HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — While Huntington Beach is known as Surf City, USA, and has a rich surfing and skateboarding history, visitors to this seaside community could do a different type of gliding and skating by the beach this holiday season.
The Paséa Hotel & Spa and the City hope to bring a bit of winter wonderland to sunny and warm Orange County.
The Paséa Hotel & Spa has once again set up its popular 5,100 square foot outdoor ice skating rink that features a 45-foot tall decorated artificial Christmas tree, fire pits, a disc jockey and serene views of the Pacific Ocean.
"You can't get better than this," said Kelsey Prince, the marketing director at the Paséa Hotel, as she watched ice skaters glide along the ice as Christmas music played in the background.
Meanwhile, last week, Huntington Beach city officials unveiled a new temporary ice rink in the Pier Plaza area of the Huntington Beach Pier.
"Surf City Winter Wonderland is a great way to reimagine the holidays in Surf City and make new memories with your family," said Mayor Kim Carr in a news release. "In Huntington Beach, we are always looking for new ways to activate our downtown and provide family-friendly programming for our residents and visitors."
With the holiday season in full swing, Huntington Beach showcases what makes Southern California unique and appealing during the winter.
While other parts of the country are experiencing their local weather temperature dropping, Orange County has bright skies, warm weather, and people sunbathing at the beach in December.
City officials said that placing an ice skating rink next to the beach is like bringing together the best of both worlds.
Huntington Beach officials teamed up with Ice-America to operate the ice skating rink at the Pier Plaza. It's part of the city's Surf City Winter Wonderland month-long event.
The city will host several family-friendly themed nights and live music throughout the month. The rink is open daily from now to Jan. 2. Tickets range from $13.50 to $20. Skates are available for rent.
The Paséa Hotel is also hosting several theme nights from date night, country night to the Queen of Christmas — Mariah Carey. A DJ will play during the weekends and certain nights during the week. Santa Claus comes on Wednesday.
Prince said more than 12,000 people visited the hotel's ice rink last year. This year, she said, more than 2,000 people have bought tickets. Paséa's ice rink runs through Jan. 2. The price starts at $35 for 90 minutes, including skate rentals.
As Prince looked out at the ice skaters gliding across the ice rink, she couldn't help but smile at the scene. The sun is out. The beach and the ocean are right across the street. People are taking pictures next to a large decorated Christmas tree.
It's hard to beat this kind of scene during the winter.
"It's about 73 or 75 degrees, and you're outside ice skating," said Prince. "You're on the second story, so you have a bird's-eye view of the coast. It's sunny, and you can still skate out here. It's an awesome backdrop."