People all over the world will find the irony in the fact that one of the problems with living in Southern California is deciding which beautiful beach to visit and relax. Seal Beach is popular for its family friendly vibe, as well as its firm breeze and strong but manageable waves. These conditions make this beach ideal for surfing, kite-flying or a combination of the two: windsurfing.
To visit Seal Beach just 30 minutes south of Los Angeles, take the 710 straight down to the 405 and hop on the PCH (CA-1), following Main Street until you get to the pier. There is ample two-hour street parking along Main Street in front of the shops and restaurants. If you plan to spend most of your day on the beach, parking is available on the north side of the pier.
What To Do
Red Car Museum
Corner of Main and Electric
Seal Beach, CA 90470
On the corner of Main and Electric Avenue, children and locals will enjoy a peek into an actual Pacific Electric Railway Red Car trolley from the early 20th century. Just tiny enough for an adult to squeeze through, the inside of the trolley features local art and artifacts. Although inside tours are not frequently available, this relic of modern history is impressive to view and photograph from the outside. It only takes a moment to enjoy the view before heading directly accross the street to the Old Bay Theater.
The Bay Theater
340 Main St.
Seal Beach, CA 90740
Price: $6 to $8
This old-Hollywood-style theater has been sitting at the corner of the PCH and Main Street since 1947. Today, it offers independent and foreign films, with weekend classics featuring live Wurlitzer pipe organ music. Each month, classic and modern films are featured on its two screens. Besides its inconspicuous exterior, you’ll be sure to feel as if you have stepped back in time watching historical fiction movies here. Instead of using digital projections of the films as modern theaters do, The Bay plays movies the old-fashioned way, using the original 35mm prints from the studios.
Up Up and Away Kites
139 1/2 Main St.
Seal Beach, CA 90740
Up, Up, and Away is a place where you can find unique and quirky kites in all shapes, sizes and forms perfect for the beach. It also carries home décor flags and educational toys for children. Because the weather is picture-perfect nearly every day of the year, take the short walk down to the pier with your whimsical new kite and let it fly. You’ll find fellow flyers running along the beach all week long.
M&M Surfing School
16691 Algonquin St, Suite 101
Huntington Beach, CA, 92649
Price: $45 to $80
On any given day, various locals are available to offer basic lessons, but if you’re looking for something more formal, try M&M surfing school, which hosts classes at Seal Beach on the north side of the pier. Classes are available for surfers ages 5 and older, and prices vary depending on the length of the lesson and whether it’s a group or private lesson. Look for the white M&M Surfing School van in the parking lot.
Related: Best Beach Getaways In LA
Where To Eat
210 Main St
Seal Beach, CA
Popular dining spots include Walt’s Warf for seafood, and O’Malley’s on Main with its pub atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to try the more non-descript places, such as Waki Sushi, however. Here, you’ll find happy hour food and drink specials, a friendly staff and fresh seafood. Make the most of smaller restaurants like this because tourists and young adults looking to party are drawn to the bigger venues.
Sweet Jill’s Bakery
123 Main St
To get your sugar fix, stop by Sweet Jill’s, where you can’t help but indulge in an oversized pastry. From confetti cake to chocolate chip pecan cookies to carrot cake muffins, you’ll definitely need a fork to dig in. Locals and tourists alike steadily visit this shop to pick up something to nibble on while shopping or beach-bumming. The classic small-town bakery atmosphere gives beach-goers a bit of a French feel.
Related: Best Beaches For Kids In LA
Danielle Farve is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.