Credit: Igloo
Credit: Igloo

9 Ways to Have a Totally Rad, Retro Summer

It’s Time for a Blast to the Past

Summer is all about backyard barbecues, beach days and bonfires. Everyone remembers that familiar fuzzy feeling growing up when the final school bell of the year rings and it’s officially summertime. It’s coming in hot this year, and we are looking forward to SoCal’s signature season with a funky fresh itinerary inspired by our favorite decade—the ‘90s. Rewind with us so you can press play on an epic summer! Think we’d ever steer you wrong? As if! We Tamagotchu covered.  Retro Summer Coolers


Keep It Kool

Credit: Igloo

Igloo’s vintage KoolTunes Playmate Cooler got a revamp just in time for summer! “We launched this product in 1989. It was a little more OG analog back then with a plug for a CD and cassette player, so we improved it to include a Bluetooth speaker and modernized the whole thing and made it sleek,” says Jake Pollgreen, Igloo’s Senior Manager of Marketing Communications. “It’s the perfect summertime cooler for the beach, the mountains, picnics, the park, the lake—anything!”

For the last 75 years, Igloo has been a summer staple, and their products have proven to stand the test of time. Their original Playmate Cooler, known as “America’s Lunch Box,” is still their best-seller to this day. “Everyone rides the retro trend, but for us, it’s somewhere we’ve already been,” explains Pollgreen. And speaking of retro, their Retro Party Pack is set to release on May 31! With bright-colored coolers and funky fanny packs, you can expect Igloo to be the life of the party this summer season.

Local Insight: 2022 marks Igloo’s 75th anniversary of delivering coolness to the world!

Retro Summer Coolers

Good Vibrations

Channel your inner Team Pup N’ Suds and dust off those rollerblades that are buried under a pile of “Now That’s What I Call Music!” CDs in your garage. You are on the Brink! of greatness. Take to the boardwalk in your bedazzled best; just don’t forget your Walkman, so you can blast “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on repeat. That fanny pack will come in handy when you need to dig out your ID for an Apres Sea at Dory Deli.

90s-Inspired Summer


Time to throw on your favorite boy-band songs, bust out that neon windbreaker and take to the Hi-C, er, seas. Plan a ‘90s-themed bay cruise with Vision Electric Boats filled with denim, Doc Martens…and more denim. Go ahead and re-enact that scene from Titanic, girl. You may not have room to pull off The Running Man, so when Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” comes on, the good old-fashioned cabbage patch will have to do. Swing by Billy’s for a Mai Tai to go and you’ll be feeling like the Fresh Prince of Bay Air in no time.



Steal My Sunshine 

Soak up the sun at one of Orange County’s pristine parks like Irvine Terrace or Cliff Drive Park. Grab a kite and some old-school frozen treats to keep you cool while you overlook the California coast. We’re talkin’ Flintstones Push Ups, Dippin’ Dots and some patriotic MDW Firecracker popsicles. Have your boombox handy and bump your favorite mixed tape. I don’t think you’re ready for these jellies.

Retro Summer Coolers

Ice, Ice (Cream) Baby

Credit: Nandaro / Wikimedia

Kelis might’ve brought her milkshake to the yard in the 2000s but beachgoers have been able to get this diner delicacy at Ruby’s Diner on the Balboa Pier for decades. These milkshakes are nostalgia in a straw. Get ready to get milk drunk and prank call your middle school crush from your parents’ landline. Want to really experience a blast from the past? Walk across the street to the Balboa Fun Zone for a little post-frappe fun.


Hey Now, You’re a Mall Star

Credit: Igloo

Get in, loser—we’re going shopping! Summertime means major sales and savings, so it’s time to hit the mall. LFO might’ve liked girls that wear Abercrombie & Fitch but there’s way more out there now beyond the likes of Limited Too and Wet Seal. From casual tees paired with high-rise jeans and retro Keds to neon track shorts, find what suits your ‘90s vibe.  

Retro Summer Coolers

Dazed And Confused

Flaming Dr. Pepper shots anyone? It’s time to get down, get down and get your crawl on with a ‘90s-inspired bar hop. Lace up those Reebok pumps, slick back that pony with a scrunchie and check your mood ring, which will read “READY TO DRINK!” Boy meets world? More like boy meets bar. The Balboa Peninsula has plenty of watering holes that are a hop, Skip-it and a jump away from each other like Malarky’s, Helmsman, Mutt Lynch’s, Chihuahua Cerveza and Blue Beet.


Gonna Make You Sweat

After that bar crawl, you’ll probably need to sweat, baby, sweat—Richard Simmons-style! Good thing bike shorts and spandex made a comeback because an outdoor spin class at MOXI3 is just what the doctor ordered. Their silent disco-style classes allow you to rock out like Romy and Michele at their high school reunion. You can even match your Conair quick wrap to your leggings when you buy them from funky-fresh workout brand Goldsheep.

Retro Summer Coolers

Let’s Go, Girls

Credit: Pasea Hotel & Spa

Plan a girls weekend away at Pasea Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach to relive all of your ‘90s Home Alone fantasies. Get ready to play some M.A.S.H. and drool over that Mark Wahlberg Calvin Klein ad you hid under your bed when you were a kid. Get wet n’ wild by the pool during the day, and cozy up in their luxe rooms at night with some ‘90s classic films like Notting Hill, She’s All That or Cruel Intentions. Massage trains are optional. 

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