Irvine Regional Park – Orange, CA
Orange County’s first regional park opened in 1897 and is located just inside the city of Orange. The 160-acre park is a great place to visit for family and friends with hiking trails that open everyday at 6 am that lead to beautiful green scenery. This dog-friendly park is perfect for picnics and barbecue’s, which also includes a full Farmers market, horse rentals and bike rentals, pony rides, paddle boating and even an O.C. Zoo that you can visit. Irvine Park is also great for hosting events such as a pumpkin patch, Easter-Egg stravaganza, a Christmas train and more. Irvine Regional Park is located at the far east end of Jamboree Road in the foothills of Orange. The nearest major cross streets are Chapman Avenue and Jamboree Road.
Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary – Silverado, CA
Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary is a non-profit nature reserve on the Santa Ana Mountains in Orange County, California. The wildlife sanctuary with it’s diverse native habitats and abundant wildlife is home to over 85 different species of birds. Tucker Wildlife consists of family-friendly walking trails, a wildlife observation area, a seasonal creek and picnic areas for visitors to explore. As one of Orange County’s best birding sites, it has become a favorite spot for photographers to capture beautiful scenery.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park – San Joaquin Hills, CA
Surrounding Laguna Beach, this wilderness park has amazing views to offer it’s visitors with great beach weather. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park features coastal canyons, ridgeline views and the only natural Lake in Orange County, California. This is a destination for Horseback riding, mountain bike riders and fitness lovers. There are numerous trails to explore which gain in height, reaching up to 1,000 ft. in elevation. Laguna Coast Wilderness gives artists and photographers plentiful inspiration throughout the trails. From Santiago Canyon Road, turn onto Modjeska Canyon Road and drive back into the canyon. Bear to the left at the fork with Modjeska Grade Road and wind your way up to the nature center on the left with the main outdoor portion on your right.
William R. Mason Regional Park – Irvine, CA
Mason Park is one of the largest parks to enjoy in southern Irvine. This park is filled with rows of trees providing endless amount of shade to it’s visitors. Mason Park consists of a beautiful 9-acre lake, biking paths, three separate toddler areas, picnic areas for family and friends, a softball backstop, large turf areas, two sand volleyball courts, a physical fitness course, playground for kids, and amphitheater and model boat sailing. Mason Park holds events for the public such as concerts and festivals for guests to enjoy. The park is located at 18712 University Drive in Irvine, near UCI and Culver Drive.
Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park – San Joaquin Hills, CA
Just up the hills from Laguna Beach, Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park is comprised of 4,500 acre grassland and rugged coastal canyons. A wildlife preserve surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, this regional park is great for mountain bike riding, horseback riding and hiking. The hiking trails offer breathtaking views from high elevation leading you back downhill and on to the beach. To get to the main entrance of Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, take I-5 to Alicia Parkway. Go south (left if you’re coming from San Diego, right if from Orange County) on Alicia Parkway and drive four miles. Just past Aliso Creek, turn right into the park.
Other places to see fall foliage in southern California.
LA County Arboretum & Botanic Gardens – Arcadia, CA
Whittier Narrows Recreational Facility – El Monte, CA
Stoddard Peak – Claremount, CA
Riverside / San Bernardino Counties
Big Bear Lake – Big Bear, CA
Grass Valley Lake – Lake Arrowhead, CA
Lake Gregory – Crestline, CA
Lake Hemet – Hemet, CA
San Diego County
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park – Julian, CA
Hot Springs Mountain – San Diego County
Palomar Mountain State Park – San Diego County
Laguna Mountain – East San Diego County