Oh, summer weekend: three days of unrestrained freedom to drink and eat and fuck and sunbathe and swim whenever, wherever or however you want. The parties, the beaches, the shows, the festivals, the carne asada Sundays, the booing of Dana Rohrabacher as he waves to the crowd during Huntington Beach's Fourth of July parade--so much to do, and so little time.
In fact, there's so much to do that, sometimes, you get overloaded and just sit at the bar at Cassidy's, or spend a full day at Bolsa Chica State Beach, or drive aimlessly around until you do . . . nothing. Or just go back to your living room and aimlessly swipe left on Tindr, all dressed up with nowhere to go. Well, we've got the perfect gift for you: a summer weekend timeline, from Friday midnight to 12:01 a.m. Monday, telling you what's the best thing to do at any particular hour. From sunrises to sunsets, evening concerts to 2 a.m. pho runs, epic PCH noon cruises to wonderful midmorning hikes to so many breakfast burritos that our No. 3 editor nearly puked just copy editing this issue, behold a smorgasbord of things to do in Orange County this summer. And if this doesn't inspire you to try something new? You might as well pack up and move to Colton--we hear it's happening nowadays. Enjoy!
12:01 A.M.: The "Wizard of Rock and Roll" saddles up on the snug stage for his third and most likely last set of the night. "Ooh, baby, ooh, baby," he predictably says into the microphone before playing a sound clip of himself replying, "Ooh! Ooh!" then launching into his signature renditions of oldies, lounge tunes and even "Hey Baby (Que Paso)" by the Texas Tornados. Eddie Day Night has been kicking off memorable OC weekends for decades now at The Fling in SanTana. Since this is the ideal summer weekend, there's no work or school to wake up to, so stay until last call--and while we're dreaming, there'll be no hangover in the morning either, so have a few more for the road. 2370 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 547-8972; www.flingcocktaillounge.com.
12:46 A.M.: You gotta love a place that slings drinks behind a 99-Cents Store. And at this point in the early morning at Las Vegas Bar, working-class Mexicans are already borracho on Mexican, Salvadoran, even Guatemalan cervezas as they eye the waitresses and the action at the pool tables. Not Mexican? No problem--right now, nothing says, "I come in peace and am not la migra" like buying everyone a round of Negra Modelo. 2339 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, (714) 546-3035.
1:55 A.M.: It's 10 minutes before closing at Goat Hill Tavern--ah, that beautiful scent of piss, sweat and vomit soaked into the sawdust! Sneak in a quick sip and a quick feel, and find your fun for the rest of the night. 1830 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 548-8428; www.goathilltavern.com.
2:23: A.M.: Harbor House Café in Sunset Beach offers 24-hour food glory. Start the weekend the way all OC should: with a stomach-stretching breakfast burrito. 16341 Pacific Coast Hwy., Sunset Beach, (562) 592-5404; www.harborhousecafe.com.
3:30 A.M.: People are waking up for the morning shift, yet you're still surrounded by insanely wealthy Middle Eastern college kids and an assortment of hot model-quality babes in scanty clothing. Helloooo, Fusion Ultra Lounge! As you enjoy hits from Fusion's fine hookah selection, from traditional (double apple and cherry) to not (Blue Fizz and Strawberry Daquiri) flavors, take in the decadence and listen to a mix of electronic music (sometimes backed by a live DJ). Wait . . . is that guy you just shared a puff with the 89th heir to the Saudi throne? Most likely! 512 Brookhurst St., Anaheim, (714) 520-5661.
4:17 A.M.: Grab a bean-and-cheese breakfast burrito at Del Taco--because you can, should and will. At every fourth corner in Orange County.
5:44 A.M.: Climb up one of the rolling hills on the west side of Fairview Park, point yourself east and take in the sunrise. Then stroll through a protected portion of suburbia that includes wetlands, nature trails and various critters. Along Placentia Avenue, south of Adams Avenue, Costa Mesa.
6 A.M.: Sunrise at Bolsa Chica State Beach is a sacrament all OC residents can partake in, but which seemingly only HBers and surfers take advantage of. This is when it officially opens, so just remember to bring $15 for a day-use pass and plan your day from here. Seapoint Avenue, Huntington Beach.
6:25 A.M.: Fight for a table at the Sugar Shack, the popular breakfast spot that has been family-owned and -operated since 1967, first by the Williams family and now by daughter Michele's Turner family. The omelets are egg-cellent, Smithers. 213 1/2 Main St., Huntington Beach, (714) 536-0355; www.hbsugarshack.com.
6:48 A.M.: Don't just jolt up your morning at Alta Coffee; get some beans so you can do a cold-brew infusion to bring along wherever you may go. It's easy--just Google it. 506 31st St., Newport Beach, (949) 675-0233; www.altacoffeeshop.com.
6:52 A.M.: Grab a doughnut and coffee and hang out at D.K.'s Donuts because its assortment of doughnuts, simple sandwiches and snacks will tally up to about as much change as you'd find between couch cushions. Doughnuts aren't really part of a balanced breakfast, but their sweetness certainly qualifies as a mood enhancer--fuck carbs! 1816 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 543-6602.
7:09 A.M.: The morning rush-hour is just about to start, but you're heading down to Highway 1 with no particular place to go. You're making PCH your bitch. Cruising to all the hotspots and sea shanties that make the highway one of the most special stretches of road Orange County has left is best done in a couple of cars: a VW Westphalia van for camping, with surfboards strapped to the roof; a Woody; or a gorgeous black convertible Cadillac with red interior. Go ahead--let down your hair. Make sure you're the passenger so you can enjoy views of calming ocean waves and half-dressed jogging babes--bouncy, bouncy.
7:29 A.M.: There isn't a better spot to hike, see ocean waves crashing and take in coastal views than The Headlands at Dana Point. Though part of the historic property is now a residential community, nothing but the sound of the wind masks the bitter, decades-long fight to keep the place entirely undeveloped. 34588 Scenic Dr., Dana Point; www.mydanapoint.com.
7:41 A.M.: It's not a real Mexican breakfast unless there are chilaquiles involved, and the desayuno staple at Taquería Zamora are the best, non-Anepalco's version around. The chilaquiles here actually commit a most cardinal sin--the tortilla strips are soft, only slightly crisped. But these aren't mere tortillas, of course: Zamora's masa monsters are among the largest corn tortillas you'll ever see, magazine-thick and reeking of just-cooked masa, that earthy smell that has intoxicated the Americas for generations. The beans and rice taste of the rancho, the salsas (red or green, per your choice) tingle but don't burn--that's the job of the mini-molcajete of salsa de chile de árbol sitting at every table. 3121 S. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 557-0907; www.taqueriazamora.net.
7:55 A.M.: Coffee in hand, you leave your car at the Great Park and unload your bicycle from the back of the car. Adjust your helmet and head south along Sand Canyon Road until you pick up the San Diego Creek bike trail, as you start a 32-mile out-and-back to Newport Back Bay. You'll pick up the Mountains-to-the-Sea trail near Harvard Avenue and Barranca Parkway and the Back Bay Loop at Jamboree and the 73. Saturdays and Sundays are full of weekend warriors desperately trying to make up for five days of sitting in a chair in a cubicle and families teaching the kids to cycle, but on Fridays, you'll be all alone, except for the occasional bicycle commuter flashing past you with a friendly up-nod of the head. Break your journey once you get to Dover and head inland for coffee and a pastry at Kéan Coffee on ritzy Westcliff Drive, then head up Irvine Avenue to rejoin the loop. Great Park, Marine Way and Sand Canyon, Irvine, (949) 724-6247; www.ocgp.org. Kéan Coffee, 2043 Westcliff Dr., Ste. 100, Newport Beach, (949) 642-5326; www.keancoffee.com.
8 A.M.: Barefoot Bowls will make you believe that açaí bowls are not a prop provided by Instagram photographers to instantly "trendify" an account (used in the same manner as hats or scarves provided by Sears in '90s family portraits). Bowls here--particularly the namesake one, the Barefoot Bowl--are actually deliciously thick, with goji berries snuggled against granola on a bed of blended açaí, banana, strawberries, blueberries, apple juice and honey. The sugar in this thing is probably not good for you, but hey: If fruit can fill you up the way an In-N-Out cheeseburger can, you best kiss the ground. 3972 Barranca Pkwy., Irvine, (949) 502-5257; www.barefoot-bowls.com.
8:18 A.M.: What better way to watch the sun continue its rise over Orange County than from the highest man-made and architecturally significant local perch? That would be at the top of the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse. Floor-to-ceiling, ocean-facing windows permit sweeping views from the hills of Loma Ridge over Irvine, Newport Coast, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa and up to Long Beach. Depending on visibility, you can even gaze at Catalina Island. You'll have to leave your handguns and brass knuckles in your car; the public must go through metal detectors to enter. 411 W. Fourth St., Santa Ana, (714) 338-4750.
8:46 A.M.: Run up any of the walkways or staircases at Saddleback College for a good morning jog. Sure, the trustees that govern the school over at the South County Community College District are neocon pendejos, and you'll have to pay for a day pass lest the district sic its mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle on your Corolla, but no other school will offer such beautiful views of South County's hills and dips and coeds and MILFs--trust us. 28000 Marguerite Pkwy., Mission Viejo, (949) 582-4500; www.saddleback.edu.
8:55 A.M.: Call in sick--your boss is cool, right? He's not? Get a new job. Regardless, scramble up some eggs with whatever leftovers are in your fridge, and make up some homemade breakfast burritos. (Kids or not, your disposable income is, like, zilch.) Use the flour tortillas you picked up during the week at El Toro Bravo Tortilleria and create cylindrical GODS. 745 W. 19th St., Ste. G, Costa Mesa, (949) 631-4464.
9:15: A.M.: Start your weekend off right--with a death wish wrapped in a flour tortilla at Don Carlos. The Suicide Breakfast Burrito is a morning staple of many a Servite High student, and years later, consuming a missile stuffed with bacon, ham, sausage, cheese, egg and potato still feels like an accomplishment to alums. If you manage to get through it without the aid of a defibrillator, you've already proven you are a man among men. 300 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 449-0156.
9:26 A.M.: In Little Saigon, there are more so-called "authentic" Vietnamese versions of bun rieu, the delicious tomato broth soup with crab and shrimp paste, noodles and tofu, but Quan Hop delivers its tasty dish in a setting that's cleaner, as well as more pleasant and comfortable. 15640 Brookhurst St., Westminster, (714) 689-0555.
9:31 A.M.: Hike up to Laguna Lake Park, a beloved patch of nature in the northern hills of Fullerton. As the sun keeps climbing over the treetops and shines onto the shimmering lake, watch wildlife chirp, scamper and swim all around you. Just don't feed the ducks; they'll never leave you alone. 3120 Lakeview Dr., Fullerton, (714) 738-6575.
9:48 A.M.: Grab a cup of coffee at Hopper and Burr, a pop-up that operates at Little Sparrow during the week. Fabulous cappuccinos--plus, there's a chance you'll end up with one of its special, artist-designed cups as a keepsake for the weekend if you order one to go. 300 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 265-7640; hopperandburr.com.
10:03 A.M.: The Orange Circle (or, the Plaza, for prigs) and its businesses rightfully get all the buzz, but too often forgotten is the surrounding neighborhood--Old Towne Orange, one of the largest such historical neighborhoods in the United States. Try this experiment: park in the Circle (or in one of the free parking lots) and forsake the businesses and restaurants for another day. Today, you bring bikes. Grab 'em from your car (or, better yet, bike here from wherever you may live) and take a slow ride around the beautiful old blocks. Point out your favorite homes to your friends and dream about what it would be like to have that much money but still be interesting enough to not move to Yorba Linda. Then take a quick spin through Chapman University and its creepy bronze statues of neocon heroes--and Ella Fitzgerald! 1 University Dr., Orange; www.chapman.edu.
10:17 A.M.: Daytrip with your honey (or Tindr crush) to San Clemente State Beach. Gander at the picturesque ocean view from San Clemente's massive bluffs. Scrunch your face at the other couples who managed to immortalize their love with "Joe and Diane 4Ever" carvings into said bluffs. Attempt to carve your love yourself and understand why we say "scrunch your face": It would take countless hours of carving to leave an impression on the bluff's rock surface. That's commitment. 225 Avenida Califia, San Clemente.
10:30 A.M.: Corona Del Mar's Sherman Library and Gardens remains one of the best-kept secrets on the coast, even all these decades later. A $5 entry fee gets you a quiet stroll in a beautiful and relaxing setting, along with a glimpse inside its extensive archives of Orange County and Western history (but you'll have to set an appointment to view specific titles). If you're still hungry at lunchtime, dine on handmade crepes inside the garden at Cafe Jardin; they're good enough that you'll become hungry, damn that breakfast burrito from earlier in the day. 2647 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Corona Del Mar, (949) 673-2261; www.sigardens.org.
10:48 A.M.: It'll be almost a trip out of Orange County by the time you get to Tree of Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano--after exiting Ortega Highway, you go east and drive. And drive. And drive. Expect many wrong turns left and right. But it's worth it, as here is one of the best selections of native plants in Southern California. Given there's a drought of epic proportions right now, you should come down here at least once, so you can drought-shame your neighbors until El Niño saves us with your beautiful succulents, local grapes and weird-ass trees. 33201 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, (949) 728-0685; www.californianativeplants.com.
11:01 A.M.: And now you're back at El Toro Bravo, this time for the chicken burrito. A hunk of bird that was dry-brined for hours, then seasoned with an annatto-rich adobo is pulled directly off the rotisserie, chopped up with handfuls of fresh onions and cilantro, doused with whichever octane of salsa your tongue can handle, and then slid into a catcher's mitt-sized flour tortilla. Need a cerveza? There's a Mexican market next door. 745 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 631-4464.
11:18 A.M.: Beat the weekend tourist rush by hitting up the Sawdust Art Festival, open from June 26 to Aug. 30 but best experienced on Fridays. Check out the paintings, sculptures and other handmade artwork or take a one-on-one pottery lesson for just $8, which includes the cost of your kiln-fired creation (if your hands are full, $16 will cover shipping to your home). There's also great (and free) Children's Art Spot inside the festival for any ankle-biting finger-painters in your entourage. 935 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, (949) 497-9229; www.sawdustartfestival.org.
11:32 A.M.: Taqueria el Granjenal has been around for so long it was one of the Mexican restaurants of choice for the first generation of Weeklings; the latest generation of Weeklings recently discovered this place anew. Just a few bucks gets you an entire styrofoam carton of tacos, nachos, burritos and other dishes. Don't forget the Chocomil-laced horchata. 899 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-4964.
11:45 A.M.: No need to sit on a crappy bar stool and stare at a bowling tournament airing on ESPN in some nondescript bar when there's Cinepolis, where you can recline in leather comfort, guzzle booze, dine and push a waiter call button while watching a newly released flick. 32401 St. of the Golden Lantern, Laguna Niguel, (949) 373-7900; www.cinepolisusa.com.
12:02 P.M.: During the summer, barbeques put in overtime sizzling steaks. But sometimes, you just need the vegan-friendly lunch at The Stand in Laguna Beach. Choose among an array of hippie-dippie grub, including the sizable, hunger-busting hummus-and-guacamole burrito or an avocado sandwich served with Have'A chips. Grab a wooden stool on the outside patio and enjoy the eats while reading progressive rags (like this one!). When sweat beads form at the forehead from the midday heat, cool things down with mango soft serve topped with a juicy strawberry. 238 Thalia St., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8101.
12:16 P.M.: All right, so technically "Dogtown" was up in LA, but let's not think OC wasn't a historic spot for skateboarding. It's currently home to many of the biggest and best skateparks in the world, sponsored by companies such as Etnies, Vans and Volcom. But go old-school with the Fullerton Skatepark at the city's Independence Park. This is no mommy's little corporate-branded monster; the surrounding neighborhood is Fullerton's historic barrio, and Korean, Mexican and gabacho kids zip around the weathered ramps. Plus, the Fullerton DMV is right next door, so slam your frustration here after 'fessing up to your unpaid parking tickets there. 801 W. Valencia Dr., Fullerton.
12:38 P.M.: Chong Qing Mei Wei is not some chicken dealer with flaccid chow mein and dead vegetables; this is the county's best real-deal Szechwan (now called Sichuan) restaurant. Order water-boiled fish and realize what a cruel trick the name is (it comes floating not in water, but in chile oil, with whole chiles covering the surface of the dish). Twice-cooked pork. Ma po tofu. And don't forget to get cold appetizers from the display at the cashier. You won't know the names of them, but just point; they're all good, especially the vegetables. 5406 Walnut Ave., Ste. C, Irvine, (949) 651-8886.
12:45 P.M.: We thank the old gods and the new that Adventure City still stands despite rumors of its demise having existed for more than a decade now. For here stands one of the last family-run amusement parks in the Southland, with trains, carousels and the cutest little roller coaster around. Remember to scream extra-loud when you're all the way at the top! 1238 S. Beach Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 236-9300; www.adventurecity.com.
1:01 P.M.: At Laguna's Main Beach, you'll find legendary pickup games on the most scenic basketball courts on Earth. Impossibly toned twentysomethings watch each other play volleyball. Go get everyone water, ya schlub. 107 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 497-3311.
1:07 P.M.: Kayaks on the Water rents standup paddleboards and one- or two-person kayaks. Grab a map and row over to and through the magical Naples Island Canals. It's easier to park, rent and get on the water just beyond the Orange County border because there are fewer annoying tourists. Your smooth, quiet ride passes some of the most bitchen million-dollar-plus pads outside of Corona del Mar. 5411 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, (562) 434-0999; kayakrentals.net.
1:36 P.M.: Lunch at Taco María on the patio, wondering how Carlos Salgado continues to avoid plateauing--is that possible in this dimension? Whatever. Bring on another taco or 20. 3313 Hyland Ave., Ste. C-21, Costa Mesa, (714) 538-8444; www.tacomaria.com.
1:48 P.M.: We still remember when there were two outposts for Taco Adobe--an insanely popular one off Main Street in SanTana, and a quainter spot in Old Towne Orange. Only the latter remains, and it starts packing up with folks around this time. Order up a Modelo cerveza to go with a quesadilla filled with melted cheese and succulent chunks of al pastor. Tell Patricio that Gustavo says hola and will be visiting soon! 121 N. Lemon St., Orange, (714) 628-0633; www.tacoadobe.com.
2 P.M.: Berserktown II Music Festival begins on Aug. 14 at this bizarre afternoon time with a lineup befitting its name: Thee Oh Sees, Total Control, Antwon, Wax Idols, Tony Molina, Survive, York Factory Complaint, Ninos Du Brasil, the Lowest Form, Fell to Low, Culture Shock, Convict, Scalped, Nate Young's Aggression, and more--and that's only Day One. The Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; observatoryoc.com.
2:17 P.M.: One great thing about summertime Fridays is the number of half-days at work suddenly increases exponentially. What better time to head down to the Balboa Pier for some sun and walking? Better yet, ride a bike. Stop by Balboa Bikes 'n' Beach Stuff, get yourself a nice Schwinn or--if you've got a date--a tandem, and cruise down the designated bike lanes along the beach. 601 E. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, (949) 723-1516; www.balboabikes.com.
2:28 P.M.: Get lost in the stacks at the Bookman and remember a time when books existed. 840 N. Tustin St., Orange, (714) 538-0166; www.orange.ebookman.com.
2:41 P.M.: Want a canyon view without the hike? A late lunch at Silverado Café is for you. Order a burger and fries or any Mexican dish. Don't forget the beers. 28272 Silverado Canyon Rd., Silverado, (714) 649-2622.
3 P.M.: Beer o'clock. Head to Hollingshead's, and proceed to freak the fuck out when you enter its refurbished location. Calm yourself by ordering sandwiches at the counter, preferably the Great Scott or the pastrami, and grab a big bag of chips. Saddle up at the bar, and let Mike or Kenny tell you what to drink (drafts change daily). Relax and shoot the shit while you enjoy a cold brew in air conditioning. 368 S. Main St., Orange, (714) 978-9467; www.hollingsheadsdeli.com.
3:33 P.M.: Running all day, every day from June 26 to 28, the Newport "Beach Party" at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort includes wine, brew and barbecue competitions and tastings; a Special Olympics awards ceremony; and local bands competing against one another and playing nightly. Behold beach volleyball, sailing, paddleboarding, sand-castle building, bounce houses, craft areas and much more. 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 729-3863; www.newportdunes.com.
3:48 P.M.: Park your bike (rented or owned) right outside Pizza Pete's and grab a slice with your favorite toppings, washing it down with either a tall blended smoothie, a craft beer or a glass of wine. 701 E. Edgewater Ave., Newport Beach, (949) 675-4771.
3:57 P.M.: You're early for the 4:32 Metrolink Orange Line ride to Los Angeles at the Santa Ana Train Station, so walk around for a bit. Marvel that you're about to board just one of two Metrolink trips to Union Station left for the day. Marvel that no hotshot chef has yet to open a restaurant in this impressive building--not even a bar. Marvel that the city of Santa Ana wants to build a light-rail connecting here to Garden Grove to further its gentrification dreams. Wait, did we say "marvel"? We meant "howl" . . . a pox on all of them! 1000 E. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 547-8389.
4:08 P.M.: Check into the historic, ever-so-quaint La Casa del Camino for the weekend. The rustic charm is perfect for a romantic staycation, and it's central to all the Laguna Beach hotspots off PCH. It sits just steps from the sand, if you're into that kind of thing. Take a couple of steps over to the wine bar, choose from a fine selection of reds and whites, then cozy up to the adjacent fireplace. 1287 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (855) 634-5736. lacasadelcamino.com.
4:18 P.M.: Visit Hi-Time Wine Cellars, and grab a nice bottle of whiskey--Green Spot Irish if you're being spendy, or any W.L. Weller if you're being thrifty. Maybe grab something from the cheese and meat case, too, while you're there. 250 Ogle St., Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463; www.mrhitime.net.
4:29 P.M.: Of course Stanton is getting short shrift in this issue because it's . . . Stanton, landlocked and unloved. But everyone should visit the Colton of OC for one essential summer tool: the Mexican ice cream at La Flor de México. It serves frosty south-of-the-border specialties alongside the usual chocolate, vanilla and strawberry varieties you can find at Thrifty's. If you're going to take a few paletas and buckets of nieve home--and you will--the owners pack some ice in the bag so the paletas don't melt during your journey. Next time, bring a cooler. 7151 Katella Ave., Stanton, (714) 761-2813.
4:48 P.M.: #borrachoproblems at Anepalco's. 3737 W. Chapman Ave. Orange, (714) 456-9642; www.anepalcoscafe.com.
5:08 P.M.: Burgers and beers are two art forms that combine in one of the best creations ever, and Slater's 50/50 has proven itself the hometown Magic-and-Kareem of the genre in just a few years. Known for its 50/50 grind (half beef, half bacon), the patties are almost too rich for our blood (pressure). Go for the Peanut Butter and Jelllousy Burger. Sounds odd, but the flavor profile of a burger mixed with bacon and PB&J is perfect. www.slaters5050.com.
5:15 P.M.: For a smelly (but awesome as hell) vintage band tee of, say, the Meters or high-rise cutoff shorts to look your summer best, skip Urban Outfitters and try the consignment route, simply because you never know what strange rarities you'll find. Costa Mesa is the capital of such outlets, with Crossroads Trading Co. and Deelux fantastic shrines to your growing collection that'll have Hoarders profiling you in 50 years on its brain-hologram channel. Crossroads Trading Co., 1835 Newport Blvd., Ste. B123, Costa Mesa, (949) 722-2944; also 3877 Alton Pkwy., Irvine, (949) 474-1535; www.crossroadstrading.com. Deelux, 1500 Adams Ave., Costa Mesa, (714) 979-1968; mydeelux.com.
5:28 P.M.: Yeah, you're going to want to make a Trader Joe's run for a dinner at some point this summer, but don't bother with the bread--it's horrible. Instead, visit one of Orange County's wonderful Vietnamese bakeries, where the baguettes are cheap, the bread crumb light and airy, and the crusts crisp. Your best bets are Tip Top Sandwiches and Saigon Bakery/Banh Mì Saigon. Tip Top Sandwiches, 14094 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, (714) 530-9239. Saigon Bakery/Banh Mi Saigon, 13861 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, (714) 539-9921.
5:56 P.M.: Reminisce about your high school days at the Barnes and Noble in Orange, where young scholars continue to study and not all the aisles have been replaced with toys . . . yet. Go to the Sex section, and call it the Sextion. This area is full of pure comedic gold--enjoy yourself, but don't laugh too loudly. Next, find a novel you always wanted to read but never remember to buy on Amazon--think about still buying it on Amazon, but decide to buy it now so you don't forget, as well as to support a bookstore that still exists, even if it is a chain. Because chains need love, too! 791 S. Main St., Ste. 100, Orange, (714) 558-0028.
6:01 P.M.: Visit your favorite OC brewery and get a half-gallon growler of beer. All of OC's heavy hitters do growler fills, and leaving the breweries with what is essentially 2 liters of their best beer feels downright bacchanalian. Today, leave The Bruery with a growler of Or Xata if it's on tap (it's a creamy, cinnamon-y horchata beer that makes perfect summer night drinking). If it's not, you can't really go wrong with bartender's choice. 717 Dunn Way, Placentia, (714) 996-6258; www.thebruery.com.
6:11 P.M.: This is the best time to visit the Orange County Fair, right as the sun is going down, but before it gets chilly, while the breeze blowing off Fairview keeps the crowds happy and moving. 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 708-1500; www.ocfair.com.
6:26 P.M.: Riders Club Café is one of South County's best burger shacks. It's literally that: a shack, brimming with people hungry for juicy burgers on a brioche bun, gooey from a gamut of cheese options, dripping grilled onions and other choice toppings. What are you waiting for? 1701 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, (949) 388-3758; www.ridersclubcafe.com.
6:47 P.M.: A bag of shrimp at Kickin' Crab, even with a sauce similar to a (tolerable) pool of lava, is one of those things that is still fun to eat when temperatures rise. Diving into such bags can often turn presentable men and women into Cro-Magnons whose hair smells like garlic and cajun spices, but that's what the paper towel rolls and leave-in shampoo are for. To counter any spice, go with a side of Cajun fries and order some sweet corn in your shrimp bag. 1534 Adams Ave., Ste. D, Costa Mesa, (714) 760-4909; www.thekickincrab.com.
7:01 P.M.: Watch the sun drop into the ocean at Corona Del Mar State Beach. You were here to begin with for its better bathrooms, good parking options (pay to park in the lot, or drop off the kids and stuff, then park on the nearby streets), and access to tide pools and a baby beach. But at the end of the day, pack up your stuff and haul yourself up the ramp to Inspiration Point--though there's also a good overlook halfway to the top, if you run out of steam. 3001 Ocean Blvd., Corona Del Mar.
7:13 P.M.: Behold the sunset while downing a mojito at La Casa del Camino's Rooftop Lounge, with its 360-degree view of Laguna and the Pacific. 1287 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (855) 634-5736; lacasadelcamino.com.
7:30 P.M.: Several Orange County parks offer free, kid-friendly Friday-night movie screenings come dusk, including Grand Park in Aliso Viejo, the Great Park and Placentia Champions Sports Complex. Don't pretend you're too old for the films, especially since you cried at Toy Story 3 when it first came out and, really, any time you think about it. Grand Park, 6101 City Lights Dr., Aliso Viejo, (949) 243-7750. Great Park, Marine Way and Sand Canyon, Irvine, (949) 724-6247; www.ocgp.org. Placentia Champions Sports Complex, 505 N. Jefferson St., Placentia, (714) 577-8521.
7:48 P.M.: Avila's El Ranchito has a kids' menu that's perfect for a post-beach meal. No one cares if you're trailing sand, and spending the day with the kids makes you believe you earned that margarita. (Oh, yes, you did.) www.avilaselranchito.com.
8 P.M.: Having been spoiled for choice of restaurants in downtown Long Beach, you head down Pine Avenue to the Federal Bar, where you have tickets to see the Lalas burlesque show. Lacy fishnets, tasselled brassieres, sultry stares, athleticism and incredibly sexy dancing; a couple of classic cocktails from the excellent bar, and you could believe you've landed at an Erich von Stroheim stag party. Federal Bar, 102 Pine Ave., Long Beach; (562) 435-2000; lb.thefederalbar.com.
8 P.M.: X perform Wild Gift in its entirety July 10 at The Observatory. The Los Angeles punk pioneers' second Slash album finished No. 2 in 1981 in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop Critics Poll (behind the Clash's Sandinista!) and took third place on critic Robert Christgau's ranking of his "Personal Best" list for the '80s (higher than any other rock album). The truest measure of Wild Gift's greatness is X always plays 12 of its 13 tracks at live shows and has in recent years worked in "Adult Books" despite most people in the crowd having no idea who Jackie Susann was. 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; www.observatoryoc.com.
8:15 P.M.: Three joints, an ice-cold beer and a groovy attitude (and maybe a tie-dyed shirt) are the only supplies you'll need for a July 24 evening at the Pacific Ampitheatre with the Steve Miller Band, featuring your favorite Space Cowboy, a.k.a. the Gangster of Love. 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 708-1500; www.ocfair.com.
8:49 P.M.: K'ya Bistro features excellent tapas fare and crafted cocktails made with care. Might we suggest the bacon-wrapped scallops and lobster mac and cheese? We might. Finish the decadent meal off with a vanilla bean crème brûlée. 1287 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 376-9718; www.kyabistro.com.
9 P.M.: You've set up your gear and waited out the heat, so settle in on Aug. 14, the night of the new moon and the perfect time to see the Perseids meteor shower. You're at Jumbo Rocks Campground at Joshua Tree National Park, a mesmerizing patch of desert dotted with granite orbs seemingly dropped from the heavens--platforms perfectly designed for stargazing. The campsite often reaches capacity during the spring and early summer, and though it'll probably be pretty hot the week prior (average daily high of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit), there's a high chance it'll reach capacity again this weekend, so make sure to get there early. The drive to Joshua Tree is long, but it's fast for the most part. Make sure you actually download your Spotify playlist to your phone because once you hit Joshua Tree National Park, the signal will be spotty at best. Grab a blanket, climb atop your favorite rock and look to the northeast. While you're staring heavenward, think about past loves or your role in the universe. Other popular pondering options include whether or not you actually need to work your day job. For a moment, be tempted to sell everything and move to Costa Rica or the backwoods of somewhere, maybe buy a few goats and take up yoga. A minute later, decide all of that is silly and take another swig of that Hi-Time whiskey. Once you get too chilly, climb back down and try to go to sleep. Off Park Boulevard in Joshua Tree National Park.
9:03 P.M.: No day trip to Laguna Beach is complete without dinner at 230 Forest Ave, located downtown just a few blocks from the sand. Chef/owner Marc Cohen's bistro-style joint has a great patio for people watching, the menu features a sophisticated take on classic steak and seafood, and there's a martini bar. 230 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-2545; www.230forestavenue.com.
9:30 P.M.: Okay, fine, watch the Disneyland fireworks. Don't forget the barrios surrounding the House of Mouse for which this extravaganza turns their peace into Ramadi every night!
9:38 P.M.: Fourth Street Market in downtown SanTana is chockablock with food stands, but make sure to leave some room in your gut for a warm bowl of amazing soup from Noodle Tramp on the back patio. It specializes in khao soi, a Thai potage that's the best soup you've never had. Inhale the broth and spices under the night air and feel cozy and ready for bed . . . or more noodles. 201 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana; www.lunchboxdtsa.com.
10:08 P.M.: SanTana beer crawl! Native Son Alehouse's patio is great if the night is cool or if there's a breeze, but if it's muggy out, you'll probably prefer heading underground at The Copper Door. If you want to go somewhere you can actually hear the people you're with, Lola Gaspar's patio or Wursthaus' bar have the perfect lighting and noise level for non-obtrusive small talk. Which one you go to depends on whether you want cocktails--of which Lola has some of the best in Orange County--or beer, where Wursthaus dominates (at least when it comes to Belgians). Native Son Alehouse, 305 E. Fourth St., Ste. 200, Santa Ana, (714) 204-0337, www.nativesonale.com. The Copper Door, 225 N. Broadway, Santa Ana; thecopperdoorbar.com. Wursthaus, 305 E. Fourth St., Ste. 106, Santa Ana, (714) 760-4333, wursthausdtsa.com. Lola Gaspar, 211 W. Second St., Santa Ana, (714) 972-1172; lolagaspar.com.
10:27 P.M.: Oh, those Cafe Lu Vietnamese coffee girls. . . . 634 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 839-1608.
10:59 P.M.: Get ready to go into battle by picking up a helmet at the county's friendliest sex shop, ConRev, right as it's about to close. Taste the flavors of its condom rainbow: large, small, flavored, studded, ribbed, spotted, striped, even colored. In addition to rubbers, ConRev hawks variegated sex toys (prices ranging from cheap to who-drops-several-hundred-on-a-dildo?), lingerie, lubes, novelty toys and videos. Have questions? The clerks will guide you through the shop as if they're selling items as innocuous as toothbrushes. We don't have to spell out the rest of your night, we hope. . . . 1777 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 646-1967; www.conrev.com.
11:11 P.M.: The best place to wreck your vegetarian diet is a late-night run to GEN Korean BBQ, a meat-lover's paradise. You pick the meats (as well as seafood such as shrimp and scallops) and cook at your table. Grab a toothpick on the way out. 16300 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 596-8833; www.genkoreanbbq.com.
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11:59 P.M.: End your work week with the working men and women who huddle inside the Huddle. Save the craft brews, craft cocktails, and arts and crafts for some other night; tonight, you are going for something straight out of a bottle, likely domestic and without a hint of pretension, which you also will not find among the Huddle's environs, clientele or staff. 741 Baker St., Costa Mesa, (714) 540-0966.