Nestled between California’s Huntington and Newport Beaches, Seal Beach is a laid-back waterfront city where families go to enjoy the sun and surf. Look forward to partaking in activities for kids of all ages such as spotting sea life on the pier, hiking nature parks, and taking surf lessons. Book a stay at a Seal Beach vacation rental today. Check out the top nine things to do with kids during your next Seal Beach vacation.

1. Spot Dolphins and Seals From the Pier

The Seal Beach pier is a must-visit for families with kids young and old, offering breathtaking views of the Pacific shoreline. Keep an eye out for seals and sea lions playing in the wake, and watch the horizon to see pods of dolphins or the spouts of migrating whales. If you have younger kids, stop by the small playground near the pier’s entrance. The pier also hosts tons of family-friendly events throughout the year, such as summer concerts in the evening and monthly astronomy nights.

2. Kick Back to the Beach

Take a short walk from your vacation rental down to the sandy shoreline to set up your recliners and beach umbrellas for a day under the sun. Younger kids love playing with float toys or boogie boards in the surf, building sandcastles, or just watching the kite surfers and windsurfers. After your day at the beach, get a few ice cream cones or a taco at one of the ice cream shops and snack bars tucked along the beach.

3. Learn How to Surf

Visiting Seal Beach with older kids? Give them the true Southern California experience with a few lessons at one of the beach-side surf schools. Kids can learn the basics with an instructor before taking a rented surf board out onto the water and developing their surfing skills. North of the pier, Seal Beach features areas with smaller waves – a great spot for new surfers to get their feet wet.

4. Hike Gum Grove Park

Hugging what remains of Los Cerritos Wetlands, this small nature park offers groomed flatland trails ideal for all ages. Keep an eye out for salt marsh birds and wildflowers before enjoying a relaxing picnic in the shade of the eucalyptus trees. You might even catch a glimpse of some coyotes. Traveling with your pooch? Gum Grove Park is a dog-friendly area, though you should keep your pet on a leash. There are no restroom facilities, so use the bathroom at your vacation rental before you go.

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5. Visit the Red Car Museum

On your way to the beach, make a stop at this little museum, where your kids can explore an authentic Pacific Electric tower that was built in 1925 before finding its final home in Seal Beach. Watch a video that recreates the feeling of riding the train car when it was in operation in the early 20th century. You can also view memorabilia, such as old games, Native American artifacts, and tickets and hats from train rides of long ago.

6. Explore the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge

At this park, spanning more than 900 acres of saltwater marsh, you can see crabs, sharks, rays, sea stars, and tube worms, as well as a variety of wetland birds, including the rare California least tern. You may even spot a green sea turtle in the calm waters. Tours are held on the last Saturday of every month, but you can stop by any day to view the refuge from the observation deck and explore the visitor center. Get a checklist of local birds from the visitors center before heading into the refuge or the observation deck.

7. Bike the San Gabriel River Trail

Kids of all ages are sure to enjoy a relaxing bike ride along this paved bike trail that hugs the river and the beach. Pick up a few bikes at a bike rental shop, and enjoy a ride while looking for turtles and sea lions in the water. Although the trail extends 28 miles into the San Gabriel Mountains, the Seal Beach portion is a local favorite for its ocean views.

8. Play a Game of Beach Volleyball

Whether you want to use one of the nets on the beach, bring your own net from your vacation rental, or use the free nets at Edison Park, there are plenty of places to enjoy an exciting game of volleyball with your older kids. If you forgot to bring a ball, you can always rent one.

9. Shop and Dine on Main Street

When the sun starts to set at the end of your day at Seal Beach, pack up your beach supplies and head to Main Street to shop and grab a bite to eat before heading back to your vacation rental. Taco shops, cafes, and beach-side grills on Main Street welcome hungry beach-goers of all ages. Stop by California Seashell to let your little ones pick out some souvenir shells, and check out Up Up and Away to buy a kite to enjoy on the beach or pick up some games and toys that your kids can play with back at your Seal Beach vacation rental.

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