What are you doing this weekend? Even if there may not be any big events on the calendar, you can still enjoy all the best things Orange County has to offer with your family. Here’s a few things you can do in Orange County to make the most of your days off and get you out of the house.
Explore A New Beach
The beaches are open and there is no shortage of shoreline here in Orange County. We know you haven’t explored them all. Here are a few of our favorites:
Victoria Beach: This is where you’ll find the pirate tower in Laguna Beach. It’s one of the best Instagram spots in OC, and a favorite place for exploring. Park on PCH at Victoria and walk to the end of the street to find the stairs down to the sand. There are tidepools to explore here too, but remember, no plundering. There is also an emergency beach access ramp and walkway at Dumond Drive that offers an easier walk for those parked on PCH.
Bluffs Beach: At San Onofre State Beach, Bluffs Beach is the main area with six trails leading down from the parking lot. Keep in mind that the beach to the south of the last trail leads into a popular clothing-optional area. Bluffs Beach is perfect if you’re looking for more of a hiking and exploring adventure rather than just a day at the beach. The views are endless and the cliffs are awesome.
Dana Point Headlands Beach: Hike along the rocks and explore some of OCs best sea caves here at Dana Point Headlands. Park in the lot for baby beach just south of the Ocean Institute. Follow the grated walkway and stairs to the beach. You’ll see a sign here pointing you towards Pirate’s Cave. The best time to visit is at low tide so check the charts before you go.
Find more Orange County beaches to explore:
OC Beaches: Dana Point
OC Beaches: Huntington Beach
OC Beaches: Newport Beach
OC Beaches: Laguna Beach
OC Beaches: San Clemente
OC Beaches: Seal Beach
Take A New Trail
Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll along a paved path or a difficult hike into the backcountry, OC’s got it. Here are a few to check out.
San Clemente Coastal Trail: The San Clemente Coastal Trail is a 2.3 mile path that extends from North Beach to State Beach and offers up views for days. The path parallels the railroad tracks so you’ll occasionally be passed by an Amtrak or two. Take a tunnel out to the sand to search for shells and keep an eye out for dolphins splashing in the waves.
Newport Back Bay/Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve: Park in the lot near the Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive center, or on the street anywhere nearby and head out to the trails here. There are paved and packed dirt trails here so that you can extend your hike and alternate trails. The Back Bay Loop is 2.8 miles, but you can create your own hike to make it shorter or longer. You’ll love the views of the Back Bay and watching the wildlife here.
For hiking you can find trails for every skill level. If you’re looking to put in some work and log some miles, the best places to go are:
Crystal Cove State Park: There are over 20 trails in Crystal Cove State Park with moderate hikes ranging from just under 3 miles to over 9 miles long, some climbing over 1,000 feet above sea level offering breathtaking views of the ocean and Orange County
Casper’s Wilderness: Explore the Orange County Wilderness at Casper’s on 13 different trails – eight of them ranking moderate and ranging from 3 to 14 miles long. At Casper’s hikers can climb up to 1,617 feet above sea level for views of Orange County unlike any other. Looking for length but not the difficult climbs? Casper’s has that too.
Read about our favorite family hikes to Red Rock Canyon, Robber’s Cave and more
Spend the Day at Irvine Regional Park
It’s a local favorite and it’s open for business. The OC Zoo, the Irvine Park Railroad, hiking trails, and Wheel Fun Rentals are open. Rent a paddle boat and take a cruise on the lake, explore a park trail or take a stroll on the paved path around the park, and take a ride on the 1/3 scale train. Spend the day making memories with the family and relaxing in the shade of heritage Oak and Sycamore trees. Read more about Irvine Regional Park.
Find more of OC’s best regional parks!
Fishing at Irvine Lake
Irvine Lake is open on weekends from 6:30 am to 4 pm for fishing from the shoreline. Other activities are not currently allowed. What can you catch there? If you’re lucky, you might catch a record breaker, like the 89 pound Blue Catfish or the 50 pound sturgeon. More than likely though, you’ll catch catfish or trout. Find out more about Irvine Lake including stocking schedules, regulations, directions, and more.
Find more places to fish in Orange County
Make A Splash In The Harbor
With the harbor beaches open, you can launch a stand-up paddle board or kayak and spend the day paddling around the harbor – in Huntington, Newport, or Dana Point. Many rental shops are open so if you don’t have one of your own, you can rent one to use for a few hours. Want to cruise around the harbor without breaking a sweat? Rent a Duffy. Duffy boats are cute and comfortable so you can cruise the harbor in style.
Find more ways to experience and Enjoy OC by water
|Irvine Regional Park||Irvine Lake|
|Best Beaches In Orange County||Best Tidepools in Orange County|
|Best Regional Parks in Orange County||Best Hiking and Mountain Biking Trails|