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Places You Have to Go in Orange County

Places You Have to Go in Orange County

If you live in southern California and haven’t spent much time in Orange County or you are looking to travel somewhere in California, here are some places that’ll make you want to visit OC. There are several reasons why OC is one of California’s most iconic destinations. Orange County has some of the most famous theme parks and most beautiful beaches. And you won’t have to endure traffic like you would in San Diego or Los Angeles!

1. Disneyland Park

Disneyland should be enough to convince you to book a trip to OC. I mean it’s literally known for being “The Happiest Place On Earth.” It is a great place to go at any ages but especially for kids. The music, food, rides, and characters are amazing. Whenever I go, it takes me back right back to my childhood. Disneyland is in Anaheim (Northern Orange County). The tickets start at $104 for 1 day and 1 park. If you choose to do both parks, it will be at least $164. You can stay longer and book a few nights at the Disneyland Resort Hotel, making your time even easier. Now, you might be considering to go to Disneyworld in Orlando, but the weather there is rough compared to the amazing weather in Southern California.Planning a trip to California? Here, are some places that have to go to in Orange County.

2. Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach has some of the most beautiful and iconic beaches in California. Some must-see beaches are 1000 Steps, West Street Beach, Crescent Bay, and Main Beach. If you are interested in tide pools, Crescent Bay or Victoria will be a good choice. At 1000 steps, there are 2 secret pools that not many tourists know about. 

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This town is not amazing solely because of the beautiful beaches but because of the art. There are a ton of exquisite art galleries in downtown Laguna. One of the most famous exhibits is the Pageant of the Masters. This is an annual event that makes paintings come to life. These volunteers have to pose perfectly in order for the “painting” to look realistic. The event involves music and narration, so it feels like you are getting a full show. You learn a lot about the actual pieces, as well.

Planning a trip to California? Here, are some places that have to go to in Orange County.

3. Balboa Island

Balboa Island is located in Newport Beach. On Balboa Island, you can grab a chocolate covered banana and go shop around or walk the island, while you observe the cute houses and beautiful yachts. If you have a group, you can take a duffy out and drive around the channel. If you have kids or are feeling more adventurous, you can visit the Balboa Fun Zone. You can take a car ferry across the channel to get to this little amusement park. The rides consist of the Ferris Wheel, giant Happy Swing, and Bayside Bungee Jump. If none of these interest you, you can go to the Arcade and Game room. One last thing you can do is get tickets to go whale or dolphin watching. The boat takes off out of there.

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4. Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm is an amusement park located in Santa Ana. This famous theme park is world-renowned for being a great place for all ages. The roller coasters, stage shows, interactive experiences, food, and characters make the experience so worth while. Depending on what time of year you plan on visiting, Knott’s has different things to offer. Throughout the year, Knott’s Berry Farm is open. Some of the most famous rides are Xcelerator, Hang Time, Ghost Rider, Silver Bullet and Supreme Scream. You can actually see Supreme Scream from the freeway. During late September and all of October, they have Knott’s Scary Farm, which is only at night. There are scary mazes, creatures lurking in the fog, and shows that will get you in the Halloween spirit. They are not allowed to touch you but, yes, they will try their hardest to scare you. During hotter months (May to early September), Knott’s Soak City Water Park is open. There are 23 fast slides, family raft ride, wave pool, river, and beach house to enjoy. Tickets cost as low as $59, which makes it a much more affordable alternative to Disneyland. If you plan to stay here for a few days, they do have a hotel on site but it isn’t the most glamorous.

Planning a trip to California? Here, are some places that have to go to in Orange County.

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5. Orange County Zoo

The 8 acre Orange County Zoo is located in Orange. This zoo focuses on animals and plants that are located in the southwestern US. The animals all have been injured, orphaned, confiscated, or can’t be released into the wild again. Some animals exhibited would be a black bear, mountain lion, bald eagle, beaver, fox, coyote, porcupine, and much more. There is a petting zoo with goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, pheasants, and doves. The tickets are $2 for ages 3 years and up. 

Planning a trip to California? Here, are some places that have to go to in Orange County.

6. Old Town Orange

Old Town Orange is a great place to see antique shops, art galleries, and fabulous restaurants. If you love to thrift, this is the place to go. Some people will over price items, so make sure to keep your eye out. Also, it is well known for being a very famous film and television production location.

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7. South Coast Plaza

South Coast Plaza is located in Costa Mesa. It is probably the most famous shopping center in Orange County. It racks up to $1.3 billion in annual revenue with 24 million annual visitors, making it the highest grossing shopping center in the United States. It showcases 250 shops and 30 restaurants. South Coast is the biggest retail center on the West Coast. Some people are drawn in because of the 25 luxury designer brands (like Gucci and Louis Vuitton). Not only are there endless store options, they go above and beyond to make your experience easy. If you are international and don’t speak english, they have language assistance in over 40 languages. If you have a different currency, there is a currency exchange on site. If you have too many bags, they have a complimentary package check. Needless to say, South Coast Plaza goes above and beyond.


Which place are you most interested to visit? Comment down below.