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Visit Old Towne Orange Historic District and step into yesteryear. This district is centered around the original Orange plaza and contains so many historical buildings, the entire district is listed in the National Register of Historic Places! Walk around the one-square mile district and see different architecture, including Victorian and Spanish Revival buildings. The district is also known as a top shopping destination and you'll find plenty of art galleries, boutiques and antique stores near the plaza.
Newport Landing Whale Watching provides whale watching and dolphin cruises daily. You can view many varieties of whales as they seasonally migrate through the area, including Finback Whales, Grey Whales, Minke Whales, Humpback Whales, and even the giant Blue Whale which can grow to over 90 feet in length. Year round you might even spot dolphins and seals. The primary whale watching ship is 65 feet in length with a large upstairs sundeck, wrap around outside seating, snack bar with food and beverages, indoor seating with large windows. Captains and crew have a background in marine biology and are incredible knowledgeable providing details on marine creatures, environment, and eco-systems. With a 96% success rate of viewing whales and/or dolphin almost every trip has viewing opportunities for these mammals. Perfect as either a fun date or an educational day with the family.
This place recalls the days when a Saturday night date meant a trip to the local amusement park, complete with a ride on the ferris wheel and a few games of skill where a boy could win a teddy bear for his sweetheart. It opened in 1936 and has remained a Newport Beach institution to this day. It's not that big, so don't count on a full day of activity, but it is a nice place to spend a couple of hours. Nights are especially festive here, so bring the family, a group of friends or special someone. There is no entrance fee, but each ride requires tickets.
Crystal Cove State Park spans 3.2 miles (5.15 kilometers) of beach and over 2000 acres (809.37 hectares) of wilderness. Visitors to the park can relax on the beach, hike or go horseback riding on the many trails that criss-cross the verdant landscape. Explore tide pools and hidden coves as well as canyon flora and fauna. Finally, the crystal clear waters have been designated as an underwater park and are great for scuba diving, skin diving, and underwater photography, thus covering all aspects of outdoor exploration.
This is a non-profit botanical garden situated on 26 gorgeous acres of the California State University Fullerton. Botanical collections are sectioned into zones: the temperate zone, the tropical zone and the arid zone. There is a rare fruit grove featuring subtropical fruits like cherimoyas, kiwis, papayas, guavas and rare citrus varieties. The Children's Garden is the site for educational programs and hands-on fun. Also on the grounds is the Heritage House, an Eastlake Victorian cottage built in 1894 by Dr. George C. Clark, an early Fullerton physician, as his home and office. There is a lot of nature and a little bit of history here, making for a wonderful outing. Although admission is free, a voluntary donation is suggested.
Tucked away in a spot by the Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, the 1000 Steps Beach takes some effort to get to. Once there, the beach rewards you with more than just stellar views. Its somewhat hidden location in busy southern California is a blessing, leaving the beach and its pristine stretch practically to yourself. Sandstone cliffs bookend the beach's golden sands, even as you watch the shore-break waves crash in resoundingly. The beach offers plenty of activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding and kayaking. Prepare yourself for a steep ascent on your way back.