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      11-06-2019, 03:48 PM   #1
thegump
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Things to do around Orange County?

Surprising the wife with a trip to Disneyland in January for a few days.

Looking to fly into SNA early the day before. Any recommendations on somethings to do/see?

Both 30, low maintenance and prefer to be outside-beaches, hiking etc.
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      11-06-2019, 03:59 PM   #2
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Several possibilities, but you’ll want someone local to confirm these (I used to live there but am just north of you now).

Corona Del Mar state beach (Big Corona or Little Corona) and the tide pools between are good. January weather could be cool/rainy but a walk out the jetty is fun.

On the other side of the harbor, Newport Beach is long, has a pier, body surfing is excellent. Plenty of good food options.

A walk on the main drag in Balboa Island is good for tourist shopping, quieter in winter of course.

Might get a sail boat ride, or take a 1/2 day fishing charter, or go to Catalina on the ferry, or perhaps whale watching (if in season, don’t recall).

Inland there used to be some great trails and hikes around Saddleback Mountain and some nearby parks. Can’t recall the names etc so def ask around. Ortega Hwy used to be a great drive if you have fun wheels, but again things have changed so reconfirm.

I don’t know if Knotts Berry Farm is still operating - also a good Disney-lite park.

Some people like the high-end shops in Fashion Island. Personally I don’t care one way or another, but outdoor mall very nice and all that. Free time killer I suppose.

Drive down to Laguna Beach which is a great beach spot. Also if a weekend ask about Cars n Coffee. Last location I heard was where I-5 and I-405 meet (the Triangle) but it may have moved. If you can’t make it there to see the exotics, go to the Starbucks on Pacific Coast Hwy near MacArthur (is it at Carnation), before 8AM, grab a coffee and sit outside. Lots will drive by. Can go a little later on a Saturday morning.

Lots of similar stuff in Huntington Beach, just don’t know it as well.

Observe while there that you are in an irrigated desert. The whole place is in essence an extension of Disney, with planting, irrigation, design and vehicles that are something of a fantasy given the real topography, soils and climate there.
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      11-06-2019, 04:39 PM   #3
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Gonna be pretty cool at the beach in January so be ready.

I'd definitely check out Laguna Beach to get the real OC beach vibe. Balboa island is also pretty fun, but smaller.
You can get some shopping in a Fashion Island or South Coast Plaza.
Hiking can be had at lots of places. Check out "Crystal Cove"
Interesting eating? OC Mining Co., Wirsthaus (for some german sausage dogs). Medieval Times or Pirates Dinner Adventure in Buena Park.
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      11-06-2019, 05:31 PM   #4
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I would stop at Queen Marry and the Aquarium of the Pacific at Long Beach port. Technically Long Beach is not in Orange County but it's right next to. I used to think Long Beach was in Orange County :-)
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      11-06-2019, 05:42 PM   #5
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Donuts!

https://www.yelp.com/biz/m-and-m-donuts-anaheim
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      11-06-2019, 06:07 PM   #6
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Drive up and down PCH with stops in Laguna, Crystal Cove and Newport/Balboa.

Hike to top of the world at Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park.

Eat some fresh fish at Bear Flag Fish Co., hang out at the end of Balboa island and watch body boarders/surfers by the Wedge. Or get good Japanese food in the Bristol St area of Costa Mesa.

Rent a duffy boat or kayak and cruise Balboa harbor.

Shop at South Coast Plaza or Fashion Island.
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      11-06-2019, 06:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana Hammock View Post
Never been banana hammock. Seems like the blueberry doughnuts are their claim to fame. I'll have to grab some next time i go to cars and coffee in San Clemente
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      11-06-2019, 06:47 PM   #8
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LA is huge so OC is just one area to check out. if you've never been to LA you might as well hitup Hollywood and Beverly Hills. drive that all the way down to Santa Monica Pier
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      11-06-2019, 08:10 PM   #9
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What type of things do you two like to do besides be outside and beaches?

Laguna Beach Top of the world is a pretty view. You can also access Aliso Wood Canyon wilderness park from there.

You can go to Whiting Ranch and hike to Red Rock Canyon.
Kind of like Cars Land at CA Adventure



What type of food are you curious to try? Orange county has a lot of new restaurants that are chef owned and quite delicious.

San Clemente Cars and Coffee is fun. There's a group that leaves Santa Ana. They are fun to follow as they are super cars playing with each other on the freeway.

Fashion Island is a high end outdoor mall. Irvine Spectrum, outdoor mall, just opened up Fogo De Chao which is a nice Brazilian Steakhouse.

DM me if you have some specifics. I can give you the run down of different things to check out. Have fun at Disneyland! My family loves it there.
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      11-06-2019, 11:31 PM   #10
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Lot of good suggestions here.

Like others have said, San Clemente C&C on saturday mornings is great. Then hike onto PCH and head north. Dana Point has a couple nice beaches that are quieter than the ones in Laguna and Newport. Laguna has some great beachfront and rooftop restaurants/bars. Fashion Island is a nice outdoor mall in Newport. South Coast is another high end mall about 15 mins away.

The Bungalow is a very bar/lounge no matter the time of day. There's a couple in SoCal, one in in Huntington Beach.
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      11-07-2019, 09:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitekidM2C View Post
Never been banana hammock. Seems like the blueberry doughnuts are their claim to fame. I'll have to grab some next time i go to cars and coffee in San Clemente
Yeah their blueberry donuts are amazing.
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      11-08-2019, 10:09 AM   #12
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Getty Villa if you like museums. It's by the beach.
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      11-08-2019, 08:17 PM   #13
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If you have time, be sure to check out the Petersen Automotive Museum https://www.petersen.org/
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      11-10-2019, 01:26 PM   #14
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Tons of great info guys!

Still trying to nail down our schedule but looks like we'll be coming in midday Friday with Saturday being the first Disney day so I'd like to stay around the orange county area and not risk spending our free day in LA traffic.

Going to rent something fun off turo for the day so cruises on PCH sound great with a hike to the top of the world to finish it off.

We love trying local eats so I'll be pm'g some of you guys for recommendations on that
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      11-12-2019, 01:45 PM   #15
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Visit Laguna/Newport Beaches:

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