Chris Rowe has been a firefighter for 20 years and has been a captain for the Long Beach Fire Department for the past six. A native of Orange County, Chris and his wife and two children currently reside in Rossmoor. Here is his list of what makes Orange County unlike any other:
Walt's Wharf. "The best seafood restaurant in OC. Try the grilled artichoke and calamari. Excellent wine selection as well." 201 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 598-4433.
Salt Creek Beach."The beach is long with plenty of sand. There are small tide pools on the south end for kids to explore. Plenty of parking, and the grassy park offers a nice rest or picnic spot." 33333 S. Coast Hwy., Dana Point, (949) 923-2280.
The Coach House. "Intimate place to enjoy all genres of music, both up-and-coming bands as well as old faithfuls like Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men." 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 496-9366.
Zubies Dry Dock."Kid-friendly restaurant with generous portions from the menu, generous pours from the bar and surprisingly reasonable prices." 9059 Adams Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 963-6362.
Orange County Swap Meet."Fun to stroll and shop; sometimes buy stuff you need and sometimes buy stuff you could live without, but it's just fun to have." Orange County Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, (949) 723-6616. Every Sat.-Sun., 7 a.m.-4 p.m. $2; children 12 and under, free.
Education."I think OC offers the finest public schools around. Higher-education opportunities are many and varied, from quality community colleges to UC Irvine and private schools like Chapman University." www.occ.edu; www.uci.edu; www.chapman.edu.
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Sawdust Art Festival."The artisan community is wonderful. The Sawdust Festival offers many fine works on display and for purchase from artists throughout the county." 935 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-3030.
O'Neill Park."Great for mountain biking." 30892 Trabuco Canyon Rd., Trabuco Canyon, (949) 923-2260.
Anaheim Ducks. "Fantastic!" www.mightyducks.com.
Neighborhoods."We could not imagine living anywhere else. Block parties and pool parties provide the opportunity for neighbors to get together and visit, creating a greater sense of community. The kids can play in a safe and supervised environment."