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Exhibitions

Top Rated Attractions in Orange County

Search Radius (Miles)
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.

Ocean Institute

The Ocean Institute is located in beautiful Dana Point Harbor and offers ocean science and maritime history programs perfect for kids and adults alike. See hundreds of marine animals in aquariums, watch animal feedings, experience ocean-themed exhibits, and have fun with hands-on activities. For an extra charge, take a tall ship or a whale watching cruise. The Dana Point Marine Protected Area is steps away from the Institute.

Orange County Museum of Art

If you are driving south along the coast for the day from L.A., this gallery is ideally situated near the popular Fashion Island shopping center, not even a mile from the Pacific Coast Highway. The subject of much controversy among Orange County's art crowd over the past few years, the museum expanded to almost double its original size when the Newport Harbor Art Museum (same location) and the Laguna Art Museum consolidated to form this larger complex, scandalizing the art-loving Laguna Beach community. The permanent collection focuses on late 20th-century and California art, but the museum enjoys exhibitions that have included works from artists such as Rico Lebrun and Pablo Picasso. The Plein Air Café serves lunch, and a meal will earn you free admission to the museum.

Oak Canyon Nature Center

Spanning 58 acres (23 hectares), the Oak Canyon Nature Center is a beautiful oasis of nature in the city. The sanctuary, flanked by three canyons is home to a diverse array of animal and bird species. Well-marked hiking trails offer a great opportunity to discover the park's many wonders. Stop by at the John J. Collier Interpretive Center to learn more about the natural features and history of the place.

Anaheim Packing District

Located in the historic Anaheim Colony, the district includes three principal areas, the Packard Building, Farmers Park and the original Packing House. The Packard Building houses the popular Umami Burger and Anaheim Brewery while the Packing House hosts a myriad of restaurants. The food selection is mind-boggling, from Quiche Lorraine at Pandor to Banh Mi at Saw Leaf. Farmers Park is where the market opens on weekends and oftentimes, you will see live music as well. Overall, the Anaheim Packing District is one of the most entertaining spots in a town that is mostly known for Mickey Mouse.

The Queen Mary

One of the great 20th Century luxury liners, The Queen Mary has been the centerpiece of Long Beach Harbor since 1967. The Queen Mary allows tourists to take a self-guided tour of the bridge, engine rooms and officers' quarters, while guided tours visit areas of the ship which are otherwise inaccessible. See the classic art deco interiors and learn about the vessel's interesting history. The ship is now not only a historic attraction, but is also a hotel, has several restaurants and shops, and there's even an on-site wedding chapel! Measuring 1019.5 feet (310.74 meters) in length, it features an indoor swimming pool and various conveniences and amenities characteristic of a cruise liner.

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