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Top 5 Beach Destinations in Southern California
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The weather is warming up and summer’s getting close!  When visiting Southern California during the summer, one of the top things on the to-do list is always going to the beach!  Visiting the beach is always the first plan of action, but what do you do once you are there?  Sitting in the sand and enjoying the warmth of the sun is always fun, but that’s not all beach days have to consist of!  We are going to travel down the coast to the most popular beaches of Southern California, from Manhattan Beach all the way to Laguna Beach, giving you the information you need to experience a perfect beach day anywhere in Southern California.  In all these vibrant cities there are a multitude of attractions, adventurous activities and miles of beach for any type of day.  Whether you wanted to get out and explore the city or just take a day off, put your toes in the sand and enjoy the water, you will find everything you need.

Manhattan Beach is where we will start, just south of Los Angeles, this beach city provides miles of sandy beaches and attractions for anyone.  At the end of Manhattan Beach Blvd is the pier which provides amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and the never-ending coastline of California.  At the end of the pier is the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium.  It is open for the public free of charge.  The aquarium is very interactive and driven to teach visitors about the oceans, marine life, and the environment.  Manhattan Beach also provides miles of boardwalk and with bike rentals easily accessible you can be riding up the coast in no time.  It always a relaxing feeling to ride down the boardwalk, sun on your face with a slight ocean breeze.


Manhattan Beach has a wide variety of restaurants along Manhattan Beach Boulevard providing any type of dining experience you desire.  The Strand House is right along the beach providing a beautiful water view.  The dining begins with brunch, and continues with lunch and dinner.  Although this is a prime destination for a delicious meal, it does have odd hours that are always changing, so make sure to check before deciding on this spot.

Another option would be Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, which is a great choice for any time of the day.  Wahoo’s Fish Tacos is a Mexican restaurant, that can be a quick and easy eating situation, or there is always plenty of seating for an enjoyable meal.  Their menu includes a wide range of salads, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and bowls.  Wahoo’s Fish Tacos started in California and sense grown drastically.  If you want to enjoy an amazing atmosphere and meal, Wahoo’s Fish Tacos must be on your to-do list!

Just 3.5 miles down the road from the Manhattan Beach pier is an Ayres Hotel that can accommodate you during your vacation.  With a European-inspired style and a warm feel, after a long day at the beach you will never have been so happy to come back to your hotel room.  Jump into your jacuzzi tub, throw on a movie, and have a nice relaxing vacation night.drastically.  If you want to enjoy an amazing atmosphere and meal, Wahoo’s Fish Tacos must be on your to-do list!

Seal Beach is a wonderful quiet beach city located on the northern most border of Orange County.  A great place to visit in Seal Beach is the Main Street Pier.  Main Street offers a relaxing stroll down several blocks providing a wide variety of restaurants, gift shops, galleries and local attractions, ending with a walk on the beach or pier.  The walk is very relaxing and can be thoroughly enjoyed in the late afternoon with the sun setting over the water.seal-beach-pier

There is always something going on the beaches of Seal Beach.  Some of the local beach activities include, fishing on the pier, surfing, swimming, volleyball, and a multitude of beachside recreation activities.  Throwing a Frisbee, kicking a soccer ball, or breaking out the dirty bocce ball set, this beach is perfect for any activities anything you can think of.  Also, there are local stores right next to the beach that provide rental surfboards so you can get out there and catch some waves!

There are two restaurants that I recommend everyone go to when visiting Seal Beach, Walt’s Wharf, and Hangout Bar & Grill.  Walt’s Wharf is on the corner of Main St and Central Ave providing a seafood based menu with great service and a homey feel to it.  Walt’s Wharf is open for lunch, providing a very wide range of starters, and fish based main courses with some meats entrees as well.  Some highlights on the menu are their Wild King Salmon Tacos and their Red Seafood Curry.  Also for dinner, a wide range of fish based starters and entrees are available, but also land entrees are available.  Some great entrees include Oak Grilled Idaho Trout, Pacific Swordfish, and the Braised Lamb Shank.

Hangout Bar & Grill is right across from Eisenhower Park on the corner of Ocean Avenue and Main Street.  Just read the name of the restaurant to understand why you must go there.  It is a great location to get away from the beach to grab a drink and some food but still be around that beach vibe.  The Hangout menu provides breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night burgers on those late nights out.  Late night burgers are available Sunday – Thursday 9:00 pm through 10:30 pm, and Friday & Saturday 9:30 pm – 10:30 pm.  Their breakfast provides a huge menu, from steak n’ eggs and breakfast sandwiches to breakfast burritos and pancakes.  The lunch and dinner menu are very similar which includes a wide selection of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, and other entrees such as steak, fish selections, and ribs.

An easy ten minute drive from the Ayres Hotel Seal Beach will take you directly to fun on the beach and these amazing restaurants.  After a great night sleep on the Ayres dream sleeper, and a free buffet breakfast, you will be ready to spend a whole day at the beach full of activities.

Newport Beach is a quaint town with miles of beach and a boardwalk, many daily activities to explore, and a wide range of restaurants and bars.  There are two piers in Newport Beach including the Newport Pier, located in an upbeat area with a large amount of restaurants, bars, snack stands and shops.  This is in an easy area to get to with plenty of meter parking.  You can bring your own food for the day or pick from the multiple restaurants that line the beach front.  Right at the beginning of Newport Pier is Charlie’s Chili, established in 1988, which has come to be a landmark as well as a local favorite.  It is open 7:00 am – 9:00 pm Monday – Sunday, but most importantly serves breakfast all day!

The second pier in Newport Beach is the Balboa Pier located further down the peninsula at Main St and E Balboa Blvd.  Though it is a little farther, there are just as many delicious restaurants, lots of parking, wonderful beaches, and tons to do!  Ruby’s Diner is located on the end of the pier to enjoy delicious hamburgers and shakes while enjoying the views down the coast.  newport-beach

Sometimes when sitting on the beach so long, looking out to the ocean, the feeling can arise to get out on the ocean and experience it firsthand!  Right across the street from the pier are a multitude of ways to experience the ocean.  At Marina Boat Rentals, boats are available for all sizes of groups to captain yourself and explore Newport Bay.  It is a great way to spend the afternoon with friends and family, eat lunch, and experience a different part of Newport Beach.  Just next door at Balboa Water Sports, jet skis are available that can be taken out in the ocean for as much thrill as you want.

Close to the airport and just over 5 miles to the beach, Ayres Hotel & Suites Costa Mesa is in a perfect location for any vacation.  We provide a shuttle anywhere within a 5 miles radius or also provide bike rentals at the hotel for a nice leisurely ride down to the beach.

Laguna Beach is located just south of Newport Beach, providing a more relaxed feel with beaches nestled between the cliffs, shops along the coast and restaurants that provide beautiful ocean views.  The most popular restaurant is The Deck On Laguna Beach, which is one of those restaurants that provide an amazing ocean view over the beach.  The Deck provides a full bar complimented with a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu which provides the opportunity to relax and enjoying the sea breeze at any point of the day.

There are great ways to get outside and explore Laguna Beach and the ocean.  There is the option of renting paddle boards at Paddle Board Lessons & Tours to paddle the spectacular coastline of Northern Laguna.  During the paddle board tour you will be traveling along the coastline and experience the ocean like never before.  Paddling along wild life and taking a dip in the ocean whenever needed.  Seal Rock is a favorite during the tour when you of the opportunity to paddle within ten feet of California Sea Lions!laguna-beach-shoreline

Taking your adventures from the sea to land has never been easier than when visiting Laguna Beach.  At Laguna Beach Bike Rentals, right off the beach, you have the option of exploring the city and beaches yourself, or partake on a guided tour to be sure you see all the top spots in the city.  If you choose to branch out on your own, maps are available highlighting spots throughout the city, including dining, shopping, and sight-seeing.  The city provides amazing views on the edges of cliffs over-looking the Pacific Ocean, looking down on beaches, and wide ranges of wildlife surrounding you.

Ayres Hotel has a few locations that would be perfect for traveling to Laguna Beach.  Ayres Hotel Laguna Woods is the closest just 7 miles away with a great breakfast buffet in the morning to start your day off and a happy hour to end your day right after a long day at the beach.   If you are looking for even more relaxing after the beach, make sure to stay with us at the Ayres Hotel & Spa Mission Viejo.  After soaking in the sun you will be able to go get pampered in the Athena Day Spa.

Now, where ever you go to visit the beach, remember, there is so much more than just sinking your toes into the sand.  Get out explore the city, wildlife, and of course the shops!

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About 10 months ago by Ayres Hotels


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