Brea – A City that is Organized and Knows How to Do It Right
Brea. Wow, what can we say about Brea? A city that has done a remarkable job of creating a place that truly has it all. Once a small city with a high school and few shops now is a place people come from all over America and settle down.
Shops, Dining, Sports and Recreational Parks, Pride-of-ownership neighborhoods, location.
Brea Shopping, Stores, Malls
Shops: Brea has slowly and steadily been adding new shopping centers with some really high profile businesses. The centers are modern and are jammed packed with consumers at almost all hours of the day. Most recently, the center at La Floresta (pictured above) at the corner of Imperial Highway and Valencia Ave. This master planned community is comprised of a bit of everything – “regular” single family modern homes, condo complexes, 55 and Over Condo Complex, shopping center with restaurants. One could live in the neighborhood and with Whole Foods, never have to leave. Hungry for an amazing hamburger and a pint of beer? Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern. Need to get a quick light bite? Slapfish is amazing. Need organic ingredients for your home-cooked meal tonight? Whole Foods. She needs to get ready for a night on the town? Pretty Plum Sugar and Amazing Lash. Need to relax and center yourself? CorePower Yoga. The center even has a massive lounge area with fire area and “Oasis” the $2.5 Million art piece that is a metaphoric reference to Brea’s historic past.
Probably the most impressive attraction of Brea would be the Downtown Brea Promenade. This bustling “town square” center is lined with shops of all kinds, 2 huge movie theaters, a Sushi Restaurant, Bruxie’s (where they put almost everything on waffles), Farrell’s Ice Cream for kids (and adults’) birthdays. Farrell’s is like a mini Disneyland, complete with 1920s-dressed employees banging drums and singing very loudly to make your child’s birthday a truly memorable event. (Try “the Zoo,” a monster-sized trough of ice cream with toppings for everyone to share). The Promenade is one of the only areas in Northeast Orange County where you can actually stay past midnight. There’s an Improv to laugh your cares away while enjoying a meal and beverage. Once in a while you’ll see the street closed off to vehicles for the Farmer’s Market where locally-grown organic fruits and vegetables and even chocolates are sold right on the street, sometimes with live music for a festive atmosphere.
A Relatively New Centre was given a major face-lift a few years ago. At the corner of Imperial Highway and Associated you will find the “Mother’s Market” Center which has some of the best sit down and take-to-go restaurants in Orange County – Lucille’s, Chipotle, California Fish Grill, Chik-fil-a, Panera Bread. As well as a high-end meat market – the Butchery. Mama needs new shoes? DSW has some of the best around at great prices. Need an adult beverage for friends coming over? Total Wine. An old movie theater still sits in the back of the center with competitive pricing for shows. A new ice creamery opened up recently so you pretty much have it all.
The Brea Mall has been around for 40+ years. As a youth I remember this place to go to hang out, shop, and get away. Over the decades it has transformed, evolved into a modern indoor work of art with fascinating architecture, lighting, sweet aromatic smells and tons of shops. Everything from A to Z (Abercrombie & Fitch to Zumiez) Inside there is a massive dining area for fast food take-and-eat. Chipotle, Hot Dog On A Stick, Blaze Pizza, and more. The Mall has a built-in Restaurant – Red Robin’s. Outside the Mall, you’ll find BJ’s Restaurant Brewery, Cheesecake Factory, Red Lobster and Olive Garden.
Speaking of restaurants, those who have less fortunate 1st world problems can venture a few miles from Placentia, Yorba Linda, Fullerton and La Habra, to partake of some of the finest dining Orange County has to offer – TAPS Fish House and the Yard House. Looking for some quick eats in a great atmosphere to watch the game? Buffalo Wild Wings. Fido goes everywhere you go? Lazy Dog Restaurant that actually allows dogs. These are all located either near the Brea Promenade or right outside the Brea Mall. Don’t forget a couple other restaurants that wanted to be close to the action – Islands for awesome Burgers and Fries (great family restaurant) and Claim Jumper where you can get the massive “Mother Lode” chocolate cake.
Brea Sports and Recreation
The Brea Sports Complex at Birch and Valencia has plenty of space for organized sports and adult night organized sports. Drive down Birch towards Valencia and look left…especially weeknights, there will be a youth soccer team or an adult men’s soccer team out to relieve some stress.
The Olinda Ranch area now has a Dog Park – Wildcatters Dog Park which works great for people who own pets in apartments or condos and need to give them some wide open space to run around.
How good are Brea’s schools? Some of the best in Orange County. Brea has 6 Elementary schools here listed with greatschools.org 1 out of 10 rating to the right: Mariposa Elementary (9), Olinda Elementary (9), Brea Country Hills Elementary (9), Fanning Elementary (9), Arrovista Elementary (8) and Laurel Elementary (7). There is only one Middle School – Brea Junior High (9). And only one high school, Brea-Olinda High School (10) but both of these are phenomenal schools with extremely high ratings. Feel free to check other websites for ratings – school-ratings.com has the Junior High and High School at a score of 9, but this site seems to use very different criteria for determining a school’s rating. School-ratings shows Olinda Elementary off the charts with API Score of 934! Mariposa has API of 912 and Country Hills 896. Brea Junior High has API of 888 and Brea-Olinda High has API of 846. To give you an idea, most districts are lucky to have one or two schools crack into the 800s so this is quite impressive for the Brea Olinda District as a whole.
Brea Real Estate and Homes for Sale
Brea home prices remain steady and consistent and, due to the area, and above-mentioned reasons (Shopping, Restaurants, Schools, Parks and Recreation) homes sell very very well in Brea and there is always a strong demand. Brea Realtors are a great source for expert opinions on neighborhoods, locations close to schools, and pricing. Brea Realtor Nic Petrossi is always there for your questions and to offer advice.