On the Water

If you feel like spending some time exploring the attractions near the waterfront, our 10Best list can help you make an informed decision on where to go and what to do. Catalina Island is one attraction in the area popular with 10Best readers.



Taking as its focus the planet's largest body of water, this intriguing facility addresses the range of the Pacific basin. It divides the ocean into the Southern California/Baja region, the Northern Pacific, and the Tropical Pacific, exhibiting...  Read More

Balboa Pavilion


This waterside attraction, a turn-of-the-century Victorian structure, was built in 1906 and has been a focal point in Newport Beach for many years. Formerly a rail destination from Los Angeles, the pavilion is now mainly devoted to marine...  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

Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching


Dana Wharf is the central location for a wealth of ocean-related activities, and visitors often find themselves drawn there when they want to experience local marine life. Sportfishing and whale watching are two of the most prominent pursuits,...  Read More

Knott's Soak City Water Park


When the summer heat bears down intensely, or when the kids have begged to go so often that you can't handle the repeated requests, make Knott's Soak City your fun-time escape. The water park offers attractions for all ages, whether it's inner...  Read More

Newport Landing Sportfishing


If you're eager to see what it feels like to fight one of the big boys and do your best to land him, Newport Landing is ready to set you up for a terrific time. Numerous options allow you to choose everything from a half-day to an overnight...  Read More

Orange County Marine Institute


Hop on the Pilgrim and prepare to be amazed by the diversity of California's marine life! For a small fee, you can learn about life aboard a 19th-century sailing vessel, explore a real tidal pool, and take part in the marine lab's open house. If...  Read More



The Queen Mary was not only a luxury ocean liner in its day but also a WWII-era warship, carrying troops and military leaders from 1940-1946. The ship, which first set sail in 1936, was retired from service in 1967, when it was brought to Long...  Read More



Intended to chart the prominent role that surfing has played in Huntington Beach, this museum is an intriguing repository of "Hang 10" memorabilia and history. From an array of boards that have been used through the years to the influence of...  Read More