Recently, a study was done titled “The Economic Impact of Tourism in Orange County, California”. The study was to determine the impact of tourism on the economic standing of Orange County. The study confirmed what many of us already knew, tourism is a big part of the economy in Orange County. In fact, $21.3B in economic benefits came from tourism. The reason for all of the tourism? There are just so many things to do in summer in Orange County. While tourism happens all year long, summer is by far the busiest time of year for Orange County.
Find out why so many people come to visit Orange County during summer by doing the best things to do in summer in Orange County.
Orange County has a couple of theme parks that are obvious things to do. There is always something new at these theme parks, some, bigger than others. As far as things to do in summer in Orange County go, theme parks are an obvious choice.
Another obvious choice for things to do in summer in Orange County are the beaches. There are so many different beaches in the area that draws in tourists and locals alike. Enjoy the beautiful weather, and make it a point to try and discover your favorite of all of the beaches. That alone will fill your summer months with sand, water, and sunshine.
Concert in The Park(s)
Each town and city in Orange County has a parks system. These parks vary in size and activities but in the summer, things come to life. Almost every city in the county has some sort of concert in the park planned and you can try and experience as many as possible.
Speaking of parks, Irvine has Great Park which is the perfect park. This park offers many different summer activities and the best setting for each of them. Visit Great Park and take a hot air balloon ride or enjoy a picnic on the green, there are so many things to do here that you could spend most of the day at Great Park.
Hit Up a Fest
Orange County has a lot to be thankful for like the diversity of the community, the nature that surrounds us, and the beauty that can be found just about everywhere. To celebrate all of these things, the cities of Orange County often through festivals like the Tustin Street Fair & Cook-Off or Summerfest in Fountain Valley. Check out your town’s calendar of events or any town’s event list and you will surely find a festival or two, or three to visit.
Free Movies Outside
One of the many things to do in summer in Orange County takes full advantage of the warm nights in Orange County, movies in the park. Many different parks host movies in the park that offer family-friendly movies outside. These events are usually hosted by the city and come with food trucks, plenty of floor seating, and all you need to bring with you is a blanket or chair to sit on and you’re good-to-go.
Orange County has so many different places to hike and different levels of hiking as well. You could choose low impact, short trails like the Talbert Regional Park or the Fairview Parks. But you could also choose a more hardcore adventure like at El Moro Canyon or Holy Jim Canyon Trail.
All of southern California is known as surfer’s territory and you can be one of them. If you’re not so talented on the board, watch others who are at the Vans US Open. Usually, in July, the US Open is one of the largest surfing competitions and also includes skateboarding and BMX nearby.
Costa Mesa is home to what once was a hidden gem of a shopping mall but now, it has become more popular. This shopping area is filled with amazing boutiques as well as artists, musicians, and so much more.
There are a few official art walk events that come to Orange County that you can experience. But you could also do an art walk whenever you want in Laguna Beach. There are plenty of galleries to explore and if you find something you love you can buy it and take it home with you.
Bowers Museum is a must-see if you have never been and summer is the perfect time to go. Every first Sunday of the month, Bowers Museum hosts a free family festival with free admission every Sunday. Learn about the history of California and even more fascinating, the history of Orange County.
Shipley Nature Center
Huntington Beach is home to the Shipley Nature Center. During the summer months, Shipley Nature Center hosts a free open house with maypole dancing, a butterfly house, live music and so much more. There are also “Cool Summer Nights” at the Shipley Nature Center.
The Packing House was once a packing facility that has been turned into a food hall of sorts. However, the restaurants that have taken up shop in this old packing facility have become somewhat famous for their different offerings. In fact, many of the foods found here can also be found on Instagram thanks to their creativity and fun appearances.
Lido Marina Village
Newport Beach is not only known for its beaches, but it’s also known for its shopping. Lido Marina Village is one of the pristine places to shop in Newport Beach with plenty of amazing stores and stunning views. It is the shopping district you go to when you want to have a day out to share on social media with friends and family.
Adults, want to experience a restaurant that was designed by the same people who designed Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean? While The Cellar isn’t a pirate-themed lounge, it still has an amazing atmosphere and the theming is so detailed you will feel transported to another place and another time. The food is old-school continental but the cocktails are updated regularly.
Another trendy place to be in Orange County is at Pacific City. Pacific City is filled with trendy eateries, bars and so much more. In fact, some credit Pacific City for the transformation Huntington Beach is undergoing.
If you want some things to do in summer in Orange County, you will first need to fuel up before you go. Why not get both things knocked out by going to the best brunch spots in Orange County? One of which is Alta Coffee in Newport Beach. This spot is perfect for a cup of coffee or a full brunch, whichever you decide you won’t be disappointed.
Sun Rises in the East…
But more importantly, it sets in the west. Orange County beaches, cities, restaurants, lounges, bars, theme parks, parks, hiking trails, even just driving down the street you can find amazing views of the sunset. Spend the day out and about and find the perfect spot for catching a sunset you will want to share with everyone.
Heading back to Newport Beach, you can find some truly amazing spots to get pampered like never before. Everything from a massage to a simple manicure is available in Newport Beach. In fact, many of the cities in Orange County have top-notch salons for you to just relax and take in some you time.
Since Orange County is so popular among tourists, that means many luxury resorts have popped up, especially close to the beaches. Here’s the cool part though, you don’t have to be a tourist to enjoy the bars, lounges, restaurants, spas and other amenities these resorts offer. Usually, all you need is a reservation.
Dine with a View
There are so many different restaurants to enjoy in Orange County. But if you want to get into a trendy spot before it becomes trendy, head over to Orange Hill Restaurant. This restaurant comes complete with amazing food, an amazing staff, and a stunning view of all of Orange County.