Orange County is a summer vacation destination for many visitors who are drawn to its pristine beaches, upscale shopping and dining, and world-famous amusement parks. For those of us fortunate enough to call the OC home, summer affords an almost endless array of fun activities, from restful staycations and day trip destinations to weekend getaways and romantic evenings out. Whether you are looking for family-centric fun or an unforgettable adventure, ideas abound!
If you’re a sun-loving fun seeker looking for things to do along O.C.’s iconic golden coast, you won’t be disappointed. With 42 miles of uninterrupted beaches and extensive recreation surrounded by an engaging balance of natural beauty and eclectic cities, you can spend a day or a weekend sunbathing, surfing, gallery hopping and dining al fresco. Some fun-in-the-sun options:
Beach bum it. From the main street vibe in Seal Beach down to the historic hang outs of San Onofre and the enchanting tide pools in Laguna, O.C. beaches offer something for everyone.
Watch a whale. While the peak whale watching season ends in spring, cruises leave from Balboa & Newport Beach Harbor and Dana Wharf in Dana Point year ‘round. Enjoy the scenic view from the water and bring your camera to snap shots of the plentiful delightful dolphin pods.
Take a hike. O.C.’s coastal parks are a great way to enjoy views of the shoreline without getting your feet wet. Check out Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Salt Creek Beach County Park, and Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve.
Live like a local. The best way to really enjoy coastal Orange County is to live there, even if it’s for a short time. Rent out a bungalow through Airbnb or book a hotel room for the weekend. Get to know the locals, make some new friends, and find out all the best places to dine and hang out.
Dine al Fresco. Dining dockside or next to the beach is a given when you’re spending a day next to the water. There are unlimited options for beach-side dining in Orange County but one Southern California landmark always draws a crowd. Las Brisas overlooks the Pacific Ocean and the breathtaking Laguna Beach coastline. Originally, the Victor Hugo Inn, the property was christened Las Brisas, in 1979, and now offers Californian cuisine with authentic Mexican recipes using simple ingredients and locally sourced fresh seafood. Have Sunday brunch or take on happy hour with their specialty margaritas and hand-crafted cocktails. lasbrisaslagunabeach.com.