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Orange County

Orange County Offers Taste of the Good Life

Visitors flock to Southern California for a glimpse of coastal life—endless sun, legendary waves, and plenty of glamour. Orange County offers a satisfying combination of stunning natural beauty and a culture of style and sophistication.

How will you choose from the wealth of amusements from theme parks to surf lessons? Our guide will help you chart a world-class California adventure.

Choose Your Theme

Anaheim is home to one of the nation’s oldest and most famous amusement parks, Disneyland. The original resort has since been expanded to include Disney’s California Adventure theme park and the Downtown Disney District, full of great shops, restaurants, and live entertainment outside the park gates.

Knott’s Berry Farm is another classic Orange County theme park with a long history that began on a 20-acre farm in 1920. Now you’ll find plenty of the thrilling roller coasters, thrill rides, and entertainment that kids and teens love.

At the Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center, aspiring pilots can learn how to execute aerial maneuvers at 600 knots and engage in air-to-air combat in an authentic military flight simulator. Grounded guests can view the aerial action on 10 large LCD screens in the Officer’s Club.

The Balboa Fun Zone has been a source of family-friendly entertainment since 1936. Highlights include an arcade and game room, carousel ride, and a waterfront ferris wheel which affords a spectacular ocean view. You can also visit the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, with its delightful touch tank full of sea animals, ride a bike, or take a walk on the Balboa Pier from this glorious location.

Newport Pleasures

Newport Beach is at the center of the “OC,” where some of the world’s most expensive mansions and sophisticated yachts decorate the idyllic harbor. The historic Balboa Pavilion, a marine recreation center that is also a local landmark, was built more than 100 years ago. Once known for colorful big-band dances, it’s now the place to go for boat rentals, seasonal whale- watching, or sport-fishing excursions, or scenic waterfront dining.

For a couple of dollars you can drive your car on the Balboa Island Ferry. Otherwise, book one of several harbor cruises that focus on area’s history and point out celebrity homes along the Newport waterfront. Looking for something even more romantic? A Venice-style gondola ride across the bay and through the canals of Newport could fit the bill.

Photogenic Beaches

Area beaches are so picturesque they have served as a coastal setting in television and film for many years. From end to end, Orange County enjoys 42 miles of coastline.

Huntington Beach is famous for a dramatic pier and the surf culture behind its nickname, “Surf City USA.” Further south, artsy and scenic Laguna Beach offers a more refined but still casual California vibe. In the Newport Beach area, families enjoy the sandy coves at Big and Little Corona Beaches, but experienced surfers may prefer the infamous waves at the Wedge.

At the Resort at Pelican Hill golfers can play one of two Tom Fazio designed courses without losing sight of the area’s natural beauty: every hole was designed to maximize views of the wide, blue Pacific Ocean.

History and Culture Preserved

The sandy beach at Crystal Cove State Park has provided a respite from busy city life since the 1920s. This community and its beachfront cottages are now on the National Register of Historic places. Visitors enjoy scenic hiking and biking in the adjacent wilderness areas, an underwater park perfect for diving, and countless beach activities along 3.5 miles of coastline. The Beachcomber restaurant and a fun snack bar called the Shake Shack add to the appeal and make this a great place to spend the day.

The first Orange County residents made their home at Mission San Juan Capistrano, which may live up to its billing as the most beautiful mission in the world. Tours of the outdoor site include a chapel, church and padres’ quarters built by Native Americans in the 18th century. A museum displays permanent and temporary exhibitions of artifacts related to early California history.

Art lovers won’t have to look far for entertainment. You may want to catch one of the many impressive performances at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, a world-class venue that brings culturally-significant music, dance, and theatre to the local stage.

Epic Shopping

Shopping is sheer pleasure in this well-heeled urban center, and the options are plentiful. At South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Fashion Island in Newport Beach, or the Irvine Spectrum you can browse upscale department stores and hundreds of boutiques and specialty shops. Otherwise, there are some quaint alternatives to those bustling mega-malls. The Orange Circle Antique Mall, in the Historic Orange District offers vintage and antiques, and other unique wares. And shoppers will find charming brick walkways and 8 square blocks of boutiques, galleries, antique shops, and restaurants at Cannery Village on the Balboa Peninsula.



» disneyland.disney.go.com
» knotts.com
» flightdeck1.com
» thebalboafunzone.com
» visitnewportbeach.com
» balboapavilion.com
» balboaislandferry.com
» gondolas.com
» boats4rent.com
» funzoneboats.com
» pelicanhill.com
» crystalcovestatepark.com
» missionsjc.com
» scfta.org
» southcoastplaza.com
» orangeantiquemall.com/
» shopfashionisland.com
» shopirvinespectrumcenter.com
» orangeantiquemall.com
» visitnewportbeach.com/
» ocparks.com/uppernewportbay
» newportbay.org
» nhnm.org
» ocma.net