Best Places To Take Visitors In Orange County

September 17, 2017 11:00 AM

(credit: Rooftop Lounge)

(credit: Rooftop Lounge)


Orange County has a lot of things that you won’t find elsewhere. That is why you should take advantage of them when you visit this area. If you’re looking for a truly unique experience that you can tell your friends about, try these places ranging from a rooftop lounge to a playhouse where you’re sure to get some laughs.
(credit: Rooftop Lounge)

(credit: Rooftop Lounge)


The Rooftop Lounge
1289 S Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(855) 990-0282
www.rooftoplagunabeach.com

Orange County has a lot of places where you can get a drink, but not many can compare with The Rooftop Lounge atop La Casa del Camino Hotel. This lounge offers spectacular ocean views. It also offers amazing mojitos that are the perfect accompaniment to watching the gorgeous Laguna sunsets. You’ll have an incredible experience and the opportunity to get some stunning photos when you visit this place.

(Credit: Driftwood Kitchen)

(Credit: Driftwood Kitchen)


Eat Seafood Next to the Sea
Driftwood Kitchen
619 Sleepy Hollow Lane
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-7700
www.driftwoodkitchen.com

No trip to Laguna Beach would be complete without a trip to a seafood restaurant, but Driftwood Kitchen provides a chance to sit right over the crashing waves. The expansive glass windows offer spectacular sunset views and the smell of the saltwater drifts in over the deck outside. Fresh seafood in a beach town is always great, but the food at Driftwood Kitchen is incredible. Gourmet dishes like the Bay of Maine Monkfish, the Grilled Colossal Tiger Prawns, the Venus Clams and Meatballs and the Chilean Sea Bass are obvious hits, but the menu also includes Lobster Spaghetti Carbonara, Grilled Local Swordfish and Wild King Salmon. If you’re interested in smaller seafood plates, the restaurant also offers grilled octopus, calamari steaks and crab cakes. While the seafood is the main appeal, don’t forget to try their dessert and delicious cocktails during your meal.

(Credit: The Observatory Santa Ana)

(Credit: The Observatory Santa Ana)


The Observatory
3503 S. Harbor Blvd.
Santa Ana, CA 92704
(714) 957-0600
observatoryoc.com

The Observatory is a great venue for live music. The stage is elevated, and there is plenty of space on the floor to get near the stage and dance. A limited number of booths is available around the perimeter. However, it’s not just the layout that makes this a great place to visit. Here you’ll find national touring acts ranging from metal to hip-hop. The national acts are generally supported by local acts that can also be impressive. When you buy tickets for a show here, it’s best to print your tickets at home and avoid the will-call window.

shutterstock 541459747 Best Places To Take Visitors In Orange County

(credit: shutterstock)


Go To The Beach

From the famed Agate Street Beach to Aliso Beach Park, 1000 Steps Beach, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Surfside and many others, there are plenty of beaches around Orange County. Whether it’s summertime or another season, the beach is a great spot to take visitors in Orange County.

(Credit: Sarah King)

(Credit: Sarah King)


Vaca
695 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 463-6060
www.vacarestaurant.com

You can find just about any kind of food in Orange County, including Spanish cuisine at Vaca, which you may have heard of because Chef Amar Santana was recently on America’s Top Chef. This restaurant serves small plates, so it’s best to come with a group and order a bunch of different things that you can all sample. Make sure you try the braised oxtail because it is delicious. Vaca also specializes in wine and gin drinks to enjoy with your meal.

Related: 15 Best Restaurants In Orange County

(Credit: Festival of the Arts)

(Credit: Festival of the Arts)


Experience Pageant of the Masters
650 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(714) 614-2212
www.foapom.com

Known all around the world, Laguna Beach’s Pageant of the Masters is a big deal. Held for over a month each summer, the living pictures performance brings paintings to life, bringing a human component to the artwork. Rather than simply viewing paintings, set designs, makeup and costumes enhance the experience, creating life-size images of truly epic proportions. The 90-minute show features both classic and contemporary art pieces, this year modeled after the theme of “partners”. Coupled with live narration, an orchestra playing an original score and well placed light and props, the event has been winning the hearts of both locals and visitors from around the world for years. There aren’t many shows if any that do what the Pageant does so it is a special treat that stands out as being one of Laguna’s main highlights.

(credit: Michael A./Yelp)

(credit: Michael A./Yelp)


Laguna Playhouse
606 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 497-2787
www.lagunaplayhouse.com

In some ways it feels like live theater is a dying art. It certainly is not as easy to come by as movies and other forms of entertainment. However, there are enough fans of live theater that you can’t rightly say it’s dead. Laguna Playhouse is a purveyor of live theater that is sure to have you entertained. You can often find performances like Menopause the Musical here so you can be assured that it won’t be a stodgy live-theater performance.

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(credit: Laguna Beach First Thursdays Art Walk)


First Thursdays Art Walk
Laguna Beach, CA 92652
www.firstthursdaysartwalk.com

Held on the first Thursday of every month, this educational event is a terrific experience and a great introduction for children to learn about fine art. Galleries throughout the Laguna Beach area take part in this event.

(Credit: Bo H./Yelp)

(Credit: Bo H./Yelp)


Left Coast Brewery
1245 Puerta del Sol
San Clemente, CA 92673
(949) 276-2699
leftcoastbrewing.com

Orange County has become a real hot spot for craft breweries. Left Coast is a very good one in south Orange County, and the tasting room here is definitely worth a stop. This brewery creates a variety of styles from a blond to very popular IPAs as well as seasonal brews. When you visit the tap room, you can get a pour of five ounces, ten ounces or a full pint. The tap room is open from 12pm to 10pm (Monday-Thursday), 12pm to 11pm (Friday and Saturday) and 12pm to 9pm (Sunday).

Related: Best Breweries In Orange County

Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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