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Best Local Scene in Orange County

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Old Towne Orange Historic District

Explore the Old Towne Orange Historic District and step into yesteryear. Centered around Plaza Park, this district features several historical buildings and holds the prestigious status of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Stroll through the one-square-mile district to witness diverse architecture, including Victorian and Spanish Revival buildings. Recognized as a premier shopping destination, the district boasts numerous art galleries, boutiques, and antique stores near the plaza. It is interesting to note that Old Towne is also the largest National Register District in California.

Old Town, Orange, CA, USA, 92866
Orange County Great Park

Spread on an expansive area of roughly 1300 acres(526 hectares), Orange County Great Park sits on the site of the previous Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. A frequently visited spot for concerts, plays, and other events, the public park is a big hit with the crowds as they can enjoy numerous outdoor recreational activities in large open spaces with several facilities. It is also known for its giant orange tethered balloon, which visitors can ride for a fee. Soaring 400 feet in the air, you can see 40 miles out on a clear day. Other park attractions include a beautiful carousel, a playground, and a visitor center. Great Park is also home to the Orange County FC.

8000 Great Park boulevard, Irvine, CA, USA, 92618
Balboa Island

Balboa Island seems to have the best of both worlds: a lazy, relaxing island atmosphere, yet only minutes away from the mainland. From festivals and parades to chic boutiques and restaurants that run the culinary gamut, this man-made island offers the ideal vacationing spot. Boats and cruise ships ply through clear blue waters, while the sprawling promenade is lined with a melange of stately, waterfront cottages. Its sleek boulevards are ornamented with soaring palm trees, whereas a string of attractions like markets, patio-fronted coffee shops, quaint and cozy bookshops, and the Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society lend it a touristy appeal. The island is also a stronghold of adventurous water sports like surfing and offers something for everyone, no matter your interests!

Balboa Island, Newport Beach, CA, USA, 92662
Corona del Mar State Beach

For those who can make only one stop in Corona del Mar, make it the Corona del Mar State Beach. This area alone can make everyone fall in love with CdM, a laid-back multi-million-dollar neighborhood accented by the Pacific, with streets lined by palm trees and flower beds. On the bluff, three signs mark beach access: Lookout Point, Main Beach, and Inspiration Point. Each point has a different view, but all share Catalina Island in the background, with Newport Bay and Balboa Island in the foreground. A few steps towards the south end of Ocean Boulevard is a secluded cove near the Robert E. Badham Marine Life Refuge, and some of the most extravagant mansions follow.

Ocean Boulevard, Newport Beach, CA, USA, 92625
Balboa Pavilion

Located on the Balboa Peninsula, the Balboa Pavilion is a fun center for marine sports enthusiasts. Boat rentals are available for sport fishing and whale watching. Catalina Flyer, the catamaran, takes you across to the Avalon at Catalina Island where you can watch whales. Harborside Restaurant and Grand Ballroom is a waterfront dining and socializing venue. This pavilion has provided for action-packed marine expeditions since 1906 and is regarded as one of the finest marine recreation centers in the area.

400 Main Street, Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach, CA, USA, 92661
Huntington State Beach

Featuring a scenic sun-dappled expanse, Huntington State Beach is one of the best beaches in southern California. It is popular with both locals and tourists alike. Replete with barbecue pits used year-round but especially in the summer and fire rings for bonfires, this is an ideal destination for a fun day out amid picturesque environs. Avid surfers will relish the opportunities for surfing offered by the beach. Fishing, birdwatching, and swimming are some other recreational options here. Keep your eyes peeled for California Brown Pelicans.

Off Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA, USA, 92646
Huntington Beach Pier

Stretching 1853 feet (564.80 meters) into the Pacific Ocean, the Huntington Beach Pier is one of the West Coast's longest piers. This attraction is visited by millions of people each year, creating an eccentric crowd. It is home to several important events, such as the U.S. Open of Surfing in July, the Kite Party in February and the Huck Finn Fishing Derby in August. You’ll also find excellent oceanfront dining at both ends of the pier. The evening is the perfect time to visit the Pier as you will be able to witness the beautiful sunset. Do visit with your family and friends for a memorable experience!

Huntington Beach Pier, Huntington Beach, CA, USA, 92648
Heisler Park

A short walk from the bustling downtown Laguna Beach, this park is an amazing hidden oasis. The grassy bluff and the sandy beach with giant rocks and hidden caves make this park a favorite spot for photographers, sunset watchers, picnickers, and even seabirds. There are also a variety of art stands selling local artwork. Reconnect with nature, take a walk, or simply enjoy a lovely barbeque with your family in Heisler Park. Furthermore, with plenty of parking options, the park is convenient and great to visit with the entire family.

Cliff Drive, Between Myrtle Street & Aster Street, Laguna Beach, CA, USA, 92651
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