Sunday, May 5, 2013

Coasting To Seal Beach!

Hey Kids! Today we're traveling a little bit north to the city of Seal Beach, in southern California. It was a perfect day, weatherwise, when I decided to be a tourist in my own 'hood'. Seal Beach is a really quaint town with a nice family beach, a cute main street and homes of all types.
San Gabriel River Meets Seal Beach

Just to change things up, I first visited Gum Grove Park. This park is sort of unknown because it's on the off shore side of the Pacific Coast Highway. Hidden behind a hill of homes, it's a nice trail for a nature walk, a bike ride or to walk your dog.

And what a day it was for nature! The sun was warm , the mustard flowers were in full bloom and the eucalyptus trees shaded the trail. The trail only goes back about 1/2 a mile. I wish I could share the sounds! Birds chirping and tweeting like crazy.The bushes were buzzing with bees and I could hear animals creeping through the brush. I saw robins and hummingbirds and hawks and butterflies.  And the smells! Eucalyptus leaves and wild flower scents and warm earth all mixed together. Nothing like getting out into nature, even if it's close to a city, to stimulate the senses.
 Sometimes I forget to take time to do that, take time to enjoy some natural space and recharge.

I passed a couple gals wearing their employee badges, they must have been on a lunchtime walk. They asked me if I saw the coyote! Oh, that must have been the creeping in the bushes because they pointed to where the coyote had crawled through an opening in the fencing. Same place I heard the sounds.. Our lovely friend the coyote is sharing space with us in southern California. It's bad news for cats and small pets. I've found cats killed by coyotes more than once.. sadly. 

Next, I headed a few blocks over to 'Old Town' Seal Beach---everything on the west/ocean side of Pacific Coast Highway. There you'll find the pier with a restaurant on the end, the beach of course, and Main Street. Main Street is a few blocks long and filled with restaurants, shops and boutiques, salons, coffee houses and at least 3 Irish pubs! The garden shop was full of blooms.
Seal Beach Pier
Main Street Seal Beach
 Among the restaurants, one of my favorite Mexican Food places is Taco Surf. I think most everyone in southern California has their favorite Mexican food!

The shops took a blow a few years ago and it seemed like a day of lunching with friends and checking out gift shops was over for me. As soon as a new shop came in, it was soon out of business for many of them. But Seal Beach has rallied and has several new stores that I took a peek into. You can find coastal decor, seashells, bathing suits and beach attire, art, jewelry, gourmet foods and more. There's even a home town hardware store. And the Seal Beach Psychic is still in business too..( is a psychic a required shop for a California beach town???)

The town of Seal Beach has all kinds of homes to check out too! Darling beach cottages, huge ocean front mansions, multi family homes, big houses and tiny houses make up the scenery.
Crafty Cottage

Ocean Front Mediterranean

Modern Mansion

Tiny Beach Bungalows

 I like Seal Beach for a lot of reasons. It has a nice beach for families.. not a surfing beach really. And the Main Street offers so many good restaurants and shops, it's a nice lunch or dinner destination. It's also a great place for walking--along the beach, down the pier, around the town, through the interesting streets of eclectic homes.
At the north end of the beach, there's the San Gabriel river that lets out into the ocean. You'll also find a beachfront cafe, River's End Cafe,  where you can dine outside and enjoy the sun, the breeze and the views. A long riverside bike trail also lets you off right there for a beachside break.
Riverside Rabbit
It's kind of fun to see a town you've known your whole life through tourists' eyes for a day. Some day I should visit the Red Car Museum. Located in the middle of town, it's a Pacific Red Car from 1925 that houses a museum. These train cars used to run between Los Angeles and Newport Beach from 1904 to the 1950's.  It's one of those places you think  'I'll go in there, someday'.

Photo Credit
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  1. Thanks for sharing this sweet little downtown, Seal Beach. I used to take my kids down there in the summer. Now they are grown, and my oldest goes on her own. We moved inland and south, so we don't get down to the beach as much. I miss the water and towns. Blessings Paula

  2. Oh man, what a neat town to be your home town. So happy you shared this with us!

    Happy to have you at "Oh, the PLACES you've been!"

    - The Tablescaper


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