By B Ang
Anaheim is home to popular theme parks and tons of water-based activities thanks to it many user-friendly-cum-trendy beach areas. There are so many things to do in Anaheim. How do you wind down the day here? Watching the setting sun is always a good way to end the day. Here are some choice spots to take in the colourful sights. Plus, it’s also a perfect date night activity.
Huntington Beach Pier
© 2011 Eric Lo
Huntington Beach Pier is one of the best places to catch a dazzling southern California sunset. Rebuilt several times since it was first erected in 1903, this often photographed pier is Orange County’s “front porch to the wide open Pacific”. Stretching 565 metres, it is one of the longest public piers on the West Coast. For a dose of nostalgia, stop by the red-roofed Ruby’s Diner, located at the end of pier. With decor that is reminiscent of the classic American diner with bright red vinyl booths, white Formica tables, soda fountains and antique Coca-Cola posters, Ruby’s is known for its milk shakes, burgers and root beer float. Visitors can catch the last rays of the sun from Ruby’s, the pier itself and even under the bridge.
Many people can’t help having that deja vu feeling at Pirate’s Cove. Why? It’s because the site was used in many films and TV shows including Gilligan’s Island. As part of Corona Del Mar State Beach (also known as Big Corona Beach), its undulating sandstone cliffs with its small caves fronting the bay allow for easy rock climbing. Pirate’s Cove is a family-friendly spot to spend a day in the sun and an excellent spot to catch an astonishing sunset. Don’t be surprised to find film crews; the venue is perfect for scenes requiring an island and rock cliffs.
In days of yore, the Orange Hills at Silverado Canyon were where silver miners flocked to stake their fortune. Today, the area is known as one of the best inland spots for taking in the setting sun. Two restaurants provide access to prime vantage points – Orange Hill Restaurant and Orange County Mining Company. Situated on a secluded hilltop, Orange Hill Restaurant provides fine dining with mesmerizing views of Orange County.
Fashioned after eateries and saloons frequented by former silver miners, the Orange County Mining Company showcases California’s silver mining days with genuine relics and artifacts from this period. The restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows allow 360-degree views of twinkling city lights and panoramic views of Orange County, Newport Beach, Los Angeles and Catalina Island.
AOCVCB/Tom GriffitheWhat better place to catch a spectacular southern California sunset than the appropriately-named Sunset Beach? Spanning 1.61 kilometres, it is an “indie” seaside community sandwiched in between Seal and Huntington beaches. The sandy beach with its mountainous sand dunes, and oceanside picnic spots lies behind the quaint cafes and diners that line Pacific Coast Highway. Ocean sunset views include Catalina Island to the southwest and San Pedro and Rancho Palos Verdes mountains to the northwest.
An icon on Newport Beach, Balboa Pavilion is one of the last great waterfront recreational pavilions from the turn of the 20th Century. In 1906, it was the southern terminus for the Pacific Electric Railway, connecting the beach with downtown Los Angeles. Since then, it has served many different functions including post office, art museum and gambling establishment.
Today, it is used as a marine recreation facility offering trips for harbour sightseeing cruises, sport fishing, catamaran to Catalina Island and skiff rentals. Also located within the Pavilion is the Harborside Restaurant & Grand Ballroom where every seat offers a water view. While waiting for the sun to go down, families can check out the Balboa Fun Zone, a miniature amusement park with a waterfront Ferris wheel. The Balboa Pavilion is listed under the National Register of Historic Places.
SeaWorld: Manta comprises a 378,541-litre aquarium featuring California bat rays, diamond stingrays and shovelnose guitarfish. An interactive pool allows guests to touch and feed the California rays. Also, a roller coaster ride shaped like a giant manta ray gives guests the impression of what it feels like to be a ray swooping through the sky and dropping 16.5 metres to a lake.
Universal Studios Hollywood: Transformers: The Ride is based on the movie using 3-D HD footage, flight stimulator and the latest in animatronics.
Disney’s California Adventure: Re-opened after undergoing a US $1.2 billion expansion. The new movie-inspired Cars Land features retail shops, and dining facilities built and inhabited by favourite Cars characters.
Disneyland Resort: Testing new technology to purchase park tickets from smart phones. Currently, only 1-Day, 1-Park and 1-Day Park Hopper tickets are available.
Huntington Beach: Bolsa Chica and Huntington state beaches earned a five-star rating from the Natural Resources Defense Council and made it onto its annual list of 12 cleanest beaches in the U.S.