(credit: Newport Landing)

(credit: Newport Landing)

Relaxing is one of the essential keys to maintaining good emotional and physical health. Experts suggest that resting, exercising and having a fun time are all positive relaxation techniques. A nature walk or a run along the beach is just as effective as discovering a new passion. The local landscape offers the opportunity to connect with nature, breathe in the Pacific Ocean air and leave your worries behind.Here are some excellent ways to chill out in Orange County.
(credit: Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary)

(credit: Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary)

Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
29322 Modjeska Canyon Road
Silverado, CA 92676
(714) 649-2760

Connecting with nature is often one way people like to escape from their everyday life stresses. A nature walk through Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, which is owned and operated by California State University, Fullerton, is the perfect place to unplug from your electronics and technology. Stop by the Nature Science Center to plan your visit. There is a recommended $3 per person donation. There are multiple trails to select for a walk. Learn where to track animal activity including the striped skunk, raccoon, California gray squirrel, mule deer and others. The Sensory Garden ignites sights and sound, while bird watching can be an exciting adventure.
(credit: Newport Dinner Cruise)

(credit: Newport Dinner Cruise)

Starlight Dinner Cruise from Newport Beach
Hornblower South
2431 West Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(888) 467-6256

Sometimes, you just have to sail away to get yourself in check. The Starlight Dinner Cruise is an enjoyable yacht experience (it can be romantic  if you want) where you can let your hair down on a Friday or Saturday night and leave all your worries on land. The three-hour cruise ($90.95 per person) comes with a four-course dinner, a welcome glass of champagne (or cider), music and dancing, and wine can cocktails for additional purchase. While cruising on the luxurious Hornblower yacht, guests will take in the sounds of local sea lions in the harbor, views of Orange County’s beautiful beaches and a peek at the yachts of the rich and famous.
(credit: Laguna Canyon Winery)

(credit: Laguna Canyon Winery)

Laguna Canyon Winery
2133 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-9463

Laguna Canyon Winery, a family-owned boutique winery, is award-winning and owned by local winemakers Marlowe J. Huber and Darren N. Huber. They transport grapes in from Napa and Sonoma Valleys and process on site at Laguna Canyon Winery. Visitors can explore and learn about the winery and its process including crushing, pressing, fermentation, barrel aging, blending and then bottling. Other than the obvious reason visiting a winery is relaxing (the wine, of course), learning and focusing on something new can help relax your mind and lower your blood pressure. Visitors can check out Laguna’s winemaking equipment while tasting its boutique wines, which is in the tasting room. The winery produces five white wines, 12 reds, two sparkling wines and two dessert ones. Laguna Canyon Winery hosts a 1st Friday of the Month tasting event. Reservations are required.

Related: Best Artisan Cheese Shops In Orange County

(credit: Jon Bilous/Shutterstock)

(credit: Jon Bilous/Shutterstock)

Walk Along Newport Beach
Newport Beach, CA

Newport Beach features more than eight miles of beach. From the Santa Ana River jetty to Crystal Cove State Park and the Newport Bay border, there are many paths to get your walk on. The vast views of the Pacific Ocean are magnificent while walking along Newport Beach. The pier to pier path is 1.74 miles one-way and is an excellent roundtrip. The paved path lays right along the beach and welcomes both pedestrians and bicycles. The Oceanfront Boardwalk starts at the end of 36th St. and will take walkers about three miles down the Balboa Peninsula. Highlights along this trail include great beachfront scenery – fisherman, luxury beachfront homes, ocean, sand and restaurants along the way. Sunscreen and hat are recommended as exposure to the sun is high.
(Credit: St. Regis Monarch Beach)

(Credit: St. Regis Monarch Beach)

A Night At The St. Regis Monarch Beach
1 Monarch Beach Resort North
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 234-3200

One staycation night at the luxury resort St. Regis Monarch Beach will give you the best opportunity to relax and refresh. Access to a beautiful sandy beach, a beachfront golf course, three swimming pools, tennis, the Miraval Spa and resort restaurants are at your disposal, along with the St. Regis Butlers and Surf Butlers waiting on your hand and foot. Call the resort or check online for special offers that provide resort credit and suite upgrades, as well as the Miraval Spa Balance package featuring yoga, meditation, fitness classes and wellness workshops. One room stay starts at $545 per night.

Related: Best Day Spas In Orange County

Sheryl Craig is a writer with a passion for interesting finds and treasures in Los Angeles. She has a background in journalism and public relations. A mother of two daughters, Sheryl integrates her healthy lifestyle into raising her children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.