Category Archives: Watersports

Huntington Beach, California, Surf City USA

Huntington Beach epitomizes the laid back California surfer lifestyle.  In a parking lot next to their vintage VW microbus, surfers get into their wetsuits and head for the waves.

For many, the 1959 Gidget movie was their first introduction to California’s vibrant surf culture.  The real life inspiration for Gidget, Kathy Kohner Zuckerman,  grew up surfing the waves in Malibu. She told her surfing stories to her father, a Hollywood writer, and the rest as they say, is history.

Surfer on Huntington Beach

Surfboards have become smaller and lighter and there isn’t a beach in California that hasn’t been surfed.

Things to do

Largest surfboard ever built at the International Surfing Museum

Get the fascinating history of surfing at The International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach .  On display outside the museum is the world’s largest surfboard, used to break the Guinness World Record for the most people riding a surfboard (66). Should the record need to be defended, the giant board will come down.

Huntington Harbour Boat Rentals

For some time on water without waves, head to Huntington Harbour  Boat Rentals for a two-hour self-captained cruise of tranquil Huntington Harbour – also perfect for swimming or paddle boards.

Where to Stay in Huntington Beach

Pasea Hotel & Spa

The Pasea Hotel & Spa is Huntington Beach’s newest luxury hotel, just a block away from the famous Pier.  All the incredible art work in the Pasea lobby has a beach theme.

“Wavelength 4” by Jorge Dubin, Pasea Hotel & Spa Lobby

The playful “Wavelength 4” by Jorge Dubin, made from 1400 flip flops, was created specifically for the Pasea Hotel & Spa.

Aarna Spa at The Pasea Hotel

You’re in good hands (pun intended) at the Balinese-inspired Aarna Spa in the Pasea Hotel & Spa. The skilled masseuses apply just the right amount of pressure. It’s rare to find a spa with salt water whirlpools.

Where to Eat

Tanner’s Huntington Beach

The Acai (ah-sah-EE) Berry Bowl makes a great breakfast at Tanner’s Huntington Beach. A natural cholesterol controller, the acai  berry also has natural antioxidant properties. Head to the popular Watertable at the  nearby Hyatt Regency Hotel (reservations recommended)  for a more classic take on breakfast.

Red Table, Huntington Beach

The Red Table has great specials for lunch. Try their pistachio-encrusted sole or the rich and tasty crab cakes  – just be sure to save room for their broken banana cream pie – best enjoyed with their caramel-flavored Kentucky bourbon draft beer.

The Signature dessert at Bluegold

When it’s time for dinner, it’s  a 5 minute walk to Bluegold in  the nearby Pacific City Mall. Try one of their inventive cocktails – like the “LA Confidential”  made with rye, bourbon and Pom molasses . The chef-driven California fusion menu offers a wide range of flavors. Try the wood -fired burrata pizza with fried rosemary, shaved pistachio and orange oil or the steam kettle shellfish pot in a spicy Vietnamese tomato curry (think tom yum) or even the salt-roasted beets and yellowtail sashimi.

SeaLegs Wine Bar on Beach Boulevard  also has a great selection of wine and California cuisine. Try their baked Alaskan halibut on pesto rice or salmon baked in parchment paper.

Boca Raton: A City for All Seasons

With miles of public beaches and a year round temperate climate, Boca Raton (locals says Boca Ratone) epitomizes the outdoor southern Florida lifestyle. While just 40 miles north of Miami, Boca Raton has none of the traffic headaches associated with a major metropolis.

As a rule of thumb for getting around Florida, take the I-95 (with a Sunpass) if you’re in a hurry, but drive the meandering A1A with beautiful views of the Atlantic if you have time. The drive south on the A1A into Boca from Palm Beach is especially scenic.

Many buildings in Boca Raton have a Mediterranean Revival or Spanish Mission architectural theme. In the winter of 1918, architect Addison Mizner brought the Mediterranean style to his first Florida commission, the Everglades Club in Palm Beach, for his friend, sewing machine heir, Paris Singer. Addison Mizner was also the visionary behind the planned development of Boca Raton.

Mizner’s Mediterranean style, which utilized stone, tile and stucco, was a better match for Florida’s semi-tropical climate (and threat of hurricanes) than the wooden shingle-style resort architecture imported from the Northeast.

The Boca Raton Resort & Spa

Don’t miss seeing the jewel in Mizner’s crown, The Boca Raton Resort & Club or as locals know it, The Pink Hotel. It first opened in February 1926, as The Ritz Cloister Inn. The beautiful, one of a kind interiors offer a glimpse into the hotel’s storied past.

Things to do

The Wick Theater & Costume Museum

The Wick Theater and Costume Museum

Fans will enjoy seeing movie and stage costumes up close and personal, from productions as diverse as Titanic, Dick Tracy and Les Liasons Dangereux. Marilynn Wick, CEO of Costume World, a national retailer and renter of theatrical costumes, bought The Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton to house her enormous collection of original Broadway costumes. She also gained a 333-seat auditorium in the deal and produces popular Broadway musicals like South Pacific.

Boca Raton Museum of Art

Boca Raton Museum of Art

Art lovers will be thrilled to find The Boca Raton Museum of Art at the north end of Mizner Park. The Museum features travelling exhibitions as well as an extensive permanent collection, from The Old Masters to contemporary artists. Don’t miss the sculpture gardens.

Where to eat

Max’s Grille

Max’s Grille

Dine al fresco from a fresh contemporary bistro menu at Max’s Grille on Mizner Park. Perfect for people watching.

Where to stay

The Waterstone Resort and Marina

You’re a short walk to the beach at The Waterstone Resort and Marina. The newly renovated hotel has 139 guest rooms, all with private balconies overlooking either the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway or Lake Boca.

The Waterstone Resort & Marina Bar area

The contemporary polished chrome against whitewashed teak millwork both indoors and out creates a seamless transition between the main floor and waterfront promenade. Easy access to water activities that include paddleboards, reef snorkeling trips, fishing charters, boat rentals, surfing lessons, jet skis, and ocean kayaks.

Boca Beach Club

Located on the Atlantic Ocean with a mile of private beach, Boca Beach Club is the sister property of The Boca Raton Resort and Spa, just a short shuttle ride away.

Boca Beach Club

Popular with young families for a wealth of water activities, guests of Boca Beach Club are also entitled to use the facilities at The Boca Raton Resort and Spa, including an outdoor Flow Rider surf machine.