Many of southern California’s most popular tourist destinations are located in Orange County. Here are just a few of the many exciting places to go and things to do in our community.
Many of our whale watching customers are also enthusiasts of the outdoors, and enjoy hiking or the relaxing at the beach. Orange County has plenty of both! Newport Beach itself is a very long and clean stretch of sand, about 2 miles in length. Because it’s so spread out, you can find your own spot to yourself. Further south, Crystal Cove State Park provides a little more scenery with its bluff tops and rocky shores. The Park is also a great place for hiking, and offers numerous trails. Visit this page for more information: http://www.crystalcovestatepark.org/hiking/
Laguna Beach is probably the crown jewel of the Orange County coast, with many coves and beautiful rock formations. The beaches here are smaller, but they are surrounded by clear blue water and amazing kelp forests. Crescent Bay and Shaw’s Cove in North Laguna Beach are local favorites, while Victoria Beach and 1,000 Steps are recommend in South Laguna.
If you want to do some real hiking, the interior of Orange County connects with the Cleveland National Forest in the Santa Ana Mountains. Santiago Peak is the highest spot in OC, reaching over 5,500 feet in elevation. Be prepared for a challenging 16 mile round trip when accessed via the Holy Jim Trailhead off Trabuco Canyon Road. Or you may simply enjoy short hikes to two waterfalls in the area, Falls Canyon or Holy Jim Falls.
For more ideas and details on enjoying OC’s Great Outdoors, visit http://www.orangecountyoutdoors.com/
Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure theme parks attract millions of visitors every year, and for good reason. The adjacent Downtown Disney promenade offers additional shopping and dining opportunities. Knott’s Berry Farm has rides, shows and attractions for the whole family in five themed areas. Legoland features life-size Lego models made from tens of millions of Lego bricks, as well as a water park.
Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play their home games at Angel Stadium. The Anaheim Ducks NHL hockey team are based at the Honda Center. The Del Mar Racetrack hosts many of the world’s top thoroughbreds during its annual meet. If you’d rather play than watch, Orange County offers several outstanding golf courses, as well as sailing, surfing and other water sports on the Pacific Ocean.
The San Diego Zoo is one of the finest zoos in the world. Mission San Juan Capistrano is famous for the annual swallow migration every March, but it is a beautiful landmark and museum worth visiting year round.
Fashion Island in Newport Beach features high-end shops along the Pacific coast in a beautiful outdoor shopping center. The South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa is the largest mall on the west coast, with more than 250 retailers.
From fast food to five star gourmet experiences, there are restaurants in Orange County to suit every taste and budget. Among the most popular are the fish and chips at scenic San Clemente Pier, the Mexican cuisine at Javier’s In Crystal Cove, al fresco dining at Laguna Beach’s Beachcomber Café, acclaimed chef Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern at St. Regis Monarch beach, the Old Vine Café in Costa Mesa and, for health-conscious diners, Rutabegorz in Old Towne Orange.