Best Things To Do In Orange – Best things to do in Orange County! Enjoy all that this sunny part of California has to offer on this Orange County bucket list.
Known for its beautiful coastline, beautiful beaches and beautiful weather, Orange County is an essential image that most people think of when they think of California.
Best Things To Do In Orange
Spanning 34 counties and spanning the space between Los Angeles and San Diego, Orange County has a lot to cover (and a lot to do in the area)!
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To make it easy, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Orange County – from the best beaches to outdoor activities, local experiences, and places to eat and drink.
Whether you want to eat delicious churros, get a fresh beach tan, or ride a bike or two, we’ve got you covered in this post.
Pack your summer essentials, get ready for some of that California sunshine, and enjoy Orange County!
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Combine their surf, tide pools, great care and mostly sunny weather and it’s hard to have a bad day at the beach in Orange County.
This is also one of the best free things to do in Orange County (although you usually have to pay for parking).
With 42 miles of coastline, this part of California has many beaches to explore.
Try to visit a few while you’re in Orange County to get a real feel for the beach culture and backcountry nature.
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Not far from Disneyland, you’ll find Sweet Rolled Tacos in Garden Grove (there’s also one in Huntington Beach).
These delicious tacos are perfect for a hot Orange County day, whether you’re visiting Orange County with the kids or looking for a tasty treat to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Spread across Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley and Westminster, you will find more than 4,000 Vietnamese-American businesses that are part of the Orange County area known as Little Saigon.
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Orange County’s Little Saigon is not only the largest Little Saigon in the United States, it is home to one of the largest Vietnamese communities outside of Vietnam.
The first time I tried Vietnamese iced coffee was in Little Saigon, not knowing much about the magic I was about to put in my mouth in the form of strong (very) strong coffee and condensed milk. It was love at first sight.
To this day, I have never had a better Vietnamese iced coffee than the first one I tried at Little Saigon.
To get the most out of your visit to Little Saigon, I would recommend doing a morning or afternoon tour to fill your stomach.
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Then, stroll through Phuoc Loc Tho (Asian Garden Mall), head down Bolsa Avenue and grab a bite to eat at Pho Akaushi or Bánh Mì Chè Cali.
By far the most popular thing to do in Orange County, spending a day or two at Disneyland and/or California Adventure is something you should experience at least once (if not too age).
Founded by Walt Disney in the 1950s, Disneyland attracts millions of visitors every year and is one of the most visited theme parks in the world.
It’s no wonder it’s one of Orange County’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason – it’s a place that still holds the magic of childhood.
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From happy horses to cute Disney characters and a fantasy world to get lost in all day, Disneyland is one of the most fun things to do in Orange County.
While I always recommend starting at Disneyland if you haven’t been to any of the parks, Disneyland’s sister park, California Adventure, is also worth a visit.
California Adventure is considered a grown-up version of Disneyland with more fun rides and the option to drink alcohol if you want.
And if you’re looking for something to do at night in Orange County, don’t miss the fireworks display on Main Street and the fireworks at the end of the day at Disneyland.
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The show usually starts at 9:30 p.m., but it’s a good idea to check Disneyland’s schedule online to make sure the lights are on during your visit.
Local tip: The FastPass feature at Disneyland parks is a game changer. This feature allows you to register for different slots where you can cross the line at the same time.
You can only sign up for one FastPass at a time, but this helps save a lot of time waiting in line for each ride.
While you can manually go to each one to get a FastPass, it pays to download the Disneyland app and buy a Disney MaxPass card.
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It’s only $20 per day and allows you to apply for FastPasses from your phone instead of walking each ride – a huge time saver considering how big the park is.
If you’re looking for more flavor, head to Knott’s Berry Farm for some juicy ones.
Located in Buena Park, this is California’s first theme park and offers adrenaline rides, seasonal activities and many interactive experiences.
Although the park’s main attraction is its colorful rollercoasters, it also offers many rides for children so the whole family can enjoy the park.
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For more slippery fun, there’s also Knott’s Soak City across the street for those who love a real water slide.
Local tip: In October, the park is transformed into “Knott’s Scary Farm”, which is actually a large haunted house. Not for the faint of heart, but if you like to be scared and want to get into the Halloween spirit, this is the place to go.
As the name suggests, the Downtown Disney District is another Disney-related activity that is perfect after visiting the parks or if you want to skip Disneyland but still want to experience the magic of Disney.
It is free to go to the entertainment area to walk around, even if you are not visiting the park, with different restaurants, live music, theaters and shops.
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Downtown Disney is on the tourist side, but it’s worth visiting at least once for the full Disney experience in Orange County.
Local tip: Parking is free for 15 minutes if you want to get out and take a quick walk. Alternatively, you can park for free for up to three hours if you spend at least $20 at any store or restaurant. Or, you can park for up to five hours for free if you dine at any Downtown Disney restaurant.
Although it’s not quite the hidden gem it once was on Instagram, finding the Pirate’s Tower in Victoria Beach is still a fun thing to do in Orange County.
The beautiful tower, also known as “La Tour,” was built in 1926 to reach the beach from the building that was built on top of it.
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It’s basically a beautiful staircase that leads down to the beach when it’s in use, but it’s become a popular Laguna Beach destination to visit.
Today, it is closed to the public, but you can still see the Norman tower from the north of Victoria Beach. Make sure you go at low tide.
This is Orange County’s most beautiful state park, with waterfront views, many easy hiking trails, lakes and historic buildings.
Crystal Cove is located between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach and with 5.2 miles of beach, Crystal Cove has a lot to explore.
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Start with a hike or two, maybe go snorkeling or walk around the lagoon, then have a picnic by the beach to finish off a day at the park.
Parking is $15 per vehicle for the entire day. Be sure to leave early as the parking lot fills up quickly, especially on weekends. This is one of the most popular tourist spots in Orange County so expect a bit of a crowd.
Local tip: If you can afford one, book an overnight stay at one of the Crystal Cove Cottages. 24 historic buildings were built in the 1930s and were part of the coastal community that was here from 1920 to 1940. You can reserve a house through ReserveCalifornia.
Mission San Juan Capistrano is one of the 21 Spanish missions you will find along the California coast, and was a landmark during the Spanish colonial period in California.
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The post was founded in 1776 and is one of the oldest landmarks in Orange County.
It is also one of the best missions in California, known as the “Jewel of the California Missions”, and one of the 33,000 visitors every year.
While visiting this mission, you can tour the grounds to see many artifacts, paintings, permanent exhibits, and unique American government buildings.
If you go to a museum