Places to Visit in Orange County
Orange County is famous for its many places and activities. Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Disney California Adventure Park, etc. These destinations are great for tourists visiting Orange County or new residents of the area.
But have you ever thought about leaving Orange County’s main tourist roads to see some of their hidden gems and secret attractions. From secret outdoor attractions such as beaches and parks to hidden shops and restaurants, there are so many places to visit in Orange County. Below are;
18 Best Places to Visit in Orange County
1. Pirate Tower
The Pirate Tower is located on Victoria Beach. The tower is 60 feet tall and was built in 1926. For visitors to Victoria Beach, this is more than just a spectacle. The tower is an enclosed staircase leading to a private cliff-top residence. Some of the owners of the houses are California Senator William E. Brown, Navy officers Harold Kendrick and Betty Midler.
Many people like to see the Pirate Tower. It is an excellent featured photo. They said it was worth driving or walking down the stairs to see. Although unless you know this little feature of Victoria Beach, you might end up missing it.
2. Victoria Beach
Victoria Beach is the first destination away from ordinary tourists. It is usually inhabited by locals who like the blue water and away from the hustle and bustle of busy beaches. This beach is one of the more secluded beaches in Southern California and is an ideal place for any explorer. You will find people doing various activities on the beach, including snowboarding, swimming, fishing and beach sports.
As for the beach, it is a beautiful place for anyone willing to walk a short walk down the stairs to the beach. Unlike the popular beach, Victoria Beach can only be accessed by stairs because you park your car at a higher position, but many locals and others say that the stairs are worth enjoying the magnificent scenery and sunset.
3. Pitcher Park
Pitcher Park is another small park in Southern California. In terms of what it has, this is not a typical park. It is just a small pocket park in the Old Town of Orange County, not a place for running or sports. But it’s not particularly small. This is the ideal place for a picnic, take some beautiful photos, or learn some history of Orange County in the barn and give a small introduction.
Whether it’s a wedding or social media, this park is an excellent backdrop for taking photos. You can take a short walk, cheer up from your daily exploration activities, take a step back and relax.
4. Fairview Park
Fairview Park is for everyone. Some of the best features of Fairview are its proximity to the Talbot Nature Reserve and the Santa Ana River Trail, providing guests with many options for what they want to do. Depending on your needs, the park itself is filled with many different trails. There are paths suitable for walkers, joggers, and runners, as well as special paths for cyclists only.
There are many places worth exploring in the park. Some people describe walking in the park as desolate and lonely, but not in a negative environment. However, when you stand out in the field, you will respect and appreciate nature more.Therefore, please go cycling or walking in Fairview Park, as it is really a great place for families or anyone.
5. Marina Park
Marina Park is a good place for families. Unlike most parks or beaches, Marina Park offers children a safe and unforgettable experience in the lovely Newport Beach Harbor. Swimming in the calm waters of the harbor is perfect for children. There are almost no waves and there are many boats you can drive by. If your children prefer to run and play instead of swimming, Binhai Park provides a gorgeous playground for children. They can run, jump, climb and slide on all playground equipment including their own lighthouse.
Many people like to go to Marina Park because it is a clean, safe park with a great location. There are also picnic tables for a day out, or you can sit and watch the boats in the water.
Regardless of your age or family size, Marina Park is one of the hidden gems of Newport Beach, you should not miss it. If you want to buy a house on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, please contact David Feldberg immediately!
6. Heisler Park
Heisler Park is located in the heart of Laguna Beach. The park provides visitors with magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean and the California coastline. There is a path leading to the beach in the park, where the water is not too rough. For young swimmers, this is a good place to play in the ocean, because the waves are not too big for them.
If you don’t want to swim in the ocean, then please explore the park. Small bays are scattered along the water surface and tidal pools for viewing and exploring. They will be full of wild animals and have the opportunity to teach your children (if any) about marine life. It is definitely feasible to spend an afternoon. There is grass for picnics and barbecues. If not, there are some restaurants near the park, including coffee shops.
7. Great Park Balloons
The Great Park Balloon is more than just a hot air balloon. Unlike most hot air balloons that can carry 2-3 people, this hot air balloon ride is suitable for 25-30 people at the same time! The ride itself is not long, it only lasts 25 minutes, but you can enjoy the view. The balloon rises to a height of 400 feet, allowing you and others to have a 360-degree view of the world around you. People say that on a clear day, you can see downtown Los Angeles miles away.
But don’t worry. This huge balloon ride does not go with the wind. It is always connected to a rope locked to the ground. Don’t worry about floating longer than you expected. Whether you want to take some great photos or just say you did it, be sure to check out this hidden gem on your next trip. If you are considering buying a home in Irvine, California, please contact David Feldberg now!
8. Carbon Canyon Regional Park
When they think of California, redwood trees are a famous staple food for tourists and many others. These huge trees shoot out from the ground, reaching unimaginable heights. This is almost untrue. The best part of Carbon Canyon Regional Park is that they brought the stunning redwoods to Southern California instead of focusing on the north.
The coastal redwoods of Carbon Canyon can reach up to 100 feet, and there are 1.1 miles of nature trails in the park to experience it. The best part is that this trail is suitable for people of all ages. It will not be too long, but not too short, you can take some amazing photos in this mini redwood forest.
9. The Blind Rabbit
A step away from exploring nature and adventure, don’t forget to visit The Blind Rabbit. The ideal destination for any food or drink lover over 21 years old. If you don’t know, blind rabbits may be difficult to spot. It is hidden in the Anaheim packing area. Once you find it, you will find yourself back in the days of underground bars.
Full of wonderful atmosphere and unique decorations, any customer will find themselves having an amazing experience here. In the words of past customers, this place has delicious food, delicious drinks and excellent service.
10. The Wedge
The Wedge is a famous attraction for locals in Orange County and surfers from all over the world. This hidden gem is located at the far end of the Balboa Peninsula, and the scenery here is breathtaking. Surrounding Wedge are beach villas worth millions of dollars, more like beach huts. Rocks are scattered on the coastline, and ships pass through the water.
As for what makes this place worth visiting, the waves are basically hitting the beach and they are big! When a big wave comes in, you will see 15-30 feet of waves breaking 25 feet in front of you, and world-class surfers are trying to catch the waves. It is not uncommon to see 200-300 people just sitting on the beach and watching the waves crash in a big wave.
The Wedge is a hidden gem in Orange County. You can sit and watch the sunset or enjoy a picnic. You can walk a long way on the beach and jump along the dotted rocks. You can spend time taking pictures of the surrounding scenery or your adventures in Orange County. There are endless options regarding what you can do here. So when you are in Newport Beach, you can drive along the Balboa Peninsula to Wedge.
11. The Noguchi Museum
The Noguchi Museum is a hidden gem and secret location in Southern California. This place is full of rocks, fountains and other water features of various shapes and sizes. One of the most prominent features is shown above. A low pyramid with water flow underneath.
It may be small, so you may not spend a whole day here. It’s worth mentioning that you can take some great photos here. Many people like to take a photo of themselves jumping in a stream with a pyramid in the background. Therefore, for amateur photographers or people who are looking for great social media pictures, we encourage them to check out this place.
12. Crescent Bay Point Park
Crescent Bay Point Park is another hidden gem in Southern California. This place offers relaxing sea views in a beautiful and clean park. Once you find yourself there, it is almost picturesque. The park is often quiet, and not many people walk through it. You can sit back and listen to the impact of the waves and spend hours unconsciously.
For couples who are looking for a smaller, more private place to share their special moments, the park has become a popular wedding venue. The park contains a small semicircular seating arena and a small amphitheater overlooking the sea.
13. Shake Shack
Since the 1940s, Shake Shack has been the icon of Crystal Bay Beach. This place is famous for its iconic dating shakes. But in addition to their famous milkshakes, Shake Shack also serves burgers, fries, snacks and other sandwiches. Shake Shack customers can walk, bike, or park to get food from here.
Nothing can compare to milkshakes and stunning beaches, so check out this place that has existed since the 1940s. If you are looking for a home for sale on the Newport Coast, please contact David Feldberg now!
14. Back Bay Loop Trail
The Back Bay Loop Trail really explains itself. This trail is not a traditional trail, it is an ancient dirt road or trekking through some trees, but a trail through the bay. The Back Bay Loop is part of Back Bay, one of the Orange County Nature Reserves. Back Bay itself is not only located in the bay, but also located at the mouth of the river, giving people the opportunity to see some wildlife in Orange County.
It is now a hidden gem, the Back Bay Loop Trail. Many people like to visit here because there are so many choices in what you can do and how to travel. When you arrive here, you will find cyclists, runners, walkers (and dogs on leashes), horses, and even hikers exploring the trail. There are even some people using stand-up paddle boards in the bay waters. In Loop Trail, you can choose the direction you want to go. There are up and down trails. If you are ready for the challenge, you can have both!
15. Pirate Cove
The next on our list is The Pirate Bay. Compared to the other places on this list, this place is quiet, and if you like a more secluded beach experience, this is a place to relax. If you want, you can find yourself here all day long. There are small caves scattered along the coastline that you can spend a day exploring. When you listen to the turbulent waves and overlook the sea, there are trees that can provide shade to relax. At the end of the day, you will find yourself settling on the California coast and watching the sunset fall on a secluded beach.
The best time to come here and the quietest time is the week when most people are at school or at work. All you need to get to the beach is to walk down the stairs or climb over some rocks for more adventurous activities. But no matter which road you choose, you will find yourself in a small bay close to the sea that leads to the rest of the beach.
16. Thousand Steps Beach
It is not called Qianbutan. You have to go up and down 230 steps to enjoy this beach. But don’t let this keep you away from the iconic hidden gem of Orange County. There are many things to do on this beach. Many people walk around here on the coastline, enjoying the sea and the sun. Others like to swim in California waters, but please be aware that the water and waves will become a bit rough if you don’t expect it.
Qianbu Beach is as unique as all other beaches. It is isolated, clean and quiet, which are the three key factors that make something a hidden gem rather than a tourist attraction. If you decide to accept the challenge of Qianbu Beach, make sure you know where you are going. If you don’t look close enough, it’s sometimes hard to miss. So accept the challenge and visit another more secluded beach in Orange County for an unforgettable trip.
17. Sawdust Art Festival
The Sawdust Art Festival is no secret, attracting more than 200,000 visitors every year, but it’s definitely worth a visit! Open in July and August every year, the true purpose of this festival is to showcase all the wonderful art created every year in Laguna Beach.
You will find that all local artists are creating ceramics, clothing, glass blown objects, jewelry, paintings, photography, sculptures, and woodwork, to name a few. You can easily stroll for hours on the path covered with wood chips, admire the amazing works of art and talk with local artists. This is a wonderful experience, located in the Laguna Canyon, usually the temperature is very comfortable.
18. Black Star Canyon Trail
The Black Star Canyon Trail is a wonderful walking trail through the wilderness for anyone who loves the outdoors or who likes to walk and wants to challenge. The trail is 6.8 miles long and has smooth traffic. It is located in Silverado, California, and features waterfalls along the way, but please note that many experienced hikers find this trail somewhat difficult.
If you happen to have pets, they can also come together on the day you hike through the wilderness of Orange County and admire the waterfalls. So, if you are willing to embark on the journey of the Black Star Canyon Trail, you’d better be prepared. Many people who hike here recommend that you wear hiking shoes, because running shoes or sneakers are not suitable for the terrain ahead. They also recommend wearing long pants to protect your legs from low bushes on the forest floor.
Nonetheless, this is probably one of the best places to visit in Orange County. The beach is great, but after a while, they look the same. Therefore, even if beach tourism is a hidden gem, quit the beach tourism and find yourself out for a day on foot.