Best Of :: Sports & Recreation
People yap about Mile Square Park's 62 acres of undeniable beauty. That is why it's a popular spot for walking, jogging, golfing, basketball, softball, baseball, soccer, Frisbee tossing, kiting and picnicking. At a recent gun show, a pair of middle-aged white men told us they were stockpiling weapons and ammo because California is on the verge of a race war that will bring people hunting à la The Hunger Games. What would prompt such a belief? We didn't have to ask! Our fretting Caucasians volunteered the cause: The Kenyan commander in chief is plotting ways to permanently socialize the USA, confiscate guns, limit ammo, undermine Christianity, encourage Muslim terrorists and open the border for lazy, savage Mexican immigrants who will rob us of our public resources, destroy American values and—they really seethed about this one—vote only for Democrats. What does this have to do with Mile Square Park? In addition to the aforementioned activities, outdoor archery practice (no crossbows, please) is available for free, not counting the $5 weekend parking fee. See? You can outsmart Barack Obama and the Russians/Cubans who groomed him by honing your bow-and-arrow skills for the upcoming war before he imposes draconian federal restrictions on the size of your quiver.
It's not often you use the words bullets and Brea in the same sentence. But within this relatively sleepy suburb is the most bangin' firing range around. Orange County Indoor Shooting Range is a fully renovated and top-of-the-line establishment for all your firing needs, whether you're a beginner or Dirty Harry. Carrying a full stock of 62 types of gun rentals (ammo, too!), as well as various stages of training classes and group discounts (two people can shoot for two hours for just $50), this place is all about giving you more bang for your buck (you know we had to use that, right?).
Its mystique, ungodly smells and tiny Asian waitresses with boobs so inflated they should be falling into their drink trays make Hawaiian Gardens Casino special—in all the best ways. Also, there's pai gow poker, which yields greater odds of winning than traditional poker. Just keep an eye on your rearview mirror while driving home. Just sayin'.
Though it's not quite considered the boonies, this beloved patch of nature in the northern hills of Fullerton feels far away from the rush of cars, traffic and people—enough to plop down for lunch with the aid of a blanket. As the sun shines onto the shimmering lake, watch as wildlife chirps, scampers and swims all around you as you chomp down on some sandwiches and potato salad. Just don't feed the ducks; they'll never leave you alone.
This is about as close as you can get to the way surfing started—and in a less bro-tastic world—in OC. Located in a parking lot just to the north of the Seal Beach pier, M&M Surfing School isn't much more than a trailer parked in front of the sand, with boards on the side and a heap of wetsuits in all sizes. Run by Michael Pless and his son, Michael Jr., the school is licensed by the city and provides group and individual lessons for adults and kids. And the variety of breaks at the beach means that no matter what your skill level, there will be a wave with your name on it.
Get up early and devote a little more than an hour to walk from Hart Park to Grijalva Park. Round trip, it's 4.6 miles—the path is longer than that, but this is our favorite section—and you'll work up a sweat, get your daily exercise, and start your day amid the trail's peaceful, natural splendor. Well-maintained throughout the year, there are trees and greenery (when there's enough water), friendly squirrels and ducks (when there's enough water), and only a handful of joggers. During rainy season (when there's enough water), taking a walk before dusk with an umbrella, holding the hand of the one you love, the creek rushing beside you . . . there's little more romantic than this.