Orange County is famous for its theme parks. Most notably, Disneyland, California Adventure and others have made Anaheim and Orange County the tourist destination it is.
While roller coasters and mouse ears may get most of the attention, the Southern California region boasts a ton of family-friendly activities for vacations. Below are 10 OC entertainment options for families looking at OC’s other options:
Willie Wonka may not live in California, but don’t let that stop you from visiting Orange County’s chocolate factory. Tour the facility, watch the production process or stop in to buy an organic chocolate bar at this Irvine-based factory.
This art museum is California’s only full-time exhibitor dedicated to the preservation and display of California impressionism. The Irvine Museum offers a regularly scheduled weekly tour every Thursday. Admission is complimentary, but donations are gratefully accepted.
The birthplace of Orange County, this mission was founded more than 200 year ago and features a still-standing chapel. The mission is now a celebration of California’s multi-cultural heritage, highlighting the state’s Native America, Spanish, Mexican and European influences.
During July and August, the Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach put on a 90-minute theatrical performance where costumed performers recreate famous classic paintings A full orchestra provides a soundtrack to the recreations. The performances are part of the Festival of Fine Arts Show, featuring art from more than 140 Orange County artists.
Live the stereotypical Southern California lifestyle by renting a convertible and cruise along one of California’s most scenic roads – Route 1. This road travels along California’s Pacific Coast, allowing drivers to get a glimpse of Orange County’s numerous beaches, surf communities and iconic landmarks.
The Pacific Coast has created an ideal spot for observing marine life in its natural environment. Giant Blue whales are common along the coastline, and these giant mammals can grow to 100 feet in length. Other species that are common in the Southern California waters include finback, minke, humpback and killer whales.
This rehab center rescues seals and sea lions suffering from infections, malnourishment, pneumonia and other issues. The center also acts as an education facility offering group and individual animal viewing, multimedia presentations, hands-on activities and more.
3. Tanaka Farms
Orange County has a rich agricultural history, and this family-run organic farm celebrates the region’s past. The farm offers year-round, hands-on tours of its gardens and a produce stand complete with in-season fruits and veggies alongside breads, nuts, jams, local honey and kitchen gifts.
Opened in 1966 and home to Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Angels, this stadium is available all summer for baseball games or a behind-the-scenes tour. Angel Stadium Tours are given three times a day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays when the Angels are on the road.
1. OC’s beaches
Orange County boasts 40 miles of coastline, which help create some of the most pristine stretches of sand, tide pools, marine life and boat harbors in the entire world. Aliso, Huntington City, 1000 Steps and Crystal Cove State Park are just some of the marquee beaches that make OC a beach-lover’s paradise.
Do you have any ideas or activities that we should have included? Leave your suggestions in our comments section below.