Here’s our annual list celebrating the best O.C. has to offer, including food, drink, fun things to see and do, places to shop and ways to indulge. Join us to sample many of the items in this collection on July 12 at Rancho Las Lomas. Get your tickets now.

Sip and Stop
Hop on board the O.C. Wine Trolley for a nostalgic trip through Old Towne Orange. This 90‑minute rolling tour stops at as many as 12 restaurants and lets you try a variety of wines while entertaining guides tell you about the rich history of Orange. It’s trolley good fun! Orange, 714‑628‑7444

Golf Deal for Locals
Have a 949 area code? With the 9FORE9 offer at Monarch Beach Golf Links, those three little numbers give you access to nine holes for $49 on weekdays and $59 on weekends. A true deal when it comes to playing one of the county’s most picturesque golf courses. Dana Point, 949‑248‑3002

Tall-Ship Tour
Most Sundays, you can take a tour aboard the brig Pilgrim, a full‑size replica of the ship in Richard Henry Dana Jr.’s 1840 memoir “Two Years Before the Mast,” at the ocean institute. Learn about maritime history in this dockside “Open House,” and discover what it was like to live, eat, and sleep on an old sailing ship. Included in the Institute’s admission price ($5 to $10), it’s a great experience for children and adults alike. Dana Point, 949‑496‑2274

County Fair Comedy
International comedy stars Trevor Noah, Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Jim Gaffigan perform this summer at the Pacific Amphitheatre, and your ticket gets you OC Fair entrance, too. The days of relatively obscure Fair acts seem to be over. No matter your sense of humor, you’ll find something to tickle you over a 10‑day period in July. Costa Mesa, 714‑708‑1500

Pilates, Yoga & Workshop Combo
In a quaint cottage at Balboa Peninsula’s Cannery Village, Villa Pilates & Yoga has re‑established a yoga program with instructor Vas Kypreos. Look for inventive workshops every month—think ceremonial drinking of medicinal cacao, an intro to tarot, or rose‑quartz crystal healing. Newport Beach, 949‑673‑6800

Boozy Craft Night
Costa Mesa Ceramics hosts a wide range of classes, from six‑week courses to one‑night endeavors. For $45, go for the Wine and Ceramics Night, a crash course in throwing and hand‑building, with a side of indulgence. At the end, with masterpieces in hand, you’ll have more than just memories. Costa Mesa, 949‑612‑7514

Community Performance Venue
Open less than a year, Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ Argyros Plaza has fulfilled its mission as a gathering place. Family celebrations for holidays include games, face painting, and performances. Want to learn something new? Pop over for ukulele, swing, or tango lessons. Hundreds come to relax, picnic, and take in free events at this welcoming space. Costa Mesa, 714‑556‑2787

Theater for Kids
American Panto has performed a holiday show at the Laguna Playhouse for three years, and it returns in December with “Beauty and the Beast.” Even the squirmiest of children—and the adults accompanying them—are entranced by the performers, music, and hilarity of these musicals that demand audience participation. Laguna Beach, 949‑497‑2787

Free Whale Watching from shore
Blufftop views for sighting whales don’t come easier than Dana Point’s Nature Interpretive Center, with docent‑led tours on Saturdays. Easy nature trails start here, too. There are restrooms, parking, and no need for Dramamine. Center is open Tuesday through Sunday. Trails are open daily until sunset. Dana Point, 949‑248‑3527

South O.C. Climbing Gym
Get to the top of your game at Aesthetic Climbing Gym, a premier indoor rock‑climbing facility. The gym boasts 10 rockscape patterns, more than 3,500 square feet of bouldering terrain, and an expert staff ready to assist all skill levels. Weight and cardio rooms, pingpong, and foosball are also onsite. Lake Forest, 949‑716‑7116

Foam Shootout
NERF Party OC’s promise: All the excitement of paintball without the bruises and mess. Indeed, this mobile, inflatable battlefield is perfect for everything from birthday parties to family gatherings, even corporate team building at a location of your choice. Up to 60 players can be accommodated. Ready, set, go have fun! nerfpartyoc.com

Work-for-Lunch Proposition
Make your own pastas at Andrea, under the guidance of a chef, then allow him to prepare them for you, sauced three ways and served on the gorgeous patio at The Resort at Pelican Hill overlooking the sea. For $125, sous chef Christopher Simons does the honors for you at 11 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday; reservations required. Newport Coast, 844-445-2183

Dueling Piano Bar
Look for live music, fun cocktails, and an exuberant crowd Thursday through Saturday at Keys On Main, the new entertainment venue at The Triangle in Costa Mesa. Attach a tip to your song request and watch the two performers on baby grand pianos pound out your anthem—anything from Billy Joel to Bruno Mars—while encouraging audience interaction. Costa Mesa, 714‑619‑9850

Blast from the Past
At this unassuming bar on Main Street, you’ll find yourself in an ’80s and ’90s time warp. Inspired by the owners’ childhoods, Barcode is a cozy hangout complete with a shrine of collectibles (don’t call them toys!), pop‑culture themed cocktails, Asian‑fusion pub grub, and retro video games. Challenge a friend to Mario Kart on the Nintendo 64—loser buys winner a Princess Peach cocktail. Garden Grove, 949‑390‑8499


Reader Raves: Workouts

We asked our Instagram followers for their favorite workout, fitness instructor, or studio in Orange County.

Illustration by Lydia Guadagnoli


Webb Travis, Newport Beach
“@webbtravispt, hands down. Attentive, full of energy and very kind. His Fired Up classes kind of kick my butt every time.” —@heymisslouise

Freedom Ride, Newport Beach
“Maxie Hasse at @instafreedomride is the best spin instructor!!” —@alanaashwal

Spider Muay Thai, Fountain Valley
“Best muay thai instructor around. Coach Franky will boost your confidence and make you into a fighter in no time.” —@rawls17

Mohm, Mission Viejo
“I’ve been loving my prenatal yoga classes @mohm.mv with danya! They are relaxing and challenging and she really helps us get in tune with body and baby.” —@opalandsage

Defy Gravity, Newport Beach
“My favorite place to work out is @defygravitystudio. All their classes are top notch but my favorite for an all over workout is their defy60 class.” —@fitnesslizbradley


 Insta-Tip

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