Cool factor: Probably Orange County’s most dramatic cave landscape. The entrance takes you into the rocky cliffs at this South Laguna beach. Visit during low tide when access is easier and safer.
Where to find: Concrete stairs at Ninth Avenue and South Coast Highway to Thousand Steps Beach, walk to the south end

On an 1891 whistle-stop tour of the West, our 23rd president received a rousing welcome at the Santa Ana train station. The crowd swelled to nearly 5,000 for this first county visit by a sitting president. Even The Standard, the local Democratic newspaper, said of the Republican president’s speech: “We enjoyed the occasion as much as anyone.”
In a national survey released this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation tagged more than 50 local bridges as “structurally deficient,” which, we have been assured, is a technical term that includes such deficiencies as needing a paint job; it doesn’t mean that they’re not safe.
The Cypress Branch Library is home to Orange County Public Libraries’ music collection, and it’s the largest public repository of historical sheet music in the county. It features more than 5,000 books and 4,000 individual scores, encompassing more than 50,000 song titles.
Now that the trucks have been mothballed, fans flock to this moored flagship for Andrew Gruel’s sustainable seafood treats. Still, two of the best are only available by request: the Classic New England Lobster Roll ($23), and the famed lobster grilled cheese ($15). 19696 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, 714-963-3900, slapfishrestaurant.com
Start out on this moderately difficult 4-mile hike walking northwest on a paved ridgeline fire road (Aswut Trail), which has some of the county’s best vistas. Undeveloped Aliso Canyon lies on one side and on the other you’ll have expansive views down into Laguna Beach and the ocean. Then dip into the park via its least-known entrance.
Lower-level gallery near the back staircase, Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, 949-494-8971, lagunaartmuseum.org
Designed by Stanford White in 1888 for the renowned Shakespearean actress. One of two National Historic Landmarks in the county, tucked into Modjeska Canyon, natch.
By: Artist unknown, late-19th to mid-20th century
Lots of things turn up in and around the ocean. Some you’d expect—others, not so much.

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