We’ve got the scoop on the coolest places in the O.C. where the locals hang out and the visitors can’t get enough of. Whether you’re looking for a bite to eat, the best sightseeing spots or grabbing a drink, these are the top places to go.
This fine dining restaurant doesn’t come cheap but it’s certainly worth the price. Steakhouse 55 features the best steaks, lamb chops, and seafood. You’ll be encompassed in picture-perfect Disney surroundings. The Lounge at Steakhouse 55 offers classy cocktails with an intimate settings.
1150 W Magic Way, Anaheim, CA 92802 | Website
Chapter One features locally sustainable, all natural, and seasonal dishes. This restaurant has spins on your favorite classics. Their happy hour has prices that you can’t beat including $6 house infusions, $3 off all drafts, and all snacks are 1/2 off. Check them out on the 1st Saturday of every month during the Santa Ana Art Walk, which features live music, shows, and exhibits.
227 N Broadway Santa Ana, CA 92701 | Website
Are you looking for a romantic and gorgeous view? Crystal Cove is the place to be. Located on the tip of Newport Beach, you’ll find the most luxurious restaurants, shopping plaza with a stunning view, and a championship golf course. Across the way, Crystal Cove State Park is enjoyed by hikers and campers. This rustic district will take you back to the past where several small cottages from the 1920’s still stand.
4. Fashion IslandFashion Island features all the finer things in life with luxurious designer clothing. The shopping mall has designer fashion boutiques including Athleta, Brandy Melville, Dolce & Gabanna, and many more. Also, Fashion Island has fashion/beauty/wardrobe seminars, personal style/shopping services, food & wine tasting, and several other fun activities.
401 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660 | Website
Taco time! This restaurant features delicious and aesthetically pleasing tacos. Taco Asylum doesn’t feature just any plain old taco, they have a variety of wicked flavors that will have you drooling for more: bacon pb&j, steak chimichurri, Jamaican jerk chicken, Philly cheesesteak, and many more. This joint also features several vegetarian tacos including Philly cheese mushroom, chili relleno, and wild mushroom.
2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | Website
The Great Park features 1,300 acres of land with many tourists attractions. If you wanted to, you could spend the entire day here and not get bored. How awesome is that? This park has a sports/recreational area, a farmers market, and an art complex. The great park balloon is perhaps the best attraction here. It’s a large balloon that can hold up to 30 passengers. Are you ready to float up to the sky and see a gorgeous view of California?
6950 Marine Way, Irvine | Website
Unami Burger, located in a few locations, features gourmet burgers that will make you come back for more. These delicious and out-of-the-box burgers won’t make a dent in your wallet either. Why not try the falafel burger, truffle burger, or or throwback burger? Your tastebuds will thank you.
2981 Bristol St Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | Website
As my friend put it, “Laguna beach is top of the line.” Nothing beats this beautiful view. The water is crystal clear, the air is fresh, and the sand is soft on your feet. Laguna beach is the place to go if you’re looking for a relaxing and memorable beach spot. It features a biking trail, top-notch restaurants, a shopping center, and art galleries.
South Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651 | Website
Orange County Mining Co. has a rustic theme with saloon decor. The happy hour has $6 everything including drinks and appetizers. The view at this restaurant is to die for. Take a seat outside and enjoy the decor and twinkling lights. Check out the Sunday brunch featuring a d.i.y omelette station.
10000 S Crawford Canyon Rd, Santa Ana, CA 92705 | Website
This was by far my favorite place in Orange County. The packing house features several quaint and quirky sit down restaurants and bars. Even the pickiest of eaters will find something Instagram food worthy. On the weekends, grab a bite to eat and have a few mimosa’s while enjoying live music.
440 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805 | Website
Calling all vegans! Seabirds kitchen features the best vegan food around. This restaurant started as a food truck and grew into one of the best vegan spots in town. They even make their sauces and condiments by hand. Their menu is based on seasonal ingredients that are top-notch. Why not give the purple taquito’s a try? I sure enjoyed them.
2930 Bristol St. Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | Website
It’s easy to pass by the stairwell that leads to The Copper Door but this isn’t a place you’ll want to miss. This nightclub resembles a speakeasy. So, upon entering, you’ll feel apart of the in-crowd. This hidden gem has 20 rotating craft beers, 8 signature cocktails, live DJ’s, painters, dancers, and more. You’ll be up all night, having the time of your life.
225 N Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701 | Website
Located in Newport Beach and Tustin, this coffeehouse indulges in the finer things. Their coffee is an organic work of art. Keane prides themselves by elevating their coffee with the finest quality beans. The atmosphere of the coffeeshops are edgy and comfortable. Why not grab a cup of joe while chatting with the locals?
2043 Westcliff Dr #100, Newport Beach, CA 92660 | Website
This Latin American cuisine won’t disappoint you. The atmosphere at Lola Gaspar is picturesque and romantic, featuring many sparkly lights, including a gorgeous chandelier, and the feeling that you’re actually in Latin America. For a fancy restaurant, the plates are decently priced and delicious. This restaurant features several cocktails, choices of beer, and wines. Grab a bite with your honey and take in the phenomenal decor.
211 W 2nd St, Santa Ana, CA 92701 | Website
Balboa Island is the perfect place to check out with your family. Why not go parasailing? Or join your little brother or sister on the ferris wheel? This island even features a fun zone that you and the kids will surely enjoy. You can even build a sand castle that your family will rave about. The possibilities are endless (and fun).
206 Marine Avenue, Newport Beach, CA92662 | Website
What are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start heading to Orange County now. You’ll feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and spoiled after returning home from this vacation. Orange County is packed with amazing restaurants, bars, and beaches that will keep you busy. See you there!