By Gustavo Arellano
By Aimee Murillo
By Matt Coker
By Vickie Chang
By Matt Coker
By Eric Hood
By Eric Hood
By Michelle Woo
What can you say about swimming? It’s the original summer sport and father and mother of all water sports. It’s great exercise. It’s unbelievably refreshing. It can be done in salt or fresh water, in oceans, lakes, rivers, backyard pools or even baby waders. If you want to swim, just head toward that big body of water where the sun sets every night. If you want freshwater, there’s Mission Viejo Lake and the Brea Plunge; and if you like saltwater but don’t like the beach, try Newport Dunes. And if you’re serious about swimming and competing, check out the Janet Evans Swim Center in Fullerton. Lessons are given, and you’re surrounded by some of the county’s top swimmers, members of the Fullerton Aquatics Sports Team. 801 W. Valencia Dr., Fullerton, (714) 773-5778; www.fastswimming.net.
Ain’t hard to find a tennis court in this county. Check out nearly any high-school or college campus or any county park, and chances are there’ll be a court open unless a team is practicing. But if you’ve got, say, a job, and you’re looking for night tennis, consider the eight courts at Carbon Canyon Regional Park. They’re open until 9 p.m., and the relatively remote location in the northwestern part of the county means they’re not as heavily used as others. If you’re looking to watch real tennis players in action, check out the Newport Beach Breakers, a professional team that works out of the Tennis Club in Newport Beach. The team, part of World Team Tennis, hosts seven matches this summer, as well as special appearances by John McEnroe, Lindsay Davenport and Maria Sharapova. Carbon Canyon Regional Park, 4242 Carbon Canyon Rd., Brea; www.ocparks.com. Newport Beach Breakers, (714) 352-6301; www.newportbeachbreakers.com.
Sure, there are plenty of places along the beach with volleyball nets, but sand volleyball is muy caliente on the feet and a bit tiring. And if you’re out of shape or you suck, you’re going to get laughed at by all the fitter, more-athletic people around you. An alternative to the very crowded—and very ego-deflating—beach is to bring a net and find one of the county parks that have permanent volleyball poles. While three are located right on the beach (Newport Harbor in Irvine, Sunset Beach and Capistrano Beach), the majority are inland. If you’re thinking midday, consider Laguna Niguel Regional Park, as it’s only a couple of miles from the ocean. Since all the county’s regional parks close at 9 p.m., you’ll have no problem practicing your sets and spikes in a temperature-friendly park once the sun starts setting. Our preferred choice: Carbon Canyon Regional Park, which rests on 141 acres and was once the community of Olinda. Unlike many parks, which are surrounded by housing developments, this one sits right next to 14,000-acre Carbon Canyon State Park. www.ocparks.com.
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