Road Trip to Orange County

As seen in the San Diego June and Los Angeles August 2014 issues of Locale Magazine.

Road Trip to Orange County

A place made famous by its television depictions (The OC, The Real Housewives of Orange County, and Laguna Beach), Orange County is a must-see for most every tourist that comes west. From San Clemente to Seal Beach, and Newport to Huntington, the very-posh merge with the very-surfer against a backdrop of Pacific Ocean, blue skies, and palm trees—blending that true Californian spirit which can’t be fully portrayed on the silver screen. Sorry LC!

Photo Credit: NewportDunes.com
Photo Credit: NewportDunes.com

STAY:

A perfect place to rest your head if you’re in town for the Pageant of the Masters festival, the Surf and Sand Resort (surfandsandresort.com) has all the amenities to make your vacation one to remember. Lounge at the beachfront pool, or treat yourself at the in-house Aquaterra Spa. Dine at the resorts signature restaurant, Splashes, for a Mediterranean-inspired menu sprinkled with flavors from that coastline your staring at right now. 1555 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 

The Spanish-influenced architecture of the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa (huntingtonbeach.hyatt.com) offers a perfect backdrop for a fantastic weekend getaway. Feel like the true Californian that you are while you sample organic fare and rare wines at The Californian Restaurant. Drop the kids off at Camp Hyatt… or just send them across the street to the beach. It’s Surf City after all, it’s about time they learned. 21500 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Load up the Airstream and head over to the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort (newportdunes.com) for 110-acres of camping at it’s finest. As the premier RV Park and Marina in Southern California you can rent a bike, kayak, or even a sailboat and play the day away in the mile of Back Bay beachfront the park sits upon. If roughing it just isn’t for you, luxury beachfront cottages will get you in the camping spirit. Ranger Rick, is that you? 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Photo Credit: Locale Magazine
Photo Credit: Locale Magazine

EAT:

A vegetarian and vegan restaurant, The Stand is known for its natural and healthy meals. A small stand with a big local following, treat your taste buds to an Oriental Vegetable Tostada, a Guacamole Burrito, or a Hummus Bowl. And just because you’re on that health kick doesn’t mean you need to stay away from the dessert section. It’s healthy too. Go on, bite into that Coconut cookie… guilt free! 238 Thalia Street, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

With a hearty menu and an even heartier hamburger patty, Crow Burger (crowburgerkitchen.com) prefers to use organic products and only buys from farmers who maintain sustainable practices. Custom made buns are also large, delicious and brought in daily from a local bakery. A hip atmosphere, also serving beer and wine, you’ll fair well to “Eat Crow.” 3107 Newport Blvd, Newport Beach, CA 92663

Their motto proclaims, “If you are lucky enough to drink wine by the sea, you are lucky enough.” Sea Legs Wine Bar (sealegswine.com) is where the sophisticated come to relax at the beach. Meet friends over Sunday brunch, or at Happy Hour, Monday-Friday. Join the Wine Club and get up-to-date information on special events throughout the year. Because a special event here, is not an event to miss. 21022 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Photo Credit: Locale Magazine
Photo Credit: Locale Magazine

DO:

Try something new and learn how to stand up paddle board at Stand Up Paddle Company (supcompany.com)located right on the beach. View the beautiful Laguna coastline from a different perspective as you coast along, giving your whole body a workout. Take lessons from one of their world-class instructors, or rent a board for $20 an hour. Then, once you get really good, try a SUP Yoga class! 1103 South Coast Hwy,  Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Spend the day cruising Newport Bay on a Duffy boat from Duffy of Newport Beach (duffyofnewportbeach.com). Dock the boat at one of a number of fine dining establishments along the water like the Cannery. On a weekend day, Duffy’s run from $99 an hour, to $349 for four hours. They fit up to 12 adults, so grab some friends and have a party. 2001 West Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 91913

Revel in the thrill of pure action as knights on horses participate in a live jousting tournament at Medieval Times (medievaltimes.com). Root for your favorite hero as you sit in ringside seats, and dine on His Majesty’s Royal Feast, a four-course meal, complete with the pastry of the castle. Tickets run $59.95 for adults, and $36.95 for children. 7662 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620

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