An Orange County Itinerary
Collected by Nyssa C. , AFAR Local Expert
What to do, things to see, places to eat, hotels to stay... in Orange County.
1 Green Pleasure Pier, Avalon, CA 90704, USA
For the time it takes most Angelenos to commute to work, you can be ferried into the alternate reality of Catalina Island, a romantic escape far from the daily traffic jams and urban sprawl. The evergreen-shrubbed hills spotted with an artists...
6410 E Chapman Ave, Orange, CA 92869, USA
This restaurant is truly a gem in the fine dining scene of Orange County. Nestled atop Orange Hills, this restaurant offers breathtaking panoramic views of glamorous Orange County. To see it in all its illuminated glory, you'll have to visit...
30801 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
This five-star beachfront hotel toes the line between being a hub of activity and a luxurious, only-in-southern-California hideaway. For restoration, head to the sprawling spa for a customized wellness-oriented treatment or a meditation class....
26801 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675, USA
I recall this church from my elementary school days but it wasn't until I visited the site when I was older that I fully appreciated it. The mission is one of the oldest European settlements in Orange County and boasts so much historical...
1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802, USA
A trip to Disneyland at Christmas Time is a holiday tradition in my family. You'll sure be feeling jolly and ready for the holiday after strolling through the Happiest Place on Earth. This amusement park does it right. They add the perfect touch...
13681 Newport Ave #14, Tustin, CA 92780, USA
Independent coffeeshops in Orange County are few and far between. But of course, if you're looking for Starbucks, you can always find your fix within a 2-mile radius no matter which way you turn. If you're in Orange County, specifically in Tustin...
3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
Seasons 52 allows you to leave your calorie counter at the door with a seasonal menu that has a ceiling of 475 calories for every item. Serving contemporary American cuisine, Seasons 52 prides itself on using only the freshest produce, and feature...
320 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
Though a Belgian chain, Le Pain Quotidien breathes new life into the coffee scene in Los Angeles, serving boulangerie fare, handmade bread, and organic beverages. I typically try to stay away from chains, but this is one for which I'm willing to...
13011 Newport Ave, Tustin, CA 92780, USA
The Lost Bean is one of those rare finds in the greater Orange County area. For some reason, there's a dearth of independent coffeeshops in Orange County, but when you do find one, it almost always compensates for the lack of establishments. The...
2937 Bristol St A102, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
Tucked away by the Wine Bar at the Lab in Costa Mesa, Old Vine Cafe is one of those hidden gems in the Orange County dining circuit, with both tasting and a la carte menus. The service was excellent and our waiter's vast knowledge of wine was...
2981 Bristol St B-2, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
What's more quintessentially American than a good 'ole hamburger? Another California chain that has been creating waves when it comes to this American staple is Umami Burger. After practically placing my beloved In-N-Out on a pedestal, I always...
3333 Bristol St SUITE #1870, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
If you ever find yourself in southern California, you must visit the shopping haven that is South Coast Plaza! It is the THE mall of Orange County and offers an eclectic range of shops to fit every wallet size. There are low-end clothing stores...
600 Town Center Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
Samueli Theater is one of the many theaters housed under the Orange County Performing Arts Complex. I've seen a variety of different independent comedy shows and plays here and I must say, it is one of the most visually stunning theaters I have...
1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802, USA
Disney's California Adventure is right across from Disneyland and is worth the park-hopper pass. And if you're in town for long, the best deal would be an annual pass. I think California Adventure complements Disneyland very well in that it has...
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