While you attend the EMDRIA conference this fall (September 12-15), you might want to take a day (or two) for a little beach time.  Morning, afternoon, or evening, Southern California beaches are part of what makes this area really special.  Here are a few suggestions depending on what you enjoy seaside.

Huntington Beach is the ultimate Orange County beach town.  Sometimes referred to as Surf City, H.B. is known for its expansive beaches, plentiful beachside parking, and surfable waves.  You’ll find plenty of places to eat, too.  Here are a few suggestions:

Pacific City

Pacific City Mall– great eats, shopping, and beautiful views. A good spot in the evening for gazing at the sunset while having a bite with friends.

Ruby’s on the Pier– Southern California’s diner offers a menu of burgers, fries, and amazing shakes.  A great stop after a day on the sand.

Into surf culture?  Stop at Jack’s.  From surfboards to every name brand of apparel in the surf industry.  Pick up some sunscreen if nothing else!

Walk the pier, shop local stores, and enjoy great restaurants on Main Street during your stay in Huntington Beach.

Island style Orange County

Did you know that Orange County has its own island?  A couple, in fact.  Balboa and Lido Islands are small, but enjoyable spots in the Newport Beach area.  Both are residential but also include walking areas as well as shopping and eating establishments.

Balboa

Drive onto  Balboa Island by taking Jamboree Road directly to the bridge on Marine Avenue.  If you’re there in the morning, stop in for a coffee at one of the bakeries, then head to the perimeter walk and enjoy a morning stroll around the island.

Feeling like a longer walk? Hop the short ferry over to Balboa Peninsula, check out the quaint boardwalk complete with Ferris Wheel, and walk to the Balboa Pier.  Pedestrian fee for the ferry is only $1.50 per person each way (cash only).  B.J.’s Pizza and another Ruby’s is on the Peninsula side as well.

choco icecream with sprinklers

Back on the island, don’t leave without trying a famous Balboa Bar– ice cream dipped in chocolate with your choice of toppings.  What more does one need?

Lido

Come down to Lido for an evening!  Some of the best spots to in the OC are in the Lido village.  The Cannery, Bluewater Grill,and local Italian favorite Mama D’sare just a few of the greats.  Head over to a movie at the historic Lido Theatre after dinner or enjoy local jazz at The Blue Beet in Newport just a few blocks away.

How about more shopping?

While it’s not an actual island, just up the hill from the water is your complete shopping destination:  Fashion Island.  Full of upper tier fashion brands, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Neiman Marcus, your retail therapy dreams are fulfilled at Fashion Island.  We recommend breakfast or lunch at Le Pain Quotidien, R & D Kitchen, True Food Kitchen, or Wahoo’s Fish TacoWhole Foods Market is also attached to the mall.

Pacific beach

Orange County’s beach communities just get better the farther south you go.  Corona Del Mar, Crystal Cove State Beach, and Laguna Beach are just a few. Head south on PCH, and you’ll find them all, unique and uniquely OC.