• Photo: Peter Guttman/

Plan Your Orange County and Catalina Island Vacation

With its tropical flowers and palm trees, the stretch of coast between Seal Beach and San Clemente is often called the California Riviera. Exclusive Newport Beach, artsy Laguna, and the surf town of Huntington Beach are the stars, but lesser-known gems on the glistening coast—such as Corona del Mar—are also worth visiting. Offshore, meanwhile, lies gorgeous Catalina Island, a terrific spot for diving, snorkeling, and hiking.

Few of the citrus groves that gave Orange County its name remain. This region south and east of Los Angeles is now ruled by tourism and high-tech business instead of farmers. Despite a building boom that began in the 1990s, the area is still a place to find wilderness trails, canyons, greenbelts, and natural environs. And just offshore, is a deep-water wilderness that’s possible to explore via daily whale-watching excursions.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Disney Magic Walking down Main Street, U.S.A., with Cinderella’s Castle straight ahead, you really will feel like you’re in one of the happiest places on Earth.
  2. Beautiful Beaches Surf, swim, paddleboard, or just relax on one of the state’s most breathtaking stretches of coastline. Keep in mind, the water may be colder than you expect.
  3. Island Getaways Just a short high-speed catamaran ride away, Catalina Island feels 1,000 miles away from the mainland. Wander around charming Avalon, or explore the unspoiled beauty of the island’s wild interior.
  4. The Fine Life Some of the state’s wealthiest communities are in coastal Orange County, so spend at least part of your stay here experiencing how the other half lives.
  5. Family Fun Spend some quality time with the kids riding roller coasters, eating ice cream, fishing off ocean piers, and bodysurfing.

Travel Tips

Orange County and Catalina Island Travel Tips

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