Are you looking for the perfect destination for your next vacation? Look no further than Orange County in California. With its stunning beaches, exciting theme parks, and vibrant nightlife, Orange County is the perfect spot for a memorable and fun-filled getaway.
Explore “The OC’s” Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, or Newport Beach, shop at Fashion Island or Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza, and sample culinary delights at the many restaurants and bars. Families can experience its amusement parks including Anaheim’s Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm in nearby Buena Park.
Golfers can choose from many of the country’s best golf courses and nature enthusiasts can take in amazing sunsets amid the many hiking trails, parks, and nature preserves. History buffs can checkout the Mission San Juan Capistrano, the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Orange County?
From Halloween and Christmas seasons to California vibes in the late spring to early fall, there’s never a bad time to visit Orange County. However, for many, summer is by far the most exciting time of the year to visit. Beaches, festivals, concerts, special events at theme parks, and more are just a few examples of the plethora of things to do and see that are available during the summer season.
In addition to all of the amazing events that take place throughout Orange County during the summer months, the weather is also perfect for taking a dip at one of the many amazing beaches along the shoreline.
The best overall temperatures in Orange County can be found in the late spring and early summer, with temperatures ranging in the low 70s to the mid 80s, so you’ll be comfortable all day long. In June, July and August expect to experience higher temperatures and less chances of rain. In the winter, temperatures often hover in the mid to low 40s at night with temperatures in the 60s during the day.
Beach cities can expect to experience a marine layer with a persistent pattern of morning clouds and afternoon sun, even during the summer. Nights on the coast are cooler due to light breezes coming in from the colder ocean waters.
Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 45°F to 85°F and is rarely below 38°F or above 93°F. The swimming season in Orange County lasts from July to October where the average temperature does not drop below 68°F.
Best Time To Visit Orange County By Season
Spring | March, April, May
Spring is a great to time visit if you enjoy warm weather but not too warm weather, and fewer crowds. The beaches will still be bustling but not too much, and mostly on the weekends. The theme parks also see smaller crowds even during spring break.
Summer | June, July, August
The most popular time to visit Orange County is between June and August due to summer break and the chance to enjoy the beaches, water sports, and outdoor activities. Orange County can be quite crowded during this time so if you prefer a less crowded experience consider visiting during the late spring or early fall, when the weather is still idyllic.
Fall | September, October, November
Fall is a great time to visit after Labor Day weekend. The crowds will be smaller, the September weather is often as good as the summer months and the ocean waters stay warm through October. Halloween at the amusement parks is a whole different experience as well the many fall festivals and Oktoberfests that take place.
Winter | December, January, February
The holiday season is a magical time to visit while the temperatures remain relatively warm compared to the rest of the U.S. Experience the spectacular holiday boat parades, shop and eat at some of the world’s best stores and restaurants, ice skate on the beach or see Disneyland and Knott’s transformed into holiday winter wonderlands.
No matter the time of year you visit, there’s always something fun to get up to in Orange County. We’ve compiled some of the best events of every season for you to visit and enjoy, as well as our top picks for attractions during any time of year.
If you are looking for a truly unique festival in California, then the Festival of Whales is for you! A longstanding tradition in Dana Point, this festival celebrates the migration of gray whales up to the Dana Point shores every year, and there are plenty of festivities to be found – including a street fair, parade, and sand sculpting competitions.
A favorite of many Orange County residents for many years, Knott’s Berry Farm has been a great place to spend a day out with the family, and a favorite time of the year for many is when the Boysenberry Festival rolls back around again. With pie eating contests, plenty of boysenberry treats, and artisan craft booths, there’s plenty to enjoy at the festival!
As a great way to welcome the spring season, the Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival provides an incredible look into Japanese culture as a great start to the new season. With plenty of food booths offering Japanese cuisine, arts and crafts, and amazing performances, this is a must see event.
A wonderful highlight of all of the amazing artists that reside in Orange County, the Sawdust Art Festival is open throughout all of summer and is a perfect place to see what these amazing artists have to offer. Whether you are looking for something special to give a loved one for a special occasion, or are looking for a hands-on lesson on how to make some of the incredible pieces you can find there, you are certain to have a great time.
Among the many things to see and do in Orange County, the Orange County Fair stands out as one of the best. You can find so many unique food offerings, crafts, and enjoy the many animals at centennial farm.
It is safe to say that there are plenty of things to do and see at Summerfest. There are many traditional fair food items on offer at this festival, as well as many carnival rides and games that are fun for the whole family. Many local artists are featured in the concert lineup, including some high school bands.
Over 40 different food and drink booths from around the world will be available at this event, which is celebrating its 50th year. There will be handmade arts and crafts vendors at the event, seven different stages where performances will take place, as well as a community booth where you can contribute to many non-profit organizations in the area.
Even if you are unable to attend Oktoberfest in Munich this year, Orange County offers a great alternative that is close to home and just as enjoyable. Taking place at the Old World Biergarten, this festival offers a wide variety of delicious food and drink for festival goers to enjoy. In addition to the food and beer, there’s also plenty of activities to get up to, like competitions and games.
Another chance to see some of the incredible artists that call Orange County home, the Anaheim Craft and Vintage Fair offers plenty of homemade goods to choose from, including both crafts and delicious baked goods that you’ll want to buy extras of.
The Newport Beach Boat Parade is one of the best ways that Orange County can offer you a taste of the true festive spirit of Christmas. The harbors’ boats are lined up along the piers and decorated with plenty of lights and Christmas decorations that make the boats look festive and joyful. The boat parade also runs over several days so you have a few chances to see this wonderful display.
Festival of the holidays offers a taste of many different countries’ traditions. With dishes in the past featuring a hot cocoa macaron, lox & everything bagel nachos, and the holiday ham slider on a salt and pepper brioche bun. There’s also plenty of educational areas and activities.
The Annual San Juan Capistrano Rotary Car Show is one of the most popular events in Orange County. The show features classic and modern cars, hot rods, and vintage cars, along with live music, food, and entertainment. The show is a great opportunity for car enthusiasts to come together and admire the incredible vehicles on display. Attendees also have the chance to vote for their favorite cars. The proceeds from the event go towards local charities and non-profit organizations.
The best place for families to go at any time of the year is Disneyland, a great place with revolving events, quality parades, and delicious food for everyone to enjoy. In addition to their two parks, there’s also Downtown Disney with plenty of food and shopping options
The Anaheim Packing District is a great destination for foodies no matter the time of year. This vibrant district is home to a variety of restaurants, cafes, and breweries, many of which feature local and organic produce. Visitors can enjoy a variety of cuisines at the many restaurants and cafes that are offered.
No matter what time of year it is, the Irvine Spectrum Center is the perfect place for families to spend time together. There is always something exciting going on with a new event taking place almost every month.
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Morgan Mulac is a freelance writer who has spent years on the road as a nomad and now has settled back in California with her family. Some of her favorite spots to travel to in California are in Orange County and the many beaches along the coast. She’s an avid writer about her journeys and enjoys sharing the beauty California has to offer.