What To Do in Orange County During the Summer

June 18, 2019


Since moving to the OC I get asked one question constantly! What to do in Orange County? It’s such a popular vacation spot and a fun place to live! There is so much more to do than just go to the beach and Disneyland, though. {Although those are always fun things to do!} Because my post from last year about fun kids activities in Orange County was so popular, I thought I would round up some more activities that are good for not just kids, but adults too!

What to do in Orange County during the summer - M Loves M Fun OC activities! - M Loves M What to do in Orange County during the summer! - M Loves M What to do in Orange County during the summer - M Loves M Fun family Orange County activities! - M Loves M

What To Do in Orange County During the Summer


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Surfing lessons in Laguna Beach

Matthew loves to surf and is already itching to get Augustine out on the water with him! Obviously, that is a few years away, but if you have older kids or you want to learn to surf, you should take lessons in Laguna Beach! La Vida Laguna offers surf lessons for kids or adults. They also do kayak tours which would be so fun and easier to do with younger kids!

Walking around Roger’s Gardens

This is not your average nursery. Roger’s Gardens is such an insanely gorgeous space with so many great plants, flowers, and garden accessories. Their floral displays are so inspiring! They teach gardening classes and even have a really gorgeous restaurant you can eat at. It is so popular, so make a reservation. It’s the perfect spot to have lunch with the girls because it’s gorgeous. I went with my mother in law and sisters in law around the holidays and it was so fun!

Hike at the Top of the World in Laguna Beach

This spot is a local favorite since it has pretty much the best views ever! This is another activity that is good for the family or for date night! You can always stop by South of Nick’s afterwards for tacos and margaritas!

Hot air balloon ride at the Great Park in Irvine

I can’t believe I haven’t done this yet! I see the big balloon all the time while driving on the freeway and it’s about time I take a ride in it! There’s a cute carousel in the park too, so if your kids are afraid of heights this attraction is a little closer to the ground! Augustine loves to ride ferris wheels so I have a feeling he’d be interested in the hot air balloon. It would remind him of one of his favorite Curious George stories.

Ride the Balboa Island Ferry and get a Balboa Bar

Balboa Island is an OC staple! It’s such a simple and affordable outing, but so fun. The ferry is only a few dollars and there are lots of cute arcade games and little attractions to check out. Of course you have to grab a world famous Balboa Bar to enjoy while walking around! Matthew, Augustine and I loved visiting last spring!

Get a milkshake at Ruby’s Shake Shack in Newport Beach

Let’s keep the sweets coming! Another popular beach day and dessert combo is heading to Ruby’s Shake Shack after a long day at the beach. You get killer views of the ocean and delicious shakes. What’s not to love?

Go to the petting zoo at Los Rios Street in San Juan Capistrano

Zoomars is a favorite spot for basically every tot in Orange County! You can pet and feed lots of cute animals. I’m thinking we have to host one of Augustine’s birthday parties here one year because it would be so fun for parents too! The petting zoo is located right off Los Rios Street which is actually the oldest neighborhood in California. It has the cutest houses and parks, too {I took these photos there actually!}. There are lots of great places to grab lunch after you visit the animals, like Ramos House Café and there is even a really cute tea spot that does full tea services! I went to the tea house with my mom and mother in law before the baby and everything was so delicious! Oh, and I can’t forget about Hidden House Coffee – their coffees are delicious!

Visit the LAB Anti-Mall in Costa Mesa

This shopping and dining spot is so cute and fun. It’s better suited for date night or happy hour with the girls than a family outing. The decor is super quirky and the shops are all really unique. It was designed to be the opposite of a mall and tries to make the experience of shopping feel unique!

Ride the free trolley through Laguna Beach

Not only is this a free and convenient form of transportation, but it’s a fun one! Take the trolley through different spots in Laguna to avoid searching for parking spots. Kids will love riding it regardless of where you go! You can find the routes and hours of the trolley here.

Go to the Sawdust Festival and the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach

This is a summer specific activity, but one worth waiting for! Every year there is a world famous arts festival in Laguna Beach where you can meet the artists and watch them work! After the Sawdust Festival, check out the Pageant of the Masters which is one of those living painting shows. Like in Gilmore Girls lol!

Do any of you OC gals have any recommendations for me?! Share any of your tips for what to do in Orange County during the summer in the comments please! And if you’re in need for some yummy coffee, here are my favorite coffee shops in Orange County!


photos by Vanessa Lentine

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