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Here Are 22 OC Things You Have To Do In The OC

Welcome to the OC, bitch.

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It's basically a lush, iconic waterfront park in Laguna Beach where lots of locals hang out. It's situated on the cliffs overlooking a long stretch of coastline — meaning you get sweet panoramic views. And there lots of entrances to the beach below along the way.


Same thing: Tons of fresh, gorgeous waterfront hiking views. If you want to really hike like an OC-er, hit up Dartmoor Trail — it's a local favorite.

There are a bunch of oldschool beach cottages right in the middle of Crystal Cove State Park that have been around since the 1930s and 40s. Since then, they've been renovated, but the original historic, low-maintenance beach vibe charm is definitely still there. Reserve a night here, but be warned: Spots go quickly, so it's best to book way in advance.


5. Die and go to fresh-fish heaven at Bear Flag Fish Co.

Many locals swear this Newport Beach hot spot serves the freshest fish in all of Orange County. They've got it in all ways: in fish tacos, in sushi, in poke, you name it.

This is an iconic spot in Huntington Beach. And for good reason: Just LOOK how the sun shines through the pier! Done and done.

7. Go surfing — or, you know, just oogle at the hot surfers — around Huntington Beach Pier.

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You can't lose either way — especially because it's a really popular surf spot for locals.


8. Take yourself to the land of Arrested Development on the ferry to Balboa Island.

Flickr: donbrr

The ferry takes you from Balboa Peninsula to Balboa Island, both of which are in Newport Beach. But MORE IMPORTANTLY: Balboa Island is where Arrested Development takes place.



The OC is famous for its tide pools, especially the ones in Laguna Beach. In fact, there is even a show completely devoted to tide pools. Bonus points if you stick your finger in a sea anemone while you're wandering (don't worry, it's safe and it won't hurt).

Seriously though, WHERE HAVE THEY BEEN?! Las Brisas is a very well-known OC establishment, known for their fresh and upscale Mexican food — especially their Monday-through-Saturday breakfast buffet, and Sunday brunch. There's always an omelet man, and you can also get dishes like Mexican lasagna and Crepes de Laguna (filled with scallops and served with scrambled eggs).


12. Feel sorry for the In-N-Out diehards who do not know about the delicious burgers at Crystal Cove Ruby's Shake Shack.

In-N-Out burgers are good, but the hype is not — which is why this uber local place is way better. It's a timeless little beach shack that's owned by Ruby's, an institutional diner in Costa Mesa. And THE VIEW.

13. Shop like a local at Fashion Island.

Flickr: patrick_nouhailler

Even if you're not a shopper, you'll probably love Fashion Island in Newport Beach. That's because it's a mall, yes, but it's a beautiful, airy outdoor one at that — and it truly makes you feel like you've ~arrived~ in the OC. Another alternative: Hit up South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, the largest mall in both Orange County and the entire west coast. It doesn't have that outdoor vibe, but it's still an OC icon.


Situated on the rooftop of La Casa del Camino hotel in Laguna Beach, Rooftop Lounge is a place to see and ... see other people. Also, they have a great happy hour (half off mojitos and all beer, wine and well drinks from 3 to 5), and fresh eats, like crab and shrimp ceviche, and Hawaiian ahi poke.

15. Feel all ~cultured~ and watch the Pageant of the Masters.

Flickr: neilarmstrong2

When you first hear about Laguna Beach's Pageant of the Masters, it sounds a little odd: People basically dress up and reenact famous paintings. But once you see it, you'll get how weirdly amazing it is — and why it's one of the most famous art events around the world.

Also! The Pageant is part of the Festival of Arts, Laguna's fine arts show. Most of the paintings are way expensive, but it's definitely nice to look.


Right across the street from the Pageant and the Festival of Art is the Sawdust Festival, a local art festival that was originally started by Laguna hippies in 1965. Held every summer since then, the festival is not as fancy as its neighbor: It hosts local Etsy-ish vendors, who sell their paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and more. The best part: They cover the entire festival ground with sawdust, which really adds to the hippied-out ~vibe~ of the place.


Dana Point Harbor is not only one of the largest recreational harbors on the west coast — but also in the world. It's got tons of shops and bars and restaurants, all with sweet views.

19. Live like Summer Roberts and Seth Cohen for at least one hour by having a cocktail at the Lobby Lounge at Montage Laguna Beach.

Facebook: MontageLagunaBeach

Straight up, the Montage resort in Laguna Beach is insanely expensive (as in, rooms around $1,000 per night expensive). So! Since that's out of the question, just get a cocktail in the lobby and watch the pearl wearers stroll by. Same "Summer for a day" feeling, way different wallet situation.

The thing about Marine Room Tavern in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach is that you can't NOT drink a lot there. It's an incredibly dive-y whiskey bar slash live music venue that gets into your bones and makes you want to have a good time no matter what. The well-known rock musician Ty Segall, who grew up in Laguna, has played there in the past — which gives the place major street cred.