Must-see attractions in Orange County

  • People entering Knott's Scary Farm at Knott's Berry Farm, celebrating a Southern California Halloween tradition, on October 14, 2013.

    Knott’s Berry Farm

    Orange County

    What started as a simple berry farm is now a sprawling 160-acre operation with rides, live shows and lovable Peanuts characters roaming the grounds. Knott…

  • San Juan Capistrano church

    Mission San Juan Capistrano

    Coastal Orange County

    Famous for its swallows that fly back to town every year on March 19 (though sometimes they’re just a bit early), San Juan Capistrano is home to the …

  • The Bowers Museum

    Bowers Museum

    Orange County

    From its stately, Spanish Colonial–style shell, the Bowers Museum explodes onto the scene every year or so with remarkable exhibits that remind LA-centric…

  • Discovery Cube Orange County, a science museum in Santa Ana, California, with more than 100 hands-on exhibits.

    Discovery Cube

    Orange County

    Follow the giant 10-story cube – balanced on one of its points – to the county's best educational kiddie attraction. About 100 hands-on displays await,…

  • Soarin' Around the World

    Disneyland Resort

    After checking in at the Grizzly Peak Airfield, fasten your seat belt and take off (as if hang gliding) before a giant, 80ft projection screen that really…

  • Hyperspace Mountain

    Disneyland Resort

    Formerly known as Space Mountain, Tomorrowland’s signature attraction (and one of the USA’s best roller coasters), has been given a Star Wars–themed…

  • California Screamin'

    Disneyland Resort

    Paradise Pier's state-of-the-art roller coaster resembles an old wooden coaster, but it’s got a smooth-as-silk steel track: it feels like you’re being…

  • Radiator Springs Racers

    Disneyland Resort

    This race-car ride bumps and jumps around a track painstakingly decked out like the Great American West. FastPass accepted.

  • Orange County Museum of Art.

    Orange County Museum of Art

    Newport Beach

    This engaging museum highlights California art and cutting-edge contemporary artists, with exhibitions rotating through two large spaces. Recent…

  • Not seen in the open very often, a male Common Yellowthroat perches among the yellow wild mustard flowers at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

    Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

    Huntington Beach

    You'd be forgiven for overlooking Bolsa Chica, at least on first glance. Against a backdrop of nodding oil derricks, this flat expanse of wetlands doesn't…

  • Harbor,  Landscape,  Marina,  Nature,  Outdoors,  Pier,  Port,  Scenery,  Water,  Waterfront
Credit Visit Newport Beach

    Balboa Peninsula

    Newport Beach

    Four miles long but less than a half-mile wide, the Balboa Peninsula has a white-sand beach on its ocean side and countless stylish homes, including the…

  • Arecaceae,  Palm Tree,  Plant,  Summer,  Tree
Landscape view of Crystal Cove State Park, including its restored beach cottages

    Crystal Cove State Park

    Newport Beach

    A few miles of open beach and 2400 acres of undeveloped woodland at this state park let you forget you're in a crowded metropolitan area, at least once…

  • Huntington Beach

    Huntington City Beach

    Huntington Beach

    One of SoCal’s best beaches, the sand surrounding the pier at the foot of Main St gets packed on summer weekends with surfers, volleyball players,…

  • Bolsa Chica State Park

    Bolsa Chica State Beach

    Huntington Beach

    A 3-mile-long strip of sand favored by surfers, volleyball players and fishers, Bolsa Chica State Beach stretches alongside Pacific Coast Hwy between…

  • The Huntington Beach Pier in Huntington Beach, California.

    Huntington Beach Pier

    Huntington Beach

    The 1853ft Huntington Pier is one of the West Coast's longest. It has been here – in one form or another – since 1904, though the mighty Pacific has…

  • Celebrating Pixar fest happening at Disney California Adventure in June 2018.

    Disney California Adventure

    Disneyland Resort

    Disneyland resort's larger but less crowded park, Disney California Adventure celebrates the natural and cultural glories of the Golden State but lacks…

  • Cars Land

    Disneyland Resort

    This land gets kudos for its incredibly detailed design based on the popular Disney Pixar Cars movies. Top billing goes to the wacky Radiator Springs…

  • it's a small world

    Disneyland Resort

    An iconic Disneyland attraction (for better or for worse), this indoor boat ride takes you past hundreds of audio-animatronic children from different…

  • Sleeping Beauty Castle

    Disneyland Resort

    At the far end of Main Street USA, Sleeping Beauty Castle is an obligatory photo op and most recognizable landmark. Its towering blue turrets, loosely…

  • Anaheim Packing District


    The Anaheim Packing District launched in 2013 around a long shuttered 1925 Packard dealership and the 1919 orange packing house a couple miles from…

  • Star Tours – The Adventure Continues

    Disneyland Resort

    Star Tours clamps you into a Starspeeder shuttle for a wild and bumpy 3D ride through the desert canyons of Tatooine with C-3PO, on a space mission with…

  • Toy Story Midway Mania!

    Disneyland Resort

    One of the most popular rides in Paradise Pier. This 4D ride lets you earn points by shooting at targets while your carnival car swivels and careens…

  • Autopia

    Disneyland Resort

    Fun for the whole family as kids and adults drive their own miniature cars (don't worry, they're on tracks). Drive too slowly, and you may get bumped from…

  • Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

    Disneyland Resort

    Tractor-towed trailers swing their way around the 'dance floor' at Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, named after Tow Mater from the Cars movie. It's sort a…

  • Heisler Park

    Laguna Beach

    The grassy, bluff-top Heisler Park offers vistas of craggy coves and deep-blue sea. Bring your camera – with its palm trees and bougainvillea-dotted…

  • Grizzly River Run

    Disneyland Resort

    Grizzly River Run takes you and seven friends in a circular raft up 275ft before sending you down a faux Sierra Nevada river. You will get wet, so come…

  • Indiana Jones Adventure

    Disneyland Resort

    Enormous Humvee-type vehicles lurch and jerk their way through the wild for spine-tingling encounters with creepy crawlies and scary skulls in re…

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

    Disneyland Resort

    Inspired by mining during the gold rush era, this train-style roller coaster takes you through Big Thunder ghost town, under waterfalls, escaping a…

  • Jungle Cruise

    Disneyland Resort

    On this classic, original Disneyland ride from 1955, exotic audio-animatronic animals from the Amazon, Ganges, Nile and Irrawaddy Rivers jump out and…

  • Balboa Island Fun Zone, Newport Beach

    Balboa Fun Zone

    Newport Beach

    On the harbor side of Balboa Peninsula, the Fun Zone has delighted locals and visitors since 1936. There’s a small Ferris wheel (where Ryan and Marissa…

  • Newport Beach

    Balboa Island

    Newport Beach

    In the middle of the harbor sits the island that time forgot. Its streets are still largely lined with tightly clustered cottages built in the 1920s and …

  • Paradise Pier

    Disneyland Resort

    If you like carnival rides, you’ll love Paradise Pier, designed to look like a combination of all the beachside amusement piers in California. The state…

  • Tomorrowland

    Disneyland Resort

    How did 1950s imagineers envision the future? As a galaxy-minded community filled with monorails, rockets and Googie-style architecture, apparently. In…

  • Newport Beach

    Pirate's Cove

    Newport Beach

    Take the stairs off the north end of the Main Beach parking lot down to hideaway Pirate's Cove, a waveless beach that’s great for families. Scenes from…

  • Main Street USA

    Disneyland Resort

    Fashioned after Walt’s hometown of Marceline, Missouri, bustling Main Street USA resembles the classic turn-of-the-20th-century, all-American town. It’s…

  • Fantasyland

    Disneyland Resort

    Fantasyland is filled with the characters of classic children’s stories. If you only see one attraction here, visit it’s a small world, a boat ride past…

  • Ocean Institute

    Coastal Orange County

    This child-friendly educational center encompasses four separate ocean-centric ‘adventures.’ It is mostly reserved for school groups on weekdays, so it's…

  • Grizzly Peak

    Disneyland Resort

    Grizzly Peak is broken into sections highlighting California’s natural and human achievements. Its main attraction, Soarin’ Around the World, is a virtual…

  • Adventureland

    Disneyland Resort

    Loosely deriving its jungle theme from Southeast Asia and Africa, Adventureland has a number of attractions, but the hands-down highlight is the safari…