When it comes to tourist centers, the state of California has its fair share. When you’re in Orange, CA, you’ll find many widely popular locations to visit in Orange County and the surrounding area. If you’re planning a trip to this region of California, then there are some must-see attractions that you’ll definitely want to add to your list of places to go.
One of the most famous locations in Orange County is the Disneyland amusement park. This park features eight different themed lands that will be sure to impress and bring a magical touch to your next family vacation. For those Walt Disney fans, this park is sacred because it was the first park ever designed and opened under the direct supervision of Walt Disney himself. Some of the most popular rides to visit include Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
2. Angel Stadium
Located in Anaheim, Angel Stadium has been serving as the home ballpark of the Los Angeles Angels since way back in 1966. While baseball is the most commonly played sport in this outdoor arena, it also serves as a home to other events such as soccer, football, motocross, and even monster trucks.
3. Bowers Museum
Located in Santa Ana, California, this museum features a permanent collection of over 100,000 objects. Many of these artifacts are attributed to the Native Americans, Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, African, Asian, and Oceanic artistic styles. When you get hungry after taking in all the artifacts that the Bowers Museum has to offer, you’ll want to be sure to stop by its Tangata restaurant.
4. Yost Theater
On East Street Promenade, located in the historic district of Santa Ana, you’ll find an old-world historical theater. This theater is home to a plethora of events throughout the year, ranging from concerts and live performances to upscale weddings. You can easily purchase tickets online for any upcoming shows hosted at the theater’s gigantic stage.
5. Knott’s Berry Farm
If you’re not into the big-time crowds that congregate at Disneyland, you may want to hit up Knott’s Berry Farm. This is an old-school amusement park situated on 57 acres in Buena Park, CA. You’ll be sure to love the wide selection of over 40 different rides, including water rides, dark rides, roller coasters, and family rides.
6. Crystal Cove State Park
When getting into the outdoors is a must, you’ll want to stop by Crystal Cove State Park. This beautiful park encompasses just over three miles of the Pacific coastline. You’ll enjoy seeing the Crystal Cove historic district of beach houses, inland chaparral canyons, and so much more. Be sure that you plan on stopping by the marine conservation area and the underwater park to take in more of all the beauties that Mother Nature has to offer this region of the country.
7. Disney California Adventure Park
If you love the Disney theme, consider visiting Disney California Adventure Park. This adventure park features some of the most sought-after Disney, Super Hero, and Pixar characters. The Disney California Adventure Park is a Disneyland Resort where you can book a stay for an entire week or weekend to enjoy the entirety of the adventure park without having to worry about traveling to and from it. Some popular attractions include the Avengers Campus, Jessie’s Critter Carousel, Incredicoaster, and Radiator Springs Racers.
8. Heisler Park
Stretching along the bluffs of Laguna Beach, Heisler Park offers a plethora of oceanfront views. Enjoy the gardens, marine refuge, walking trails, barbecues, tide pools, and lawn bowling greens. This park is the perfect getaway to enjoy a picnic outdoors or go for a nice hike with the family to take in the oceanfront views along the way.
9. Mission San Juan Capistrano Museum and Gardens
This historical museum and landmark are considered the birthplace of Orange County. Founded more than 200 years ago, Mission San Juan Capistrano Museum and Gardens stands as a landmark to market the multicultural history of the area. Learn about the Spanish Padres, Native Americans, Spanish, Mexican, and European history that all took place at this sacred chapel.
10. Huntington Beach Pier
Just as the sun rises or as it starts to set, the Huntington Beach Pier is a must-see for the whole family. Measuring 1,850 feet in length, this beach pier is considered to be one of the longest constructed on the Western Coast of America. Apart from taking breathtaking photos that will remind you of the beautiful ocean scenery, you can enjoy fishing, shopping, and even dining on the pier.
11. Newport Beach Duffies
Newport Harbor is well known to be a very posh area full of sporty pleasure boats and mega yachts. If you’re like most and can’t afford a mega yacht, then a Duffy can be the perfect solution. These small canopy top boats offer seating for 10 and have an ice chest on board so that you can keep your drinks cold throughout your journey. You can take a leisurely cruise throughout Lido and Balboa Islands. Even stop at some of the numerous watering holes along the way to talk to the locals while you enjoy seeing the finer Mansions situated along Newport Harbor.
12. Taco Maria
You can’t take a vacation to Orange County without trying some of the local Mexican food. Located in Costa Mesa, Taco Maria is an upscale Mexican dining restaurant that offers a variety of Mexican heritage-inspired dishes. Behind the restaurant is Chef Carlos Salgado, who has been recognized numerous times throughout various restaurants in San Francisco and other California hot spots for his exquisite construction of Mexican cuisine.
13. Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
With over 1300 Acres comprising this coastal estuary, you’ll be able to get a first-hand look at a variety of different animals that thrive in this coastal environment. From open waters and salty marshes to coastal dunes and freshwater habitats, this ecological reserve offers visitors so many different scenes to take in a variety of wildlife sightings. You can check out the conservatory area to get guided information about the area’s wildlife, or you can take to the four miles of public hiking trails to do some of your very own sightseeing.
14. Downtown Disney
You can’t visit Orange County, California without stopping by the renowned Downtown Disney. This unique downtown setup is packed full of shops, entertainment venues, and eateries that are all Disney-themed. You can pick up some of your favorite Disney merchandise while having a one-of-a-kind experience at the Splitsville Luxury Lanes. Take the time to explore the magic of Downtown Disney as it’s extremely close to both Disneyland and the Disney California Adventure Park.
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