As soon as famed for its namesake citrus, Orange County immediately provides modern delights which can be simply as juicy. See what are some unique things to do in Orange County. Disneyland looms massive, actually, with its snow-capped Matterhorn poking above the sprawling, seaside suburbia.
Distinguished buying facilities, which function well-liked gathering locations, take cues from the theme park with elaborate, compelling designs—incessantly set outdoor to get pleasure from a blissfully sunny local weather are some of the unique things to do in orange county.
But, it’s not all Actual Housewives parading their Yorkies around Neimans. Earlier than OC native Gwen Stefani put her identity on a fragrance, she was a part of the hip, youthful scene that also informs cities corresponding to Fullerton, Anaheim, and Santa Ana. Plus, more and more numerous inhabitants mean extra attractive and complex eating choices.
After which there’s the dreamy, tropical-like seashores, arguably essentially the most alluring in Southern California.
Peek behind the Orange Curtain, and also you’ll uncover quite a few noteworthy locations—mouse ears non-obligatory.
Unique things to do in Orange County
What’s it? It’s nonetheless the happiest—although beginning to really feel like a costliest—place on Earth.
Why go? Say what you’ll in regards to the Home of Mouse; its wondrous, immersive lands nonetheless present a joyous escape for everybody from budding princesses to nostalgia buffs, is one of the unique things to do in orange county.
Enterprise into the Temple of the Forbidden Eye with Indiana Jones, soar over London’s twinkling lights en path to Neverland, and pace by the galaxy aboard House Mountain’s interstellar coaster.
Plus, now that Disney does drinks, you may knock again a Racer 5 IPA alongside Lightning McQueen in Radiator Springs.
2. Heisler Park
What’s it? Ridiculously scenic, oceanfront park in Laguna Seashore must be the primary cease for anybody who questions why folks reside in California.
Why go? Take Hawaii, take away the lava, and you’ve got Heisler Park. Stroll a paved path that meanders alongside mesmerizing seashore coves, and thru lush, seaside gardens brimming with towering palms and sufficient succulents to crash Pinterest.
3. Duffy of Newport Seashore
What’s it? Load up the cooler with rosé, and set sail across the islands and mansions of Newport Harbor aboard your individual non-public touring boat.
Why go? Posh Newport Harbor is chock-full of mega yachts and Thurston Howell III varieties. For the remainder of us, there’s duffles, the sporty pleasure boats with cover tops, ice chests, and comfortable bench seating for associates.
Get pleasure from a leisurely cruise around Balboa and Lido Islands, docking at quite a few watering holes corresponding to Billy’s on the Seashore for Mai Tais and raucous enjoyable.
4. Crescent Bay Seashore
What’s it? It’s robust to go incorrect with any patch of sand in Laguna Seashore, however, this crescent-shaped stunner is, without doubt, one of the greatest.
Why go? With shockingly clear, azure waters backed by palm tree-lined bluffs, this large, sandy seashore cove feels extra far-flung than it’s SoCal setting, is one of the unique things to do in orange county.
Pleasantly heat waters teem with frolicking children, snorkelers, and scuba divers. Parking is proscribed to close by residential streets, however, the further stroll is pricing it.
5. Taco María
What’s it? In a land of taquerias, this upscale Mexican restaurant provides Mexico Metropolis sophistication and, in accordance with beloved meals critic Jonathan Gold, the county’s greatest meal.
Why go? OC-born chef Carlos Salgado cooked in rarified kitchens together with San Francisco’s three Michelin-star Coi earlier than turning his consideration to the delicacies of his heritage.
His midnight blue, handmade tortillas function de facto plates for beautiful combos corresponding to shiitake mushroom chorizo, smoked sturgeon with chile Morita, and hanger steak with roasted chiles and bacon.
6. Packing Home
What’s it? Located inside a repurposed 1919 Sunkist packing facility, this trendy Anaheim meals corridor bustles with eateries, bars, and Millenials, is one of the unique things to do in orange county.
Why go? Centered around a light-filled atrium strewn with greenery and bench swings, the two-level former warehouse packs in twenty-six distributors whose culinary choices span the globe.
Create your individual Neapolitan pizza on the backyard terrace at Ecco, snap pics of Mini Monster’s fantastical boba tea topped with Fruity Pebbles-sprinkled cotton sweet, and hunt down the hidden entrance for The Blind Rabbit’s horny cocktail den.
7. Downtown Santa Ana
What’s it? You’ll love that this revitalized, walkable hub is full of hip food and drinks choices—and isn’t a mall, is one of the unique things to do in orange county.
Why go? You’ll discover OC’s buzziest bars and eating places in “SanTana” which makes for an enjoyable, food-fueled bar crawl.
Pair pints with Pac-Man at Mission Management, pattern uncommon Mexican craft beers at El Indio Botanas y Cerveza, and sit down for pork stomach steam buns and cocktails at perennial it-spot Playground.
8. Lido Marina Village
What’s it? Newport Seashore’s stylish, waterfront assortment of outlets and eating places redefines the mall for the Instagram set, which is one of the unique things to do in orange county.
Why go? Awash in smooth white shiplap and nautical aptitude—together with photo-ready graphics that proclaim “Let Your Goals Set Sail”—the al fresco buying middle exudes the breezy vibes of a luxurious cruise liner. Costume the half with a Marine Layer crew, Graham & Spencer denim, and Warby Parker shades.
9. Sugar ‘N Spice
What’s it? Followers of the Bluth household will get pleasure from the sprinkle-adorned treats at Balboa Island’s “Unique Frozen Banana Stand.”, which is one of the unique things to do in orange county.
Why go? The kitschy inspiration for the beachside stand on “Arrested Improvement,” Sugar ‘N Spice has been dunking frozen bananas in chocolate and rainbow sprinkles since 1945.
In addition, they lay declare to the Balboa Bar, a block of chocolate-dipped ice cream whose invention is challenged my Dad’s Donuts & Bakery, the rival frozen banana stand a number of doorways away.
10. The Lab
What’s it? Whereas actual housewife varieties preen for South Coast Plaza’s lavish boutiques, the cool-kid set hangs down the road at this hip cluster of outlets and eateries, is one of the unique things to do in orange county.
Why go? Billing itself because the anti-mall when it opened within the grunge-drenched 90s, the Lab’s atmospheric, open-air grounds delight the present technology with classic airstreams, road art-embellished partitions, and light-strung backyard courtyards, the popular spot for sipping mojitos from contemporary coconuts.
Head throughout the road to The Camp whose Frontierland-like property options comparable choices with an outdoorsy theme.
11. The Cellar
What’s it? This time-warp, subterranean eatery in Fullerton was designed in 1969 by the identical workforce that created Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean trip and has the ambiance to match.
Why go? Positive, the old-school Continental-style dishes are fantastic, however, you’re right here for the dramatic, windowless interiors—made to resemble an Outdated World wine cellar—and surprisingly up-to-date craft cocktails. Slide into a luxurious sales space within the rock wall-enveloped lounge, order a pitch-perfect martini, and savor the retro-kitsch environment.
What’s it? This 1970s SoCal Mexican fast-food model was resurrected by a faithful blogger who fought a giant chain to carry again the meals he missed.
Why go? Acquired and subsequently jettisoned by fast-food chain Del Taco, the Naugles model was received in court docket and rebirthed by a native hero, Christian Ziebarth, is one of the unique things to do in orange county.
On the standalone locale in surf-centric Huntington Seashore, savor the nostalgia with cult menu gadgets corresponding to tacky beef burritos, taco salad cups, and bun tacos, all packaged within the model’s hyper-70s orange, yellow, and brown colors.
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