Orange County Bucket List

I recently came across this Los Angeles Bucket List as I was browsing Pinterest.  And while I love traveling and have a pretty extensive travel bucket list, it got me thinking about all of the things to do right here in my own backyard!  So I started doing some research (which included asking my friends and family for suggestions on Facebook and over Christmas dinner) and put together my Orange County Bucket List.  The list includes 150 things to do in Orange County that go beyond just the beach and Disneyland (although those are on the list!).  There’s also a bonus Cupcakes in Orange County section because it really wouldn’t be a Girl on the Move list if it didn’t include cupcakes!

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Did you know Orange County has more people than 21 of the states in the US?  It is a county rich in history, filled with gorgeous views, and full of lots of opportunity for adventure.  So grab your Orange County map (Because I think adventures are more fun with actual maps!) and start checking things off the list!  And if you want to follow along with my Orange County Bucket List adventures you can find them on Instagram.

I’d love to hear in the comments section…What would you add to this Orange County Bucket List?  Is there anything on the list you’ve done that you’d recommend I’d do as soon as possible?

1. Drinks at Splashes Bar at the Surf and Sand Hotel

2. Shopping at South Coast Plaza (3rd largest mall in America)

3. Dinner during sunset at Pacific City in Huntington Beach

4. Take a tour at the ChocXO Chocolate Factory and Tasting Lab

5. Shopping at the OC SwapMeet

6. Brunch at The Beachcomber Café

7. Go to an Anaheim Ducks hockey game

8. Visit Mission San Juan Capistrano

9. See the monkeys at the Santa Ana Zoo

10. Spend a day at the Orange County Fair

11. See a show and eat a themed brunch/dinner at The Segerstrom Center

12. Eat a colorful bagel from Bagels & Brew

13. Go to a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball game

14. Aquacycle ride in Irvine Park

15. Hike Peters Canyon

16. Enjoy First Thursdays Art Walk in Laguna Beach

17. Fruity Pebbles French Toast from Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

18. Take a selfie at Heisler Park

19. Ride the big orange balloon at Orange County’s Great Park

20. See the sunset at the HB Pier

21. Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach

22. Eat a waffle at The Iron Press

23. Hike to the Top of the World in Laguna Beach

24. Progressive dinner at 4th Street Market in Santa Ana

25. Ride the Giant Wheel at the Spectrum

26. Spend a night at the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages

27. Take a ferry to Balboa Island

28. Eat a boysenberry funnel cake at Knott’s Berry Farm

29. Go surfing in Huntington Beach

30. Eat dinner at Orange Hill restaurant (note: this is where my parents got engaged!)

31. Enjoy a milkshake at Ruby’s Crystal Cove shake shack

32. Drinks at The Rooftop Lounge

33. Take an art class at the Sawdust Art Festival

34. Have a cocktail at the Lobby Lounge at Montage Laguna Beach

35. Cruise down PCH in a convertible

36. Spend a day at the Fullerton Arboretum

37. Visit the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach

38. Bird watching at Bolsa Chica Wetlands

39. Stroll through the Tuesday Farmers Market in Huntington Beach

40. Dinner at Little Saigon in Westminster

41. Spend an afternoon reading a book at Treasure(Goff) Island Beach

42. Take a boat ride in Newport Harbor

43. Ride the wine trolley in Old Town Orange

44. Enjoy a frozen banana from Dad’s on Balboa Island

45. Go whale watching out of Dana Point

46. Go stand-up paddle boarding in Newport Harbor

47. Explore Discovery Cube: Orange County

48. Eat a chicken dinner at Knott’s Chicken Dinner

49. Progressive Dinner at Anaheim Packing District

50. Spend an afternoon at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley

51. Antique shopping in Orange Circle

52. Picnic at Soka University

53. Visit the Ocean Institute in Dana Point

54. An afternoon at 1000 Steps Beach

55. Enjoy the architecture of Christ’s Cathedral (formerly Crystal Cathedral) (note: this was the venue of my high school graduation)

56. Attend a performance at Orange County School of the Arts

57. Learn about the history of Orange County at the Heritage Museum of Orange County

58. Attend the US Open of Surfing

59. Attend the Huntington Beach 4th of July parade

60. Enjoy strawberries at the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival

61. Attempt to eat “The Beast” at Blake’s Place

62. Visit the Lyon Air Museum

63. Spend an afternoon at Balboa Island Fun Zone

64. Mine for gold at Knott’s Berry Farm

65. Watch a movie on the beach in HB with Beachfront Cinema

66. Have a bonfire at the beach

67. Take a produce tour at Tanaka Farms

68. Progressive Dinner at Food Truck Thursdays in Huntington Beach (Beach Blvd & Stark)

69. Explore the University of California, Irvine Arboretum

70. Ice skating at The Rinks (the official training facility of the Anaheim Ducks)

71. Explore the tide pools at Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area

72. Watch a movie Newport Dunes’ Movies on the Beach

73. Hike Laguna Coast Wilderness park

74. Eat tacos from The Lime Truck

75. Take flight at Flightdeck

An Orange County Bucket List for your trip to California with 150 suggestions to help you plan things to do, beaches to visit, hikes, and cupcakes to eat!
76. Eat a donut from The Donuttery

77. Movie at Oak Canyon Nature Center

78. See a concert at Pearson Park Amphitheatre

79. Spend an afternoon at Newport Dunes Waterpark

80. Explore the Bowers Museum

81. Eat a donut from Sidecar Doughnuts

82. Enjoy the pink sauce at Mama D’s Italian Kitchen

83. Eat dinner with a view at Cannons Seafood Grill

84. Take a walk along the Walkable Historical Timeline in Orange County’s Great Park

85. Have authentic beignets in New Orleans Square at Disneyland

86. Afternoon at Atlantis Park in Garden Grove (note: neither adults nor kids may go without the other!)

87. Orange County Museum of Art

88. Enjoy a Dole Whip at Disneyland

89. Explore Balboa Village

90. Have tea at the Sherman Library and Gardens

91. See a show at the Royal Theatre in Disneyland’s Fantasyland

92. Relax for a day at The Spa at Pelican Hill

93. Take a gondola ride with Gondola Adventures in Newport Beach

94. See the Disneyland fireworks

95. Have a popGelato from popbar

96. Have a glass of wine at Orange Coast Winery

97. Watch the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland

98. Watch surfers at The Wedge in Newport Beach

99. Pool day at Montage Laguna Beach

100. Stay overnight at The Ranch at Laguna Beach

101. See a show at the Costa Mesa Playhouse

102. See a show with Shakespeare Orange County

103. Enjoy a picnic at Laguna Lake Park in Fullerton

104. Explore Orange County’s only lighthouse – Pirate Castle

105. See Disneyland’s original bandstand at Roger’s Gardens

106. Enjoy a picnic at Inspiration Point in Newport Beach

107. Enjoy a wine tasting at A Hidden Vine On The Lake

108. Explore the Butterfly Garden while hiking Oso Creek Trail

109. Hike Holy Jim Falls

110. Stop by The CAMP in Costa Mesa

111. Have a milkshake at Strickland’s Frozen Custard

112. Shopping at Fashion Island

113. Stroll through Downtown Disney

114. Step back into history with dinner at the Filling Station Cafe

115. Take a trip to the Redwoods at The Redwood Grove at Carbon Canyon Regional Park

116. Watch surfers at Trestles – the “Yosemite of Surfing”

117. Eat crepes at the beach at La Galette Creperie

118. Attend an event at Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens

119. Take a trip to the South with dinner at Iva Lee’s

120. Enjoy a cheese plate or board from The Cellar

121. Have a soda at California’s Original Soda Fountain – Watson’s Soda Fountain Café

122. Walk the streets of Laguna Beach on a Historic Bungalow Tour

123. Eat a short rib grilled cheese from Three Seventy Common

124. See a film on a third Thursday at California’s oldest museum, Laguna Art Museum

125. Take a food tour with Flavors of Laguna

126. Listen to music at Reggae Night at Sandpiper “Dirty Bird”

127. Enjoy fresh gelato from Dolce Gelato

128. Eat pancakes from Flappy Jack’s Pancake House

129. Visit St. Francis by the Sea (once the smallest church in the world)

130. Eat Brulee French toast from Break of Dawn

131. Make your own bath salts and perfume at Bubbles of Laguna

132. Eat cinnamon rolls from LUCCA’s Café

133. Kayak in Huntington Harbor

134. Eat a waffle sandwich from Bruxie

135. See a play at The Laguna Playhouse

136. Enjoy a lobster roll from Slapfish

137. Dinner at Stonehill Tavern in Dana Point

138. Take a trip to Europe at Old World in Huntington Beach

139. Explore history at the La Habra Historical Museum

140. Eat a ham and cheese croissant from Seaside Bakery in Newport Beach

141. “First Saturday” Artwalk in Santa Ana

142. Stay overnight at Paséa Hotel & Spa

143. Eat a sandwich at Mendocino Farms

144. Eat a Signature 50/50 burger from Slater’s 50/50

145. Go biking at the beach…any beach!

146. Build a sand castle at the beach

147. Go running on the San Clemente Beach Trail

148. Build a burger at Riders Club Café in San Clemente

149. Visit all five of Orange County piers

150. Visit the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

An Orange County Bucket List for your trip to California with 150 suggestions to help you plan things to do, beaches to visit, hikes, and cupcakes to eat!
Bonus!!! Orange County Bucket List: Cupcake Edition

Susie Cakes

Casey’s Cupcakes

Patty’s Cakes and Desserts

The Perfect Circle Cupcakery

Bubba Sweets

Simply the Cupcake Store

Rockwell’s Bakery

Sprinkles Cupcakes

French’s Cupcake Bakery

Sweet N Saucy

B Candy

Beverly’s Best Bakery

Hapa Cupcakes

Frostings Cupcakes

Wonderland Bakery

Sugar Blossom Bake Shop

Frosted Cupcakery

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16 comments

  1. #88: apparently we are soul mates. I love this list because I’ve done so many of the fun things. Time to head back and cross the rest off (mostly food ones… and the art class).

  2. Little Corona del Mar beach and tide pools

    Ham and cheese croissant at Blue Frog Bakery and Cafe at the circle, downtown Orange

    Breakfast at the Sugar Shack Cafe in Huntington Beach

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