Here Are Some More
Orange County Tourism Suggestions:
What if you just don’t have an interest in visiting Disney or Knott’s; and, furthermore, what if you like being near the beach but don’t really care to take your shoes off?
Let's say that you love the weather and the beach environment, but don’t care to hit the beach or surf. No problem, there’s still plenty to see and do. Most of what we mention here is also presented on other SoCal Guru pages, but this will help focus your thoughts.
Check out the beach communities, as they all have their own personality and most are good for walking around. Areas where there is an above-average level of activity would be the Huntington Beach pier, Balboa and Balboa Island, Corona del Mar (nice park area up on the bluff great for walking) and Laguna Beach downtown. There are many photo and souvenir-buying opportunities. In some shops you’ll find serious art and gifts, not just tourist trinkets.
Visit the Mission San Juan Capistrano and the surrounding historic district. The missions are an integral part of the history of our state. Take the train down from central O.C.
Visit the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda. Very historic and interesting even if you were on Nixon’s enemies’ list.
Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. Interesting to adults and kids alike, although certainly a bias towards children.
Visit some of our museums.
The Marconi Automotive Museum and Foundation
in Tustin, or the
in Santa Ana; I don’t think we’ve given you those links elsewhere, so click on these links. Between these two museums, and the Discovery Science Center just north of the Bowers on Main Street, you could easily spend a full day. Or combine Mission San Juan Capistrano (a museum of sorts) and spread the four museums over 2 full days.
Did I mention the International Surf Museum in Huntington Beach? It’s not worth driving cross country for a visit, but stop in if you are in Surf City anyway. The same is true for the smallish Fullerton Museum Center with its permanent exhibit on local hero Leo Fender and his guitars. Check those two city websites if these interest you. Museums, big and small—we’ve got yer museums!
An Angels baseball game or Ducks hockey game.
Rent bikes and ride the Santa Ana River Trail, or the 8-mile stretch between Huntington Beach and Balboa in Newport Beach, or the Newport Back Bay route. All of those are within reasonable proximity of one another. There are many bike trails in individual cities within Orange County; do an online search and sift through the specific opportunities.
Walk the same trails you can take with a bicycle.
Visit the Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve in Huntington Beach.
Visit Dana Point Harbor.
Take a kayak tour of Upper Newport Bay.
gondola ride through Newport Harbor;
click on the link for details.
Shop. Of course there are a bunch of unique shopping malls and districts that we’ve presented on the O.C. Shop and Dine page. South Coast Plaza brings people in from around the world; it’s like the Mall of America only different, with more celebrities and way fewer bugs in the summer. (But don’t count on seeing stars; it’s a big place and celebs are pretty good at hiding themselves from all but the People Magazine photographers.)
And don’t forget the attractions north of Knott’s on Beach Boulevard: Medievel Times Dinner Show, The Pirates’ Adventure Dinner Show and The Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.
Finally, there are a bunch of resorts and nicer hotels with great pools where you can spend an afternoon in the warm summer shade under an umbrella. The major travel sites have plenty of suggestions for beach-oriented hotels and resorts.
After all these activities you still won’t have gotten a bit of sand on your feet, nor will you have seen neither hide nor hair of Mickey and Snoopy.
Heard enough Orange County Tourism Ideas for now? Let's play some more WHAT IF