Living in Orange County: Things to Do and See in Orange County, California
Orange County—The Heart of Southern California
Everything You Wanted to Know About Living in Orange County
Where is Orange County Located in the U.S.?
Orange County is located in the heart of Southern California, between the bustling cities of Los Angeles and San Diego. This sprawling suburb has grown to encompass over 30 cities, each bringing its own unique personality and lifestyle.
What is the Weather in Orange County?
The weather in Orange County is sunny and temperate nearly 365 days of the year, remaining in the mid-70s Fahrenheit (mid-20s Celsius) during spring, summer, winter, and fall.
What is the Architecture in Orange County?
Orange County architecture varies depending on the specific community you choose. Along the coast you will find palatial waterfront estates, cozy cottages, custom masterpieces, and urban abodes. As you head inland, real estate varies from equestrian properties to luxurious single-family homes. A common feature in all Southern California architecture is indoor-outdoor living, including California rooms. Part room, part porch, California rooms are becoming more and more common in Orange County real estate as the perfect way to enjoy the amazing weather year-round. It’s all about extending indoor luxuries outdoors.
What to Do and See in Orange County?
One of the largest and most celebrated tourist attractions in Orange County, of course, is Disneyland—the “Happiest Place on Earth.” Opened in 1955, the Magic Kingdom is a Southern California staple located in Anaheim. In 2001, Disney added to the experience by creating a second park on the resort, Disney California Adventure, embodying the history and spirit of the California lifestyle. Also situated in Orange County is Knott’s Berry Farm, a pioneering 56-acre theme park owned by Cedar Fair. Known for its Old West “ghost town,” rollercoasters, boysenberry treats, and historical fun and flair, Knott’s provides visitors a dose of adrenaline in Orange County.
Outstanding residential enclaves in Orange County are abundant and offer residents a wide variety of amenities. Notable neighborhoods include Newport Coast, Corona del Mar, Balboa Island, The Villages of Irvine, Orange Park Acres, Nellie Gail Ranch, Coto de Caza, Huntington Harbour, and Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach. The various communities of Irvine are particularly well known for their award-winning schools, abundant parks, and safety. In fact, Irvine continues to rank as the safest large city in the United States, with the lowest rate of violent crime per capita for a city its size.
World-class shopping and high-end dining experiences are abundant in Orange County. Open-air malls are extremely popular, most notably Fashion Island, located in Newport Beach and The Irvine Spectrum in Irvine. An upscale open-air lifestyle center, Fashion Island is full of luxury shopping and eateries. Luxury boutiques, lushly landscaped walkways and a Mediterranean style define this shopping experience. Irvine Spectrum offers a more laid-back atmosphere, packed with more world-class shopping and fun-filled experiences. The Irvine Spectrum is home to the Irvine Improv comedy club, Hello Kitty Café, Giant Wheel, movie theaters, interactive kids’ playgrounds, and more.
South Coast Plaza is another point of interest for international luxury shoppers as the largest shopping center on the West Coast. Featuring hundreds of boutiques, South Coast Plaza represents nearly every high-end designer, including Chanel, Cartier, Fendi, Gucci, Hermès, Harry Winston, Valentino, Versace, and so much more.
Museums and Concerts
The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana (the county seat) is an outstanding institution of local history art, and the Irvine Museum (in Irvine) is a more specific repository of outstanding California landscape and plein air painting. In Costa Mesa, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts is Orange County’s mecca of performance—from Broadway hit plays and musicals to symphonies and solo vocal performances to rock concerts.
How Many People Live in Orange County?