Tucked between Huntington Beach and Long Beach, the small beachside community is the northernmost beach town of Orange County and boasts beautiful beaches, seaside parks, preserves, wildlife refuges, historic memorials, and plenty of restaurants, cafés, and bars to enjoy. Head to the eponymous Seal Beach for some fun in the sun, stroll along the Seal Beach Municipal Pier and watch spectacular sunsets or enjoy a picnic in Eisenhower Park.
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Seal Beach is a wide sandy beach that offers excellent surfing, swimming, sunbathing and beachcombing, as well as panoramic views of Long Beach, the mountains and the ocean. The beach is bounded by the San Gabriel River mouth in the north, and a jetty is protecting the entrance to Anaheim Bay in the south and the center of the beach is the Seal Beach Municipal Pier, the Eisenhower Park, and grassy areas for picnicking. There are also two parking areas near the center of the beach and many options for dining, snacks, coffee, and drinks along the nearby Main Street. There is also another parking lot at the north end of the beach on the San Gabriel River.
Ocean Avenue and Main Street, Seal Beach, CA 90740
2.Seal Beach Pier
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The Seal Beach Pier is a pleasure pier located above the Pacific Ocean in Seal Beach with free fishing, and a restaurant at the end with indoor seating and spectacular ocean view. Named after the seals that can be seen at the pier entrance, Seal Beach Pier features a bronze statue of a seal named Slick and little seal emblems on the trash containers, street signs, and seal rides in the children’s playground below the pier. The Seal Beach Pier is a favorite place for watching the boats come into the dock to drop passengers off from the oil piers offshore and soaking up the beautiful sunsets. The pier also has a periscope with a high-powered magnifier for seeing objects in the distance and is a fantastic spot for fishing.
Ocean Avenue, Main St., Seal Beach, California
3.Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge
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The Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge is a 965-acre wildlife sanctuary in the seaside community of Seal Beach. Established in 1972, the refuge is part of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex encompasses an array of different habitats, including remnants of a saltwater marsh in the Anaheim Bay estuary that serves as a significant stopover and wintering area along the Pacific Flyway for shorebirds. Other eco-systems in the sanctuary include a subtidal zone, intertidal channels, and tidal mudflat habitats, a coastal salt marsh habitat, an upland habitat, and several islands, including Hog Island, the humanmade NASA Island, and a non-native upland that supports exotic vegetation. The Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge provides essential habitat for three endangered species, including the California least tern, the light-footed clapper rail, and the Belding's savannah sparrow.
800 Seal Beach Blvd, Seal Beach, CA 90740
4.US Submarine Veterans WWII National Memorial West
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The US Submarine Veterans WWII National Memorial West, also known as the United States Submarine Veterans of World War II is a small memorial located at the outside gate of the Navy base in Seal Beach. Situated just north of U.S. Submarine Veterans Highway on the exterior grounds of Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station, the memorial was built to honor the more than 3,000 submariners who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and features plaques for each of the 52 U.S. submarines lost in the war, as well as plaques representing subs lost during the Cold War-era. The tree-lined, World War II Memorial was dedicated in 1977 and is also the home of two other monuments devoted to the Cold War losses of Thresher and Scorpion.
800 Seal Beach Blvd, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5607
5.M&M Surfing School
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M&M Surfing School is one most celebrated surfing schools in Southern California and has been providing lessons and camps for all ages for over 20 years. Located on the north side of the Seal Beach Pier at Seal Beach, M&M Surfing School is run by founder, Michael Pless Sr. and his son, Michael Pless Jr. who both teach and mentor their surf school students. In addition to one-on-one and group lessons, the surfing school also offers five-day surf camps and rental of equipment such as surfboards and wetsuits. The school also caters for special occasions such as birthdays, team-building functions, and more.
802 Ocean Ave, Seal Beach, CA 90740, Phone: 714-846-7873
6.Seal Beach Food Tours
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Seal Beach Food Tours offers a fun, friendly, foodie outing at the beach. The three-hour, the one-mile walking tour explores historical Old Town Seal Beach, visiting seven top-rated restaurants along the Main Street in the heart of town where guests can taste a variety of unique local food, enjoy California wines, and handcrafted cocktails. Walking tours are led by expert guides who share their knowledge about the seaside town, its historical landmarks, and its fantastic restaurants and food trends.
Seal Beach Municipal Pier, (USPS Box 88), Seal Beach, CA 90740, Phone: 562-457-6565
7.San Gabriel River Bike Trail
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The San Gabriel River Trail, also known as SGRT, is a paved 28-mile multiple access bike path that runs from Seal Beach along the San Gabriel River and through El Dorado Regional Park to the ranger station on HWY 39 above Azuza. The multi-use trail crosses the San Gabriel River Parkway Bridge to the opposite of the River and winds its ways through Baldwin Park, South El Monte, and Irwindale to the Santa Fe Dam where it circumnavigates the dam around to the east of the flood basin and park. Highlights of the trail include a rodeo under the Southern Pacific railroad bridge, and the point where the San Jose Creek and the San Gabriel River merge.
Seal Beach, CA 90740
8.The California Cottage
© The California Cottage
The California Cottage is a beach-style décor store that sells a variety of cottage-style furniture, garden and patio décor with shabby chic trimmings, handmade sterling silver jewelry, beautiful gifts. Owned by the same owners of the California Seashell Company, the California Cottage also sells seashells, starfish, and coral and offers excellent decorating and gift ideas. Unique gifts include hand-crafted driftwood crosses, decorative seashell wreaths, whimsical birdhouses, mermaid, and nautical décor, air plants in beautiful glass balls, and succulents in shells. Located directly across the road from the California Seashell Company, the California Cottage is open every day of the week, except Fridays.
118 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740, Phone: 562-598-8900
9.The Crema Cafe
© The Crema Cafe
The Crema Café is a European-inspired restaurant and bakery in downtown Seal Beach that serves refined cuisine and an extensive wine list in an intimate setting with a casual, rustic vibe. The café’s menu features a combination of classic favorites and delicious new plates, including smoked salmon omelets, pesto chicken paninis, spinach, and mushroom quiche, and gourmet sandwiches. The bakery serves freshly back pastries, sweet and savory crepes, and an assortment of handcrafted bread including the signature seven-grain Crema Multigrain bread, sourdough, and raisin pecan. Sweet-lovers will enjoy a range of treats such as flaky croissants, muffins, cookies, scones, and macarons. The Crema Café has a dog-friendly patio and is open for breakfast and lunch, seven days a week.
322 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740, Phone: 562-493-2501
© Walt's Wharf
Walt's Wharf is an award-winning seafood restaurant that specializes in serving fresh seafood prepared over an open oak fire. Open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, Walt's Wharf has a menu of classic seafood dishes and unique specials, such as steamed clams, oak-grilled artichokes, Blackened Louisiana Catfish, Caramelized Alaskan King Salmon, Macadamia Crusted Halibut, Oak Grilled Atlantic Jumbo Scallops, and Idaho Ruby Red Rainbow Trout. The cuisine is paired with an extensive wine list featuring selections from the top California wineries, which can be tasted by the glass and bottle, craft beers, and handcrafted cocktails.
201 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740, Phone: 562-598-4433
11.The Hangout Restaurant & Beach Bar
© The Hangout Restaurant & Beach Bar
The Hangout Restaurant & Beach Bar is a relaxed, surf-themed American café and New American restaurant that serves casual fare such as with burgers, sandwiches, breakfast plates against a backdrop of beautiful beach and ocean views. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week, the Hangout Restaurant & Beach Bar is located just steps to the Seal Beach Pier and minutes to the Main Street Shopping in Downtown Seal Beach. Breakfast options range from omelets, eggs dishes and healthy bowls of granola, while lunches include hearty burgers, gourmet sandwiches, fresh salads, and seafood dishes, and the café has a popular Sunday brunch, and a Bloody Mary Happy Hour.
901 Ocean Ave, Seal Beach, CA 90740, Phone: 562-431-4888
12.Spaghettini Italian Grill and Lounge
© Spaghettini Italian Grill and Lounge
Spaghettini Italian Grill and Lounge is a charming restaurant and live music venue that serves Northern Italian mainstays in an elegant dining room, and hosts live contemporary jazz. One of the highest regarded small music venues in the country, Spaghettini Italian Grill and Lounge serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, as well as three-course special meals, happy hour, and an extensive wine list of local and globally-inspired wines. Spaghettini Italian Grill and Lounge features an elegant dining room where guests can dine in style and a performance lounge where live music is performed by a variety of up-and-coming and renowned artists. Spaghettini Italian Grill and Lounge is open for lunch, Monday through Friday, dinner, Monday through Sunday, and the Spaghettini Legendary Sunday Brunch on Sunday.
2749, 3005 Old Ranch Pkwy, Seal Beach, CA 90740, Phone: 562-596-2199
12 Best Things to Do in Seal Beach, California
- Seal Beach, Photo: Courtesy of jonbilous - Fotolia.com
- Seal Beach Pier, Photo: Courtesy of jonbilous - Fotolia.com
- Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, Photo: Courtesy of trekandphoto - Fotolia.com
- US Submarine Veterans WWII National Memorial West, Photo: Courtesy of Sonia - Fotolia.com
- M&M Surfing School, Photo: Courtesy of Brunbjorn - Fotolia.com
- Seal Beach Food Tours, Photo: Courtesy of MNStudio - Fotolia.com
- San Gabriel River Bike Trail, Photo: Courtesy of Mel Stoutsenberger - Fotolia.com
- The California Cottage, Photo: The California Cottage
- The Crema Cafe, Photo: The Crema Cafe
- Walt's Wharf, Photo: Walt's Wharf
- The Hangout Restaurant & Beach Bar, Photo: The Hangout Restaurant & Beach Bar
- Spaghettini Italian Grill and Lounge, Photo: Spaghettini Italian Grill and Lounge
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of jonbilous - Fotolia.com