Top Choice Church in San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Plan on spending at least an hour poking around the sprawling mission’s tiled roofs, covered arches, lush gardens, fountains and courtyards – including the padre’s quarters, soldiers’ barracks and the cemetery. Admi…
Top Choice Museum in Newport Beach

Orange County Museum of Art

This engaging museum highlights California art and cutting-edge contemporary artists, with exhibitions rotating through two large spaces. Recent exhibitions have included the California-Pacific Triennial and works b…
Nature Reserve in Huntington Beach

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

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 exactly promise the unspoiled splendors of nature. However, …
Area in Newport Beach

Balboa Peninsula

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 1926 Lovell Beach House. It’s just inland from the paved beach…
Beach in Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park

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 you get past the parking lots and stake out a place on the sand…
Beach in Huntington Beach

Huntington City 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, swimmers and families. Bathrooms and showers are located north of th…
Beach in Huntington Beach

Bolsa Chica State 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 Huntington Dog Beach to the south and Sunset Beach to the north. …
Historic Site in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach Pier

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 damaged giant sections or completely demolished it multiple times …
Viewpoint in Laguna Beach

Heisler Park

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 bluffs, the scene is definitely one for posterity.
Museum in Dana Point

Ocean Institute

This child-friendly educational center encompasses four separate ocean-centric ‘adventures.’ It is mostly reserved for school groups on weekdays, so it's best to come on weekends to enjoy the interactive marine-focu…