Happy 2021, Old Towne Orange! We made it! We hope you had a celebratory and safe holiday with your family and are ready to tackle the new year with optimism and assurance! As far as I Heart goes, we are ready for another year of spreading the love of our town and bringing you all the OTO scoop. If you aren’t already, follow us on Instagram, where we share all of the new and exciting developments coming to Orange (who is excited for Bosscat Kitchen?).
To set the new year off right, we wanted to share an Old Towne Orange walking tour with you this week! Maybe your 2021 goal is to get outdoors more, walk more, or just explore some new places. Well, now you can hit all three! From brunch to shopping, here is your walking tour schedule for a fun day in OTO. Remember that there is so much more to explore than just what is on this list, so make it an adventure for yourself and share your pictures by tagging us on Instagram! Enjoy!
Start your day with a caffeine kick at one of the many amazing coffee shops in OTO! Try out the brand-new Philz Coffee location on the corner of Glassell and Maple, or Portola Coffee Roasters inside of Provisions. Check out how easy mobile ordering is at Contra and experience their unique selection of hand-crafted drinks. Of course, you can always grab a coffee with brunch at Snooze, Urth, Pandor, The Filling Station, and at the many cafes across the Circle. Grab that sweet (or bitter) cup of joe, and you’re already off to a great start!
Old Towne is a brunch lover’s paradise. Visit a known establishment like Snooze, Kimmie’s, and Urth Caffe, or hit up an Old Towne Orange original, like Pandor, Byblos, Blue Frog Cafe, Impact Juice Bar, and The Filling Station. The options seem endless, and you are sure to find something to keep you full for the day ahead. Pro tip: If seating is limited, visit the Chapman University lawn with a blanket or take a seat on one of the many benches around campus!
Even if it is just window shopping, there’s a lot to explore around OTO. Perusing house plants, boutique clothing, jewelry, and the many knick-knacks at The Potting Shed is a fun way to spend a few hours when you hit the town.
Orange wouldn’t be the city it is without the rich history that precedes it. Let me give you a quick history lesson! In 1810, the area that is now Orange was built on a ranch given by the King of Spain to Antonio Yorba and Juan Pablo Peralta. However, it wasn’t until the 1860s that part of the land was given to lawyers Alfred Chapman and Andrew Glassell as payment for legal fees. In 1869, the City of Orange was officially founded by Alfred Chapman and Andrew Glassell (hence, the Plaza being intersected by Chapman Ave. and Glassell Street).
In the 1870s, houses, drug stores, churches, and schools began construction and Old Towne Orange became a bustling town. Businesses were opening and the neighborhood expanded. Have you noticed the streets of Orange are named after fruits, nuts, and trees local to Orange County? On your walk, you’ll most likely see Maple, Lemon, Cypress, Walnut, Orange, and more names that remind you what was all there before. If you want to see the original water fountain that graced Plaza Park, you can visit the west side of the Orange Public Library too, which is just a short walk down Chapman Avenue.
With over 50 different styles of architecture and a history as rich as this, Old Towne offers a blast from the past unlike any other historic district in California.
What is a stop in Old Towne Orange without a dessert (or two)? Watson’s has an amazing ice cream parlor, Pandor offers sweets inspired by French cuisine (their crepes are amazing), Oiio is right down the street for boba and milk teas, and the trusty Pie Hole is across the street for pie! Pick up a dessert and find an outdoor spot to enjoy your sweet treat!
Document your walking tour of Orange with a selfie in Plaza Park, on Chapman University’s Memorial Lawn, or with your favorite local find from the day. The beauty of OTO is captured well on camera, trust us. Start your year off by making memories, getting outside, and exploring something new this week. Whether you are an OTO local or a first-time visitor, there is something new for everyone to find on their walk. Happy 2021 and we will see you around Towne!