Poor Lake Forest. The city just doesn't ooze excitement the way it did when the strippers were grinding away on customer's laps at Captain Cream's Cabaret and the Gypsy Lounge was booking mind-blowing bands and thoughtful singer/songwriters. Both are now gone, and there aren't nearly as many interesting spots in the city that has neither a lake (those hidden ponds behind gated communities don't count) nor a forest.
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Which may actually be a good thing. After all, why stay inside on a gorgeous Lake Forest day when you could shred it at Etnies Skate Park (20028 Lake Forest Dr., 949-916-5870; www.etniesskatepark.com). But that might scare the older locals, so head north of the 241 toll road and explore the 17 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park (ocparks.com/parks/whiting). The 2,500-acre park also boasts some great mountain-biking trails ranging mostly from easy to moderate on the difficulty scale—perfect if all you know about OC trail riding are the GoPro-wearing speed demons who dive-bomb down the trails in the hills above Laguna Beach. (We said "mostly easy"—there are hard trails at Whiting if you want them. Hey, it's not called Dreaded Hill Road for nothing.)
The city will also be sponsoring a seasonal concert series in Pittsford Park (21701 Pittsford Dr., 949-461-3450), which could be either the funnest thing you'll do all summer or a tortuous sonic hell, depending on your tolerance level for costumed tribute bands and oldies acts that your kids will never understand why you liked all those years ago. We're looking at you, A Flock of Seagulls, who've apparently replaced the equipment that was ripped off from their van last year so they can play July 27 with some faceless '80s cover band who are opening the show. You know what would be funny? If the '80s band played "I Ran (So Far Away)" instead of the Flock themselves. And they played it better. Would there be a hairspray riot? Let's hope so!
The June 29 show features Space Oddity, which is, just as you guessed, a David Bowie tribute by a guy named Dave Brighton, who insists on dressing like the Brit rocker. Will he go full-on Ziggy Stardust and simulate oral sex with his guitar player in front of what's certain to be a very family-oriented crowd? Let's also hope so!
The third show in the series, happening on Aug. 24, will feature the Gregg Rolie Quartet. Rolie was not only in the original Santana band, but he was also the original singer of Journey before Steve Perry came along, which has at least saved him from the curse of having to sing "Don't Stop Believin'" for the rest of his life.