Southern California has a lot to offer travelers, but visiting the beach is our favorite things to do in Orange County.

A SoCal Adventure: Orange County for Adults

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Orange County is definitely California’s hub for fun touristy activities, and they’re not just for the kids. In fact, you just may find that this area of the state is even more fun for adults! Whether you’re retired, in college, or somewhere in between, you’ll find plenty of grown-up fun in Orange County. Hit an amusement park all day and go for drinks in the evening—your all-adult adventure has endless potential.

A trip to California means sun and sea. We love spending time by the water and one of the many Orange County beachfront rentals makes good value. We save money on eating out and cook at our rental while watching the sun set over the ocean.

The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster at Disneyland
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Fun Things to Do in Orange County

With all of the great things do in Orange County for adults, here are a few of our favorites:

Disneyland

Contrary to popular opinion, Disneyland is not just for kids. In fact, it’s even more fun when you go as an adult! After all, adult Disneyland trips can include all the scariest rides, and you can make your own budget and schedule.

One fun thing to do at Disneyland is dine at one of the creative restaurants in the park—the Blue Bayou located inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, for example. Just be sure to make reservations in advance!

A number of years ago, we had the chance to dine at the super-exclusive Club 33 inside Disneyland. Club 33 is a private, members-only club that is one of the most exclusive five-star restaurants in the world. You enter through an anonymous door in Disneyland, take an elevator upstairs and enter the grand opulence that few ever see. Trust us when we say that the experience (and the meal) is something we’ll never forget.

For people who have visited Disney World and Epcot, Disneyland comes as a bit of a surprise. It’s much smaller and simpler than the parks back east.

People playing volleyball at Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach

There’s more to Laguna Beach than just the beach. In fact, this town has it all: dining, outdoor adventures, great bars, and interesting activities. One of the most fun seaside experiences is a trip to Crystal Cove State Park, where you can hit the beach, wander along the hiking trails, or take a look in the tide pools.

Other outdoor adventures include Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Victoria Beach, and Treasure Island Park. If you’d rather be indoors, the Laguna Art Museum is a cool place to check out.

Knott’s Berry Farm

This is a fun throwback to your childhood summer vacations! Like Disneyland, it’s not just for kids. In fact, it’s more adult-oriented than Disneyland, so if this is your first trip, you’ll be in for a treat! Full of full-throttle roller coasters and water slides, Knott’s Berry Farm is a great place to get your adrenaline rush. And some locally made jam.

If you’re not into berries or fast paced rides, the park still has other great features, like Native American dancers, shows, historic stagecoaches to ride in, and shopping. The food is also great, by the way.

Hamburger, fries and drink at In-N-Out Burger

Eat at In-N-Out Hamburgers

This popular burger joint was founded in California, and it has become a cultural institution. You can’t miss a trip to this classic Cali restaurant when you’re in town! A local Orange County favorite is the Double Double Animal Style Hamburger. The fries are pretty awesome, too. Even if you’re not a huge fast-food burger fan, you should still give it a try. It’s not your average sandwich.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Orange County is so full of theme parks and eye-catching entertainment that some of the wonderful yet less flashy things are overlooked on most people’s itineraries. One of these wonderful attractions is the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano. This is one of the most significant sites in Orange County history, and it will give you a totally new perspective on the area.

This place seems to take you back in time; its tranquil atmosphere will encourage you to slow down and take a new outlook on life. One of the coolest things about this 18th Century mission is the group of swallows that returns year after year. The miracle of the swallows, as the migration event is known, happens each year on March 19th, St. Joseph’s Day. On this day, locals throw a fiesta to celebrate another year of the miracle.

Production tower at The Bruery

Noble Ale Works and The Bruery

No adult trip to Orange Country, California is complete without a stop to enjoy the best adult beverages in the area. Noble Ale Works has everything—all sorts of hops, dark to light, and even some unique spiced beers. They are best known for their hoppy IPAs as well as fan favorites like “Naughty Sauce,” a unique golden milk stout that people come to taste from all over the country. Depending on the day, you can pair your drink with food from a popular food truck, parked just outside. A perk to drinking here is that you’re allowed to park at the facility for free to attend an event at Angel Stadium or the Honda Center.

The Bruery is another popular drinking spot. This family-run craft brewery turns out all sorts of interesting experimental beers in addition to the tried-and-true types. What you find at the Bruery depends on what time of year you visit. At any time of the year, you can find, for example, their classic Loakal Red, a hoppy red ale. Christmas brings 9 Ladies Dancing, a dessert beer with vanilla flavors, as well as other flavors inspired by “Twelve Days of Christmas.” You never know what delights you’ll find when you visit The Bruery!

Beer tasting flight at The Bruery
Exploring Orange County’s Craft Beer Scene

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