100 Reasons to Be Ecstatic About Summer In OC!

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

 

54.CONCERTS AT THE PACIFIC AMPHITHEATER
Shut down for nearly 20 years due to NIMBYers, the Pacific Amphitheater now roars every summer with concerts that range from retreads to intriguing, and the happy medium this year is Sublime With Rome. Even if you're a Sublime purist and feel no one, no matter how talented, can fill the shoes of the late, great Bradley Nowell, you can't beat Sublime With Rome after a day at the fair. Take it from us: We were at their show last summer, and the young front man got as close as anyone on this planet can to (probably) channeling the late axeman, who died of a heroin overdose in a San Francisco hotel room 15 years ago—and is it just us or total circle-of-life that Rome is from the Bay Area? It's heartening to see throngs of people, many of whom were in diapers at the time of Nowell's death, enjoying the spot-on vocals and note-for-note guitar work. The Pacific Amphitheater comes to life with the sight of people dancing in the rows, blowing bubbles and pungent smoke, a reminder of what might have been, as well as what we've got.

 

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.

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55. PETTING STINGRAYS AT THE AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC
Maybe you've had an encounter with stingrays somewhere around Orange County—perhaps the Seal Beach Pier area? It probably wasn't a pleasant meeting; perhaps it even spawned a grudge toward these graceful cartilaginous critters. But don't hold onto resentments; they're as poisonous as the ray's barb. Sidle up to the shark lagoon petting tank at the Aquarium of the Pacific for some therapeutic touching and tender forgiveness. Here, under the kiss of the summer sun and sweet embrace of cool ocean breezes, you can interact with zebra, bamboo and epaulette sharks in addition to the dreaded stingrays. Just remember to use two fingers at all times—we don't want to incur any more resentments. 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, (562) 590-3100; www.aquariumofpacific.org.

 

56.RIDING THE BALBOA FERRY
It's odd to think there were times when ferries were common, but the fact that we have a small fleet of ferries operating continuously since 1919 that is capable of hauling cargo from the tiniest child to a 5,000-pound SUV is remarkable. Sadly, with all the roads in the area, the Balboa Island Ferry is more novelty than necessity, but don't miss an opportunity during this season to grab a loved one just before dusk to make the jaunt. Enjoy the blue-tipped steeple of the Balboa Pavilion bathed in the orange glow of the setting sun as the smell of salty air mixes with wafting corn dogs from the Fun Zone and diesel fuel from the watercraft. 410 S. Bay Front, Newport Beach.

 

57. CHASING FOOD TRUCKS
If you're the type of person who gives credence to bloggers and other trend watchers, it seems we may be at a tipping point for the independent status of mobile cuisine. With hordes of imitators getting in on the action—even Jack In the Box now has a luxe lonchera—the culinary gene pool is primed to be diluted, and requisite police crackdowns are sure to ensue. But like the sunset at day's end, summer is a magic hour for the hipster food armada. Go hunt down your favorite bacon-topped delight when it tweets an upcoming visit to a saloon in HB, or take advantage of the ever-expanding bubble and spend a warm Friday evening in the parking lot of the Best Buy at Imperial Highway and Harbor Boulevard in La Habra, where dozens of trucks gather in the evening. Do it now, as this won't last forever.

 

58.SPENDING THE NIGHT ON A BOAT IN RAINBOW HARBOR
Those who grew up in the pre-CSI era of late 1970s and '80s know there was only one forensic specialist qualified to fight crime: Quincy, M.E., as played by Jack Klugman. He was a science nerd, older than Marg Helgenberger, and when he wasn't cutting up corpses, he was living the life of a swinging bachelor on his boat in Marina del Rey. Sad to say, most of us won't ever make the kind of money necessary to throw away on the maintenance and purchase of a seafaring vessel, let alone adopt a lifestyle anchorless enough to facilitate life on the deep. Luckily, Dockside Boat & Bed offers the opportunity to spend a night in the salt air. Located in Rainbow Harbor, its yachts feature views of the lighthouse, the smokestacks of the Queen Mary and the occasional bark of a sea lion. Wanna get laid with minimal effort? Take your date aboard "your" yacht, and see what happens. 316 E. Shoreline Dr., Long Beach, (562) 436-3111; www.boatandbed.com.

 

59. VISITING THE ORANGE COUNTY ZOO
Typically, when one hears of a facility being run by the county, it conjures images of utilitarian architecture and bleak thrills, if any. This imagery doesn't apply to the Orange County Zoo, which is simply, inconceivably wonderful. Though it's much smaller than its Los Angeles-run counterpart, it has a few distinct advantages. Its smaller size and reduced notoriety means both lighter crowds and intimate views of the animals, and there are some good ones here. There are two large black bears and a puma among a respectable menagerie of owls, hawks, beavers and raccoons. And these last critters have figured out how to direct streams of water at nearby patrons from the jets flowing in their enclosures, so watch yourself. Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Rd., Orange, (714) 973-6847; www.ocparks.org/oczoo.

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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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