Orange County is a sunny, vibrant region located in the southern part of California. Known for its stunning beaches and exciting theme parks, as well as top rated shopping and dining, the OC is a popular tourist destination that offers something for people of all ages. However, with so many options it can be difficult figuring out what to do in Orange County.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of our must see attractions and experiences to make your next trip unforgettable. So, let's dive in and discover the carSHAiR tips for what to do in Orange County!
While there are many different “Orange County” regions, the most well-known is located in the southern part of California. Tucked between Los Angeles and San Diego counties, the OC borders the Pacific Ocean with over 40 miles of coastline and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
Despite being the 3rd smallest county in California by land size, Orange County is one of the most populous counties in the state with over 3 million people as of 2021. Some of the most well known cities in OC include Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, and Anaheim.
If you’re planning a trip to Orange County, there’s no shortage of exciting activities to keep you entertained throughout your stay. While this list only scratches the surface, here are 8 ideas for what to do in Orange County on your next vacation.
Plus we’ll show you how carSHAiR’s premium car rental service can help enhance the experience!
No trip to Orange County is complete without visiting the world famous Disneyland Resort. You can spend days exploring Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, experiencing beloved rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, and Radiator Springs Racers. In addition, you can meet your Disney characters or catch spectacular parades and fireworks shows throughout the year. For more information just head over to the Disneyland Website to check park hours, ticket prices, and other cool tips for your visit.
Want to catch some rays? Orange County has some of the most stunning beaches with Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and Newport Beach. Each offers its own unique charm - from the surf culture of Huntington Beach to the art scene and dramatic cliffs of Laguna Beach, and the luxury atmosphere and stunning oceanfront of Newport Beach. This handy guide to the beaches of Orange County will help you find everything you’re looking for!
Taking a visit to Old Towne Orange might make you feel like you time traveled back to a different era. With antique shops on every corner, art galleries, cozy eateries and more, this picturesque district has over 50 architectural styles and offers a window into a different time.
However, despite its historical feel, the area offers a fun relaxed environment for everyone. Explore the downtown and depending on the time of year you can attend the annual Orange International Street Fair, or catch live music and performances.
Check out the City of Orange official website for more information on events in the area.
If you’ve ever wanted to take a whale watching trip, Orange County is the place to do it with different species cruising the coast all year round. Dana Point offers a number of epic tour options with a marine protected area to spot gray whales, blue whales, and even orcas.
Companies like Dana Wharf Whale Watching or Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari both provide an unforgettable experience with comfortable boats and knowledgeable guides for your trip.
Travel for the beaches and stay for the food! Orange County's food scene is a dream come true for any foodie with upscale dining and laid back eats galore. With culinary creations by award winning chefs and international flavors from around the globe there is truly something for any palette.
Some local favorites include the many different options in Lido Marina Village or a number of these hidden gems in Laguna Beach.
Additionally, swing by during Restaurant Week and take advantage of the numerous special menus and deals from local restaurants in the area.
Get your adrenaline pumping at Knott's Berry Farm, home to awesome roller coasters, family-friendly fun, and tasty snacks. From the gravity-defying HangTime to the blazing-fast Xcelerator, there's a ride for every thrill level.
Visit Camp Snoopy for pint-sized adventures or enjoy live shows and entertainment throughout the park. Don't forget to indulge in Knott's famous boysenberry treats and funnel cakes! Check out the Knott's Berry Farm official website for more information on park hours, tickets, and seasonal events like the Boysenberry Festival and Knott's Scary Farm.
For something a little more on the artsy side, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana might be just what you’re looking for. The museum is a cultural treasure trove with amazing art and artifacts that cover topics ranging from ancient civilizations to Native American cultures, and Pacific Island art.
Depending on your trip, the museum also hosts a number of programs and events throughout the year including film screenings, lectures, and hands-on workshops. Take a peek at the museum's website for current and upcoming exhibits you won't want to miss.
Orange County, California is a shopper's paradise with a wide variety of options available to suit every taste and budget. From upscale boutiques to outdoor malls, there are plenty of places to indulge in retail therapy. Some of the most popular shopping destinations include South Coast Plaza, the world’s largest mall on the West Coast with over 250 luxury and designer boutiques. Other popular options include Fashion Island and The Irvine Spectrum Center, an outdoor shopping center with over 130 stores and restaurants.
Exploring Orange County in a SHAiR car rental is an excellent way to experience all the area has to offer. The premium car rental service offers an amazing selection of premium, luxury, and high performance vehicles at affordable prices.
In addition, carSHAiR offers delivery directly to your doorstep, hotel, or any Orange County location you choose for a small fee making renting a breeze. Check out the carSHAiR website to browse their incredible lineup and reserve the perfect car for your next trip.
Orange County is full of unforgettable experiences just waiting to be discovered. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your Orange County getaway today!