Orange County enjoys an enviable Southern California location, with its deep blue Pacific Ocean waters, sandy beaches and idyllic upscale towns. Just south of LA and less than 100 miles (160 km) north of San Diego, Orange County’s coastal towns, like Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, continue to beckon visitors who want to partake in that sunny California lifestyle, even if only for a day.
From Anaheim, it’s easy to escape to Orange County for a day of shopping, strolling, dining, beachcombing or touring. Whether you fancy viewing wildlife, browsing boutiques or exploring historic sites, you’ll find a day trip that will be a welcome respite between your days of Anaheim theme park-hopping.
Be sure not to miss out on visiting two of the county’s most picturesque towns, Laguna Beach and Dana Point. In Laguna Beach, a lovely community of artists and beach-lovers, you can stroll along the gallery-lined streets or relax in a café. Further south, surf-happy Dana Point is home to one of the only harbors in Orange County. Then head to Mission San Juan Capistrano, which was founded in 1776 and was the site of the first wine produced in California.
If it’s shopping you’re after, you’ll do well to visit the historic Balboa neighborhood in Newport Beach and take time in Laguna Beach to peruse the many galleries and boutiques, looking for the perfect souvenirs for family and friends back home.
And of course, there's the sparkling waters surrounding Orange County. Enjoy the views from the water on a brunch or dinner cruise, or for the more adventurous, head out for a fishing tour or go whale watching.