Orange County is a well-known tourist destination, and it’s no surprise considering there is something there for everyone. Whether you are visiting with friends for Spring Break or taking a family trip over Easter, Orange County has something for you.
*Note: Due to the current pandemic, some theme parks and indoor destinations may be closed. Call ahead for details.
1238 South Beach Blvd, Anaheim, 92804
Located in Anaheim, this smaller-sized theme park is packed with fun without having to worry about the pricier admission and longer lines. Your younger children will surely love what Adventure City has to offer. Some of their attractions include a magical carousel that both children and parents can enjoy, a Drop Zone (a slow rise up a 45-foot tower that will leave you with an exciting plunge to the bottom), and a Freeway Roller Coaster that will give you the need for speed you are looking for. Adventure City is the perfect place to spend time with your little ones.
Disneyland & California Adventure
1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim 92802
Of course, the Happiest Place on Earth made our list! Disneyland opened the summer of 1955 and has been bringing smiles ever since. Here you can enjoy classic rides like Space Mountain and Jungle Cruise, or explore new additions like the Star-Wars themed area Galaxy’s Edge.
After visiting Disneyland, jump on over to California Adventure. This theme park is every Pixar lover’s dream. At this park, you can go on an adventure with the Guardians of the Galaxy, visit Ariel’s Undersea Adventure or soar high in a spaceship called the Golden Zephyr. Both Disneyland and California Adventure will bring endless fun for you and the entire family.
Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620
Knott’s Berry Farm began with boysenberries, fried chicken, and a ghost town and went on to become America’s First Theme Park. Today, the Peanuts Gang entertains visitors as they enjoy wild rides and exciting shows while paying homage to the Old West and California History. Little ones will love Camp Snoopy and visits with Peanuts characters, while older guests can get their fill of thrills on Montezuma’s Revenge, Xcelerator, Silver Bullet or one of the other exciting rides. Spring Break is a great time to visit too, for the annual Boysenberry Festival.
A Day At The Beach
If you are looking to visit the beach and catch some sunrays, why not check out Laguna Beach? This popular location is not only beautiful, but there are also many activities you and the family will enjoy at no cost. Some of those activities include: Spotting marine life in the tide pools, having a picnic while exploring Treasure Island Park, visiting the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, snorkeling at Divers Cove, and watching the sunset from Crescent Bay Park. If you want to be close to all Laguna has to offer, check out Heisler Park and Main Beach Park and after a day at the beach you can walk to the local restaurants and browse the unique stores.
Exploring The Outdoors In OC
Caspers Wilderness Park
Casper’s Wilderness Park is the perfect location to spend while exploring different outdoor opportunities. Some of their activities include camping, hiking, photography, and studying nature and astronomy. The park also includes showers, fire rings/barbeques, playgrounds and a visitor center that gives guests a better understanding of the park’s rich history of plant life/wildlife. Casper’s Wilderness Park will be a fun filled and educational experience for the entire family.
Kids love exploring, and hitting the trails is a great way to enjoy family time while getting exercise and some much needed time in nature. Not to mention that spring is the perfect time to spot wildflowers and wildlife.
There are many other areas for hiking, nature centers, regional parks, and wilderness areas in Orange County, too including Irvine Ranch Open Space, Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, Oak Canyon Nature Center, Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center, Santiago Oaks, Nix Nature Center, and the Environmental Nature Center.
The Fullerton Arboretum is a peaceful escape from the somewhat loud and chaotic urban life. Nestled in the heart of Fullerton are these beautiful 26 acre botanical gardens. The oasis paradise started in 1970 when Dr. David Walkington, Dr. Eugene Jones and other faculty members and students at California State College wanted to transform a parcel of land on campus. What was once a neglected and dying orange grove has turned into a botanical collection that is used for research, education and a massive amount of enjoyment.
Not only can you visit the various living collections you can also opt to take one of their classes available. At the Fullerton Arboretum you can take yoga in the garden, learn the techniques behind nature photography, or have your own paint party. Honestly, with class options ranging from learning how to start your very own composting system to culinary arts to create from the produce you grow – there really is something for everyone.
While on property make sure you check out the Heritage House. The home has been restored to its 1894 beauty and showcases what life was like over 100 years ago. Dr. George Crook Clark built the house in the style of Eastlake-Victorian-style architecture that was very popular throughout Orange County. It was the home to Dr. Clark, his family and his medical office for about ten years.
Another structure in the gardens to check out is the O.C. Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum which highlights agricultural history and impact in the area. The museum complex includes an exhibit space, classrooms, and an outdoor pavilion that can accommodate 350 people for special events.
A Day Indoors
Bower’s Museum is another fun and educational experience. Their mission is to enrich lives through the world’s finest arts and cultures. When visitors explore the museum’s exhibitions, they will be taking in and experiencing history and different cultures.
Some of the exhibitions include: Gemstone Carvings, Sacred Realms, Spirits and Headhunters (Art of the Pacific Island), Ancient Arts of China (A 5000 Year Legacy), and Ceramics of Western Mexico. Not only is the museum enjoyable to visit, but visitors will have a better understanding of history and culture when they leave. And for kids, the Bower’s Kidseum has hands-on interactive learning opportunities.
Other museums in Orange County that are great for exploring with friends and family include Pretend City, Discovery Cube OC, Marconi Automotive Museum, the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center, Laguna Art Museum, Muzeo, and the Lyon Air Museum.
Where To Go To Dinner
Orange County is known for their delicious restaurants and breathtaking views. Here are some recommendations if you’re in the area.
A&O Kitchen + Bar
1121 West Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Known for their waterside dining, this lovely restaurant also includes a patio and fire pits if you feel like dining under the sun or stars. Some of their entrees include Tuna Poke, Watermelon Pico de Gallo, Mahi Fish Tacos and a Classic Kobe Cheeseburger. If you are in the mood for something sweet, save space and try their assortment of desserts ranging from the sweet tastes of Pumpkin Spice, S’mores to their Bacon Caramel Corn.
Bosscat Kitchen and Libations
4647 MacArthur Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92660
This restaurant is known for their lively and fun ambiance and southern comfort atmosphere. Customers not only enjoy the food, but have complimented this establishment’s friendly and accommodating staff. Bosscat Kitchen is also known for their delicious brunch menu. Some of their mouthwatering entrees include Cajun Brick Chicken, Gulf Shrimp and Grits, 12 Hour Beef Short Rib and Carolina Barbecue Salmon. And they have the kids favorite, macaroni and cheese. Want to try something new? Ask for the Fruity Pebbles French Toast!
Offshore 9 Rooftop Lounge
21100 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Located on the 9th floor of the Twin Dolphin Tower in the Waterfront Hotel, this rooftop lounge offers incredible views of the Orange County coast. Enjoy the waterfront view while sipping on cocktails and indulging in their delicious tapas. If it gets chilly during your time at the lounge, no need to worry. The staff will provide blankets for their customers to ensure everyone is cozy and warm.
If you’ve got kids to feed, check out these restaurants with the best kids menus to keep everyone happy.
These are only a few of the many activities to do in the beautiful Orange County area. Whether you are looking for a Spring Break with friends or a place to spend time with the family, OC has something for everyone.
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