Marina Del Rey 2018


Four years ago I decided to start staycationscalifornia.com and the very first story was on Marina Del Rey.

So why Marina Del Rey for the first one? It actually started from a childhood memory. I know, I know, me and my childhood memories, but this one obviously left a lasting impression.

It was many years ago and I was a young spectator watching outrigger canoe races in the Marina Del Rey harbor. My older sister was a participant in this regatta where teams from all over the state raced in distances from a quarter to a full mile.

To kill time in between races, I sat in a restaurant patio sipping on a Shirley Temple and listening to tropical music that was piping out of the speakers. The soft piano and cool bird sounds made you feel like you were in an exotic locale not in the middle of Los Angeles County. It was a warm day, the bay was full of boats, and a mild breeze was streaming through the trees. I thought that this was the most relaxed I have ever been in my life and I was only ten years old!!!

So I wanted to go back and see if it still held the magic that it had many years ago.

A Magical Place
Since that first time, I had been back to Marina Del Rey four times, this story being the fourth. The people I took with me all said the same thing, that Marina Del Rey made them feel good, that they actually got a feeling of well-being.

Was it the boats, the water, the proximity to the ocean and the negative ions? I don’t know but I too love Marina Del Rey.

How can a place make you feel like that? It just does.

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Huntington Beach

Surf City USA
Huntington Beach is a seaside community in the heart of Orange County with a population of over 200,000.  There is so much to do in this city but let’s face it; HB as it is known, is all about the beach, the ocean, and surfing!

When I was a kid they held a worldwide surfing championship at the pier and for us locals, it was just as popular as the Super Bowl or the World Series.  Crowds flocked to Huntington Beach to watch world class athletes perform at its famous surf break.  We would always arrive there as early as we could to get a prime view from the pier.

In the early days, the contestants rode ten feet long surfboards and it always amazed me how they accomplished such smooth footwork while moving back and forth on the board.  At the end of the wave, they would whip the board in the opposite direction for a stylish cut-back, as it was called.  Sometimes for more points, they would casually stride across the board towards the nose to execute the crowd pleasing “Hang Ten” maneuver.

Over the years the boards got  smaller and smaller so today the riders fly, snap, cut , carve, gyrate  across the wave on boards half of the size of their predecessors.  Both styles are just as impressive in my opinion.

The crowds still turn up for this huge event much to the happiness of local merchants and vendors.  It is a world renowned contest and with such a long history with the city, it is no wonder they call Huntington Beach, “Surf City USA”.

With miles of wide sandy beaches and prime surfing waves, the city embraces the surf culture.  There are over 50 surf contests held per year including the aforementioned US Open of Surfing.   It also is home to the International Surf Museum, the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, and the Surfing Walk of Fame.

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