Yuen Lui Studio, a family-owned photography business specializing in individual and family portraits and wedding photography, creates visual heirlooms in a tradition of quality it has upheld since 1947. With several area studios available, each boasts a multitude of backdrop options for portraiture sessions, or photographers may take sessions outdoors to add natural scenery to the frame. Wedding and engagement shots come to life under the careful eyes of each photographer as they seize rare moments and trap them in frames to be displayed like trophies from a hunt. High-school, child, baby, and family portraits keep precious memories locked in time for clients, who can peruse an online gallery of their images after their session.
Clients rarely cross the threshold at Excellent Cleaners. Every day, the cleaners' fleet of yellow cars canvas their area picking up bags full of customers' clothing free of charge. They then refresh items and lift away stains using a waterless system, even hemming skirts and sewing on buttons at customer request. The next day, garments get loaded back onto the delivery car and returned to its owner, usually full of stories about their "spa day."
Wheel Fun Rentals corrals a steadfast herd of pedal-propelled steeds, which help unite each of its visitors with the oft-overlooked scenery of Oceanside. From the vantage point of a four-wheeled double surrey ($30/hour), up to six riders and two children in the front basket can enjoy the view along 2.5 miles of white sandy beaches, or across the 1,942-foot Oceanside Pier. Pier visitors can also mount a cruiser bike or tandem cycle for the entire day ($25) to explore Strand attractions such as the Oceanside Amphitheater, which hosts several musical events throughout the year, or the 1920s beachfront cottages, which are best when viewed while listening to the noise a Honus Wagner card makes when it's stuck in the spokes. Riders can also hop on a single surrey ($20/hour) or a scooter ($6/hour) to outrun squirrels or to explore the boutiques and eateries of the Oceanside Harbor Village. After a ride along Harbor Beach, riders can visit the Harbor lighthouse to celebrate a safe and well-prepared trip.
Oceana Laundry’s fleet of energy- and water-efficient machines spruces up grubby garments while conserving natural resources. Schlep laundry ($1.25/lb.) to Oceana’s counter, where a team of gussiers launders every frock in machines that consume up to 57% less water and electricity than conventional washers, allowing patrons to please Mother Nature without attending Smokey the Bear's piano recitals. A bank of 50 washers and more than 40 dryers allows staff to quickly turn around laundry loads and return them to their joyful owners. After a sudsy dip, clothes are dried, fluffed, and folded into origami reindeer for easy transport home.
Adding a globe-spanning spin on traditional Mexican presentation, Bull Taco turns cultural preconceptions sideways with a delectable selection of remixed street tacos, bulging burritos, and tasty tortas. Pavement pounders beat a path to locations in Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Oceanside, where the taco pendulum swings from traditional carne asada, chicken, and carnitas ($1.75 each) toward gourmet upgrades including duck confit ($2.50), abalone ($10), and foie gras ($10). Muzzle riotous stomach roosters with a sunrise selection from Bull Taco's all-day breakfast menu, with carnitas, bacon, and chorizo snugly snoozing through meaty dreams in the machaca burrito's ($7) tortilla sleeping bag.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, Inc., he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.