Things To Do In Orange County California

orange county california

 

For the active senior looking for fun and excitement in Orange County California, the question isn’t what can you do – it’s what can’t you do! Adventures from beach combing to day hiking, shows, art exhibits, fine dining, sporting events and more await you at every turn.

Beaches

With the summer crowds having died down as families have returned to their normal schedules, some of California’s most beautiful beaches are just waiting for your exploration. Laguna Beach offers several fantastic parks for picnics and more, including Heisler Park, Crystal Cove State Park and Crescent Bay Point Park. Capistrano, Sunset and Newport Beaches all offer picturesque landscapes to enjoy. While you are relishing all your beach options, don’t forget about the Shell Beach Tide Pools in La Jolla, or the San Clemente Coastal Trail that runs along the shoreline of San Clemente.

Hikes

Beyond the many beaches are some other great outdoors locations to discover. The 13-mile-long Santa Ana River Trail offers adventure for those of all skill levels as it follows along the Santa Ana River. If observing birds and other wildlife calls to you, take a trip to the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine to walk or bike some of the trails there, or make a visit to the Anaheim Bay National Wildlife Refuge. And speaking of birds, a wonderful place for birding is the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach.

History and Education

If you love history, you’ll definitely want to take a trip to historic San Juan Capistrano. While there are many fascinating attractions there, the highlight is the Mission San Juan Capistrano which was founded in 1776! Stunning gardens, a fountain, olive trees and pigeons and the Los Rios Historical District and its adobes from the 1790s are just some of the many sights to take in. The mission also includes exhibits, museums, a chapel and a gift shop. A perfect place to spend a day!

Another great adventure begins at Newport Beach with a ride on the Balboa Ferry. On Balboa Island you can take a walk on the boardwalk, visit all the fun shops, and enjoy some fantastic food at one of the many great restaurants.

There are many great educational destinations as well. The Lyon Air Museum in Santa Ana features military aircraft, military vehicles and motorcycles, and related memorabilia with an emphasis on World War II.  The all-new Richard Nixon Library and Museum features unique multi-media experiences, original films, artifacts, photographs and nearly 70 new major exhibits.

Orange County has many galleries, performing arts and cultural centers to peruse as well. The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana features a permanent collection of over 100,000 objects as well as visiting collections. Running now through January 2019, the Museum is hosting “Knights In Armor”, a collection of European arms and armor from the Medieval and Renaissance ages. For performing arts, the Sergerstrom Center for the Arts hosts plays, musicals, concerts, ballets and more. Coming in November 2018 is the play “WAITRESS”.

Entertainment and Shopping

If sporting events, concerts or comedy shows are more your style, the offerings in Orange County are endless! You can catch an Anaheim Ducks game at the Honda Center, watch the Los Angeles Clippers or Los Angeles Lakers at the STAPLES Center, and cheer the Los Angles Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Some of the great big-venue concerts coming to Orange County in October/November include Rod Stewart and Foreigner, and Jerry Seinfeld will be performing at the Hollywood Pantages Theater on November 3rd.

We’d be remiss to not also mention some of the many theme parks that Orange County is so very famous for. Whether you want to take the grandkids for a fun day out or just want to indulge your kid-at-heart side, don’t forget about Disneyland, Disney Adventure Park and Knott’s Berry Farm. Knott’s Berry Farm currently has several Halloween-focused attractions, and all three theme parks get “dressed up” for the holiday season in November and December.

With the holidays just around the corner, you don’t want to miss some of the great parades and festivals. The St. Martin’s Lantern Fest and Parade will be November 11, 2018 in Huntington Beach. The Lantern Fest is meant to mark the start of the festive season and get everyone filled with the Christmas spirit. Additionally, the Sawdust Winter Fantasy, which runs five weekends in November through December in Laguna Beach will offer shoppers the opportunity to purchase unique gifts from local artisan crafters. Find something special for everyone on your list.

Shopping Centers like Fashion Island, South Coast Plaza and Irvine Spectrum Center are just some of the many great places to indulge in your inner shopper as well. Don’t forget to also visit the Outlets at Orange, Orange County’s outlet shopping destination with over 120 stores.

With so much to do, the real question is what do you want to do first?

For more information about active adult retirement living in Orange County California, contact Melanie melanie@melaniecallahan.com or call (949) 525-3590