As soon as you can: Set off south on the 405 for about an hour to this cozy city of roughly 25,000 people. For a low-key, comfy place to rest your head, check into the Pacific Inn (600 Marina Drive), just blocks from Main Street and the beach. They serve a complimentary breakfast, have a pool and Jacuzzi and are situated on a block of youthful co-eds who party ’til dawn. If you’re looking for something a bit more formal (just a tad), there’s the Hampton Inn & Suites (2401 Seal Beach Blvd.), which offers a welcoming lounge with a big screen TV.
7 p.m. Beachwood BBQ (131 1/2 Main St.) is one of the cutest and tastiest spots on Main Street. While the ribs are king, its brisket and pulled pork sandwich on a pretzel bun are also winners. Order a few mouth-watering sides, like bleu cheese laced grits or sour cherry-jalapeno cornbread. Wash it all down with microbrews on tap; chef/owner Gabriel Gordon handpicks the rotating selection each week.
7:15 a.m. Stop by Bogart’s Coffee House (905 Ocean Ave.) for a Decaf Chai or Caffe Americano. You’ll be able to surf so much better!
7:45 a.m. Arrive at Seal Beach Pier and look for the M&M Surfing School (surfingschool.com) van. Here, Michael Pless, Sr. and his son, Michael Jr. await you. Get ready for one of the coolest adventures of your life. The Michaels and their surf-obsessed assistants show you how to paddle, pop up and ride, plus hanging with their crew is the perfect way to soak in authentic surfer culture: the passion and the playfulness.
11:30 a.m. After ripping curl, stuff your belly at O’Malley’s (140 Main St.). They’ve got everything from banana pancakes to a Western Burger with bacon and barbecue sauce. Don’t miss their outdoor back patio!
2 p.m. Rent a bike from Main Street Cyclery (317 Main St., but contact the Pacific Inn for reservations). Pick up Cycling Orange County by Don & Sharron Brundige for route ideas.
6 p.m. Dining at Mahe (140 Pacific Coast Highway) is an all night affair. The sushi and rolls are amazingly fresh and bursting with flavor. Two highlights are the baked mussels and a veggie roll like none you’ve ever tasted. After your meal, there’s live music and a packed bar in the back.
10 a.m. Have a breakfast of champions at “Kinda” Lahaina Broiler (901 Ocean Ave.). All of the omelets are delicious – and so are the sides of potatoes – but you can’t go wrong with the Blueberries and Sour Cream French Toast either.
1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sign up for the “Sunday Sippers” coastline wine tasting tour. One Sunday out of every month the Big Red Bus (like the ones in London) loads up a group of onophiles and novices and shuttles the jolly group around to four wine bars for tastings of a specific region. The Big Red Bus is also available for private rentals (bigredbus.com). The next “Sunday Sippers” is scheduled for Oct. 12.
The Seal Beach Japan America Kite Festival will take place Oct. 5 at the Seal Beach Pier.