Art, Architecture and Where to Play in Orange County



Orange County's tourist reputation is built on its beaches and theme parks but dig a little deeper and you'll find that there is an eclectic mix of missions and cowboys and even a bison or two.  

Summer brings the greatest show on earth to the waters around Catalina Islando which are the summer feeding grounds for blue whales. Take a walk on the Dana Point Headlands above the Ocean Institute in Dana Point and you'll have a bird's eye view of the coast with noisy California Sea Lions barking in the background.

Relive Orange County history with a visit to Mission San Juan Capistrano.  The famous swallows really do come back every year, just ask the residents that live here.  Make it a day and cross the train tracks to visit the Los Rios district, the oldest neighborhood in California.  There's a tea house and a couple of restaurants, shops and Zoomars Petting Zoo where feeding the bunnies is the big attraction.  

And if theme parks are what you've come for, Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Knott's Berry Farm are located within 30 minutes of each other.  Knott's Soak City water park opens during the summer for an added thrill.

At the end of the day why not take in a ball game at Angel Stadium and root for the home team.


Angel Stadium of Anaheim


Baseball greats like Rod Carew and Reggie Jackson once trod this field and wowed fans with their heroics, paving the way for the modern generation of Angels. Until 1995, the NFL Rams shared the stadium but after they moved to St. Louis, the...  Read More


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Garden Grove
Crystal Cathedral


Designed in the shape of a four-pointed star, Crystal Cathedral is a sight to behold. The impressive structure is comprised of more than 10,000 panes of glass, and coincidentally, the church boasts more than 10,000 members. The congregation...  Read More


Ocean Institute


The Ocean Institute, located in the Dana Point Harbor, is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors can view hundreds of marine animals in aquariums and touch tanks, witness animal feedings and enjoy ocean-themed exhibits. The...  Read More




Pageant of the Masters is part of the Festival of Arts summer program in Laguna Beach which began in the 1930s. Nightly 90-minute shows in an outdoor amphitheater recreate some of the world's most famous paintings. Art comes to life as real...  Read More




If you're literally trying to get away from things, make Catalina your haven. The island lies just 22 miles from shore and is accessible via an hour-long boat ride. Its charming community is relaxed and carefree, and you'll take the vibe to...  Read More




Outdoor enthusiasts of all inclinations clamor to this beautiful park, which offers not only a wide variety of landscapes for physical activity but a selection of lookout points for sightseeing as well. Several thousand acres of terrain...  Read More


Knott's Berry Farm


Billed as America's first theme park, this complex features 160 acres of thrill rides, live entertainment, historic exhibits and dining all divided into five themed areas. Among them are Ghost Town – an 1880s Western boom town with cowboys,...  Read More


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San Juan Capistrano


One of California's oldest Spanish missions, San Juan Capistrano dates from 1776 and still features a variety of adobe foundations and a few working buildings. Although the once-majestic Great Stone Church is no longer intact, the intimate Serra...  Read More


<i>Disney California Adventure</i><sub>®</sub> Park
Photo courtesy of Kristi Marcelle


Disney California Adventure Park emerged in 2012 with a new look after five years of planning and construction. A new entrance, Buena Vista Street, and the fabulously popular 12-acre Cars Land were unveiled along with a variety of new...  Read More


Disneyland<sub>®</sub> Resort
Photo courtesy of Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort)


It's the happiest place on earth! This world-renowned theme park features breathtaking rides, enticing games, and thrilling shows. In fact, with eight individually themed "lands," it offers plenty of fun for the entire family. Explore the...  Read More


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Meet Kristi Marcelle

Originally from Wisconsin, Kristi Marcelle found her passion for travel after studying and volunteering in Quito, Ecuador for two years.  She’s lived in Southern California for over ten years...  More About Kristi

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