In May I celebrated a special anniversary… my Orange County anniversary to be exact. I’ve had the fortune of living in Huntington Beach, or Surf City, USA as it’s famously known, for the last four years. Although, I’m a city girl at heart, the OC has imprinted on me deeply. From jogging on the beach to dining on the water, I’m completely smitten and want to celebrate this milestone by sharing some of my favorite things to do as an Orange County native – or beach girl wannabe better yet.
When I first moved to Orange County, I lived in Sunset Beach. For those of you not familiar with this part of the California coast; Sunset Beach is it’s own little city within the city of Huntington Beach. It has a post office and everything. This town, that sits on a one mile stretch of ocean, has more character and personality than 3 cities combined! It was in Sunset Beach that I found my inner beach girl and embraced #BeachLife as I know it today.
I’ve spent 3 years now on the quieter side of Beach Boulevard, less than one mile to the water. I regularly ride my bike or jog to the beach; a 10 minute feat at worst. That little number makes scouting new homes a very difficult task. That number also makes the prospect of ever leaving Orange County a down right impossible proposition. How can I leave a town where my drive to work includes Pacific Coast Hwy and palm trees? For most of my drive to the office I have water on my left and/or my right. Disgusting, isn’t it? My family in the outliers of Los Angeles County are constantly harassing me about making the move back to LA, where I was born and raised. But, this orange coast has too strong a hold on me.
When I think of my OC, there are a handful of go-to places I’ve come to fall back on. It is by no means an exhaustive list, since there are so many places and activities I enjoy. But, it encompasses those places I’ve fallen in love with and can’t imagine leaving behind since moving to Orange County: (in no particular order)
- Balboa Bay Club, A&O Restaurant, Newport Beach
- Happy hour on the water with fire pits
- Fashion Island, Newport Beach
- Christophes – my hair has never been happier (thank you Jimmy Hilton).
- Great Maple – Everything – trust me.
- Macys – the best shoe department I’ve ever experienced.
- Le Pan Quideon – breakfast & lunch faves include eggs and avocado toast. Coffee is served from a sipping bowl, taking the experience to a whole other level. And, if you get there at the right time, you can grab a seat with an ocean view.
- Sol Cucina, Newport Beach
- Jalepeno Margarita – hands down the best in Orange County (sorry Javier’s!)
- Warmed Goat Cheese – they won an award for this!
- Cucarachas (Peel and eat shrimp)
- Pelican Hill, Newport Coast
- Go for the ambiance – food is great too!
- Mama’s, Huntington Beach
- 32oz Bloody Mary – does not get better than this… And, I’m a connoisseur of sorts.
Does it get any better than this? I’m not convinced it does. Moving to Orange County was not at the top of my goals list, in fact, I reluctantly followed a boy to the beach (insert eyes wide open emoji face here). That’s a story for another time. And, while that relationship didn’t work out, my love affair with the ocean lives on. It’s been four years since I moved to the beach and adopted this #BeachLife thing. And, every moment of exploration has been wonderful. I still haven’t gone surfing – and probably never will since apparently everyone loves surfing, including great white sharks (but they like it for different reasons). It’s been a great four years – here’s to many more!