It’s surreal. It causes double-takes, whispers and gawking. You see someone famous out of context; that is to say without a pane of glass and a TV camera between you and them. Often times, these occurrences happen within the boundaries of LA, but where do the stars of Hollywood go to decompress? The place where they can still be in contact with the lifestyle they’re accustomed to while maintaining a certain level of anonymity is, quite often, Orange County. Here’s the places the stars you love congregate when not on your television.
1313 Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802
Disneyland is a destination location for everyone including the celebrity set. Stars are often times coddled because of their jobs. At Disneyland, these same stars are likely to be found with a giant turkey leg in one hand and a Dole Whip in the other just like many other patrons. Such is life at the Magic Kingdom. The stars are not only relegated to coming in their off time. Sometimes the stars of a your favorite movies are working. The stars of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies have promoted the movie by making appearances there. While under a movie contract with Disney, The Rock AKA Dwayne Johnson made promotional appearances at the House of Mouse as well. It makes no difference if it’s for work or for play, the stars come out to the Happiest Place on Earth.
South Coast Plaza
333 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
When there is serious shopping that needs to be done there are plenty of places that the stars go. Their names read like a TMZ shot list: The Grove, The Sherman Oaks Galleria, Rodeo Drive etc. Where they go when they want to do this shopping without being noticed is South Coast Plaza. Those that have slipped in and out of South Coast over the years include Kevin Costner, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Robert Wagner, Demi Moore, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sarah, the Duchess of York and golf legend Fred Couples. All of these celebrities can’t be wrong. This is the mecca for shopping in Orange County.
3334 W Pacific Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663
What happens when a star opens up a restaurant? That star fills their restaurant with their celebrity friends. That’s exactly what happened when Sugar Ray front man-turned-TV host-turned-restaurateur Mark McGrath opened up A Restaurant. The plain name flies in the face of those who eat here. They run the gamut from sports stars to music industry insiders looking for a low-key atmosphere. With a straight forward menu, reasonable prices, and a good location, it’s no wonder people from all walks of celebrity can be seen here.
St. Regis Monarch Beach
33000 Niguel Rd.
Dana Point, CA 92629
The life of a celebrity is harder than most people realize. Balancing life on the set of a project with everything else that goes along with it is difficult. There are times when stars feel like decompressing. In those circumstances, one of their favorite places is the St. Regis at Monarch Beach. Everyone, from Academy Award-winner Hillary Swank to actress/reality star Tori Spelling, have been seen here, proving that if you want to catch a celebrity in their down time, this location is the place to be.
Newport Beach, CA 92662
With all the stars parading around Orange County, it comes as no surprise that the coast is where they tend to gravitate. As beautiful as it is quaint and with character to boot, Balboa Island serves as a place to escape the hectic pace of the Orange County “mainland.” Stars like Jason Bateman, Jeffery Tambor, Portia de Rossi, and the rest of the cast of the hit show “Arrested Development” have been seen here, as have Kobe Bryant, Dennis Rodman, and Jim Abbott (formerly of the New York Yankees and California Angels) have been seen here. If that weren’t enough to lend credence to the fact that Balboa is a magnet for stars of all sorts, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall all frequented this tiny stretch of land in their time, proving that this has long been a destination for the celebrity set.
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Follow Josh Calvert on Twitter @JoshCalvert10.