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, oh my!—this aquarium focuses on creatures of the Pacific Ocean and is home to more than 11,000 animals...Read More

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  • 2. 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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  • 3. 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 seven...Read More

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  • 4. 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

  • 5. Main Beach Park

    Beach–Sight

    A stocky 1920s lifeguard tower marks Main Beach Park, where a wooden boardwalk separates the sand from a strip of lawn. Walk along this soft...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 1,000 Steps Beach

    Beach–Sight

    Off South Coast Highway at 9th Street, 1,000 Steps Beach is a hard-to-find spot tucked away in a neighborhood with great waves and hard-packed...Read More

  • 8. Baby Beach

    Beach–Sight

    Inside Dana Point Harbor, on its west end in Dana Cove Park, Baby Beach is very popular with families. It's close to a large parking lot and...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Balboa Peninsula

    Beach–Sight

    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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Bolsa Chica State Beach

    Beach–Sight

    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

  • 13. Casino Point Dive Park

    Beach–Sight

    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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. Corona del Mar State Beach

    Corona del Mar | Beach–Sight

    This beach is actually made up of two beaches, Little Corona and Big Corona, separated by a cliff. Both have soft, golden-hue sand. Facilities...Read More

  • 16. Crystal Cove Promenade

    Store/Shop/Mall

    Adding to Orange County's overwhelming supply of high-end shopping and dining is Crystal Cove Promenade, which might be described as the toniest...Read More

  • 17. Dana Point Harbor

    Marina/Pier/Dock

    This harbor was first described more than 100 years ago by its namesake, Richard Henry Dana, in his book Two Years Before the Mast. At the...Read More

  • 18. Discovery Cube's Ocean Quest

    Museum/Gallery

    This family-friendly destination has exhibits on the history of the harbor, ocean explorers, and scientific aspects of the Pacific Ocean. Other...Read More

  • 19. Doheny State Beach

    Beach–Sight

    At the south end of Dana Point, Doheny State Beach is one of Southern California's top surfing destinations, but there's a lot more to do within...Read More

  • 20. Downtown Disney District

    Amusement Park/Water Park

    The Downtown Disney District is a 20-acre promenade of dining, shopping, and entertainment that connects the resort's hotels and theme parks...Read More

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