Day to night, Main Street in Seal Beach seals the Deal

Jul 19, 2010 by Lindsay Pullin

Most likely, a lot of cities in the US have a Main Street.

I’d venture a guess that each Main street has something uniquely special to that city, and that is how Seal Beach’s Main Street feels.

Seal Beach is a small city in what we pretty much label as the “O.C.” aka the Orange County, which lies next to Long Beach and the Pacific Ocean. You know you’re there when all the street signs have little seals painted on the left side.

It’s just as fun to come to Main street during the day as it is during the night. During the day, you can find free parking (unusual for beach towns), get ice cream at Sweet Jill’s or a frozen banana, and stroll out onto the pier—he second longest wooden pier, losing out only to Oceanside.

Lots of people fish here, with waist high pelicans standing by begging for fish guts.

It’s a great place to sit and watch the surfers or the sunbathers at the beach, or look out across to the sky line of Long Beach, where you can literally see the Queen Mar.

To the left and you’ll Catalina on clear day; although the breeze can be a bit chilly, the sunset is worth it.

From the entrance, before you walk onto the wooden planks, find Slick the Seal statue. He’s usually weighed down by kids sitting on him or petting him, but he’s pretty cute so it’s easy to see why.

If you’re looking for a day at the beach, Seal beach is a nice alternative to other beaches because it’s not crowded.

The water here is generally more tame (its waves are no match for Huntington’s breakers); however be that as it may, my first and only experience of being saved by a lifeguard took place at Seal Beach– when an undertow caught me by surprise.

That said, there are lifeguards on duty during the day, and it can be a nice place to sun tan, or fly kites.

At the end of the pier is Ruby’s Diner, which is not unique to Seal Beach, but it adds to the experience of the small town feel, drinking a malt, while feeling the gentle bumps of boats docking on the pier, and the waitresses in their red and white uniforms are classically cute.

As far as dining options go, there are many. Look around and you’ll find tacos, Hawaiian food, burger joints, even a wine bar, and an Irish pub. But I would recommend Walt’s Wharf. Unique to Seal Beach, Walt’s Wharf serves fresh and delicious sea food.  They only take reservations for lunch, so show up early before the dinner rush; or expect to wait up to an hour (on a Saturday), but I admit that the food is worth it.

Night life is limited, but jumping. O’Malley’s can have a line out the door, surprising for such a small street in such a small town. Other places, like Clancy’s, look like little more than a hole in the wall, but can be fun. It’s most sobering to be able to step outside and feel the sea breeze, or even stroll up half a block to the mighty Pacific.

There are lots of boutiques, depending on what you’re looking for. New bikinis and surfboard wax are of course available, but there’s also a seashell store that I adored as a child, a kite shop, and antique shops. Looking for unique fine art? You might find something here.

I’ve saved the best for last; my favorite part of Main Street has always been the Bay Theater. It opened in 1947, and used to have a very cool Wurlitzer pipe organ, and old school red seats (they aren’t the most comfortable, but they are cool looking. The Bay Theater plays new movies, but it also screens classic movies

Check this list: every week. It’s a unique experience and cool and comfortable way to watch a classic movie on a big screen (enough with these outdoor movie screenings, right?) If I wanted bug bites on my butt I’ll go to a little league game, watching movies is an indoor sport).

Day to night, Main Street in Seal Beach offers it all.

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