100 Reasons to Be Ecstatic About Summer In OC!

Summer here is bliss, better than anyplace else in the States

67. RIDING THE FERRIS WHEEL AT THE PIKE
Though it used to be a temporary stop for sailors taking leave of the rigors of war, The Pike now shares more in common with such super-malls as the Block at Orange than the midway at Coney Island. Wooden coasters such as the Cyclone Racer and the Romanesque splendor of the Plunge bathhouse gave way to the big-box bawdiness of Hooters and Borders Books. Sometimes, you need to find a way to rise above the gentrification, and luckily, the Pike has a top-shelf Ferris wheel to help. In its semi-enclosed gondolas, the wheel offers dizzying views of the bustling city and harbor below. Enjoy a smooch from the ocean's breeze while making out with your significant other, but be sure to glance to the south for a sweeping panorama of the Queen Mary, Grand Romance riverboat and Rainbow Harbor Lighthouse set against the industrialized splendor of rows of towering cranes. 95 S. Pine Ave., Long Beach, (562) 432-8325; www.thepikeatlongbeach.com.

68. DANA POINT'S MOVIES IN THE PARK
While Orange County no longer has any drive-in movie theaters, Dana Point sponsors free, outdoor, kid-friendly screenings at Lantern Bay Park every Friday in June at 8 p.m. This year's selections: How to Train Your Dragon, Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Shrek Forever After and Despicable Me. Let's hope enough people attend them to make it a longer-lasting summer pastime. The movies are free, so you don't need to sneak the kids in by shutting them in the trunk like you used to sneak your little brother into the Orange Drive-In. . . . 25111 Park Lantern Rd., Dana Point; danapoint.org/recreation.

69. CONCERTS AT ANAHEIM'S PEARSON PARK
Yes, there's an amphitheater in Anaheim, and no, it isn't called the City National Grove. Anaheim's Pearson Park hosts local and imported talent all season for its "Summer Nights Under the Stars" series at its 1930s-era edifice. The Hollywood Bowl it's not, but it's a good place to picnic and listen to music or watch a dance troupe. The performances are split into family events, programs aimed at "young adults" and special-guest artists. While the Anaheim Ballet, the Air National Guard Band of the Southwest and the Fenian Irish troupe will draw crowds, the most popular event this season will undoubtedly be the outstanding Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. 401 N. Lemon St., Anaheim, (714)-765-5274; anaheim.net/pearsontheatre.

Star Foreman
Star Foreman

Location Info

Map

Orange County Fair & Exposition Center

88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks

Region: Costa Mesa

Mo Ran Gak Restaurant

9651 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92844

Category: Restaurant > Korean

Region: Garden Grove

Bowers Museum

2002 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92706

Category: Museums

Region: Santa Ana

Fullerton Farmers' Market

801 W. Valencia Drive
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Restaurant > Street Food

Region: Fullerton

Irvine Lake Cafe

4621 Santiago Canyon Road
Silverado, CA 92676

Category: Parks and Outdoors

Region: Silverado

Villa Romano Green Farms

200 Avenida La Pata
San Clemente, CA 92673

Category: Restaurant > Street Food

Region: San Clemente

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

12827 Harbor Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92840

Category: Retail

Region: Garden Grove

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

2200 S. Ritchey St.
Santa Ana, CA 92705

Category: Retail

Region: Santa Ana

Knott's Berry Farm

8039 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90620

Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks

Region: Buena Park

Aliso Beach

31131 S. Pacific Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92652

Category: Parks and Outdoors

Region: Laguna Beach

Mutt Lynchs

2300 W. Oceanfront
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Newport Beach

The Fisherman's Restaurant

611 Avenida Victoria
San Clemente, CA 92672

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: San Clemente

Costa Mesa Speedway

88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Sports and Recreation

Region: Costa Mesa

Mugs Away Saloon

27324 Camino Capistrano
Laguna Beach, CA 92677

Category: Music Venues

Region: Laguna Niguel

Anaheim Convention Center

800 W. Katella Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92802

Category: Services

Region: Anaheim

Fullerton Sports Complex

560 E. Silver Pine St.
Fullerton, CA 92835

Category: Sports and Recreation

Region: Fullerton

The Festival Amphitheatre

12762 Main St.
Garden Grove, CA 92840

Category: Performing Arts Venues

Region: Garden Grove

Ocean Institute, Dana Point

24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629

Category: Parks and Outdoors

Region: Dana Point

Angels Stadium Of Anaheim

2000 E. Gene Autry Way
Anaheim, CA 92805

Category: Music Venues

Region: Anaheim

Irvine Meadows Fairgrounds

8800 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618

Category: Parks and Outdoors

Region: Irvine

Art-A-Fair

777 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Category: Community Venues

Region: Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach Festival of Arts

650 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks

Region: Laguna Beach

Sawdust Art Festival

935 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks

Region: Laguna Beach

El Centro Lions Park

201 N. Cypress St.
La Habra, CA 90631

Category: Parks and Outdoors

Region: La Habra

Richard & Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center

6200 Atherton St.
Long Beach, CA 90815

Category: Music Venues

Region: Long Beach

Captain Dave's Dolphin & Whale Safari

24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive Dana Point
Dana Point, CA 92629

Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks

Region: Dana Point

United States Sailing Center

5689 E. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90803

Category: Services

Region: Long Beach

Oaks Blenheim Riding Park

Via la Plata
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks

Region: San Juan Capistrano

Pacific Marine Mammal Center

20612 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Category: Services

Region: Laguna Beach

320 Main

320 Main St.
Seal Beach, CA 90740

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Seal Beach

Matador Cantina

111 N. Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92832

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Fullerton

Pacific Amphitheatre

88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Music Venues

Region: Costa Mesa

AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC

100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802

Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks

Region: Long Beach

Dockside Boat & Bed

316 E. Shoreline Drive
Long Beach, CA 90802

Category: Hotels and Resorts

Region: Long Beach

Orange County Zoo

1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869

Category: Parks and Outdoors

Region: Orange

Cook's Corner

19152 Santiago Canyon Rd
Coto De Caza, CA 92610

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Foothill Ranch

The Bruery

715 Dunn Way
Placentia, CA 92870

Category: Breweries and Wineries

Region: Placentia

Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Pacific Coast Highway and Warner
Huntington Beach, CA 92649

Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks

Region: Huntington Beach

Lantern Bay Park

25111 Park Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629

Category: Parks and Outdoors

Region: Dana Point

Pearson Park

401 N. Lemon St.
Anaheim, CA 92805

Category: Parks and Outdoors

Region: Anaheim

Hi-Time Wine Cellars

250 Ogle St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Restaurant > Wine Bar

Region: Costa Mesa

Centennial Farms

88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Services

Region: Costa Mesa

Newport Cruisers

2233 W. Balboa Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Category: Retail

Region: Newport Beach

Catholic Worker

316 Cypress Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Category: Services

Region: Santa Ana

Wild Rivers Waterpark

8770 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618

Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks

Region: Irvine

Doheny State Beach

25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629

Category: Parks and Outdoors

Region: Dana Point

The Rinks- Anaheim Ice

300 W. Lincoln Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92805

Category: Sports and Recreation

Region: Anaheim

Oak Canyon Ranch

5305 Santiago Canyon Road
Silverado, CA 92676

Category: Attractions and Amusement Parks

Region: Orange

Creme Tangerine

2930 Bristol St., Kiosk 2
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Retail

Region: Costa Mesa

Las Brisas

361 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Laguna Beach

Tanaka Farms

5380 3/4 University Drive
Irvine, CA 92612

Category: Restaurant > Raw Food

Region: Irvine

Portfolio Coffee House

2300 Fourth St.
Long Beach, CA 90814

Category: Coffee Shops

Region: Long Beach

Art Theatre of Long Beach

2025 E. 4th St.
Long Beach, CA 90814

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: Long Beach

Details

Photography and post-production: Star Foreman
Hair and makeup: Autumn Sanders
Styling: Devon Nuzer
On-set stylist: Sunshine Harding
Models courtesy of Models International: Haley Bartlett, Thor Knai, Samantha Summers

SEE ALSO:


VIDEO: Click here to go behind the scenes of our cover photo shoot.


INFOGRAPHIC: Click here to see the last orange groves in Orange County.

70. WINE TASTING AT HI-TIME
Italians invented the expression la dolce far niente and perfected the art of pleasant downtime during their hot summers with the idea of sitting in a cool wine cellar while chatting and tasting wine. Though languid Tuscan olive groves and ancient stone terraces are in short supply in the county, wine tasting is not, and our very own wine cellar is at Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa. The ground floor holds all the liquor (including an aisle of tequilas and mezcales unrivaled for 40 miles in any direction), and the upper floor is overflow; there's a huge wine cellar underground, with a tasting room and wine bar right up front. Organized tastings of eight to 10 wines, often from a single distributor, are typically $20 to $25, or there's a self-service vacuum system operated by purchasing a card at the wine bar. If you're hungry, cheese and charcuterie are sold upstairs; just buy what you want at the registers and take them downstairs. 250 Ogle St., Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463; hitimewine.net.

71. VISITING ORANGE COUNTY'S LAST ORANGE GROVES
(Click here for map.)

72. METEOR SHOWERS
Like a drunk dude smashing full-speed through a sliding glass door, each August, the Earth slams through shards of what once was the comet Swift-Tuttle. Unlike the result of a drunken encounter with a wall of glass, the debris of the defunct comet is actually no bigger than a piece of sand. Small but mighty, these remnants put on a fantastic light show in the sky as they burn through our planet's atmosphere; you've probably heard of it under its more-popular name: the Perseid meteor shower. Many skygazers trek out to the desert to escape the light pollution of our county, but if you want to stay local, head up to Silverado Canyon. Or if you are feeling daring, travel a little farther into the infamous Black Star Canyon. Peak viewing this year of the most vivid meteor shower in the Northern Hemisphere is on Aug. 12 and 13. The show begins at 9:30 p.m., but the activity increases between midnight and dawn.

73. OC FAIR PETTING ZOO
From rickety carnival rides to winning giant stuffed SpongeBobs by shooting water into a small hole, the OC Fair makes you feel like a kid again. Perhaps what brings one back the most are the animals of Centennial Farms and the petting zoo. Bask in your newfound immaturity by giggling at mating or defecating farm animals. Or warm your heart by cradling newly hatched, ridiculously soft chicks. Observe the pigs that seemingly never move throughout the two months of the fair, as well as the piglets that step all over one another and their mom to get milk. Call the runt Wilbur. Go into the goat corral cautiously—any loose clothing may get chewed on.

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2 comments
Eric Brightwell
Eric Brightwell

*Reasons 45, 58, 67, 87 and 99... because LA County is next door.

Cathie
Cathie

Break of Dawn is in Laguna Hills, not Laguna Niguel. So I guess the only thing Laguna Niguel has going for it is the bare-assed folks at Mugs Away. Big whoop.

 
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