Best Things to Do in Orange County, California
Before I lived in Spain’s city of oranges, I lived in California’s county of Oranges; however, it has taken living abroad to truly appreciate Orange County for what it is – a stunning, safe, and peaceful haven that has beaches, mountains, and pretty much the best weather you can find.
Yes, on first glance, it’s a sprawling suburb with limited culture and a particular flair for big cars and franchises. I’m biased, but I would say it’s still worth a visit in and of itself; however, the ideal trip would include taking advantage of Orange County’s proximity to Los Angeles, San Diego and even Mexico.
If you’re looking for pretty much the best weather you can find, good shopping and stunning beaches, then this is your destination. Here are some suggestions to make the most of a visit to one of California’s most famous counties. Just one word of advice – calling it “the OC” will be an immediate giveaway that you’re not a local.
Go out to eat as much as possible
Food here is affordable and plentiful. Don’t bother with fancy restaurants – take your pick from just about any type of cuisine you can think of. You will find fantastic Asian and Mexican food especially, so I would make that your starting point. And look out for fish tacos.
Visit the beach towns
Drive up the Pacific Coast Highway and you will find a great variety of beach towns, from laid-back San Clemente to artsy Laguna Beach and sporty Huntington Beach. The drive itself is spectacular, and you can carry on up to Los Angeles and even Santa Barbara.
You will find limitless trails fantastic for hiking and even mountain biking. Explore canyons, visit waterfalls, and take in the beauty of California's wilderness while also taking advantage of the ideal weather.
You’ll find everything you could possibly want here. Fashion Island, the Spectrum, and South Coast Plaza are good choices for chain stores, and the Lab and downtown Fullerton are great for more alternative shops. You can seek out plenty of thrift stores too.
Visit Old Towne Orange
There’s Disneyland, of course, but if you want to get a real flavour for historic Orange County, visit this adorable district filled with antique shops and collectibles. Wander around looking for hidden treasures, and find an old diner to treat yourself to a milkshake when you want a break.
As I said before, Orange County is a great place to pass through to enjoy nature, delicious food and great shopping. Los Angeles’ laid back neighbor, it would make a great pit stop when traveling up to Northern California or to Mexico. You can even get to Vegas easily, so take advantage of the location.