Top Things to Do in Orange County
There’s no shortage of things to do while in Orange County. From the natural beauty of Seal Beach to the classic splendor of the Huntington Beach Pier, you’re sure to find something amazing to do on your trip. Here, we cover the top things to do in Orange County and a little about each location along the way.
Of course, if you want to visit all these amazing spots in Orange County, you should check out our Orange County Coastal Tour! Let’s look at these incredible spots in Orange County and then cover why an Orange County Coastal tour offers an amazing experience you won’t want to pass up.
1. Seal Beach
Seal Beach is the gateway to the California Coast. This 13-mile city features 1.5 miles of coastline and is a starting point for anyone exploring California’s amazing beaches. Not only did this iconic city used to be called Bay City, but when it was incorporated in 1915, the name changed to Seal Beach, as there was already a Bay City, California.
Seal Beach is home to 18 parks and one of the two longest wooden piers in California. Built in the early 1900s, this pier was rebuilt in 1980 due to a storm that destroyed part of the pier. If you’re looking for a great spot to tour the coast before exploring more of California’s beaches, Seal Beach is a great starting point and is the first stop in our Orange County Coastal Tour.
2. Huntington Beach Wetlands
The Huntington Beach Wetlands is home to a conservancy project to preserve this iconic part of California’s wildlife. These wetlands are a crucial part of the ecosystem along Huntington Beach and are home to many endangered birds like the Least Tern. This conservancy project has acquired three of the four marshes along the beach and looks to restore the fourth and final area.
The Conservancy offers interpretive tours of the wetlands so you can see the wide variety of wildlife that makes their home in these crucial natural areas. Originally made up of 300 acres of wetland, these wetlands now only cover 180 acres, marking a significant loss over time. Due to their importance to the natural ecosystem, it’s crucial to learn more about these wetlands and work to maintain them for the good of California’s wildlife and coastal areas.
3. Surf City, Huntington Beach Pier
Surf City, USA, is an amazing place to visit. You can surf at this iconic location along the California coast and visit the Huntington Beach International Surf Museum to learn more about the sport that inspired this city’s name.
While in Surf City, it would be a shame to miss a visit to Huntington Beach Pier. This pier is 1,850 feet long, making it one of the longest piers on the West Coast. Not only can you visit various stores along the pier, but the photo opportunities on the pier are second to none, allowing you to view a vast, uninterrupted stretch of the California coast as you’ve never seen it before. If you’re looking to gain an appreciation for surfing or just relaxing on California’s stellar beaches, Surf City is a great place to be.
4. Newport Beach, Balboa Island
Balboa Island is a one-of-a-kind man-made island along the California coast. This perfect slice of vacation paradise offers marina-themed shops, incredible houses, and a breathtaking selection of restaurants perfect for grabbing a bite to eat or sitting down for a full dinner.
Located in Newport Beach, Balboa Island is a short walk away from plenty of downtown activities, from spa resorts to days on the beach and everything in between. Balboa Island is a must-visit location if you’re looking for a high-class way to explore the California coastline.
5. Laguna Beach
Known for its art galleries, beautiful beaches, and scenery, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach’s art scene took off in the early 20th century thanks to silent films directed and filmed in the area and has been growing ever since. The breathtaking cliffs and gorgeous beach views have inspired countless artists, leading to a wealth of artwork in and around Laguna Beach. This has led to numerous art festivals like the Sawdust Arts & Crafts Festival, which has taken place in Laguna Beach yearly for the past 33 years.
Of course, even if you’re not a fan of artistic endeavors, Laguna Beach is home to gorgeous stretches of coastline just begging to be explored, making it the perfect destination for a day trip. You can get delicious food, relax on sunny beaches, or head to any number of art galleries in the area, all in one location. This Orange County location is perfect if you’re looking for the classic California coastline experience.
6. San Juan Capistrano Mission
Over 200 years old, the San Juan Capistrano Mission acts as a place of worship and a museum showcasing the history of the California coastline. This landmark combines the history of multiple peoples as they made their way to the California area and the indigenous groups that called this area their home. By blending the various histories of the area, the Mission showcases everything that makes California unique while allowing visitors a glimpse at the complicated history that made California what it is today.
Not only can you browse the museum’s collection when you visit, but you can also take a guided tour of the area and learn all about the Mission’s history and the history of Native peoples from the region. Or, for a more laid-back experience, you can explore the Mission’s garden and take in some of the beautiful flowers that grow along the California Coast. This Mission acts as a way to reflect on California’s history and the gorgeous coastline, making it the ideal final stop on our Orange County Coastal Tour.
If you want to explore the various locations in this article, you’re in luck. Each location is a stop on our Orange County Coastal Tour, meaning you can experience the California coastline as you’ve never seen it before, all from the comfort of a guided tour. Custom pickup and drop-off locations allow you to explore Orange County from the comfort of your hotel room. Climate-controlled vans and private tour options will enable you to travel comfortably as you explore these incredible landmarks of the California coast. To learn more or schedule a tour, check out our tours today.