
  • Gardening is exercise!
  • Many studies suggest gardening is a stress reducer
  • It can add to the beauty of your landscape
  • Plants reduce carbon dioxide and give off oxygen
  • You can plant to encourage beneficial insects like bees and ladybugs

What to Plant and When

Making the right choices is key to having an abundant, thriving garden. Grow what you enjoy eating, as well as trying something new. You can start from seeds, seedlings, or established plants from the garden shop. There are some great resources online to figure out the best fruits, vegetables, and herbs for your location. The National Gardening Association can help you choose what and when to plant: just enter your zip code to access a planting calendar for your area. The Old Farmer’s Almanac also offers a great “Planting Dates Calculator,” just choose your state and go from there.

Location, Location, Location

Scope out the right location for your garden, considering the amount of sun exposure, wind/frost protection, and water source. Build or repair beds if needed, and prepare your soil. If you don’t have the perfect open space on your property for a garden, or have mostly hardscaping, consider container gardening. Barrels or planting boxes can be strategically placed on your deck, porch, or patio. Many have wheels that can be a great feature when switching out plants and moving containers as the season changes.

Healthy and Happy Plants

In addition to water, your garden needs “food,” too. Garden shops can help you choose fertilizers, minerals, and mulches to enrich your soil. If your garden is invaded by destructive pests, there are many earth-friendly ways to reduce or eliminate these problems. Bring an insect or leaf sample to your local garden shop expert for advice. If animal pests are taking more than their share, there are natural options to discourage them. Some examples include screens/netting, sound or visual disturbers, motion activated water sprayers, and even natural repellants made with hot peppers!

Protect Yourself

Be sure you’ve got a great pair of garden gloves to protect your hands. Gloves can help you avoid cuts, dirty fingernails, soil fungus, and any biting or stinging insect you might disrupt! A sun hat is important too. A hat can protect you from harmful UV rays as well

as keep you cool. Be sure it has a large brim and consider the Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating of the fabric. A UPF rating of 30-50 can block approximately 96-99% of UV rays. Use sunscreen to protect other areas of exposed skin from sunburn.


Get your basics together – shovels, trowels, shears/pruners, watering cans, hoses, etc. Repair or replace any that are broken. If your shears or pruners are dull, have the blades sharpened. Dull blades can damage your plants and possibly expose the frayed ends to insects or disease. Sharp blades make pruning easier and more efficient. Clean your tools after using by brushing off dirt and debris. Put them away dry to avoid rusting.

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Where do you want to live? Things to consider when looking at neighborhoods

Buying a home involves buying into an entire community. It’s important to make sure your new neighborhood suits your needs and preferences every bit as much as the house you decide to purchase. After all, most houses can be modified, but neighborhoods can’t.

Your buyer’s rep will be able to assist you in many important aspects of your purchase, like locating suitable properties, negotiating, and executing essential transaction details. Along the way, they’ll be able to help answer your questions, with the exception of certain questions concerning neighborhoods.

That’s because real estate professionals must abide by Fair Housing laws, which prohibit housing discrimination. Further, neighborhood preferences are highly subjective and personal. As a buyer, YOU need to decide if a neighborhood feels right for you. Your buyer’s reps can point you to excellent resources for background research, but it’s up to you to interpret that information.

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When investigating a neighborhood, don’t limit your research to formal resources. You can also pick up valuable insight by striking up casual conversations with various “locals,” including:

Neighbors — Want to get a better idea of who else lives on the block? Look for opportunities to catch other homeowners in their front yard…or knock on their door.

On a bus/train— If you’ll be using public transit, try taking a “test drive” that includes casual conversation with other commuters.

Stores — Grocery store clerks usually have a few minutes to chat while scanning your purchases. Small independent shop owners may have a particularly good pulse on the community.

Waiting in line — Instead of pulling out your smartphone, pose a couple friendly questions to other people waiting to order at a fast-food restaurant, in a checkout line, etc.

Restaurants — Try a few sit-down restaurants to find new favorite eating-out places while also asking your server about the area.

Coffee shops — Other patrons may be happy to take a few minutes to chat about what they like most about the community.

Schools — Talk to other parents waiting for their kids at the end of the day or chat with a crossing guard.

Library — Ask the person at the reference desk about the community. In addition to sharing his/her personal perspectives, they may be able to point you to additional valuable resources.

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