Best Park - 2008
Huntington Beach Central Park
This expanse may not have the acreage or wildlife population to compete with some of Orange County's larger rural parks, but for a suburban oasis, it has no competitors. Sure, you could make the drive out to some of the county's unspoiled wildernesses to feel like you're away from the grind, but what if you've only got a couple of hours? Huntington Beach's Central Park offers the beautiful, expansive Shipley Nature Center, a tranquil library, an equestrian center, a dog park, a disc-golf course, a playhouse, two restaurants (for now—say it ain't so, Alice!), Lake Huntington, an amphitheater, an adventure playground, a par course, playgrounds, picnic tables and barbecue grills. Pretty much everything one could want in a park, plunked down on 356 acres in the middle of Huntington Beach.