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8 Best Day Trips from Orange County, California

When was the last time you went somewhere new? Probably not for a while. How about this weekend, do you want to go somewhere? Sure. You do not have any idea where you want to go. Well don’t worry, here are the best day trips from Orange County which are awesome.

Best Day Trips from Orange County, California

1. Laguna Beach

Sunset view at Treasure Island Beach

Laguna is known for being a trendy place to visit. Everything there is extremely trendy, the food, the music, the vibe, etc. If you spend your time there you will find everyone there playing the tourist game. Everything is expensive.

If you’re looking for real experiences, then skip Laguna. If on the other hand, you are looking for a good time on a laid-back beach, then bring your wallet to Laguna and you’ll enjoy the vibe.

See Related: Explore Los Angeles – Discover the Best Tours of LA

2. San Juan Capistrano

Aerial view of downtown San Juan Capistrano

Just outside of Laguna, San Juan is a small city that provides a nice beach. The area is quieter than Laguna but with the same vibe. If you’re looking for somewhere where you can chill, then this is the place for you. On your way there, you can visit San Onofre, a nice little surf town which has everything you need for a relaxing day.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

3. San Diego

San Diego

By far the most populous city in California, San Diego is a pretty awesome place to visit. Even just for a day. There are a number of beaches and parks where you can chill, eat and watch the sun go down. If you’re into surfing then this is definitely a place you want to visit.

See Related: Best Bus Tours from San Diego, California

4. Los Angeles

Los Angeles Cityscape

Los Angeles is huge, very spread out, and doesn’t really have much going for it. But for a quick day trip, it has some awesome places to visit. Santa Monica beach, Venice beach, Venice canals, Santa Monica pier, and Malibu are all easily accessible by public transport and within 2 hours. The beach vibe is awesome.

See Related: Best Bus Tours From Los Angeles To Yellowstone

5. Big Bear

Panorama view of  dense forest and lake

Located slightly further away, Big Bear is another place you can visit for a day. It is very touristy but the vibe is really great. You’ll find that things are a little cheaper but the atmosphere is not as good. The good thing about Big Bear is that it’s easy to get to.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Marrakech

6. Newport Beach

Aerial view of Newport Beach

Just south of Los Angeles and Laguna Beach lies Newport Beach. It’s easily reached by bus and is within 1 1⁄2 hours from Orange County. Just like the previous two mentioned, this is more of a relaxed vibe place.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Scottsdale

7. Palm Springs

Palm Springs Sign on a wall

A little further out than the last two mentioned, Palm Springs is a pretty cool place to visit. It offers a more relaxed vibe, laid back beach lifestyle, food, etc. You do have to pay to visit certain parts of the park, but Palm Springs in general is a pretty good day out.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Vancouver

8. San Diego Zoo

The entrance to the San Diego Zoo

Yes, that’s right, San Diego. Yes, it is the San Diego zoo. Yes, it is awesome. In 2016, the San Diego zoo was voted the world’s best zoo. Most animals are able to roam free around the zoo, giving visitors a more personal experience. The park is absolutely huge and has a ton of things to see and do. Make sure to get there early, the heat can be intense.

There are so many great places to visit. It’s not as fun to just stay in Orange County. The options are endless.

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