Orange County (OC) is the third most populous county in California, behind Los Angeles County and San Diego County. The county is famous for its tourism, as the home of such attractions as Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.
But amusement parks aren’t the only major attractions in the OC. For you Audubon hobbyists, travel to the venerable Mission San Juan Capistrano and observe the amazing migration of swallows as they begin to arrive in March from their winter home in Argentina.
Political devotees will find the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda and the Richard Nixon Birthplace home, located on the grounds of the Library, a favorite stop in the OC.
The area’s warm Mediterranean climate and 42 miles of year-round beaches attract millions of tourists annually. “The Wedge“, at the tip of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, is one of the most famous body surfing spots in the world. Beach sports followers flock to popular Huntington Beach, a coveted location for sunbathing and surfing. Popularly known as “Surf City, U.S.A.”, it is home to many surfing competitions, including the U.S. Open of Surfing. In addition Huntington Beach plays host to AVP Pro Beach Volleyball and “Vans World Championship of Skateboarding“. Southern California surf culture is alive and well in Orange County’s beach cities.
For budding marine biologists or those mesmerized by sea life, The Ocean Institute has become nationally known for its hands-on marine science, environmental and ocean education and maritime history programs.
If you’d like to experience the awesome spectacle of whale migrations, Newport Landing provides multiple whale watching trips daily departing from Newport Beach. December through April is the prime Grey Whale migration period. May through November brings warmer waters and the opportunity to view blue whales, finback whales, huge pods of dolphin that number in the thousands, seals, killer whales, sharks, and many other marine creatures.
Have you visited this exciting area? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.