Orange County and Catalina Island

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Orange County and Catalina Island - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Aquarium of the Pacific

    Zoo/Aquarium

    Sea lions, zebra sharks, and penguins—this aquarium focuses on creatures of the Pacific Ocean and is home to more than 12,000 animals. The main...Read More

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  • 2. Balboa Island

    Neighborhood/Street

    This sliver of terra firma in Newport Harbor boasts quaint streets tightly packed with impossibly charming multimillion-dollar cottages. The...Read More

  • 3. Casino

    Notable Building

    Built in 1929, this circular white structure is one of the finest examples of art-deco architecture anywhere. Its Spanish-inspired floors and...Read More

  • 4. Crystal Cove State Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    Midway between Corona del Mar and Laguna, Crystal Cove State Park is a favorite of local beachgoers and wilderness trekkers. It encompasses...Read More

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  • 5. Disney California Adventure

    Amusement Park/Water Park

    The sprawling Disney California Adventure, adjacent to Disneyland (their entrances face each other), pays tribute to the Golden State with multiple...Read More

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  • 6. Disneyland

    Amusement Park/Water Park

    An imaginative original, Disneyland was an unproven concept when it opened in 1955, but Walt Disney himself could never have predicted the park...Read More

  • 7. Fashion Island

    Store/Mall

    Shake the sand out of your shoes to head inland to the ritzy Fashion Island outdoor mall, a cluster of archways and courtyards complete with...Read More

  • 8. Los Rios Historic District

    Neighborhood/Street

    Take a walk back in time on the oldest residential street in Southern California, where houses date back to 1790. The Silvas Adobe is a typical...Read More

  • 9. Main Beach Park

    Beach

    Centrally located in the main town of Laguna Beach near multiple dining venues, art galleries, and shops, Main Beach Park has a fitting name...Read More

  • 10. Mission San Juan Capistrano

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Founded in 1776 by Father Junípero Serra (consecrated as St. Serra), Mission San Juan Capistrano was one of two Roman Catholic outposts between...Read More

  • 11. Newport Harbor

    Nautical Site/Lighthouse

    Sheltering nearly 16,000 small boats, Newport Harbor may seduce even those who don't own a yacht. Spend an afternoon exploring the charming...Read More

  • 12. Queen Mary

    Nautical Site/Lighthouse

    Though berthed, the Queen Mary is an impressive example of 20th-century cruise ship opulence and sadly the last of its kind. The beautifully...Read More

  • 13. 1,000 Steps Beach

    Beach

    Off South Coast Highway at 9th Street, 1,000 Steps Beach isn't too hard to find and actually only has 207 steps. It's one of the many coves...Read More

  • 14. Anaheim GardenWalk

    Promenade

    This popular dining, shopping, and entertainment outdoor complex offers 10 eateries, a bowling lounge, an escape room, and an Art on the Walk...Read More

  • 15. Balboa Peninsula

    Beach

    Newport's best beaches are on Balboa Peninsula, where many jetties pave the way to ideal swimming areas. The most intense spot for bodysurfing...Read More

  • 16. Battleship USS Iowa Museum

    Historic District/Site

    For those seeking a more rough-hewn alternative or counterpoint to the genteel Queen Mary , the battleship USS Iowa in nearby San Pedro lets...Read More

  • 17. Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    Wildlife lovers and bird-watchers flock to Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, which has a 1,445-acre salt marsh where 302 bird species—including...Read More

  • 18. Bolsa Chica State Beach

    Beach

    In the northern section of the city, Bolsa Chica State Beach is usually less crowded than its southern neighbors. The sand is somewhat gritty...Read More

  • 19. Casino Point Dive Park

    Beach

    In front of the Casino are the crystal clear waters of the Casino Point Dive Park, a protected marine preserve where moray eels, bat rays, spiny...Read More

  • 20. Catalina Island Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    The exterior of the Catalina Island Museum is a nod to Catalina Island's developer William Wrigley Jr.—it's modeled after Wrigley Field in Chicago...Read More

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