5 THINGS YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS IN HUNTINGTON BEACH
About a couple weeks ago, Oliver and I took a trip to California. If you guys don’t know, California is my second hometown, I moved there when I was 16 straight out of high school and only recently moved to England. I miss it there so much. So, despite a pandemic and all the chaos going on in the world, I wanted to tag along Oliver’s work trip and take the 11-hour trip while 26 weeks pregnant. After all this may be the last time I get to go anywhere for a while, now with a baby on the way.
This trip inspired me to share a little bit about where we stayed. I know you may have heard of Orange County probably because everyone’s favourite 2003 drama was called the OC and it was all filmed there. The vast streets of lined up palm trees, the good food on every corner, the beautiful sprawling beaches sistering with the famous Newport beach and Laguna Beach… It’s a shame when tourists come here, they don’t know that this is really where you want to vacation, not west LA or Hollywood.
You’re instantly at home here. There’s just a good ol hometown perfect Cali feel here. And with beautiful new hotels now in prime locations, you’ll never really want to leave this zip code. I lived in California for 14 years and I can’t believe I didn’t come here much. Now seeing this state from a visitor’s point of view, I think it’s important for me to spread the knowledge that south of LAX and down the coast is somewhere more than worth exploring.
Here are things you NEED TO KNOW for your trip here:
STAY AT PASEA HOTEL
Pasea was a new find for me, probably because when you have an apartment in west Hollywood for over 10 years, you don’t really have the time to discover gems like Pasea. Oh and I’m so glad I found this place. When people used to ask me about where they should stay I always used to struggle. Hotels in LA are usually old, have small rooms and charge you half your mortgage for parking. But if you are brave enough to say no to the so-called star studded streets of Los Angeles (because trust me it’s not as glamorous as you think) and you make your way down to Huntington Beach, you’ll find you can actually have a large room, with a direct and very close view of the beach, for half of what you’re charged on Sunset Blvd and much more to do and expect. So really it’s a no brainer. The best thing about Pasea Hotel is the amenities and ease of stay. Everything is available to you. No, I mean it. EVERYTHING. You’re basically interconnected with one of the coolest outdoor shopping malls that has some of the best popular stores, a food court with farm to table options of every cuisine, as well as a large pool with a view of the beach, a gym and a spa. There’s a rooftop bar called Tanner’s that has the best outdoor beach vibe, with stunning bonfires where you can sit and enjoy a delicious burger over a dim lit fire and a margherita in your hand. I mean what is there not to like.
SURF AND SWIM
The great thing about the beaches here is that you can be a professional surfer and find it a perfect practice court or you can be a body surfer who occasionally enjoys a couple crashing waves but doesn’t want to get pummeled. Something about the waves here makes it home for both. I personally am a horrendous swimmer, but I actually find it mesmerising walking down to the beach at sunrise and watching the surfers do their thing. With easy access and freedom of space, you can basically set up shop right there in a perfect spot on the sand and be whoever you want to be, the beach is your playground. (Just remember to bring bike locks and keep your bikes safe 🙂 )
REAL TRUE SHOPPING
Everyone who visits California from abroad always talks to me about the Grove, or Beverly Hills Mall. TMZ and tabloid news will always dish about celebs walking around the grove and doing some shopping, so it makes us think of these places as the only landmarks. But in fact, the real shopping is much further south of those two places. You have to dip your feet in the OC experience and get to Fashion Island and South Coast plaza. That’s where the good stores actually are and where you’ll find a lot more than just a big apple store and a Sephora. Don’t forget to visit Pacific City which is the outdoor mall side by side with Pasea Hotel.
EVERY BEACH HAS A PIER
I’m going to go a little all-American on you right now and tell you there is nothing better than walking down the pier at sunset and getting a table at Ruby’s Diner. If you’re a health nut, this is probably where you will want to spend your cheat day. A delicious stacked all American burger with a hearty creamy milkshake and crispy fries is probably what I’ll ask for if I was given one day to live. This is such a cool and fun experience. I mean I don’t know about you, but I love American diners. The waiters and waitresses are dressed up like you’ve hopped into a time machine and teleported to the 50’s. The menu is extensive, and this is where you’ll find there is nothing that they won’t put on a burger. But trust me it’s worth it, watching the sunset from here with a juicy burger in your hands is the dream. Just make sure you go early to get a table.
SHOP THE POST
Hope this can serve as a fun little guide for your trip to Orange County. I love hearing your feedback. And please don’t forget to follow me on @naila and @nailaathome to see more images, videos and clips from our adventures!
To Book with Pasea Hotel , follow this link here: https://meritagecollection.com/pasea-hotel