(credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)


Orange County stands out for its many beautiful beaches, great areas to live in and tourist-friendly attractions. It’s also gained popularity over the years with shows like “The OC” and MTV’s “The Hills,” which give a glimpse into life in Orange County. Whether you’re an OC native or a visitor looking to encamp in the bustling towns, here is a breakdown of OC’s neighborhoods.
(credit: Randy Yagi)

(credit: Randy Yagi)


Anaheim

Anaheim is the most populous city in Orange County. Over the years, Anaheim has experienced a revitalization that has included more commercial areas and an expanded real estate market. There is a lot to do in Anaheim too. For those looking to embark on a little fun and leisure in Anaheim, it is home to the world-famous Disneyland Resort, Disneyland California Adventure as well as the Anaheim Angels MLB team and the NHL Anaheim Ducks. For a shopping haul, Center Street Promenade in Downtown Anaheim is the number one destination. Shoppers will get a chance to pick through the variety of curated shops, artisan-style eateries and retail hot spots.

(credit, Mobilisdeus via Wikimedia Commons)

(credit, Mobilisdeus via Wikimedia Commons)


Santa Ana

With a mix of downtown flavor and traditional Southern California roots, Santa Ana is a vibrant city where locals enjoy the fairly warm weather throughout the year. This ample warm weather provides residents and visitors a great amount of outdoor activities and vacation-like escapes as well. One minute you could be taking candid pics of the Santa Ana mountains, and the next you could find yourself on a bike trail along the Santa Ana River. To spark your intellectual curiosity, make sure to head to Bowers Museum or the Discovery Science Center where learning and fun intertwine. For foodies looking to one up on the best of Southern California cuisine, head to The Playground in downtown, a popular hangout spot.

(credit: Erick T. Rodelius)

(credit: Erick T. Rodelius)


Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is one of the most influential neighborhoods in Orange County as well as one of the most picturesque. It could be due to its opulent nature, namely the pristine beaches that line up the coast, or it may be linked to its rise in popularity thanks to hit reality shows such as MTV’s “The Hills” and “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” If you can’t agree on how Laguna Beach commandeered its preeminent spot, you can agree that Laguna Beach is home to some of the best attractions around. For starters, there are the vast number or resorts where travelers flock to each year including the famed Montage Laguna Beach, a ritzy resort known for its affluent accommodations, and the Surf & Sand Resort where you could take up surfing, sand and sun for the most all-encompassing retreat. Aside from beaches, Laguna Beach also has some fascinating parks such as Crescent Bay Point Park and Heisler Park. The area is also home to the Pageant of the Masters art festival.

Related: Best Hotels With Luxury Beach Service in Southern California

(credit: South Coast Plaza)

(credit: South Coast Plaza)


Costa Mesa
Widely known as a ‘City of the Arts’ with its trendy arts scene, top-tier shopping centers and lush beaches, Costa Mesa is also known as one of the first-rate neighborhoods in Orange County. With plenty of things to rely upon to keep a steady stream of traffic coming in out of the area, the area boasts South Coast Plaza, one of the handful of upscale malls operating out of Orange County. Orange County Performing Arts Center also lies in Costa Mesa and is an entertainment epicenter. Let’s not forget the scores of salons, spas, restaurants, parks and recreation centers waiting to be patronized as well. In providing OC residents with a treat at every corner, Costa Mesa ranks high on the list of best neighborhoods in OC.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)


Irvine
Irvine has solidified its reputation as the heart of Orange County with sprawling neighborhoods, world class shopping and international dining. Irvine affords OC residents with a number of highlighter learning institutions as well including the University of California, Irvine as well as a leading business center with more than a hundred corporations and businesses serving the community. If that isn’t enough, Irvine is one of the safest big cities in the nation. It ranked first on the FBI list of “America’s Safest Big City” in 2005. From Tanaka Farms Strawberry Tours to Irvine Global Village Festival to Style Week OC, you’re never void of things to do.

Related: Best Restaurants On Catalina Island

Barbara Akowuah is a freelance journalist based in Southern California. As a fashion examiner who is privy to style, Barbara loves to write about fashion and how it relates to the Los Angeles scene. Barbara loves to dish out the latest trends, style tips, and inside scoop. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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