Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade - Things to Do in Orange County 43

Every year in Orange County, the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade kicks off the Holiday season for us.  My favorite thing to do is to start off at the Balboa Peninsula, then move on towards to the Balboa Island to watch the Christmas Boat Parade.  

I usually arrive at the Balboa Peninsula a bit early to get parking at the pier.  Pier parking is free after 6PM.  As I arrive at the Balboa Peninsula, I first prepare myself before the parade by getting myself a nice, freshly fried corn dog at the Balboa Fun Zone.  Combine the corn dog with some freshly made lemonade, you are in heaven!

After my snack, I then board the ferry for a $1 to get over to the Balboa Island.  Once you get off, the houses around Balboa Island will have beautiful Christmas lights on it.  You can walk around the area to enjoy some of the best Christmas lights in OC.

As you enjoy the walk around the Balboa Island, the Christmas Boat Parade will start if you time it right.  I usually get to the Peninsula at around 5:30PM, cross over to the Balboa Island at around 6PM, then the parade will start around 6:30PM.  It’s a very nice way to spend the evening since you get to enjoy three things in one night!

While the boat parade is progress, one of the coolest things you can do is to ride the ferry back to the Balboa Peninsula.  The ferry will actually start to join the parade, crisscrossing its way through the ongoing boat parade.  You’ll have the best seat in the house, and also will make you feel like you’re actually in the parade for a brief time.  It’s a very nice moment for only $1 a person.

From the corn dog on the Fun Zone to the beautiful Christmas lights, hanging out at the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is truly a spectacular holiday event in Orange County.  Be sure you don’t miss out on it!
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
12/17~12/21 in 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Santa Monica Seafood - Things to Do in Orange County 42

Santa Monica Seafood

Santa Monica Seafood is one of the best seafood joints in Orange County. It is located on the trendy 17th Street in Costa Mesa.

They are famous for carrying "sashimi-quality" seafood at the store. You'll practically find almost any kind of fish or crustation that you are looking for at the Santa Monica Seafood. Each fillet of fish is nice and cleaned so that you can go home and cook it right away.

Compared to your local Ralph's or Albertson's the prices may be a little higher. Its probably because they carry the freshest seafood around in Orange County.

When we've visited, there were customer after customer coming in to buy their sashimi-quality fish. I think it's also good for the health conscious customers around town.

Aside from the fresh seafood, Santa Monica Seafood also has within it, a nice little cafe. Since I love Clam Chowder, I had to get a cup here ($2.95). And of course, once I order, I need to get just a little more, so I decided to get the Fisherman's Platter ($8.95) and the Grilled Fish Sandwich ($8.95).

Since this year, Santa Monica Seafood is included in the Orange County version of the Entertainment Book, we got all this food for under $15.

The clam chowder that I got was the New England style, but they also offer the Manhattan style here as well. I heard from a friend of mine that the Fish Soup is also very good.

Anyway, my clam chowder was filled with flavor, and just loved the fresh clams in it. Since it is getting a bit chilly these days, a nice hot cup of clam chowder is a big treat to warm me up. The cup that the chowder was served in was also very cute.

The Fisherman's Platter was a combination of Fish & Chips with some Fried Shrimps. Add a little Cole Slaw and tartar sauce, you're in fish heaven. I loved how it was nice and crispy.

The Grilled Fish Sandwich is cool because you can pick your own fish for it. I decided to go with the Halibut since it was the most expensive on the menu if ordered it in itself. (Grilled Fish Sandwich is the same price regardless of what type of fish you choose.) The Halibut is a white fish and had a nice fresh flavor to it. Next time I go, I may want to try the salmon or the tuna.

Well, if you're ever craving for fresh seafood in Orange County, Santa Monica Seafood is definitely the place to visit!

Santa Monica Seafood
154 E. 17th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Mon-Sat 9AM - 7PM
Sun 10AM -7PM


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