Huntington Beach

Took the coast home after a business meeting on a crisp and bright December day. Cruising through Huntington Beach I pulled over to take a few shots of the beach and pier. As you will notice from these pics the beach is abandoned unlike summer where Huntington is the hub of beach goers from the inland areas.

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Known as Surf City, it is home to 10 miles of sandy beaches and has a downtown area right across from the pier with plenty of shopping and dining. It is also known for it’s large surf contests so you can expect surf shops to be abundant in the downtown area and that they are. Jacks on the corner of PCH and Main St. has been there for years and features all the big surf brands.

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Huntington Beach has a long strand of sidewalk that stretches for miles with a view of the Pacific and Catalina 26 miles across the sea.

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The city also has a 365-acre Huntington Central Park filled with recreational activities: horseback riding, walking paths, a sports complex, and even a disc golf course. The restored Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and Huntington Beach Wetlands is home to more than 200 bird species and is also a great place to take a leisurely stroll.

Named one of the country’s top 10 Dog-friendly places, Dog Beach is the perfect place to spend a few hours with your pooch. It spreads over a very large area and there is plenty of room for your dog to play.

For more info:

I have also been to the Wiener dog races in the Old World Village which holds monthly dachshund races and a weekly competition during September and October. Schedules are available on the Weiner Dog Store website.
Very funny to watch.

Huntington Beach is a great place to visit to shop, play in the water, walk your dog, bike, stroll, etc. For more info visit:


Marina Del Rey

Marina Del Rey is a seaside community in Los Angeles County, California with a pretty sizable harbor and a capacity for about 5,000 boats. It features a

Fisherman’s Village is a super quaint little area with colorful and Cape Cod looking buildings.  It features  shops and restaurants and rental places for boats, kayaks, and SUP’s.   Fishing trips are also available at :

I visited in November and it was pretty dead save for the outdoor restaurant at the end and a lively courtyard in the middle.

The courtyard was surrounded by other eating establishments, shops, and was filled with people enjoying an intimate concert of really good funk music.  The band was high caliber and  although it was a super gray ugly day,  people were dancing, drinking wine, and just enjoying the bay side.

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With the bright buildings, cobblestone paths, and the lighthouse, it felt like a stroll through New England, not Southern California.

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I will make a point of coming here is summer where I can pay in the sun, unlike this day which was on the verge of pouring down rain.

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I found it interesting that most of the residences along the harbor were either condos or apartments, no houses.  There are a few hotels along the harbor for any budget. A few are right on the harbor and a few have a beach right out front.

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Only a few miles away, you can visit  the eclectic Venice Beach and close to that is the Venice canals.

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There are also plenty of places to stroll on each side of the harbor and you can take your dogs too!

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All in all a great place to go for the day to take you away for a little while.  Visit this web site for more information.

Naples Canals and Alamitos Bay California

A little known area in the Long Beach area is the Alamitos Bay and Naples Canals. The first photos below are of Alamitos Bay with its wider channels and it’s entrance to the open sea. In the horizon you can see Catalina. This day happened to be a very warm day in December with one of the better sunsets of the year.

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Nestled a couple miles from Long Beach, the Naples canals are unlike the Venice canals because they are wider and deeper. More small to medium boats can travel in the canals.

Built on three islands located in Alamitos Bay, most of the streets on the island have Italian names. The center of Naples features a large fountain which serves as a popular meeting spot.

During the holidays the houses on the canals are lit up which reflects on the water and makes the area even more beautiful. I went on December 1st, so not all the houses were decorated yet but plenty had a vast array of decorations and lights.

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Each canal has a sidewalk so you can leisurely stroll and view the beautiful homes. Dogs are allowed on the walkway.

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Another way to view the canals is by a romantic or family Gondola ride. Check this link: This is one of only a few places in California where you can take a gondola ride through canals.

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I didn’t see one ‘For Sale’ sign and I can see why. You wouldn’t want to leave there. So peaceful and serene. I felt like telling everyone that was sitting on their porch how jealous I was but I held back.

In the channels of Alamitos Bay there where Christmas Tree barges set up about every 50 feet. Made the bay look magical.

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The buildings of Long Beach you will see below in the photos is just a few miles away but this area has a whole different atmoshere. I loved it there.

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Here is a link for things to do in that area including Long Beach:

In the Southern California area, a fun one day excursion.

More Alamitos Bay:

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Viejas Casino and Outlet Mall for the holidays.

Visited Viejas Casino and outlet mall this past weekend( November 30th)

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After 5:00 they have a water show that is amazing.  Moving to the sound of holiday music, the water program is elaborate and entertaining. It is a great kid attraction with intervals of fake snow coming from above.

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The outlet has all your favorite stores including Nike, The Gap, Tommy H, etc. Plus a food court including my fave Rubios as well as others. To get you further in the spirit and if you have the energy, they have an ice skating rink and a huge Christmas tree in the middle of the outlet.

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The entrance to the casino is right across the street from the outlets, so if you have any money left from spending at the outlets you can gamble all night if you wish.  Or is it the other way around?, if you have any money left from the casino you can spend at the outlet mall.  Or if you are really hungry, eat at their buffet or other fine restaurants.

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Visit for more information and directions. A great place to take the family or to get in the holiday spirit.


Venice Canals in Los Angeles

The Venice Canals are man-made canals that recreate the appearance of Venice, Italy.

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Walk along the canal’s peaceful banks and admire the beautiful homes mixed in with quaint cottages. It a mellow setting and perfect for just strolling or walking your dog.

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It is about a mile from the famous and circus like Venice Beach where life is a little more hectic. You can easily do both in a day. Plus visit Marina Del Rey only about a mile from the beach. We will be doing a blog on Marina Del Rey soon. They tell me there are walking tours, I found this link:
Plus there are many events in the canal and around Venice Beach. Check this link.

Here are directions to the Venice Canals.
Begin at Pacific and 25th Ave.

Transit: From the Spring/1st stop in Downtown LA take the 733 Bus towards Santa Monica. Disembark at Main/Grand and walk about 10 minutes south on Pacific Ave. until you reach Ave. 25.

Car: From the 10 Freeway West merge onto the 405 Freeway South toward Long Beach/LAX. Then merge onto the CA-90W for 3 miles and turn right onto Lincoln Blvd. After 0.5 miles turn left onto Washington Blvd. Then after about 1.3 miles turn right onto Pacific Ave. Drive until you reach Ave. 25.

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