Photos © beachcalifornia.com

 

Sunset Beach California Lifestyle and Charm

 

 

Sunset Beach--Welcome to this charming little city on the Southern California coast near the northern border of Orange County. Stretching for one mile along Pacific Coast Highway, nearly half the houses in town get a sandy beach and view of the ocean out their doors.  Pacific Streets North and South are the heart of a town where parking is free, the beach is at your door and strolling in the park means a walk down the grassy knoll which used to provide right of way for the Red Car from Los Angeles.  

 

 

It's obvious that changes are in store when you exit Huntington Beach heading north on Pacific Coast Highway. The Pacific Ocean disappears and the scenic view is replaced with buildings and signs. There's a post office where residents must get their mail, hotels, boat rentals, gift and surf shops, a psychic readings shop and restaurants announcing your arrival. 

 

 

post office water tower

 

 

The citizens of Sunset Beach have a homeowner's association which meets and plans several annual community events. There's a mile-long garage sale (that's how long the city is) which is usually held in September, a chili cook-off and an art contest held in the Spring or Summer. Francis Ford Coppola's aunt lives in town as does actress Cameron Diaz from time to time.  

The water tower on 1 Anderson St. (pictured) is a landmark. When it outlived its useful purpose several decades ago, community activism kept it alive. Bought and sold several times, the now converted house offers one of the finest views anywhere. An elevator leads up to the approximate 4th story living area of a luxury tri-level home with 2 master suites, huge bar, fire pit lounge, outdoor jacuzzi and office in a view room at the top.   
 


 Rising 87 feet into the air, 30 feet in diameter on a 35 square foot lot was built in the late 1800s to service the steam engines that ran from Los Angeles to San Diego.  
In 1945 water was pumped from an artesian well from Bolsa Chica bluffs to the tower to service Sunset Beach and Surfside. The tower was deactivated in 1974.  Purchased and renovated, six years later, restoration of the redwood tower began.  The tank portion was lowered to ground level and made into a home which was then lifted by crane back into position on 21 wooden legs which were reinforced with steel at the joints. 

 

 

The owner finally moved into the one-of-a-kind house in 1985 and it has since been sold with another occupant enjoying the best view on this portion of the coast.  


  

The door is always open nearby at the Harbour House Cafe.  Weekend mornings people line up to eat a favorite omelet or sandwich. In business for many years, it was one of the first restaurants in the region to offer outdoor dining. Other restaurants include Captain Jack's, Harpoon Harry's, Harry's Grill, Sam's Seafood, Sunset Patio Cafe and Woody's. Turc's and Irish Mist are favored local pubs. 

 

 

 

 

 


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