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Have a fun and active day around hidden El Segundo
Second City Bistro is extraordinary when it comes to fabulous wine and scrumptious food. Their motto "American flair with flair" says it all. This Zagat reviewed restaurant offers those with a discriminating palate the best place, in and around town, to sample fabulous four star dining.
The El Segundo Beach is a hidden treasure, it's uncrowded, offers easy parking, and the view on a clear day stretches from Santa Monica and Malibu to the North, to Palos Verdes on the South end.
You can sit on the sand and watch the planes take off from LAX just north of the beach, or you can hit the paved trails along the sand that stretch for miles longer than I can bike, skate or jog.
Take a picnic or head back into downtown for a great meal (less than a mile away). There are volleyball courts and a jetty that the kids love to play on, but the biggest draws are the moderate waves that are so much fun to splash in. The beach is staffed with lifeguards during the summer months, but during the winter months you need to keep a close eye on the kids (and the water is a little cool anyway).
This is the "Cheers" of our town. When we walk in, the owners or bar staff begin pouring our drinks, before we even start our "how ya doin's". This is the place to have a beer with the mayor, local business owners, famous athletes, and the rest of the gang. Families with kids, and singles on the look out, are all welcome. This is a place for great priced drinks, and delicious food. Nothing on the menu is over $6.95, so it's easy on your wallet, a definite bargain as we love their menu. Their fresh cut potato chips are a must order, even if you're only in for a beer, which by the way is a steal, a 32 ounce Schooner of draft beer is only $4.50. With all of the wonderful people, friendly atmosphere and hometown charm (this is a historical building, make sure to check out the old photos on the wall), this is a place you can't miss, even if you're only in town between flights.
The Purple Orchid is a fun, Tiki themed, bar with a stage for small bands. We love to hang out here in the evenings with friends for real drinks. Most of our favorite places are beer and wine licensed, and don't have the full alcohol license. The owners are fun and very involved in the local community, you can usually spot Dave and Rebecca dressed in a fun purple outfit with accessories. In fact, if you happen to notice everyone is dressed up, you've probably walked into one of their famous themed parties. They just had a trucker night, so if you walk into the Orchid and feel out of place either a surf band is playing or there is a theme party going on. Don't worry about a costume, just grab a flaming volcano and drink up, you'll blend in rather quickly. Mention that you are visiting and the bar staff will make sure you feel welcome.
You probably came here on an airplane if you are staying in town. LAX is the fifth busiest airport in the world, and it's in our backyard (quite literally). So what do you do besides soundproof your house when you live this close to the airport? You build a deck and make a hobby out of viewing those airplanes; that's just what our city has done.
If you haven't been outside to witness airplanes take off from an unobstructed and clear view, then this is the place to sit back with a cappuccino and do so. Benches, tables, and viewing binoculars are available at this hillside deck. Bring some checkers or chess pieces if you want to hang out awhile, as the tables have checkerboards built in them. If you're a real enthusiast, bring your camera and a monster telephoto lens to fit in with the other spectators.
To get there: take Main Street North from the city center of Main and Grand. Turn right on Imperial Avenue, which is a little side street BEFORE you get to Imperial Avenue (the big highway). You'll go up a small hill, and the viewing deck will be right on your left hand side... you can't miss it unless there are a bunch of trucks parked on the side of the road.
In our two-mile by two-mile downtown community, we are focused on families. You'll see kids of all ages jogging, riding bikes, and skateboarding. It's so safe here that there are kids everywhere, don't be surprised if people take a close look at you because they don't know you... they just want to keep the kids safe. Let the locals know you came by for a visit and you'll find yourself with new friends.
Obviously, with a focus on family we have phenomenal parks; we have over 12 parks, including a skate park and a dog park. The three largest parks are Recreation Park, located on Pine (one block South of Mariposa); Eucalyptus (two blocks east of Main); and Library Park, across the street from the High School on Main Street and Mariposa. If you want to go park-hopping, or even swim in our large indoor pool, I'd recommend going online to our city website at www.elsegundo.org and downloading the parks and recreation brochure. It lists all the events around town, has a great park map, and is full of fun ideas to do with kids.