10 Best & Fun Things to Do In Orange County (CA)
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Everything you imagine from a true California experience comes together when visiting Orange County.
Some of the most impressive cities in the state come together to make one of the most impressive counties.
This is a place for adventure and exploration.
It’s a place to let go and rediscover your youthful side.
This list will show you the best attractions, points of interest, and fun activities in the OC.
Things to Do In Orange County
Huntington City Beach
Huntington City Beach is part of Huntington Beach, one of the four cities that comprise Orange County (or the OC).
Known as “Surf City USA,” Huntington Beach is one of the most impressive points of interest for any visit to Orange County, and Huntington City Beach might be the best beach.
Going to the beach takes on a whole new meaning at Huntington City Beach.
You can have fun in the sand and surf like never before. Amazing waves can be ridden if you’re into surfing.
It’s also the perfect setting for a game of beach volleyball.
The best time to visit Huntington City Beach might be at night, just as the sun is doing down.
That’s because it’s home to Huntington Beach Pier. Here you can catch a California sunset that will always stick with you.
Address: 315 Pacific Coast Hwy, Main Street & Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA 92648-5161, USA
If there weren’t enough reasons to visit Orange County, surely “The Happiest Place On Earth” is enough to convince you.
This legendary theme park has more than earned its reputation.
A trip with your family can be a highlight of your summer.
At Disneyland, you’ll experience some of the most thrilling and magical attractions, including Splash Mountain, Star Tours, and Space Mountain.
You can also meet some of your favorite characters, like Mickey Mouse.
It’s the kind of place that can make you feel positively enchanted.
To make getting around easier, consider booking a stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel.
Give yourself plenty of time to plan so you get to see everything you want to.
Your experience at the Magic Kingdom should be one you look back on and smile.
Address: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802, USA
El Moro Canyon Loop Trail
California is one of the most scenic regions in all of the United States, and Orange County doesn’t disappoint in that regard.
The OC is filled with hiking trails that will keep your blood flowing and give you absolutely marvelous sites.
El Moro Canyon Loop Trail is one of the best places to go for any hiking enthusiast.
Located close to Laguna Beach, El Moro has a loop design, making it easy to get around.
At five miles in length, it’s not terribly difficult to navigate.
You can take a horse down this trail, or simply do the trek on foot.
Make sure that you have a good pair of hiking shoes and are guarded against the elements.
While on your hike, you can observe breathtaking wildflowers and the brilliant blue of the ocean.
The next time someone tells you to “take a hike,” you can see that as anything but an insult.
Address: 8471 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
Shipley Nature Center
One of the most magical things about Orange County is how it never lets you forget about your connection to nature.
There’s a lot of conservation and variety in exhibitions.
The Shipley Nature Center helps to connect anyone who wants to be closer to nature to the world around them
Located in Huntington Beach, Shipley Nature Center features all kinds of attractions.
There are trails, a butterfly house, and a native plant nursery.
There’s even a maypole to dance around.
A great deal of emphasis is placed on the culture at this OC nature center.
During the summer, you can catch events like live music.
It’s one of the best places to go for getting a better feel for all that nature has to offer.
Address: 17851 Goldenwest St, Huntington Beach, CA 92647, USA
There’s hardly a place finer to experience a culture than a museum, and there’s hardly a more impressive museum in Orange County than the Bowers Museum.
Operating in its current form since 1992, the Bowers Museum has been designated as “The Best Museum in Orange County” for sixteen straight years by Orange County Register readers.
After a day spent here, you’ll likely agree with their adoration.
At the Bowers Museum is a deep reverence for what cultures, at home and abroad, have provided through their art.
Among the current works being displayed is art from the Pacific Islands, Ancient China, and Native Americans.
When you visit this museum, you can learn so much about what makes each culture distinct and beautiful.
If you have a glamorous event planned, this is the place in The OC to host it.
The Bowers Museum makes for a sublime wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, or any other event setting.
There’s so much history in these walls, and you should try to add your own.
Address: 2002 N Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92706, USA
Doheny State Beach
You might think that being surrounded by beaches would cause you to become fairly numb to the sound of waves crashing upon sand or the sight of the sun setting on the beach.
However, the beaches in Orange County are entirely different, astounding beach.
Doheny State Beach gives you an in-person education like no other. At this OC beach, you can learn all about biodiversity.
This is namely in terms of the animals that live around here, soaring through the air and swimming through the sea.
There are dolphins, sea bass, and starfish to be found. You might also see pelicans, hummingbirds, and Egyptian geese.
Doheny State Park not only gives you a chance to see and learn about amazing animal species, but it also teaches all about the importance of conservation.
If we want to keep our oceans and land teeming with wildlife, we must respect them.
Events like a post-4th of July beach cleanup help show that Doheny State Park cares.
Address: 25300 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629, USA
Discovery Cube Orange County
Part of going on a family vacation should be letting your children be amazed by the world around them.
Their minds are developing, and you need to do your best to guide them in the right direction.
At Discovery Cube Orange County, you can help your children to see just how much potential their minds have.
One of the best attractions for families in the OC, Discovery Cube recently marked twenty years of innovation and excitement.
Among the attractions are ones that teach about space, water conservation, and good eating habits.
They’re designed in a way that lets your kids have fun and learn together.
Great events are offered, like the “Night at the Cube” overnight stay or the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing.
It’s a place of joy and delight. Best of all, it’s also a place of fantastic learning.
Address: 2500 N Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92705, USA
Old Courthouse Museum
Want to get a glimpse of Orange County history?
The Old Courthouse Museum is a place just for that.
When you visit California’s most historic courthouse, you can see all kinds of exhibits that show just how much has happened in the OC and around the state.
There’s more than a century of history in the Old Courthouse Museum.
Preservation has been done to give it a vintage, but never faded look.
With its sandstone and granite design, the structure Old Courthouse Museum is a solid as all the indispensable information inside.
Among the amazing things at this museum are the Orange County Archives, the Orange County History Center, and the Pacific Coast Archaeological Society’s library.
It’s one of the most special things to do if you have any regard for history.
Attractions like these show how important a community’s history is.
Address: 211 W Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92701, USA
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Religious devotion has inspired some of the greatest attractions in all of the world, from the Vatican to Notre Dame Cathedral.
Less-touted but no less worthy of admiration is Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Located in Orange County, this mission has close to 250 years of touching visitors.
Whether or not you’re religious or subscribe to Christian doctrine, you can get something out of your time at Mission San Juan Capistrano.
There are tours, either with a guide or through audio.
There’s also art on display.
Hosting events at this mission can also make your special moments feel even more special.
When you’re at this OC mission, it’s best to just stand back and look at the colonial architecture and how it sits against a cloudless blue sky.
When Father Lasuen first built the mission in 1775, he likely had no idea that it would be standing to this day.
You can show your faith or simply show admiration for beauty by visiting Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Address: 26801 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675, USA
Orange County Zoo
The OC should be on the bucket list of anyone who loves animals, and that includes a stop at the Orange County Zoo.
All kinds of animals can be seen here, making it one of the best things to do in OC.
You can get close to species you might’ve previously only seen on a video screen.
Although this isn’t a particularly large zoo in terms of size, it’s definitely large in terms of heart.
Many of the animals here have been brought in after abandonment or serious harm.
The Orange County Zoo has given them a home that lets them know that there are people who care.
Some of the animals you can see here include mountain lions, coyotes, and bald eagles.
There are also activities for families, like feeding animals at the zoo’s barnyard.
You can have such a special time at this zoo.
Address: 1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92869, USA