Orange County, California

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Living in Oregon can be rough this time of year. The weather tends to be dreary and rainy, there isn't much sunlight, and the Vitamin D is seriously lacking. So what is the cure? A trip to Southern California! I feel a special connection to Southern California because both of my parents were born and raised there- my mom in Palos Verdes right outside of LA and my dad in Santa Barbara. Although I don't go as often as I used to, luckily one of my best friends lives in Newport Beach so it isn't too hard or expensive to plan a long weekend getaway. We went over Super Bowl weekend and had the most amazing time laying by the pool, boating, eating and drinking in the sunshine. I'm already planning my next trip back!

I've compiled a small guide covering where we stayed, what we did, and where we ate and drank. I am obviously not an OC local (although I wish I was!) but hopefully this is helpful to anyone planning a trip there! The one drawback to our trip is we didn't have a single Real Housewives spotting! Next time I'll for sure be trying to get some celebrity sightings in :)


To Stay

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For most of the trip we stayed with our friend on the Newport Peninsula, but our first night in Orange County we decided to treat ourselves by getting a room at the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach. I don't have enough good things to say about the hotel- the beds were comfy, we were upgraded to an "ocean front" room which essentially was on top of the ocean, the staff was friendly and the pool was amazing. The only true negative was the super loud sound of the ocean as we were sleeping, which I feel very rude complaining about at all! I think of the sound of the ocean as being super soothing, but the sound of the waves crashing was actually extremely loud! All in all though we had an amazing first night and day at the Surf and Sand. We spent literally all day Friday lounging by the pool which is an ideal way to start a vacation!

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To Do

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Orange County is full of things to do, so the activities I've included barely scratch the surface! However, we had so much fun on our trip that I do think this would make the perfect weekend getaway for anyone!

  • Rent boats and journey around Newport Harbor
  • Lunch and shop in Lido
  • Hike The Top of the World in Laguna Beach
  • Rent bikes and bike along the boardwalk
  • Have drinks at a rooftop bar overlooking the ocean and watch the Sunset
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 Top of the World, Laguna Beach

Top of the World, Laguna Beach


To Eat / Drink

Again, this list is no where near exhaustive. When we did this trip last year we went to completely different spots and everything we had then was delicious as well. I almost feel like no matter where you go you can't go wrong!

Laguna Beach

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  • Driftwood Kitchen- probably one of my favorite meals I had on the trip! It is right on the ocean too, so amazing views. 
  • Oak Laguna Beach - super good for dinner or happy hour.
  • Rooftop Restaurant - the perfect happy hour spot right on the water. An amazing place to see the Sunset!
  • Heidelberg Cafe - Quick, filling breakfast. 
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Newport Beach

  • Bosscat Kitchen & Libations - home of the giant moscow mule. Great Southern Food but limited vegetarian options. My friends all loved their food though!
  • Bear Flag Fish Co - famous for their poke which really did look fresh and delicious. I got a vegetarian burrito and we all shared the ships and massive serving of guac. 
  • Frozen Bananas at any of the many stands! Get the original from Arrested Development on Balboa Island.
  • In-N-Out Burger - not an OC original but still a must go for an Oregonian visiting California. 
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Huntington Beach

  • Tanner's - we only had drinks but we had a great time relaxing, enjoying the ocean views and watching the Super Bowl!
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