It’s a beautiful day, and you are craving a new adventure. Where do you go? We have the answer! We scoped out some amazing places that are just a quick trip from Orange. Maybe you’ve heard of some, but just never gone or maybe these are completely new to you! On your next free day, be sure to check some of these locations out.
Located on 9th Ave & Pacific Coast Hwy in Laguna Beach hides a beautiful beachy paradise. A Thousand Steps Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches and makes you feel like you’ve escaped the big cities, buildings and people. This beach can get crowded during the summer days, but right now would be the perfect time to take a trip to this magical little spot. Yes, you really do climb down and then up 1,000 steps. But the views, the sandy beach and crystal clear waters are definitely worth the hike! Pack a lunch and have a picnic at the beach. Head back when the sun goes down, and grab some dinner in Laguna on the way back home!
The Santa Monica Pier is another fun day trip just about an hour out of Orange.
There are several fun activities that you can partake in while visiting Santa Monica. The pier is a fun spot to hang out, ride the rollercoaster, eat at some of the restaurants overlooking the water. Another newer addition to Santa Monica is the “Barcycle.” This is a bike that tours local bars in Santa Monica. Perfect for a birthday party, or just a sunny day off. After your tour, head to the beach for some relaxation time.
A little further south is Torrey Pines State Reserve. Located outside of San Diego, this expansive beach and hiking area is breathtaking. You can hike up and see down the coastline from a bird’s eye view, or you can hang out down below on the natural beach. Keep in mind that Torrey Pines has a natural reserve status, which is assigned to an area of importance, and typically is one that contains threatened plants, animals, habitats, or unique geological formations. So, in the reserve area (where you can hike), there is no food or drink besides water, no dogs anywhere, a “pack it in, pack it out” policy starting from the beach parking lot, no smoking, and no showers to conserve water. Regardless, Torrey Pines is a spectacular beach that we have access to. Pack your lunch and set up a picnic on the beach. Spend the day hiking up and taking in the views. Take a dip in the water and just relax!
You’ve hit the beach enough times and want something different? Head up to the cool mountain environment! Lake Arrowhead is a great place that offers many fun activities. If you want to be by the lake, stay in Crestline and set up camp at Lake Gregory. Here you can swim, fish and enjoy the public water slide. If you want to explore Lake Arrowhead, they have a nice village with shops and restaurants. Since Lake Arrowhead is a private lake restricted to homeowners, there is no public access to the lake. However, the village is located right on the shore of the lake. You can also access the lake by The Lake Arrowhead Queen Boat Tours or McKenzie Water Ski School. Horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking is also available in Lake Arrowhead.
These are great options for you to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather that Southern California has been having. All of these spots are a short driving distance from those of us here in Orange. Sometimes we just don’t realize how many beautiful places are nearby until we get out and explore them! Go adventure like crazy, Old Towne!