Summer is here, and while the weather doesn’t change much in Southern California, it’s bound to be warm and nice. Opportunities to get out and enjoy the beautiful summer sunshine entice residents and visitors to explore every corner of Orange County. From a leisurely stroll in the park to a thrilling festival and surf contest, the OC summer equals endless entertainment.
Newport Landing Whale Watching
309 Palm St., Suite A
Newport Beach, CA 92661
Take the family and a bunch of friends out for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Newport Landing’s skilled, professional sailors and tour guides bring the wonders of the sea to within reach, or rather, up close so you can get a good look at them. Newport Landing whale watchers report regular sightings of blue whales, humpbacks, killer whales and pods of dolphins. All summer long, this incredible, affordable adventure awaits in nearby beautiful Newport Beach.
OC Fair 2013
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
If you know about the OC Fair, happening July 12 through Aug. 11, you will be attending. If you are not familiar with the OC Fair, you need to go check it out. The most thoroughly amazing confluence of food, fun, festivities, llamas and funnel cake are assembled at the OC Fair and Event Center for 30 spectacular summer days and nights. Additional tickets may be purchased for unbelievable entertainment on site daily on several stages, including Alan Jackson, ZZ Top, Weezer and Colbie Caillat.
Santa Ana Zoo
1801 E. Chestnut Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
The Santa Ana Zoo, located in OC’s central, convenient Prentice Park, is home to 50 monkeys and a wealth of awesome weather attractions. Explore, learn, interact and contribute. Visit the zoo all summer long for a season of special events, including the Sunset at the Zoo Summer Concerts on July 7 and July 21, the nighttime Zoofari State Fair on Aug. 24 and new exhibits arriving regularly. You may also enter your youngsters, ages 5 to 10, in a summer science camp from July 1 through Aug. 24.
Related: Summer Reading Events For Kids In OC
Capistrano Historic Town Center Park
31806 El Camino Real
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Summer nights beckon families to come out and enjoy a picnic, performance and walk in the park. Historic Town Center Park, in sylvan San Juan Capistrano, is the perfect place for each. This year, Capistrano Shakespeare Festival in HTC Park presents “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” July 11th through the 21st. The San Juan Summer Nites Concert Series takes place monthly, every third Wednesday, featuring live music, food, youth activities and a local business expo. HTC Park also boasts hiking trails, athletic fields, a community garden and recreational classes and programs. Day and night, you could fill your entire summer at this one location alone.
San Clemente Ocean Festival
San Clemente Pier
San Clemente, CA 92672
The Greatest Show on Surf is a two-day San Clemente Ocean Festival that takes place July 20 and 21. Food, fun and entertainment surround a gulf of on-the-water and water-recreation events, from surfing to fishing to the Mermaid Parade. Fun runs, swimming lessons and competitions, ocean crafts and art exhibits; the Pier will be flooded with every aquatic attraction under the sun.
Related: Best Summer Camps For Teens In OC
Christopher Schmidt is a freelance writer experiencing and espousing the glory that is Orange County. Driven to travel, drawn to sports, spirits and celebrity, Chris’ work can be found on