Local Leaders Share Their Favorite Places Around Town in O.C.

Orange County natives, celebrities, and VIPs told us about their favorite places in town.
Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Lido neighborhood
Jean Coyle, co-owner of Fable & Spirit, Dublin 4 gastropub, and Wineworks for Everyone
“Lido is very special to me. When our kids were born at Hoag Hospital, (we’d) get this nice view of Lido. And when we lived in Newport, we would go to Lido a lot. I really feel that it’s special from years ago, so now coming back to it is full circle.”

Great Park
Audra DiPadova Wilford, chief hope officer of MaxLove Project
“There’s something about the Great Park, because of the hills and the light. It’s got a really pretty energy to it. The Farm and Food Lab (interactive outdoor classroom) is there. The Solutions for Urban Agriculture are amazing partners. We’d like to put up a simple teaching kitchen for the community. I just love that space.”

Laguna Beach trails
Paula Tomei, managing director of South Coast Repertory
“I’m fortunate to live in Laguna Beach. All of the trails are beautiful. I love any spot where I can look up at the hills and see the goats eating the vegetation to avoid fires. I thought that was one of the most clever fire-prevention tactics I’ve ever seen. Where else but Laguna Beach?!”

Plaza of Orange
Courtney Conlogue, professional surfer
“Orange Circle. I love Filling Station, but now that Urth and Snooze are there, I’m so torn! I love going thrift shopping with my friends. I love hats, so I’m always on the hunt for a top hat or a fun hat.”

Photograph by Emily J. Davis

H.B. Central Library
Paul Frank, artist and fashion designer
“Huntington Beach Central Library. It’s in a beautiful setting and ias a great resource for a lot of old books. I got my first graphics from a clip-art book at the library. The book was really old, like from the ’60s. It had a retro feel. I was lucky to grow up in Huntington Beach.”

Centennial Farms
Glenn Tanaka, owner of Tanaka Farms
“A place that I like is Centennial Farms over at the Fairgrounds. We actually helped them when they first started, and what they’ve done since then has been incredible. The place is just beautiful. I think about 100,000 kids go through there. There’s a real thirst for agriculture and getting back to the roots. I don’t get there often, but that’s a neat place.”

Laguna Beach Books
Kaira Rouda, author
“Laguna Beach Books because they welcome you, and it’s so warm and charming. It’s woman-owned and run. It’s so powerful to have a community bookstore; we’re so lucky they’re there. Everyone is so knowledgeable, and the staff recommendations are great. They’re not just serving tourists but also the locals. It’s so bright and happy in there.”

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