The Los Angeles and Orange County regions of Southern California are many things: beautiful with enviable climates, laid-back due to the countless lazy beach communities, and buzzing with electricity due to the “industry” (movie-making, that is). They are also vast. To many visitors’ dismay, there simply isn’t enough time to see all the major sites.
Or is there? Are you a visitor with limited time to see all the major areas of Los Angeles and Orange County? Maybe a resident looking for a unique perspective of your home? A kid-at-heart who loves a little thrill? Or maybe just a romantic hoping to surprise your significant other with something special? No worries. With this perfect evening, you can do it all.
Begin your experience at the Summit House in Fullerton. As you drive up the hill, you’ll approach what appears to be a Tudor-style mansion, very unique for this area. Once you enter, you’ll feel the stress begin to melt away as you take in the warm surroundings – complete with roaring fire. Have a seat in the Tavern and enjoy the incredible views of Orange County. Order a signature martini or a glass of wine along with the baked brie appetizer – served with Granny Smith apples and an apple cider butter sauce. Delicious! Sit back and unwind in the quaint space as the piano player soothes your soul.
If you can peel yourself off the seat after a drink or two, head next to the Fullerton Municipal Airport. You’re in for a treat as you embark on a Hess Aviation Sunset Flight. Once you arrive at the airport, you’ll be whisked through the small lobby into the lot where the planes are parked – no security lines here! The planes used for these tours are comfortable and well-maintained with full pre-flight inspections conducted prior to guest arrivals, so all there is left to do once you arrive is board the plane. After buckling in, you will be outfitted with aviation headsets in order to converse with each other and listen in on tower communications during the flight.
As the plane is steered towards the runway, Garrett Hess, your pilot, will go over your customized route and if interested, you will be able to navigate the plane off the ground yourself! Once aloft, the pilot will continue to narrate to you and your guests throughout the flight, pointing out areas of interest and photo opportunities so that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Do you have an adventurous streak? If so, take advantage of the opportunity to take over the controls and test your wings – maybe even try some turns and dips during the tour! If you’d prefer to keep the flying to the experts – no problem. Just take it all in.
Sunset flights take place during that perfect point in the day – the time at which the sun has just begun to dip below the horizon and the world is tinted with a golden glow. Use this opportunity to be creative! If you’ve treated a significant other, bring aboard a bottle of champagne and maybe some strawberries to enjoy during the flight. Don’t forget your camera as you’ll see some amazing sights – the downtown Los Angeles skyline, the San Fernando Valley, the South Bay cliffs jutting over the Pacific, etc. Maybe even your own home if you’d like to take a little detour! Ask questions and learn a bit about the art of flight – Garrett is more than happy to share.
As you land, you’ll marvel at how fast the time flew (literally!) and in the experience itself. Don’t let the evening end here! You’ve probably worked up an appetite, and Fullerton boasts some outstanding restaurants.
Check out The Cellar. This extravagant French restaurant is perfect for a special occasion. Located under one of Fullerton’s historic buildings, you will feel as if you’ve entered a different time and place as you descend down a dim stairway into “the cellar.” Lanterns and chandeliers light the cozy room bathed in deep reds, browns, velvet, and dark wood. Order a bottle of wine from their award-winning list. Want to experiment? Try ostrich filet or pheasant breast. Looking for more traditional fare? Then stick with their delectable scallops or lamb. Whatever you do, save room for the incredible Grand Marnier Souffle – you won’t regret it!
As the evening draws to an end, you’ll begin to realize just how much you’ve accomplished in the past few hours. You’ve indulged your appetite for adventure in experiencing a custom tour of the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Perhaps you’ve surprised a significant other or a few out-of-town visitors. You’ve enjoyed a drink in a Tudor mansion on a hill, and then ended with dinner in a French cellar. And most of all, you’ve now got the memories of another perfect day in Southern California.
What & Where:
The Summit House Tavern (2000 E. Bastanchury Rd., Fullerton; 714-671-4111)
Hess Aviation (714-469-4264 or Gert99@gmail.com)
Fullerton Municipal Airport (4100 W. Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton)
The Cellar Restaurant (305 N. Harbor Blvd; Fullerton; 714-525-5682)
Faye Nagy is a certified Project Manager (PMP) for a large financial services firm in downtown Los Angeles. She spends her spare time reading, writing, running, sampling wine/cuisine, and traveling as much as possible. When not traveling, she is either planning her next trip or building itineraries for friends and family. Faye can be reached at Faye0622@roadrunner.com