Rollerblading is so ‘90s, but who cares? Research has proved that you can burn up to 840 calories an hour while rollerblading, and that it’s as effective a workout as running. Orange County is the perfect place to rollerblade, because there’s a ton of places to get a fun, fast workout — by the sea or in a park.
Newport Beach Boardwalk
2122 West Oceanfront
Newport Beach, CA 92663
It’s not that long (the paved trail is about four miles) but it’s definitely a scenic route — you get to roll through the fabulous million-dollar beachfront homes, gawk at the beautiful people sunning themselves at the beach, and treat yourself to a sunset (if you’re blading after work) that’s free. The route can take you out to the Balboa Peninsula and back — so you can investigate the awesome restaurants in the area while you skate by. You can also take off your blades and walk out onto the rocks by the jetty to watch sailboats.
Holiday Skate Center
175 N Wayfield St Orange, CA 92867
Holiday Skate Center is retrofabulous — and they know it. Disco balls, wooden floors, strobe lights, cheesy pop music all bring you back to the glory days of roller skating. Bring your roller blades on public roller skating nights — or you can rent old-school skates at the rink. If you want to go way back, you can go on a themed-music night, where they play hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. (Lessons and private parties are also available.) Cheap admission and locker rental make this venue a veritable time machine!
Huntington Beach Boardwalk
Zack’s Beach Catering and Concessions
405 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
Huntington Beach has a very long boardwalk — 8.5 miles — which makes it perfect for working out. Huntington Central Park is great for people watching, and rollerblading groups meet every Saturday at the Huntington Beach Pier’s Pier Plaza. They head out from Sunset Beach (1 mile), through Huntington Beach (8.5 miles) and Newport Peninsula (about 3 miles). Sporting goods stores, restaurants and bars are right next to the pier, so if you’re hungry, feeling sociable or need a towel — you’re covered. Beach concession spots around the pier rent out inline skates; Zack’s Beach Catering and Concessions has them for rent by the hour, along with helmets and knee pads (or bikes and surfing gear for friends who aren’t into skating).
Aliso Creek Riding and Hiking Trail
The Aliso Creek Riding and Hiking Trail, declared a National Recreation Trail by the US Secretary of the Interior last year, is a paved trail that spans 18.5 miles, so whether you’re hiking, biking or inline skating, you’ve got ample space to maneuver. It passes through Mission Viejo, from South Laguna to Rancho Santa Margarita. The trail passes through various parks in South County, with enough rest areas and areas that provide information on the trail’s history and geography. It’s a fun, gradual uphill trail, but just think — it’s a sweet (yet safe) trip going back. Parking is available at Awma Road near Aliso Canyon Road, the ball fields off Woodfield Road, Sycamore Park, El Toro Park, Heroes Park and off El Toro Road near Marguerite Parkway.
5555 McFadden Ave
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
3150 Barranca Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92606
The Rinks, owned by the NHL team the Ducks, has the mission of training kids to play hockey, and have two inline hockey facilities in Orange County. Both the Irvine and Huntington Beach locations are clean and well-maintained, with a courteous staff and ongoing activities through the year. If you’re not sure if being on a team is for you, pickup sessions are scheduled regularly as well. Both venues cater to beginners and serious hockey players, with a full snack bar, and comfortable bleachers for fans (or parents).
Lilledeshan Bose (@lillitot) lives in Fullerton, and is still trying to figure out where to rollerblade there.