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Exploring the world outside of the park
Attractions and Destinations in Orange County

Tourist Attractions

Knott's Berry Farm

8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park

This is the nation's oldest theme park. It includes 165 attractions in multiple themed areas such as Calico Ghost Town, Mexican Village, Indian Trails, The Boardwalk and Camp Snoopy. (714) 220-5200

Hard Rock Cafe

451 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach

One in a chain of 104 Hard Rock Cafes around the world. You are paying for the honor of sitting under the autographs of rock stars. The highlight of the decor is the garish suit worn by Prince in the film "Purple Rain." (714) 640-8844

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

7662 Beach Blvd., Buena Park

Watch "knights" engage in jousting and other forms of mortal combat while you eat dinner. Paper crowns (a la Burger King) included. (714) 521-4740

Movieland Wax Museum

7711 Beach Blvd., Buena Park

An elaborate collection of movie and TV memorabilia, including authentic costumes and sets and more than 200 lifelike replicas of famous stars. Open Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Admission $6.95-$12.95. (949) 522-1154 or visit Movieland Wax Museum online.

Rainforest Cafe

3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa (In the Sears wing of South Coast Plaza)

A themed restaurant with a jungle motif. Includes animatronic creatures, indoor thundershowers, live parrots, talking trees and a large saltwater aquarium. (714) 424-9200

Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum

7850 Beach Blvd., Buena Park

"The odd, the unusual and bizarre from nature and man." Open Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Admission $5.25-$8.95. (714) 522-7045 or visit Ripley's online.

Wild Bill's Wild West Dinner Extravaganza

7600 Beach Blvd., Buena Park

Watch dancing Indians, lariat-twirling "cowboys" and singing cowgirls while you eat dinner. (714) 522-6414

Wild Rivers Water Park

8770 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine

A water theme park with over 40 water rides and attractions, on the site of the late lamented Lion Country Safari. (949) 768-9453

Historical Sites

San Juan Capistrano Mission

31882 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano

Tour the Serra Chapel, California's oldest building. Includes examples of Native American and early Spanish culture. Living History programs, (where guests observe the daily routines of characters from the early mission era) are held on the second Saturday of each month, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The mission is open daily 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission $4-$5. (949) 248-2048

Richard M. Nixon Library and Birthplace

18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda

This nine-acre presidential library includes the original home where Nixon was born, the graves of Pat and Richard Nixon, a research library and an impressive museum covering Nixon's life and times. No matter your political views, you'll be glad you visited. Open Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. (except major holidays). Group rates available for groups of more than 20, with reservations. Admission: $2 - $5.95. (714) 993-5075

Old Town Orange

Corner of Chapman Ave. and Glassell St.

A four-block historical district featuring over 40 antique stores/malls, an 1899 soda fountain and a variety of other restaurants and shops. (714) 780-8701

Discovery Museum of Orange County

3101 W. Harvard St., Santa Ana

A child-friendly, hands-on, historical museum depicting life in Southern California circa 1900. The bulk of the museum is housed in a large, restored, Victorian home. Also includes a working blacksmith shop, an orange grove and gardens. Open Wed.-Fri. 1-5 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Regular admission $4-$5. (714) 540-0404.

Anaheim Mother Colony House

414 N. West St., Anaheim

Built by the "father of Anaheim," George Hansen, this house is now home to exhibits chronicling the history of Anaheim.

Buena Park Historical Homes

6631 Beach Blvd., Buena Park

The Whitaker-Jaynes Estate was built in 1887, and is the hub of Buena Park's new historical district. (714) 562-3570

Heritage Hill Historical Park

25151 Serrano Rd., Lake Forest

Four early California structures from Mexican ranchos to the beginning of the citrus industry: The Serrano Adobe, the El Toro Grammar School, St. George's Episcopal Mission and the Bennett Ranch House. Open Wed.-Sun. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tour schedule: Wed.-Fri. 2 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Free. (714) 855-2028

Howe-Waffle House

120 Civic Center Dr. West, Santa Ana

Museum of local history and medical history. (714) 547-9645

Newland House Museum

19820 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach

Built in 1898, this nine-room, two-story cottage is the oldest existing house in Huntington Beach. Open Wed.-Thu. 2 p.m. - 4 p.m., Sat.-Sun. noon - 4 p.m. (714) 962-5777

Old Orange County Courthouse

211 West Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana

The traditional home of Orange County government since 1901. Includes a museum. (714) 834-3703

San Juan Capistrano Historic District

Los Rios St. and Verdugo St. crossing, San Juan Capistrano

The oldest neighborhood in California, including three 1794 adobe homes. Ghost-hunters say old San Juan Capistrano has more ghosts-per-square-foot than any other California town. The Victorian home at 31813 Los Rios St., is the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society's O'Neil Museum. Museum phone: (949) 493-8444.

Stanley Ranch Museum

12174 Euclid St., Garden Grove

Many of Garden Grove's historic buildings have been moved to this two-acre site. The museum's focal point is the Ware-Stanley House (1892.) Tours are offered the third Sunday of the month at 1:30 p.m. (714) 530-8871.


Anaheim Museum

241 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim

Presents a history of the city and a children's gallery with interactive displays.

Wed. - Fri. 10 a.m. - 4p.m., Sat. Noon - 4 p.m., Sun. - Tues. and holidays by appointment only. (714) 778-3301.

Beckman Coulter Heritage Exhibit

4300 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton

Scientific lab demonstrations, instrument displays, drug discovery and scientific applications. Guided and self-guided tours. Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free. For reservations, call (714) 773-6924.

Bowers Museum of Cultural Art

2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana

Permanent collection includes historic California artifacts, African sculpture, American Indian and Oceanic art. Admission $2-$4 (Includes same-day admission to Bowers Kidseum). (714) 567-3600

Discovery Science Center

2500 N. Main St., Santa Ana (overlooking the 5 Freeway)

The rich science-and-industry-oriented cousin of the Discovery Museum. Aimed chiefly at children.

Open Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $7.50-$9.50

Fullerton Museum Center, Museum Auditorium

301 N. Pomona Ave., Fullerton

Three galleries include changing exhibits on the subjects of art, history and science.

Call for information, regular hours and cost of admission. (714) 738-6545

Heritage of San Clemente & Visitor Center

415 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente

Exhibits include the Western White House, Tribute to USMC, Historic Homes, Legends of Surfing. Admission: $1.75 - $2.75. Call for tour times. Tour tickets $3.75 - $4.75. (949) 369-1299.

History in Motion

A museum on wheels, exploring the history of books. For more information, call (714) 523-2070.

Hobby City Toy & Doll Museum

1238 S. Beach Blvd., Anaheim

Hobby City is a six-acre area including 24 hobby and craft shops, a small amusement park designed for young children, a restaurant and a Toy and Doll Museum. The museum houses a truly impressive collection of dolls from around the world and throughout history. Open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (714) 527-2323

International Surfing Museum

411 Olive Ave., Huntington Beach

A large collection of surf memorabilia, in the heart of downtown Huntington Beach. (714) 960-3483

Irvine Museum

18881 Von Karman Ave. (12th Floor), Irvine

A small but excellent art museum exhibiting artworks by Californians from the Impressionist Period (1890-1930.) Admission is free. (949) 476-2565

Laguna Art Museum

307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach

Continuously changing exhibits of art by historical, contemporary and emerging artists. Open Tue.-Sun. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission $5 (949) 494-8971

Marconi Automotive Museum

1302 Industrial Drive, Tustin

Featuring 60 classic Ferraris and other vintage racing cars. Open by appointment. Admission $5. (714) 258-3001.

Muckenthaler Cultural Center

1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton

The Muckenthaler mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places and offers a variety of programs. (714) 738-6595

Newport Harbor Nautical Museum

151 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach

This museum is aboard the "Pride of Newport" Sternwheeler (formerly the Reuben E. Lee), docked in Newport Harbor. Includes permanent displays of historical photos, nautical equipment and navigational instruments. Open Tue.-Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission Free. (949) 673-7863

Newport Sports Collection Foundation

620 Newport Center Dr., #125, Newport Beach

This 5,000 square foot museum houses hundreds of game-used and game-worn sports equipment and clothing. (949) 721-9333

Orange County Museum of Art

850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach

Presents the art of California from the mid-19th century to the present.

Admission $5, but free on Tuesdays. (949) 759-1122 ext. 204

Orange County Natural History Museum

Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park

28373 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Niguel

A collection of archeological, paleontological, botanical and geological artifacts native to Orange County. Displays include live reptiles, rodents and amphibians. Open Wed.-Sun. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission $1. (949) 831-3287

Red Car Museum

Main St. and Electric St., Seal Beach

Long ago, Pacific Electric Red Cars were a key means of transportation in Orange County. This restored car is a reminder of the days before the automobile. Historic artifacts and images of Seal Beach are exhibited inside. Hours are limited, so call ahead. (562) 431-9501

Richard M. Nixon Library and Birthplace

18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda

This nine-acre presidential library includes the original home where Nixon was born, the graves of Pat and Richard Nixon, a research library and an impressive museum covering Nixon's life and times. No matter your political views, you'll be glad you visited. Open Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. (except major holidays). Group rates available for groups of more than 20, with reservations. Admission: $2 - $5.95. (714) 993-5075

Shroud Center of Southern California

18351 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach

Six full-sized replicas of the controversial Shroud of Turin are on display here, along with accompanying films and related exhibits. (714) 375-5723


Seaside Adventures

Aquarium of the Pacific

100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach

(Los Angeles County)

Forty-seven tanks display more than 10,000 sea creatures. (Formerly the site of Marineland.) Family Sleep-Overs and Youth Group Overnighters are available. Regular admission $7.95 - $14.95. Open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily.(562) 590-3100.

Balboa Fun Zone

600 E. Bay Ave., Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach

Featuring video arcades, a Ferris wheel and several other small carnival rides. Open Mon-Thu Noon-8 p.m., Fri Noon-10 p.m. and Sat. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Rides: $1-$2. (949) 673-0408

Catalina Flyer

Balboa Pavilion, 400 Main Street, Balboa (Newport Beach)

The Catalina Passenger Service's Catalina Flyer (a boat) makes daily trips to Catalina Island and back. (949) 673-5245 or (800) 830-7744

Dana Point Harbor

Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point

Explore tidepools, stroll along the boardwalk, take a cruise, rent a kayak, visit the Orange County Marine Institute, tour the tallship Pilgrim or just absorb the relaxed atmosphere.

Dana Wharf Sport Fishing, Sailing & Whale Watching

34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point

Whale watching expeditions between December and March, $8-$14. Deep-sea fishing, harbor tours and charters on sailing vessels also available. (949) 496-5794

Davey's Locker Sportsfishing

Balboa Pavilion, 400 Main St., Balboa Peninsula (Newport Beach)

Located in the historic Balboa Pavilion in the "Fun Zone." Year-round sportfishing. Tackle shop on premises. Open daily, 5 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (949) 673-1434.

Queen Mary

Pier J, Long Beach Harbor, end of the Long Beach (I-710) Freeway

(Los Angeles County)

This mammoth historic ship is now a tourist attraction and hotel. Guided, audio and self-guided tours are available. The vessel also contains shops, restaurants, occasional art exhibits and -- if you believe the rumors -- a few ghosts. Next door, you can tour the Russian submarine Scorpion, including a look at the torpedo room, central corridors, crew's quarters, top-secret communications center and periscope. Adjacent to a variety of shops at the Queen's Marketplace. Open daily 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. For more information, call (562) 435-3511 or visit the Queen Mary online.

Stephen Birch Aquarium - Museum

Scripps Institute of Oceanography, 2300 Exposition Way, La Jolla

(San Diego County)

Fish from around the world and the largest oceanographic exhibit in the United States.

Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily. (858)534-534-8665

Tallship Pilgrim / Orange County Marine Institute

24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point

Dana Point takes it's name from William Henry Dana, who described the spot in his book, Two Years Before The Mast. The brig Pilgrim is an exact replica of the vessel Dana sailed aboard.

The Orange County Marine Institute stands next to the Pilgrim and offers educational tours for those interested in marine biology. Definitely call ahead for hours. (949) 496-2274


Fullerton Arboretum / Heritage House

1900 Associated Road, Fullerton

The 26-acre Fullerton Arboretum is a beautiful contrast to the ugly adjacent campus of California State University Fullerton. Heritage House, a 1894 Eastlake-style Victorian cottage, serves as a museum of Southern California family life and medical practice circa 1900. Guided tours available. Weekday group tours by appointment. Open Sun. 2 - 4 p.m. Admission $1-$2. (714) 278-3579.

Noguchi Sculpture Gardens

3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa (Behind El Torito Grill)

Not what one normally thinks of as a garden, but those with a flair for the modern may enjoy this artistic tribute to the geography of California. Worth a few minutes of your time if you're in the neighborhood.

Roger's Gardens

2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar (Newport Beach)

Yes, this is a commercial nursery. But WHAT a nursery! Over 5,000 square feet of beautifully tended trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetables and more. Spend an afternoon strolling. (949) 640-5800.

Sherman Gardens

2647 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Corona del Mar (Newport Beach)

A botanical collection ranging from rare cacti to exotic tropical plants. Beautiful and peaceful. Within the gardens is the Sherman Library, a repository of information about the Pacific Southwest. (949) 673-2261.



South Coast Plaza

3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa

Over 2.8 million square feet of shopping. South Coast Plaza runs the gamut from the low-brow to some of the most elegant stores in the world. Also includes an art museum and a carousel. This is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. (714) 435-2000

Fashion Island

North of Pacific Coast Highway, between MacArthur Blvd. & Jamboree Rd., Newport Beach

Upscale outdoor shopping plaza overlooking the ocean. A uniquely Californian twist on the shopping mall. (949) 721-2000 or (800) 495-4753

The Block at Orange

City Drive (Junction of I-5, Hwy 22 and Hwy 57), Orange

This outdoor mall includes restaurants, shops, a skateboarding park, arcades and a 30-screen movie theater. (714) 769-4001

The Irvine Spectrum

Intersection of the I-5 and the I-405, Irvine

An entertainment plaza featuring a 21-screen movie theater, an IMAX theater, 25 restaurants and a variety of arcades, specialty shops and other diversions. (949) 789-9180

Old Town Orange

Corner of Chapman Ave. and Glassell St., Orange

A four-block historical district featuring over 40 antique stores/malls, an 1899 soda fountain and a variety of other restaurants and shops. (714) 780-8701

Little Saigon

Bolsa Ave., between Magnolia & Brookhurst, Westminster

In the 1970s and 1980s, Vietnamese immigrants flocked to this area by the thousands. You'll find more Vietnamese shops, restaurants and cultural amenities here than anywhere outside Vietnam. It's hard to define the true borders of Little Saigon, as it tends to sprawl over parts of both Westminster and Garden Grove. Contact the Little Saigon Visitors Bureau at (714) 901-4313.

Old World Village

7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach

Patterned after a Bavarian village, Old World Village features half-timbered buildings, cobblestone streets and multicultural shopping. The business owners are mostly European immigrants, and live above their unique shops and restaurants. The Rathskeller beer garden offers an excellent variety of hard-to-find imported beers. (714) 898-3033

The Lab Antimall

2930 Bristol St., Costa Mesa

The Lab is to typical malls what "alternative music" is to popular music. (Take that as you will.) This is an interesting place to shop, if only for the post-apocalyptic architecture and splashes of retro design. Billy Joel's lyrics describe The Lab perfectly: "You can't dress trashy 'til you spend a lot of money." (714) 966-6660

Mott's Miniatures & Dollhouse Shop

7900 La Palma Ave., Buena Park

For many decades, the Mott family ran their shop and a museum of miniatures inside the gates of Knott's Berry Farm. Today, the shop is just up the street from Knott's and still sells thousands of miniature furniture pieces, plants, animals, lamps and other doll-sized accessories. Even macho guys will have to admit it's all pretty cool.

Just for Kids

Adventure City

1238 S. Beach Blvd., Anaheim

This small theme park is aimed at young children and their parents. Includes kid-sized rides, a children's theater, petting farm, arcade, play area and climbing wall. Call (714) 236-9300 for more information.

Atlantis Play Center

9301 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove

This 4-acre gated park is one large and incredibly creative playground. Features include a walk-in whale, a Viking longship and a sea-serpent slide built into a large hill. Atlantis Play Center is only accessible to children and their accompanying parents or guardians, so you can feel comfortable letting the kids run wild. (714) 892-6015

Bowers Kidseum

1802 N. Main St., Santa Ana

Featuring interactive displays, touchable artifacts, costumes, masks, storytelling and art labs. Open Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission $4-$8 (includes same-day admission to Bowers Museum). Open weekdays for tours, art classes and special events by appointment only. (714) 480-1522

Children's Museum of La Habra

301 S. Euclid St., La Habra

Interactive exhibits include computer programming, exotic costumes and a carousel. (562) 905-9693

Discovery Science Center

2500 N. Main St., Santa Ana (over looking the 5 Freeway)

The rich science-and-industry-oriented cousin of the Discovery Museum. Aimed chiefly at children.

Open Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $7.5--$9.50

Family Fun Center

16800 Magnolia Ave., Fountain Valley

What began as a miniature golf course has since added video arcades, go-carts, bumper boats, batting cages and Bullwinkle's Restaurant. The Fountain Valley Skating Center is next door. (714) 842-1011.


12611 Beach Blvd., Stanton

Two miniature golf-courses and video arcades. Dig those dragons in the parking lot! (714) 895-4550

Palace Park

3405 Michelson Dr., Irvine

Bumper boats, batting cages, simulation theater, laser combat zone, three 18-hole miniature golf courses, video games, soft-play maze, go-carts and castle bounce. Hours vary. Each attraction $1. 

Miscellaneous Fun

Air Combat USA, Inc.

230 N. Dale Place, Fullerton

Pilot a military trainer aircraft through a dogfight, even if you don't have a pilot's license. This is not a simulator, folks. (800) 522-7590

Brea "Art In Public Places"

1 Civic Center Circle, Brea

Over 100 pieces of sculpture are on display throughout the city of Brea. This is the result of the "Art In Public Places" program, which was launched in 1975. A self-guided tour brochure is available at the Community Services desk at the Brea Civic Center. (714) 990-7100

Disney Ice

300 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim

Skate where the Mighty Ducks practice. Features both NHL and Olympic sized rinks, and a Mighty Ducks Pro Shop. (714) 535-RINK

Downtown Laguna Beach

Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach

Once a quaint artist's colony, Laguna Beach still has many galleries to explore. Or bring your own easel and let the rocky coastline inspire you.

Los Alamitos Race Course

4961 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos

A quarter horse track. (714) 995-1234

Santa Ana Artist's Village

2nd St., between Broadway and Sycamore, Santa Ana

More than 55 studios and galleries throw open their doors to the public in Santa Ana's historic downtown on the first Saturday of the month. The Grand Central Art Center is open to the public Tue.-Sun. 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (714) 571-4229

Santa Ana Zoo

Prentice Park, 1801 E. Chestnut Ave., Santa Ana

See animals from around the world in their natural surroundings. Also includes a petting zoo. (714) 853-7484


Tourist Attractions

Historical Sites


Seaside Adventures



Just for Kids

Miscellaneous Fun

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