Originally called Huntington Center, Bella Terra has been around since 1965. In 2010, it was converted to mixed-use retail and apartments. Whether you're considering a residence or just visiting, invariably, one question comes to mind.
Answer: it depends on your lifestyle and interests. There's plenty of options nearby to relax. Here's a few to consider.
1. GLOWZONE. Their tagline is family challenge arena. Glow in the dark is the theme here. Recently opened this year, it features bowling, ninja course, bazooka ball, glow 8 hole mini golf, and arcade.
Admission is for Adults ages 5 and up. Groups of 10 or more are recommended to make reservations. Reviewers mention injuries from the obstacle course so use caution.
2. Hula Girls Shave Ice. Cost: $3.50 for small, $4.50 for large. Something different is always good and this is not a place you'd expect to find. A family owned business since 2004, they serve authentic Hawaiian-style shave ice flavored with house made fruit syrups.
There's no artificial preservatives or high fructose corn syrups. Originated in Japan, it made its way to Hawaii where it was popularized. There's often a misconception that it's a snow cone. It's not. Snow cones are crushed and crunchy. Think fluffy and very fine.
16556 Bolsa Chica. Tel: (949) 295-0292. Closed Mondays. Hours 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Friday, Saturdays 12–10 PM. Sunday 12–8 PM.
3. Play A round of Golf at Mile Square. Rates from $38. There's two 18 hole courses, a clubhouse, practice greens, driving range (non-grass) and a banquet facility of 6,100 square feet.
This is not a difficult course to play as it's flat by most standards. It is maintained well and one of the best public courses in the area. 10401 Warner Ave, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 Reservations: 714-968-4556.
NOTE: No metal or ceramic spikes allowed.
4. Explore Huntington Harbor With a Duffy boat. As one of the more affordable things to do near Bella Terra, there a few options of getting out on the water. You can also rent stand-up paddle boards and kayaks. It's perfect for some outdoor fitness and recreation.
For cooler weather, a duffy might be preferred. They can provide a cooler for drinks. Great way to relax on the weekend. Parking is free along residential streets and fairly easy to obtain weekdays. Huntington Harbor Boat Rentals 16732 Pacific Coast Hwy, Sunset Beach, CA. Tel: (562) 592-7877.
5. Take Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lessons from a Pro! Rocky McKinnon, professional surfer and board designer will teach you surfing or how to stand up paddle board (SUP).
Need a new surf board? He personally shapes and manufactures his own in a variety of sizes. There's no middleman. Boards are under $500 with designs suited for different styles. Instruction is by appointment only based on your schedule. 16787 Beach Blvd. Tel: (714) 377-6101.
6. Norma Gibbs Butterfly Park. Run by the Huntington Beach Tree Society, it's a park that contains a butterfly grove including the monarch.
Never heard of it?
Time to widen the palate. The is a low key date spot idea to chill out or a place to go with kids. There's picnic tables, benches, and grass areas.
This place has been completely restored with flower beds and mosaic. Dogs are allowed but fido must be on a leash. During migrating season, there are over 200 birds until December 15th. Parking is easiest in the morning. There's an educational program for group tours. 16641 Graham Street. Park curfew 10:00 pm to 5:00 am.
7. Get Air Trampoline Park. For ideas with kids, the consensus is that it's a really fun place. Reviewers note it does get hot in here which should be expected due the number of people.
They also offers dodgeball, foam pit, kiddie court, slam ball, and massage chairs. They host birthdays and work parties. Cost: $14 for 1 hour, $24 for 2 hours. They do have weekend packages. Kids under 2 jump free with paying adult.
Monday to Thursday – Noon to 9 PM
Friday – Noon to 10 PM
Saturday – 10 AM to 10 PM
Sunday – 10 AM to 8 PM
8. Visit Common Ground Bike Shop. The best way to explore an area is by bike. No traffic or parking hassles. Need a new ride or a tuneup? They're a full service bike store; sales, service, repair, and bike parts. If you're looking for local bike shops near Bella Terra, this one to consider. Mostly 80s, 90s, and current lines. New & Used. 5192 Bolsa Ave, Tel: (714) 893-3706. Hours 9 to 6pm.