Our picks of places to go and things to do to make the most of your summer in and around Orange County.
ENJOY THE ISLAND LIFE HERE - Home to the iconic Hotel del Coronado, of Some Like It Hot fame, Coronado Island—just a 15 minute drive over the bridge from Downtown San Diego—is home to one of the most breathtaking beaches in California, featuring a seemingly endless expanse of golden sand and swimmable water (with the historic red-and-white hotel serving as a nostalgia-inducing backdrop to a day of surf and sun). Make an afternoon of it and grab sunset cocktails at the hotel or dinner at one of the local restaurants in the charming village before making your way back to the OC—or nab a room at The Del and make a weekend of it.
SIP & SWIRL HERE - Just a short drive from Orange County, Temecula Valley Wine Country has established itself as a go-to wine tasting destination in its own right, with several award-winning producers contending with the best in Napa. Start your tour with a tasting at Ponte Winery, which produces several balanced, Italian-style varietals, from Cabernet, Zinfandel and Sangiovese to Pinot Grigio, Vermentino and Arneis. With two award-winning restaurants set against picturesque, rolling vineyards, it’s the perfect place to fuel up before a long day of tasting. View a complete list of local wineries and start planning your wine tour here.
CATCH AN OUTDOOR CONCERT HERE - Summer in OC means longer days and warmer nights, perfect for enjoying an outdoor concert under the stars. OC Parks Summer Concert Series returns this year with 10 free outdoor concerts on Thursday evenings from June 20th to August 29th at Craig Regional Park, Mason Regional Park, Irvine Regional Park and more. & AN OUTDOOR MOVIE HERE - If movies are more your speed, be sure to check out the full lineup of free outdoor movies in Mason Regional Park and Irvine Regional Park during The 2019 Summer Sunset Cinema Film Series, including Zootopia, Grease, The Goonies and Back to the Future. Pack a picnic and enjoy!
EMBRACE THE OUTDOORS HERE - With close to 2,500 acres of rolling grassland hills and woodland canyons, there’s no shortage of adventures to be had in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. Once you hike in, the stunning oak forests, red rock canyons and breathtaking vistas over the OC will have you forgetting you’re just moments from the city. Hikers and bikers can take advantage of 23 diverse trails, totaling about 17 miles. Rains bring running water to three intermittent streams, Borrego, Serrano and Aliso Creek, each playing host to a diverse wildlife population. Be sure to checkout The Agency’s complete guide to the best OC trails here.
DO SOME SUNDAY SHOPPING HERE - Every second Sunday of the month from 11am to 5pm, Westside Museum in Costa Mesa hosts local creatives for Westside Market, an expansive, indoor market showcasing art, fashion, crafts, vinyl and more. Enjoy DJs and live music throughout the day along with craft beer and wine, bloody marys and mimosas and a vinyl and cassette lounge as you peruse the stalls, chat with local artisans and nab some one-of-a-kind, local goods.