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Seal Beach, California - If you're looking for a family friendly beach to visit, vacation, to shop, enjoy a beach, dine, watch a classic movie, fish on the pier, kitesurf and just hang out, by all means go to Seal Beach. Of the Orange County beaches, it offers the best blend of shopping and beach-ing that you'll find. Why? There's lots to do in Laguna Beach but the traffic can be daunting. Newport Beach doesn't offer enough shopping along Main Street near its beaches, unless you seek souvenir gifts. Huntington Beach Main Street shopping offers a few gems but lacks those great antique stores, garden shops and clothing for the over-25 crowd. San Clemente's shopping isn't at the beach, per se. So after checking them all out, we choose Seal Beach as our favorite beach experience with the premier beach shopping, free parking and shops offering something for everyone at affordable prices. Named for the seals that once swam the waters of this quaint seaside community on the northern most border of Orange County, seals don't seem to like it there anymore. They rarely come to visit this seaside city located on the border of Los Angeles County in the Southern California's playground, Orange County. Seal Beach wasn't always so "quaint" as it is today and with its penchant for growth and more revenue, who knows what the future will bring for cute, little Seal Beach. But for today, Seal Beach residents enjoy the mostly quiet beach location where TV shows will sometimes come to do location shoots. Locals who remember or study Seal Beach history, however, say that it once overshadowed neighbors such as the now booming Huntington Beach with its tourism reach. During the 1920's, Seal Beach was known as the pleasure place. "Seal Beach had the buzz. You went there for fun in the sun," said the Red Car Museum president Laura Alioto. Seal Beach featured bath palaces, a huge roller coaster, gaming rooms, gambling ships, rum runners and wicker boardwalk carts. Scintillating lights illuminated the water and night bathers from the second longest pier in the state. Bathing Pavilion with 1000 dressing rooms renting for 25 cents each, opened directly onto the beach. Their motto was: A beach without an undertow. Though Long Beach, California's fifth largest city with the busiest port in the nation looms next door, Old Town Seal Beach features shady, tree-lined Main Street, a beautiful beach and pier reminiscent of small town America during the mid-1900's. An art faire, Christmas parade, summer concerts on the green and 4th of July celebrations are a few annual events of special interest. Fishing is permitted from the pier and at the end, Ruby's diner offers sandwiches, salads and forever views.

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