An Orange County trip in California offers superb wining and dining and outdoor activities for a memorable trip.

An Orange County trip is highly recommended if you’re looking for an adventurous and peaceful area for the weekend. Notably, it houses some of the most popular attractions like Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.

Even though Orange County has some of the best theme parks in California, in my opinion, it still has other attractions that are enjoyable too. Some of these are hidden gems while others are well known tourists areas.

Therefore, here’s a short list of attractions in Orange County, California that appeals to travel lovers of all tastes and budgets. 

Santa Ana

One of my favorite places in Orange County is Santa Ana. Santa Ana is home to the Bowers Museum and The Heritage Museum of Orange County. The Bowers Museum is an art museum that focuses on world culture, while the Heritage Museum of Orange County is a cultural and natural history center.

Santa Ana is also famous for its Vietnamese community and the popular Asian Garden Mall. The Asian Garden Mall is the perfect spot to try different Vietnamese dishes, learn about the Vietnamese culture, and to go shopping.

If you’re a food instagrammer or someone who enjoys trying different cuisines, then Santa Ana is the place to visit.

Asian Garden Mall (Phouc Loc Tho)

Photo: DHN via Wikimedia Commons

Orange Plaza aka “The Orange Circle”

The Orange Plaza is one of Orange County’s historic sites that’s perfect for families and friends to go to for a fun day. One of its notable and picture-worthy spot is the water fountain that’s placed in the middle of the plaza. Also, it has many boutiques, antique stores, and occasional street fairs too. 

Therefore, if you choose to go during the weekend, I would highly encourage you to come before 12pm before the crowd arrives later in the day. I also recommend coming to the Orange Circle for an early morning walk because it’s blissfully peaceful and quiet. 

Orange Plaza in Orange County, California

Photo: Marty Rice via Wikimedia Commons

Huntington Beach Pier

Huntington Beach Pier is the best spot for surfing, walking, and for the perfect sunset view. The best part about Huntington Beach Pier is that it’s perfect for any occasion. For example, it’s the ideal spot for family hangouts, date nights, or for any casual evenings.

Notably, about 5-10 minutes away from Huntington Beach Pier, you can also find a variety of breweries and nightlife culture. For example, Four Sons Brewing is the perfect spot for someone who enjoys a casual and fun night. While, Beachwood Brewing Taproom is perfect for anyone who enjoys tasting and drinking a variety of beers.

Huntington Beach has been famously nicknamed “Surf City USA.” Next, Huntington Beach Pier has also appeared on a number popular TV shows such as, Masterchef and Disney Channel’s Austin and Ally.

Sunset at Huntington Beach, California

Photo: Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash

Sawdust Art & Craft Festival

One of the hidden gems in Orange County is the Sawdust Art & Craft festival in Laguna Beach. Although it’s only opened during specific times of the year, it’s still one of the coolest places to visit.

Furthermore, the festival is open during the summer and winter time. If you’re interested in attending the summer festival then you can come from June – September. If you’re more interested in the winter festival, then they’re open on specific days from November – December.

Sawdust Art & Craft Festival in Laguna Beach

Photo: Lizgoldner via Wikimedia Commons

San Clemente

Last, San Clemente is a beautiful city in Orange County that embodies Spanish-style architecture. San Clemente is also the perfect spot for someone who enjoys surfing, hiking, and nature life.

First, consider visiting the San Clemente State beach. This beach is the best spot for taking pictures and going camping.

Then there is the breathtaking and beautiful Calafia State Park. It has the perfect view of the cliffs, it’s a great spot to watch the sunrise, and it’s the best spot to get your cardio in for the day.

Last, is the San Clemente Pier which is a long pier that stretches out into the Pacific Ocean. Similar to the San Clemente State Beach and Huntington Beach Pier, it’s perfect for a casual evening and to take Instagram-worthy pictures.

Calafia Cliffs in San Clemente, California

Photo: Steve Hedin via Wikimedia Commons

Make the most of your Orange County trip at these spots for a varied and relaxed experience.

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