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The OC Beyond Disney

By: Cityseeker
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Discovery Cube Orange County

Imaginations turn, twist and fly through 120 exciting hands-on exhibits at Discovery Cube Orange County. The park, which was formerly called the Discovery Science Center, is located in Santa Ana and has been inspiring kids of all ages for years. Experience science in the museum's themed areas, which include Quake Zone, Techno Arts, Discovery Stadium, Perception, Dynamic Earth, Air & Space, Kids Station and Dino Quest. Kids and adults alike are given a chance to lie on a bed of needles, run with dinosaurs, and dive to the depths of the ocean, all in one building! The establishment also hosts educational programs throughout the year.

Santa Ana, CA, United States
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Knott's Berry Farm

Knott's Berry Farm, home to the Peanuts characters, has been a long-time favorite for families visiting the Orange County area. You'll find culturally-themed areas including Fiesta Village, Indian Trails and Independence Hall, where visitors get a look at the influence of these cultures on California life. There are also themed rides such as the Xcelerator and Montezooma's Revenge. Other areas such as The Boardwalk feature rides like Supreme Scream which, measuring in at an astounding 312 feet (95.098 meters), is the tallest structure in the county. Overall, if you're looking for something to please the kids (and maybe give yourself a rest), Knott's is a truly excellent choice. Operational hours vary from day to day, please check website for more details.

Buena Park, CA, United States
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Flightdeck Air Combat Center

If you have long dreamed of piloting an airplane or a fighter jet, then a trip to Flightdeck Air Combat Center will be a dream come true. Offering simulations in F-16 fighter jets and Boeing 737-700s, visitors get to feel the rush of participating in air combat missions and aerial maneuvers. The friendly staff is well equipped to prepare you for your first flight and answer any questions you may have before the simulation begins.

Anaheim, CA, United States
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Mission San Juan Capistrano

Historic Mission San Juan Capistrano is a California icon. Perhaps most famous for visits from its annual guests of honor, the swallows, the Mission means many things to many people. For Californians, it is a powerful symbol of the state's complicated colonial history. For Catholics, it is a profound religious site, indicative of the Church's own complex heritage. History buffs spend hours reveling in the facility's many exhibits and displays, connecting viscerally with the sights, sounds and feelings of generations long past. For visitors of any background, it is an undeniably gorgeous place to spend an afternoon--replete with striking architectural elements and lovingly cared-for gardens.

San Juan Capistrano, CA, United States
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Angel Stadium of Anaheim

The Angel Stadium of Anaheim is the home of the Angels, a Major League Baseball team in the American League. The stadium is a modern ballpark used to host professional baseball and football games, as well as major concerts and college sports games. One of the unique features of the establishment is the terraced bullpens in the outfield. In addition to the usual eateries, the stadium includes three full-service restaurants - The KnotHole Club, The Diamond Club and the Homeplate Club. The parking lot can be accessed via three entrances and opens two and a half hours prior to any event held here.

Anaheim, CA, United States
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Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park spans 3.2 miles (5.15 kilometers) of beach and over 2000 acres (809.37 hectares) of wilderness. Offering the best of nature, visitors to the park can relax on the beach and hike or horseback ride on the many trails that criss-cross the wilderness. Explore tide pools and hidden coves as well as canyon flora and fauna. Visitors can also take guided nature tours. The crystal clear waters have been designated as an underwater park and are great for scuba diving, skin diving, and underwater photography.

Laguna Beach, CA, United States
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Muzeo

Housed in the only remaining Carnegie Library building in Orange County, this museum deals both with the rich cultural history of Anaheim and of the world. The volunteers who work there value educating the younger generation about their fine city, which was founded in the mid-1850s by German winemakers who wanted to sell their product to citizens of Los Angeles. Muzeo also features rotating strange and wonderful exhibits that make this a truly fascinating museum.

Anaheim, CA, United States
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Center Street Promenade

Center Street Promenade in downtown Anaheim attracts hoards of tourists and locals year after year with the Anaheim Nutcracker Holiday Festival but also makes for a wonderful place to be at on a lazy afternoon. The area features a pedestrian-only shopping district running for several blocks along West Center Street and is home to a multitude of holiday festivities and events. During Christmas, expect a visit from Santa Claus, as well as live musicians and carolers. Stop by at any time during the rest of the year to sample food from a variety of local eateries lining the promenade, or to pick up gifts in the many shops and boutiques in the area.

Anaheim, CA, United States
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International Surfing Museum

Huntington Beach does indeed live up to its "Surf City" title as the most surfed beach in the west. Appropriately enough, this is a shrine to all those who have mastered the long board. Surfboards, surfing films, surfing music and plenty of memorabilia can be found here. The main attractions, however, are the items related to the great Duke Kahanamoku. This Olympic swimmer popularized surfing back in the 1920s, and both a bronze bust and one of his original hardwood boards can be found in the museum.

Huntington Beach, CA, United States
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Huntington State Beach

Huntington State Beach is one of the best beaches in southern California. It is popular with both locals and tourists alike. It has barbecue pits that used year-round but especially in the summer as well as fire rings that can be used for bonfires. It's a great spot for families and children because the waves are not that big and there are several lifeguards on duty. There are all kinds of snack shops and places where you can rent bodyboards and other beach gear. Huntington State Beach is also known for its bird watching, keep a look out for California Brown Pelicans.

Huntington Beach, CA, United States
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Irvine Regional Park

Stretching an expanse of land dotted with sycamore and oak groves, Irvine Regional Park is the perfect place to spend an idyllic day outdoors with friends and family. Santiago Creek meanders through the park, passing shaded hillsides dotted with picnickers, the Orange County Zoo, and group sites that accommodates all sorts of celebrations. The 475 acre park features built-in barbecue spots, restroom facilities and a biking and walking path that cuts through the park and shows off its best features. Equestrian enthusiasts can take their horses for a jaunt along the designated equestrian trail and past a lake that features a stone-work waterfall. The park also boasts the Irvine Park Railroad, which takes visitors of all ages on a 10-minute ride out to an oak grove and past several lakes. There is no entrance fee for the park itself, but there may be parking fees.

Orange, CA, United States
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