The Beach Boys-Inspired Road Trip You Have To Take This Summer

Being a beach music pilgrim is a two-track pursuit: Check out the spots your heroes hail from, and pay homage to the beaches named in their songs. The latter choice is irresistible, so I head north to the Ventura County line immortalized in “Surfin’ U.S.A.” The landscape is surprisingly low-key: an asphalt ribbon of Pacific Coast Highway, often dusted with sand, separating beaches from the occasional businesses that survive on the needs of surfers and beachgoers. In this case, on one side is County Line Beach, and on the other, Neptune’s Net, a circa-1958 seafood shack and longtime hangout for bikers out for PCH joyrides. On the deck, I tuck into a very good bowl of clam chowder and watch surfers pull up in their bumper-sticker-plastered trucks, hoist their boards overhead, and pick their way over the bluff’s edge to the sand below.