L.A. Day Trip: Orange County
Collected by Susan Mason, AFAR Local Expert
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...
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...
3313 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
Portola Coffee Lab takes making a cup of coffee to a new level. But you don't have to take my word for it—it was recently voted the best coffee in Orange County by the OC Weekly. If you're interested in the artistry involved in roasting and...
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 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...
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...
1510 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802, USA
Disneyland isn't just for kids so while your little tyke takes hours dressing a bear at the Build-a-Bear workshop stop in at the Uva wine bar where you can watch them from afar as you sip some California wine and nibble on something that isn't...
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...
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...
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...
201 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866, USA
Bringing new life to an old gas station in Old Towne Orange (just north of the Orange Circle) is The Filling Station restaurant. It is a popular spot for locals especially on sunny weekends. Large umbrellas and vine-covered pergolas provide ample...
234 E 17th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, USA
Green Leaf is one of my favorite discoveries in Costa Mesa. The menu options are a little overwhelming, but everything I've tried so far has been delicious. My favorite are the steak, mango, and thai chile lettuce cups with lemongrass lychee...
2000 E Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA 92806, USA
No matter who's playing, I always enjoy an afternoon or evening at the park. Watching a baseball game from the ballpark (even from the cheap seats) is a lot better than watching it on television. If you stick around after the game ends, there's a...
2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
Who ever said juice boxes aren't for adults, too? Walk on up to the shopfront, order your freshly made juice, and you're on your way in no time. Spicy Greens is a unique collection of flavors while the Cinnamon Coconut Mylk is ideal for...
2937 Bristol St B103-B100, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
The 'Gelato Flight' of five small 'shots' is a clever and fun way to taste test the homemade gelato, including playful flavors like Honey Lavender. The combined indoor/outdoor space is ideal for sitting back with your freshly-made Piadina...
2937 Bristol St # C101, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
“We are handcrafters. We are members of the planet. We are creators of green products. We are committed to sustainability. We support local artisans. We leave no footprint. We are fueled by love. We encourage diversity. We are a community. We are...
3001 Ocean Blvd, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625, USA
Corona Del Mar is the ideal beach for an early morning swim. (Yes, it will be invigorating!) There are buoys a couple of hundred yards out from the shore line to guide you, as well as the long rock jetty that keeps the water fairly calm. Want...
Newport Beach, CA, USA
Southern California's car culture is under siege. Ok, maybe it's just a collective, civil "excuse us" from the growing biking community. Corona del Mar is making riding safe and fun. There is a tour north of town that includes a novel jaunt on the...
2000 Main St, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, USA
Huntington Beach in Orange County is a must for Southern California visitors. Just think of the headquarters of cool life and this is it. Start the day surfing for a few hours, then join a match in one of the volleyball courts and go back to the...
Back Bay Loop, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, USA
The Back Bay Loop is a paved pathway that takes you all the way around the Newport Bay, an inlet from the ocean that has created a haven for birds and wildlife. Almost the entire path has designated biking and walking areas, making it a safe...
3222 East Coast Hwy, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625, USA
It’s thoroughly impressive how much this cafe has to offer. You walk in to find farmhouse decor amongst indoor and outdoor seating, a small bakery section, a boutique, meals to go, freshly prepared pastas, and an additional menu to order from....
E 17th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, USA
What used to be a derelict street stacked with your typical fast food joints has now become a mecca for boutique-style fitness, health, and artisan shops. Welcome to 17th Street. You'll find everything here from juice shops and breakfast spots in...
1400 Pacific Coast Hwy, Seal Beach, CA 90740, USA
Don't say another word. You had me at “$25 All-You-Can-Eat at the Sushi Bar”. Served only at the bar, you need to be quick to snag your spot, as the all-you-can-eat only lasts for one hour (except for Monday & Wednesday, which lasts all night...
436 E 17th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, USA
It’s your local friendly pub that’s been upgraded with a rustic-meets-retro décor and a great menu. It may not look like much from the outside, but this newly renovated neighborhood bar is a well-known favorite. And you’ll see why. Take a seat at...
234 E 17th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, USA
A healthy happy hour? Sign me up! Affordable pizza and side dishes, as well as discounted beer and wine are on offer at Greenleaf Chopshop every day. Try the Tuscan kale salad, or the yams, walnuts, and goat cheese. If you miss the happy hour, go...
204 Washington St, Newport Beach, CA 92661, USA
Bike cruisers are the local, eco-friendly mode of transportation along the lengthy and packed Balboa Peninsula. Park your car, rent or bring a bike, and cruise along the sunny beachside. Or take the Balboa Ferry across to Balboa Island for a...
320 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740, USA
Main Street in Seal Beach is pretty laid back, yet 320 Main adds a flourish with its vibrant cocktail scene and boutique-style restaurant. This is a worthy stop in the evening, so pick your poison. For a good quality kick, order the Hu Hu...
270 E 17th St #18, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, USA
While seeking out any spots that offered stumptown coffee, I found Sidecar Doughnuts located in the Costa Mesa area. The doughnuts are made fresh every hour and they serve Stumptown coffee. If in the area, I would definitely check this place out....
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