100 Things to Do in Orange County, California

Updated on June 6, 2018

Orange County, California

Orange County, California: It seems like anyone with cable television has heard of the place. Unbeknownst to some, there is more to do in Orange County beside shopping, drinking lattes or driving down PCH with the top down. Between the beaches, amusement parks, sports arenas, music venues, art, food, history, housewives and the weirdos, there are plenty of things to do. Thus, completing this list of 100 things to do in Orange County was relatively simple. Some items on the to-do list cost money, some are free. Some require physical activity, some don't. In the end, no matter what your interests, or where you come from, I'm confident you can find something on this to-do list that tickles your fancy.

100 things to do in Orange County

The links in the following list will lead you to all the information you will need on that particular subject:


  • Hit the batting cages or go minature golfing at Boomers in Fountain Valley.
  • 1. Buy avocados 2. Make guacamole 3. Eat guacamole.
  • Hike or bike through Aliso Woods Canyon.
  • Stroll down the Seal Beach pier (the longest in Orange County).
  • Jam out on a boat Friday or Saturday evening on one of Dana Point's Live Music Cruises.
  • Go skate one of the many skate parks located in Orange County.
  • Go skydiving.
  • Eat dinner and/or see a show at the House of Blues in Anaheim.
  • Rent a golf cart and drive around Catalina Island.
  • Buy a dinosaur at Prehistoric Pets in Fountain Valley.
  • Go horseback riding.
  • Learn something new at the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach.
  • Pay your respects to lost loved ones at the historic Yorba Cemetery in Yorba Linda.
  • Go bird watching around the Bolsa-Chica Wetlands.
  • See a comedy act or local music group at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano.
  • Take a moonlit stroll through Downtown Disney in Anaheim.
  • Get wine drunk at the Laguna Canyon Winery.
  • Read a book on the beach.
  • Ride the free trolley through Laguna Beach in the Summer.
  • See the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove.
  • Learn about and look at local marine life at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point harbor.
  • Learn about and look at local wildlife at the Orange County Zoo..
  • Get a pony ride at Zoomars Petting Zoo on Los Rios Street in San Juan Capistrano.
  • Drink a cocktail and watch the sunset from The Rooftop Bar in Laguna Beach.
  • In the Summer, check out the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach.

 

Catalina Island at night
Catalina Island at night
  • Visit Little Saigon in Westminster to stock up on all your Vietnamese-made supplies.
  • Visit the Fullerton Arboretum.
  • Look creepy and wander the streets of Laguna Beach while stalking the cast of MTV's hit reality TV show.
  • Ride 500 feet in the air on the Great Park Ballon Ride in Irvine.
  • Ride the miniature railroad through Irvine Park.
  • Get your speed fix at the K1 Racing Indoor Go Karts.
  • Fly a kite at Main Beach in Huntington.
  • Buy and eat locally grown fruits and vegetables at one of the many farmer's markets.
  • See a movie in 3D at the Irvine Spectrum IMAX Theatre.
  • See your favorite band perform at the Grove of Anaheim.
  • Watch surfers go over the falls at the Wedge in Newport when the waves are big. 
  • Disneyland California Adventure!
  • Visit Bowers Museum of Cultural Art.
  • Ride a jet ski off the coast of Dana Point.
  • Get a double scoop of ice-cream and ride the attractions while visiting the Balboa Island Fun Zone.
  • Take a drive on Ortega Highway; one of the most dangerous highways in the US.
  • Have dinner at The Hobbit in Orange, a small home transformed into a restaurant.
  • Get your cowboy gear on head to San Juan Capistrano's finest watering hole, The Swallows Inn.
  • Get spooked at the haunted Queen Mary ship in Long Beach.
  • Get together with friends for a beach bondfire.
  • Eat Mexican food…anywhere.
  • Have tea and martini's on Saturdays at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort.
  • Get friends together for a game of beach volleyball.
  • Have a romantic sunset dinner at The Beachcomber in Crystal Cove.
  • Watch pig races and eat deep-fried twinkles at the Orange County Fair.

 

The list could go on, but I'm stopping at 100 because it's a nice even number. I do appreciate your dedication... reading through the entire list and all, but really, what are you still doing here? Grab your friends, family members, pets and lovers and go do something!

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Paula Faust 

        6 days ago

        You might want to tell people about the Laguna Beach Summer Breeze. You can get free Parking and a free bus ride to Laguna Beach! Just park free at the lot where the 405 fwy meets SR 133 in Irvine and take a the free bus into Laguna Beach. Its open Saturday and Sundays, 11am to midnight, now until September 2, 2018. Lagunabeachcity.net/summerbreeze

      • profile image

        Chris Keenan 

        2 weeks ago

        Unfortunately Irvine Lake closed a few years ago

      • profile image

        Blu Bunni 

        2 weeks ago

        It says it was updated June 6, 2018...Wild Rivers, St. Regis? Those are all closed. Get plastic surgery, crash a wedding? Hmmm, someone was desperate for ideas...

      • WannaB Writer profile image

        Barbara Radisavljevic 

        7 weeks ago from Templeton, CA

        I grew up in Southern California, and spent a lot of time in Orange County. I was, in fact, there before Disneyland. However, I'm pretty sure Catalina Island is in Los Angeles County. Either way, if you can get away from Avalon and go inland, it's lovely in a wilderness sort of way.

      • profile image

        Reader 

        8 weeks ago

        Great list. Some of it is weird and isn't just something do on a whim; and some of the places aren't even in Orange County, so to me this is more of a broad SoCal list. It did provide and spark some cool ideas of what to do though, so thanks!!

      • profile image

        Ben 

        2 months ago

        It appears that the Star Vu Drive-In theater has closed many years ago.

      • jdaviswrites profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeff Davis 

        6 months ago from California

        Thanks for the feedback

      • profile image

        Narmina 

        7 months ago

        great list...very imformative!!! I especially loved the "get plastic surgery" part....made me laugh!!! Good job!!!

      • profile image

        Amelia Huckabee 

        2 years ago

        Don't forget Painting UR Way in Anaheim Hills.

      • profile image

        Sarah 

        3 years ago

        Your list had some good ideas but maybe next time leave out plastic surgery and buying medical drugs. Don't play into the stereotype of what everyone thinks SoCal is about

      • tipstoretireearly profile image

        tipstoretireearly 

        6 years ago from New York

        Great list! Whale watching out of Dana Point was awesome. We actually didn't see any whales (:(), but we saw literally thousands of frolicking dolphins. And just spectacular scenery.

      • sailove profile image

        Anisley Smith 

        6 years ago from Los Angels, Canada

        Thanking You for Creating the list .I will be Lived in India a number of year.You will be expand my "to do"list for weekend fun.I m come to plan the vacations of Oranges Country.............

      • Daisy Mariposa profile image

        Daisy Mariposa 

        6 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

        Thanks for creating the list. I've lived in Orange County for a number of years. You've helped expand my "to do" list for weekend fun.

      • orangecountyjill profile image

        orangecountyjill 

        7 years ago from Orange County, California

        You must be a Kings fan! They'll get there someday ;)

        Great article (other than the Ducks reference) with a lot of good ideas!

        For those reading...the Ducks are the one of the most successful NHL hockey teams in the past decade, having been to the playoffs six of the last eight seasons. In that time they have won the Western Conference twice. They have been to the Stanley Cup Finals twice, having lost game 7 in 2003, and winning the Stanley Cup in 2007 :)

      • jdaviswrites profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeff Davis 

        7 years ago from California

        oceansunsets - Nice to hear! San Juan is my hometown...lots of history there. I'm happy to see you can agree. Thanks for the comment.

      • oceansnsunsets profile image

        Paula 

        7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

        Love this hub! Born and raised in Southern California, and have done many of the things you mentioned in your hub. Just a couple months ago I went to San Juan Capistrano Mission, to Rubys, many of the OC beaches, and much more. The links with the suggestions are so helpful. This last summer we fished with our sons on Balboa Pier. So much to do, absolutely great hub! The art in Laguna is spectacular, grew up going to Pageant of the Masters. Can vouch for how wonderful that is!

      • jdaviswrites profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeff Davis 

        7 years ago from California

        major tome - good one. I'll leave it here in the comments as number 101. Thanks for the addition.

      • Major Tom profile image

        Major Tom 

        7 years ago

        Can'r neglect www.tripadvisor.com's #1 ranked attraction in Anaheim: Flightdeck Air Combat Center. Get in touch with your inner Top Gun in authentic F-16 fighter jet flight simulators.

      • jdaviswrites profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeff Davis 

        7 years ago from California

        onlinepharmtech - I love it! I am a fan of the lab, snorkeling Cresent Bay and the Pageant of the Masters especially...Thanks for the input. I may have to update the list to 110 things to do. Thanks for reading and commenting...

      • OnlinePharmTech profile image

        OnlinePharmTech 

        7 years ago from Hawaii

        Awesome list...I want to add

        1. The Lab - Costa Mesa

        2. Santa Ana Art Walk - Downtown Santa Ana

        3. Japanese Garden - Across from South Coast Plaza

        4. Korean Town - Garden Grove

        5. Orange Circle - Downtown orange

        6. Kayaking in Newport Newport Beach

        7. Huntington Beach Library - Most beautiful library in OC

        8. Snorkeling in Crescent Bay - Lobster

        9. Pageant of the Masters - Summer only

        10.Santa Ana Court House

      • jdaviswrites profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeff Davis 

        8 years ago from California

        That's good to hear. I'm glad this has inspired you to go check out somewhere new. I could write another list of 100 things to do, but I don't want to give away all the secrets....thanks dawn!

      • dawnM profile image

        Dawn Michael 

        8 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

        Loved it, especially the plastic surgery.....lol! Ok so I learned a few new places to go, love fashion island and not to far is Legoland for kids. Have to try out some of the other ones being myself a California Girl!!!

      • jdaviswrites profile imageAUTHOR

        Jeff Davis 

        8 years ago from California

        yes the sun often shines...

      • Healthy Living Is profile image

        Healthy Living Is 

        8 years ago from allergies, people, flowers. health, diet, art, medicine, mental health

        Man, how I would love to be there. i heard it is beautiful there.

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