Things to Do in Orange County CA
Orange County welcomes visitors year-round from all over to experience what makes being a part of this community so great. Local and regional attractions and eclectic dining establishments dot the map, which are sure to fill up a whole day of fun. Why not spend the weekend or week seeing the sights? And at the end of the day, the area offers a number of lodging options ready to cater to your every need.
Attractions include Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure in nearby Anaheim, along with Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City Water Park in Buena Park. For the sports enthusiast, visit Angel Stadium of Anaheim to catch a professional ball game, or venture over to the 17,000-plus-seat Honda Center to watch the Anaheim Ducks dominate on the ice.
A local attraction not to be missed is the Orange County Zoo, located within the 477-acre Irvine Regional Park in East Orange. The eight-acre zoo not only exhibits native animals in this Southwestern region of the United States, but it also displays local flora and fauna. The Orange County Zoo is open throughout the year, and admission is a low-cost treat for children three years of age and older (children two years and younger are free).
If you’re in the area during Labor Day weekend, be sure to take part in Orange’s biggest annual event, the Orange International Street Fair, which draws in over 400,000 people to the Plaza in Old Towne over the three-day weekend. Costumes, music, dance and food vendors line the streets of the district during this widely popular event. All proceeds from the OISF goes to local non-profit charities. Additional annual events in Orange include 3rd of July, Treats in the Streets, the Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Veteran’s Day celebration.
Growing in popularity each summer is Hart Park’s Summer Concert Series, which showcases an array of musical performances each Wednesday night from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Neighboring Tustin also hosts a summertime Concerts in the Park series in Peppertree Park.
For the historical buff, Orange is home to a number of interesting historical sites including the Grijalva Adobe Site, the original location of Juan Pablo Grijalva’s Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana home; and Watson Drugs & Soda Fountain, the oldest on-going business in the city.
Not to be missed is The Plaza and Old Towne Orange Historic District, which has been continually voted as the county’s most popular downtown area. Hailing as the largest National Register district in the state, outdoor dining and quaint specialty shops line the streets of this four-block Main Street, USA district. The beautiful architectural styles are notable, offering a glance back in Orange’s history.
The Outlets at Orange is Orange County’s only outlet shopping destination. The Outlets at Orange features top venues for entertainment, shopping and dining. It offers hundreds of your favorite brands at your favorite stores and outlets all in one convenient location.
Taming those appetites is a cinch in Orange, an area that is teeming with everything from fast-food fixes and casual environments to fine-dining eateries. Eclectic menus cater to every appetite and occasion, with a mixture of old favorites and modern dishes. Hungry diners savor everything from delicious appetizers and salads, pizza and BBQ to prime steak, seafood and globally infused cuisine from various parts of the world.
Amenity-filled accommodations are easy to come by in Orange, with everything from cozy bed and breakfasts and economical hotels to spacious suites and luxury rooms. Business-minded travelers and leisure tourists will all find a comfortable place to rest and relax. A blend of quality in-room and on-site conveniences, coupled with excellent customer service, make one’s stay in Orange a pleasure every time.
Recreation in Orange County, California
Abounding recreation is a major highlight of life in Orange. The region is teeming with well-maintained and easily accessible neighborhood, county and regional parks equipped with playground equipment, picnic areas, athletic fields and courts, trails, fishing holes, activity centers and much more.
Irvine Regional Park Hailing as the state’s oldest county park, this 477-acre park encompasses the family friendly Orange County Zoo, a lagoon, a mini-railroad, pedal boats and picnic areas, along with miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, four ball fields, a volleyball court and eight horseshoe pits. The William Harding Nature Center affords patrons with a self-guided trail and interpretive center teeming with fossils, plants, animals and films on nature.
Peters Canyon Regional Park Stretching over 354 acres of native habitats, Peters Canyon Regional Park is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to sunset. Features include the 55-acre Upper Peters Canyon Reservoir, which stands as the home to an abundance of local wildlife, a lake, Peters Canyon Creek and winding trails.
Santiago Oaks Regional Park and Nature Center Five miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails that lead to an additional 10 miles of trails of the adjacent Anaheim Hills can be accessed through this 350-acre park. The Nature Center displays natural history exhibits and provides educational interpretive programs for visitors.
Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary Ideal for bird-watchers, the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary has been the site of more than 150 species of birds, which include plenty of hummingbirds, California quail and scrub jays, among many others. The sanctuary is also home to a nature center where guests can view different rodents and reptiles.
Tustin Ranch Golf Club Golfers looking for a rewarding day on the greens head over to the beautiful Tustin Ranch Golf Club. The public club hosts a scenic, 6,800-yard, 18-hole, course designed by the late golf course architect Ted Robinson Sr. Carved into the championship course is a built-in short executive course, which is divided into two separate nine-hole courses. Accompanying the well-manicured grounds is a golf shop, first-class golf school, driving ranch and short game practice area.