Tag Archives: beach vacation

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
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

International Surfing Museum, Huntington Beach
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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.

Miami Beach Eco-Style at 1 Hotel

Green living and respect for the environment are more than buzzwords at 1 Hotel in Miami Beach.  The three R’s, reduce, reuse and recycle, are all put into practice – clothing hangers fashioned from recycled paper,  ceilings and furniture made of reclaimed wood and there are even bins in your room to recycle your unwanted clothing.

The  grey wood used for framing doorways is recycled beetle wood from Colorado. The pine beetles carry a fungus that leaves an attractive grey stain which does not affect the wood’s strength.

Instead of plastic water bottles, rooms come with Triple-Clear water filters, and smart phones replace printed hotel guides . As well, natural fabrics are used for all  the furniture.

South Lobby 1 Hotel
South Lobby 1 Hotel photo credit: John Cameron

Guests have a wide choice between six restaurants at 1 Hotel. Homegrown Miami chef Jose Mendin helms 1 Hotel’s newest restaurant, Habitat.

Habitat at 1 Hotel South Beach
Habitat at 1 Hotel South Beach photo credit: John Cameron


South Pool 1 Hotel
South Pool 1 Hotel photo credit: John Cameron

Swimmers have four beautiful pools to choose from: the south pool, the center pool, the cabana pool, and the rooftop pool as well as the Atlantic Ocean, just steps away.

Center Pool 1 Hotel
Center Pool 1 Hotel photo credit: John Cameron
Rooftop Pool 1 Hotel
Rooftop Pool 1 Hotel photo credit: Sherel Purcell

Everyone likes freebies. At 1 Hotel, complimentary services for guests include: a different cocktail every night in the hotel garden at happy hour, fresh organic fruit in the lobby in the morning, and first come, first serve chauffeured rides in electric Tesla cars within a three-mile radius.

1 hotel has applied for silver certification from the green building program LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design). Beneath this cool exterior lies a luxury hotel with an Eco-friendly heart.