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Seal Beach

July 25th, 2017

 

Just 20 miles from downtown Anaheim and south of the much more famous Long Beach is the quaint coastal town of Seal Beach. Here, you’ll find much less hustle, bustle and tourism. It’s the perfect getaway for Anaheim visitors, full of quaint shops, dining and attractions. It’s the northern gate to the 42 miles of Orange County coastline, and a quiet community named after the seals that love to call the city home.

You’ll find big, open beaches and some great surfing. The town is small at just 13 square miles, including 1.8 miles of water. The beach itself is just 1.5 miles long, but features the second longest wood pier in all of California. Seal Beach was established at the turn of the century, and the pier was re-structured in the 1980s following a storm.

Enjoy the Wild Side

Seal Beach is also home to an impressive park system, including 18 parks and over 75 acres stretching beyond the city limits. You’ll find a tennis court, indoor gym and aquatics facility available. During the summer months, average daytime temperatures are 70 degrees, making it perfect for strolling, beach bumming and swimming.

With just under 25,000 residents, Seal Beach is a true gem amidst a busy metro area.

Use Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART)

July 15th, 2017

 

If you’re in Anaheim for Disneyland, skip the cabs, car rentals, Ubers and Lyfts. Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) is your veritable pumpkin–turned-chariot. It connects Best Western properties and a number of additional hotels to the best attractions and restaurants in the area at a low cost. ART Day Passes are just $5.50 for adults and $2 for children, with unlimited stops throughout the day.

Get a 3-day pass for $14 for adults ($3 for children), or a 5-day pass for $23 for adults ($5 for children). You can purchase tickets online and have the passes delivered to your home or hotel, at a variety of Best Western properties, or even at convenient locations around the city. Alternatively, a one-way cash fare (exact change required) is an option if you only need to hop on ART for a quick trip.

What Can I See?

Dozens of attractions are included on the ART route including the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim GardenWalk, Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Resort, as well as the Bowers Museum, Knotts Berry Farm and the Outlets at Orange. Head to Downtown Anaheim, the Toy Story Transportation Center, the National Grove and much more!

Delectable restaurant stops include Morton’s The Steakhouse, Coco’s Restaurant, the Anaheim Brewery and Pirate’s Dinner Adventure. Book your ART pass now.

Best Fireworks Near Anaheim

July 1st, 2017

 

Disneyland often takes the cake when it comes to Fourth of July fireworks, but if you’re looking for something a little different, you have plenty of options. Check out the Canyon Hills Community Council celebration taking place all day on July 4th, ending with fireworks at 9 p.m. There’s also a 5k and 10k run, pancake breakfast, ice cream social, food vendors, patriotic concerts and of course a parade. Don’t miss the Yankee Doodle Dog Show, too!

In Balboa, there’s the Balboa Peninsula-Newport Bay fireworks and parade cruises with three cruises scheduled this year. The Firework Spectacular evening cruise is the most popular, but the 2.5 hour day-cruises at 1 and 4 p.m. are fantastic for families with little ones. You’ll want to make reservations by calling 949-673-1489.

Light Up the Night

The Annual Brea Country Fair is a local favorite, with activities starting at the 7 a.m. breakfast. The fair kicks off at 10 a.m. with free music and entertainment until 4 p.m. Enjoy a beautiful baby contest, kiddie parade and bow wow contest. Pie eating contests, hula hoop contests, a car shop and massive market make for a charming traditional celebration. Tour the Brea Museum, take a trolley tour, and check out the petting zoo before the dusk fireworks.

The Cypress Fireworks Celebration starts at 4 p.m. with entertainment, a kids zone and an impressive food court. The Joint Forces Training Base is hosting this event, and guests are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs for a cozy fireworks extravaganza experience.

Indian Restaurants Near Chatsworth

June 23rd, 2017

Southern California is a renowned foodie paradise, and there are countless options in the Chatsworth area. Try Valley India Café for all your south Indian favorites including massive dosas, curries, and a daily lunch buffet that showcases all the flavors and bounty of the southern region. Don’t forget to try the chai or a cool and thick lassi to help with that summer heat.

Royal Delhi Palace is also known for their impressive lunch buffet in a light and casual eatery. There are plenty of vegetarian options from saag paneer to dal, but the butter and tandoori chicken are also popular picks. Choose from a selection of rotis, naan and parathas to pair with your favorite Indian dishes from around the country.

Add Some Spice to Your Trip

Dilli Express is your quick stop for delicious, home-cooked Indian fare with a touch of fusion. You have to try the curry tacos, the perfect blend of Indian and Californian deliciousness. Seafood is a must with the Pacific so close by, from the shrimp tikka masala to the coconut seafood curry.

Paradise Biryani Pointe specializes in biryani with a delectable variety of proteins, but there’s so much more to this Punjabi-centric destination than rice dishes. A local chain, you’ll want to try their kebabs and curry dishes, too. Check out the goat menu with goat saag or paradise goat curry for a unique dish.

 

Father’s Day Outings

June 15th, 2017

 

Treat the dad in your life to a special Father’s Day at one of Anaheim’s many featured options, like the brunch aboard the Queen Mary. Prices are $60 per adult and include a champagne brunch on the famed Queen while you discover over 50 dishes from around the globe from eggs benedict to carne asada tacos. With a carving station and the best view in southern California, it’ll be a day he never forgets.

Some dads prefer a beer brunch, and the Hornblower Cruise has you covered. With a $74 per person price tag, you get both beer and champagne along with a tantalizing spread and an epic dessert station. Set sail from Newport harbor and indulge in handmade glazed doughnuts, mac and cheese, artisanal sausages and poached prawns.

A Wet ‘n’ Wild Father’s Day

Check out the Father’s Day BBQ at the Aquarium of the Pacific where the price is $59 for adults. Dine amongst the fish and treat everyone to farmer’s market produce, flame-grilled chicken and German bratwurst, Mexican-style mac ‘n’ cheese, and legendary brownies.

There’s also the Father’s Day Champagne Brunch at Laguna Cliffs’ Vue at Dana Point, where you just might spot a whale migration! Prices are $70 per adult and come with a fantastic view. Customize omelets, dine on jumbo shrimp and prime rib fresh from the carving station, and pair your favorites with seasonal produce, a variety of potatoes and a massive dessert station.

Where will you treat Dad?

The Outlets at Orange

June 11th, 2017

 

So close to Disneyland you can almost see it, you’ll find the real happiest place on earth (at least for shopping addicts) at The Outlets at Orange. It’s the only outlet shopping mall in the county and features over 120 stores from Neiman Marcus to Tommy Hilfiger with Saks Fifth Avenue and a slew of options for snacks, drinks and dining, too.

Just minutes away, you’ll find the Honda Center, Angels Stadium and Disney delights. Conveniently located right off of I-5, the open-air destination also boasts family-fun entertainment. Slip into the Vans Skatepark, or take a break at Dave & Buster’s. There’s also Lucky Strike Bowling and a massive AMC 30 movie theater featuring IMAX. You won’t find better deals in Anaheim.

Plan Your Trip

For many, the trip to the Outlets is solely for dining! Choose from Café Tu Tu Tango for Spanish tapas, Charley’s Steakery for grilled subs, Corner Bakery Café for breakfast, brunch and comfort food, or Kamiyama Sushi for some fresh Pacific seafood. You’ll find every cuisine from around the world.

Always check the site for special deals and events, especially if you’re shopping for a dads or grads occasion. You’ll get sneak peeks on deals and sometimes printable coupons to save even more. Only make one stop for all your southern California shopping needs and have plenty left over for more golden coast adventures.

Local Races in June

June 4th, 2017

 

Discover Anaheim in a brand new way at the June 11th Northgate Market Downtown Anaheim 5k. Featuring a shorter kids run, this family-friendly event is a great way to get to know the city and challenge yourself in the California sunshine. It’s the only race in central Anaheim during the month of June, and many consider it a warm-up for the Disney half-marathon at the end of summer.

Head to Long Beach and partake in Rockin’ the Marina on June 10th. Choose from a 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon. You’ll race along the coastal streets taking in stunning ocean views. With an early start time to beat the heat, you’ll never experience a California sunrise like this. That cool ocean air is a great motivator, and you’ll have plenty of options for beachfront dining once you cross that finish line.

The Race is On

The Redondo Beach Triathlon on June 11th is another option for those who prefer a side of cycling and swimming with their running. With the option for a sprint or mini-sprint, it’s a much more approachable event than some others. Located along Redondo Beach Pier and in its 13th year, it’s a tradition for many as the unofficial start to summer.

With Run to the Hollywood Sign on June 3rd, you get to experience an iconic landmark in a brand new way. The eight mile run begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Griffith Park Old Zoo. Choose from three levels (including a 5k or 1 mile walk option) so that the whole family can enjoy the trails, pathways and the final view that has made L.A. so legendary.

African Cuisine in Anaheim

June 1st, 2017

 

Southern California might be known for fusion cuisine, the freshest seafood and produce along with some quirky inventions, but if you’re craving cuisine from Africa, you need it to be authentic. There are two mainstays in Anaheim, starting with Kenyan Café and Cuisine. With a “fun menu” offering Swahili to English translations, you’ll learn how to order like a pro and know what to expect from the injera bread to the variety of lentil dishes.

There are a number of both vegetarian choices and meat dishes. Try the wali (cooked rice) with mboga (cabbage). Fried goat in Kenyan spices served with your choice of a side is an excellent option. BBQ beef with chapatti or ugali is another favorite. Samosas with local spices are fantastic starters.

Spicing Up Anaheim

Try Merhaba Restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner and sample the foul (fava beans with tomatoes, onions and feta) in a pita or French roll. Fitt fitt is a breakfast staple featuring injera bread soaked in seasoned, hot butter and topped with herbs with yogurt on the side. A sambusa for a snack or boneless rockfish stew for an appetizer is always tantalizing.

A beef, lamb and vegetarian menu offer plenty of choices. Try the zegny bighe kiye, the most popular lamb dish on the menu, or make it a stew. Zel zel tibsy is home grilled beef strips with spices, tossed with onions and green peppers. For a little of everything, get a sampler combination platter and decide what your favorite dish is.

Why Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Should Be On Your Bucket List

May 29th, 2017

 

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (TLC) has become synonymous with the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and while those famous stars are certainly surrounding the theatre, Grauman’s is a landmark in its own right. You can complete two L.A. bucket list items in one fell swoop when catching a movie at the historical theatre.

A movie palace on Hollywood Boulevard, Grauman’s was re-named to Mann’s Chinese Theatre in 1973 before reverting to the original name once again in 2001. Originally, it was commissioned as a complement to the Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre of 1922, opening just five years later with a premier of The King of Kings. For nearly 100 years, it’s been a beloved movie destination and also a venue space where corporate events, Academy Award ceremonies, and weddings take place. In 2013, the theatre partnered up with IMAX to become a customized IMAX theatre with 932 seats and one of the biggest screens in the country.

No Better Place for a Movie

Make your visit to the Hollywood film mecca complete with a movie at Grauman’s. Check the current showtimes and buy tickets in advance on the official website, and don’t let the outlandish vintage Chinese architecture fool you. It’s incredibly high tech on the inside!

Alternatively, you can also book a VIP tour seven days per week and enjoy a backstage guided pass! Find out more about the history of the theatre, including the debauchery some stars have engaged in when the red carpet rolls out.

 

 

 Mediterranean Picks Near Anaheim

May 23rd, 2017

 

Mediterranean cuisine is fresh, often seafood-rich, and Anaheim provides the perfect location and climate to indulge. Nearby, you’ll find DonerG Turkish and Mediterranean Grill, a counter-service gem for gyros, wraps, plenty of vegetarian options and much more, from house hummus and pita to the freshest tabouli in town.

Jasmine Mediterranean Restaurant is known for stellar catering, generous plates, and delicious starters including kibbeh, grape leaves and baba ghannouj. Try their cheese or meat pizzas, including mini pizzas featuring unique toppings like pomegranate. Of course, their kebabs are also always a popular choice.

Full of Flavor

Rosine’s is a Mediterranean inspired restaurant, but the majority of the loyal customers come for the famous rotisserie chicken (fantastic wrapped in a gyro). Open for lunch and dinner, you have the staples, but there’s also the Mediterranean hot wings in special house hot sauce, the eggplant napoleon, upside-down rotisserie chicken salad and other unique offerings.

Anatolian Fresh Mediterranean Grill features Turkish wraps and delectable salads in this simple, family-owned counter-service restaurant. Döner kebabs, wraps, salads and a variety of appetizers like falafel, Turkish feta egg rolls and even fries are available.