Planning an Orange County Business Trip?
What if you are here on a business trip and have only an afternoon and evening to check it out?
Let’s assume you do not have children with you. You could still enjoy a few hours at either Disneyland or Knott’s; sometimes you can move around more freely in the parks by yourself or as a pair (if you’re traveling with a companion). You’ll be a bit frustrated by how fast time flies, but hitting Disneyland or Knott’s after work is an option. Check out park closing times in advance.
But what else, if you’re by yourself or at least are without kids? Do you want to get some beach time? If it’s a nice hot summer afternoon, there might be time to hit the surf. At the least, you could do some beach-side sightseeing in Huntington, Balboa or Laguna. Seal Beach and San Clemente are other options, although they might not keep you as engaged for as long. These communities all have great dining near the beach or harbor, so you could do some walking and then grab dinner or drinks.
If you have a car and it’s a nice evening, take a cruise down PCH from say Huntington Beach. Read
our online tour of the beach cities
to help you think about where you might want to stop to shop or eat, and for links to specific city information. If it is during the summer, one option is to head to Laguna Beach to go to the Laguna Arts Festival and the Sawdust Festival (two art shows across the street from one another. If you plan in advance, you could also take in a showing of the Pageant of the Masters, located at the Laguna Arts Festival.
Be prepared to have difficulty parking. However, the city provides satellite lots and very regular shuttles. This makes it a lot easier to get in and out of town and Mrs. G and I have never had any trouble with the shuttle. Check the Laguna website for satellite parking lot locations.
Additionally, every summer there are surfing, beach volleyball and X-game events held at Huntington Beach. Check the city website for a calendar of these events. Depending on your perspective, you might want to make sure you are there, or make sure you avoid it. These events can attract tens of thousands of people.
Here are some other event-type options. Check websites for an Angels baseball game, a Ducks hockey game, a college baseball game at California State University Fullerton or University of California, Irvine. If you are a baseball fan and have never been to a college game, consider this option. The tickets are cheaper, the seats are better, and because of the caliber of the baseball programs at these schools, you will surely be watching future major league players. (CSU Fullerton alumni Mark Kotsay helped the hated Boston Red Sox beat the Angels in the 2008 playoffs.)
There could be a number of things going on at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, which happens to be within walking distance of the South Coast Plaza shopping mall. There are comedy clubs in Irvine and Brea, and concert venues in Irvine and Anaheim.
During the middle of the summer you’ll find the Orange County Fair open for business, which can be a good place to do some people-watching and take in some of the art and craft exhibits (in addition to deep-fried Twinkies).
Is it early enough in the day for you to visit the Bolsa Chica Ecological preserve in Huntington Beach? Bring your camera. You could also do a hike around the Upper Newport Back Bay Ecological Preserve name for website.
If you want to find some goodies for the family back home, these same towns have stores with souvenirs, so you can combine a bit of shopping with the walk and dine routine. For suggestions on more serious shopping visit our O. C. Dine and Shop page. That page will also help you find restaurants and nightclubs if that’s your interest.
Finally, don’t forget the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace, depending on your timing and library hours of operation. It’s very well done and worth a visit.
Let's end our Orange County Business Trip and play more "What If...?"