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Seal Beach and its Travel Gems that Visitors Love


Old Town Gallery partner Todd Caviola sells the works of Italian artist Fabian Perez. Sultry, sexy and moody, Perez's portraits evoke emotions and are popular for small and large space placement. Old Town Gallery offers the largest Fabian Perez collection, and sells originals, giclees and commissioned works that range from California scenics to wine portraits, celebrities, and classic cars.


Seal Beach, California - Surrounding this quaint city with its tree-lined streets and free parking are Long Beach to the north and Huntington Beach, two tourist destinations wanting visitor dollars, but unwilling to offer parking opportunities for guests to feel welcomed, and to spend time buying. (Note: For two hours on Tuesdays evenings, you can park for free in Huntington Beach at an event called Surf City Nights.)


It was with great concern that our team of reporters watched Seal Beach City Council threaten to begin charging for downtown parking. Seal Beach has become our Orange County oasis. It is the friendly place where you buy a Javatini espresso coffee drink rather than shop at Starbucks. It is where you meet small shop owners and merchants on Main Street who are mature, interested in you as a shopper, and eager to line you up with boutique quality clothing, gifts and home decor.


Main Street in Seal Beach runs approximately five blocks from the Seal Beach Pier to Pacific Coast Highway, and this shopping gem is known among mature adults and youth as the family friendly shopping destination welcoming those who can find surfboards and cool clothing, but also find a wealth of clothing for women especially.


From Britta's Garden Shop selling plants and flowers, to the numerous boutiques and several art galleries, Seal Beach is shaded so you don't overheat, is stress free (2 hours free parking all the time), and is simply old-fashioned fun.


As we travel along Main Street and get to know the shop-owners and their stores, we have met some dedicated people who work hard to earn a living, and they feel Seal Beach reflects their attitudes about buying. While several chain stores may exist along the thoroughfare, for the most part you'll find one-of-a-kind shops with products ranging from etched glass gifts to Hawaii-themed foods and cards. In the middle of the mix are the trend-setting stores for young to adult women, carrying a range of styles that are contemporary, fashionable and fairly priced.


While the tourist will find limited options for hotel accommodations at the Pacific Inn, which is a few blocks from downtown, shops and beaches, nearby options include Long Beach's Seaport Marina Hotel or Best Western Golden Sails. There's also an Ayres across the 405 San Diego Freeway on Seal Beach Boulevard next to Spaghettini Jazz and Dinner Club, a preferred option for quality musical entertainment when visiting.


And other nightlife can include dining at one of Seal Beach's bistros, hanging out at one of its traditional Irish taverns or pubs, or taking a gondola cruise at either Naples Gondola where there's a kiss under every bridge, or Sunset Gondola on the Huntington Harbour channels and waterways where you can tie it into a to-die-for Alaskan King Crab Leg dinner at Captain Jack's.


For the kids, be sure to take them to the Aquarium of the Pacific. When the Aqualink boat is operating during the summer season. Your family can hop aboard the high speed catamaran from Alamitos Landing and ride over to the Aquarium on a 45 minute boat ride.