Things to do in
Orange County

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Our most recommended things to do in Orange County

Aquarium of the Pacific: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Admission

1. Aquarium of the Pacific: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Admission

Take a journey of discovery at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Discover sunny Southern California and Baja, the frigid waters of the Northern Pacific, and the colorful reefs of the Tropical Pacific. Come face-to-face with the ocean’s ultimate predators in Shark Lagoon, hand-feed colorful lorikeet birds, and watch the Magellanic penguins. Discover Pacific Visions where you explore underwater realms and future possibilities. The centerpiece, Honda Pacific Visions Theater, features an 8-minute film with multisensory effects. The massive 180-degree curved screen and floor projection disc encompass the viewers’ full range of vision, creating a uniquely immersive experience. The theater experience is included in admission.

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Newport Beach: 2-Hour Whale Watching Tour

2. Newport Beach: 2-Hour Whale Watching Tour

On these year-round cruises off Newport Beach, many whale varieties are regularly seen including the giant blue whale (summer and fall), finback whale, grey whale (winter and spring), minke whale, and humpback whale. Several types of dolphin, seals, and all sorts of other marine life are typically spotted on the excursions as well. The cruises depart from Newport Harbor, located in the heart of Orange County, which is just a short drive from both Los Angeles and San Diego. Each cruise is a unique experience as you may never know what you might encounter. A recent cruise encountered a pod of more than 30 killer whales, including adults and their young, making for a whale watching adventure of a lifetime. The cruises enjoy a 96 percent success rate viewing whales and/or dolphin.

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Newport Beach: Year-Round Whale Watching Cruise

3. Newport Beach: Year-Round Whale Watching Cruise

The waters surrounding Newport Harbor are deep and nutrient-rich, attracting all types of marine creatures. Cruises typically see a variety of whales including giant blue whales (during the summer and fall), finback whales, grey whales (in the winter and spring), minke whales, and humpback whales, as well as several types of dolphin, seals, and all sorts of other marine life. Each cruise is a unique experience in that you never know what you might encounter. The Laguna Beach coastline lies just to the south of Newport Harbor and is some of Southern California’s most beautiful coast. The grey whales are commonly seen in this area. Most whale watching cruises take in the scenic backdrops of Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach, while viewing the gentle giants just a few hundred yards from shore. Due to the geography of the Orange County coastline that surrounds Newport Harbor, ocean conditions are very calm allowing whale watchers to fully enjoy the amazing viewings. Our primary whale watching ship is 65 feet long, and has a large upstairs sundeck, wrap-around outside seating, snack bar, and indoor seating with large windows. The ship was purpose-built for viewing marine life. Plenty of other amenities guarantee a very comfortable and exciting trip. Captains and crew members are well-versed in marine biology and are incredibly knowledgeable about marine creatures, environment, and eco systems.

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Los Angeles: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 40+ Attractions

4. Los Angeles: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 40+ Attractions

The Los Angeles All-Inclusive Pass is the only multi-attraction pass that gets you into over 40 top attractions in the city for one low price. Save up to 45% off retail prices on admission and pay nothing at the gate. In addition, when you buy a 3-, 5- or 7-day pass, you also get a ticket to Universal Studios Hollywood. Visit The Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, Aquarium of the Pacific, Dolby Theatre, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, and many more of the best things to do in L.A., Hollywood, and beyond. There’s no need to decide in advance what you want to see, and you can take up to 2 weeks from when you first use the pass to use the remaining days on your pass. The free digital guide helps you decide what to do, where to go, how to get there, and even includes the best times to visit. The 3-, 5-, and 7-day All-Inclusive passes also include free admission to Universal Studios Hollywood as an added bonus. Activities, attractions, and tours included with the Los Angeles All-Inclusive Pass: Theme Parks: • Universal Studios Hollywood Ticket (3+ day passes only) • Knott's Berry Farm • Six Flags Magic Mountain • LEGOLAND California (choice between San Diego Zoo or LEGOLAND) Outdoors: • Pacific Park - Santa Monica Pier • Whale Watching in San Pedro or Long Beach • Catalina Flyer (Ferry to Catalina Island) • Harbor Breeze Whale Watching Tour - Long Beach • Perry's Beach Cafe and Rentals - Mountain Bike or Roller-Skates (All Day) • Hollywood Hike by Bikes & Hikes (10:30 AM only) • Celebrity Bike Tour by Bikes & Hikes LA (choice between self-guided or guided tour) • Whale Watching & Dolphin Cruises - Newport Landing• Harbor Cruise in Long Beach or San Pedro Guided Tours: • Big Bus Los Angeles 1-Day Hop-on Hop-off Tour • Big Bus Celebrity Lifestyle and Homes Tour • Dolby Theater Guided Tour • Sony Pictures Studio Tour • Starline Tours: Malibu Celebrity Homes Tour • Food, Arts, Culture DTLA Walking Tour • Hollywood Behind-the-Scenes Tour by Red Line Tours Family-Friendly: • Madame Tussauds Hollywood • Aquarium of the Pacific • TCL Chinese Theater - Tour or Movie and a drink (choice between TCL Chinese Theater or Hollywood Museum) • Santa Monica Pier Aquarium • LA Zoo and Botanical Gardens • California Science Center IMAX Movie • San Diego Zoo (choice between San Diego Zoo or LEGOLAND) • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles • K1 Speed Indoor Karting Museums and Entertainment: • Hollywood Museum (choice between TCL Chinese Theater or Hollywood Museum) • GRAMMY Museum • Battleship IOWA Museum • La Brea Tar Pits and Museum • Autry Museum of the American West • Museum of Latin American Art • Cabrillo Maritime Museum • Huntington Library and Gardens • Los Angeles, A Journey Through Time in Film • South Coast Shop & Dine Package • Shanti Hot Yoga • LA Galaxy Soccer Game Ticket

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Newport Beach: Ultimate Whale Watching Adventure

5. Newport Beach: Ultimate Whale Watching Adventure

Take a 2-hour dolphin and whale watching tour from Newport Beach. Cruise in an open boat that offers 360-degree views from anywhere onboard, allowing everyone a to have close encounter with nature. Admire the stunning coastal landscape and look out for whales, dolphins, and other marine wildlife.   Board a custom-built RIB, perfect for whale watching. The boat has a maximum capacity of 15 people, giving each passenger a piece of the action. See dolphins come almost close enough to touch. The boat can travel at speed and cruises up to 14 miles from port to ensure the highest success rate of animal sightings.

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Temecula: All-Inclusive Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch

6. Temecula: All-Inclusive Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch

After being picked up from your hotel or accommodation by your guide, journey to 4 different local wineries, where you’ll learn about the wine-making process and what makes Temecula Valley wine so special.  You will have the opportunity to get an exclusive behind-the-scenes vintner’s tour of one of the wineries. Also included on the tour is an idyllic picnic lunch from a top-rated local eatery at one of the winery stops. Each winery will be curated to make sure you get to taste and learn about a variety of different wines, in order to comprehensively experience Temecula’s wine region. When booking, please select a food option from the list below and write in your selections in the notes during the booking process: •  Chicken Caesar Salad  •  Mediterranean Chicken Salad  •  Eggplant Caprese Sandwich •  Turkey Club Sandwich •  Classic Italian Sandwich •  Artisan Cheese & Deli Plate  •  Roast Beef Sandwich  •  Viva Chicken Wrap All lunches are served with a chewy Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie and bottled water. Spinach wraps are available as an alternative for ciabatta bread. Side house salads are served with Italian vinaigrette.

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Los Angeles Champagne Brunch Cruise from Newport Beach

7. Los Angeles Champagne Brunch Cruise from Newport Beach

Relax and unwind on a 2-hour cruise departing from Newport Beach. Enjoy a buffet brunch prepared from the freshest seasonal ingredients and sip on unlimited champagne or sparkling cider. Set off on a morning cruise from Newport Beach, where sunlight bounces of the water and a bottomless glass of bubbly or sparkling cider awaits. In addition to salty breezes and abundant sunshine, your champagne brunch cruise includes free-flowing champagne and a delicious buffet brunch to enhance your magical escape. Newport Beach is classic California, with wide beaches and expansive oceanfront mansions. The community boasts a well-known small-boat harbor as well as popular destinations such as the Balboa Peninsula, Fashion Island and bustling Mariner's Mile. Sample Buffet Brunch Menu Served upon seating: -Assorted Danish, cinnamon rolls, mini muffins, churro donuts with butter & fruit preserves-Fresh fruit, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, pineapple, grapes & berries Buffet Table #1 -Caesar salad, focaccia croutons, roasted garlic dressing, aged parmesan cheese & romaine hearts-Asian broccoli salad, tender broccoli, carrots, scallions, snap peas with sesame tahini dressing-Penne pasta salad, bell peppers, olives, garbanzos, baby tomatoes, zucchini, pesto vinaigrette Buffet Table #2 -Atlantic salmon , roasted with cherry chipotle glazeShrimp on ice display, red sauce Buffet Table #3 -Scrambled eggs , green chilies, bell peppers & cheese -Breakfast meats, smoked bacon & sausage -Cinnamon French toast , berries, bananas & maple syrup -Tri color potatoes, roasted onions & peppers -Roasted Turkey breast, cranberry-apricot chutney & pan gravy Final course -Desserts, delivered to your table, an assortment of mini pastries, tarts, dessert bars & cookies

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Huntington Beach: Smartphone Scavenger Hunt Adventure

8. Huntington Beach: Smartphone Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Turn Huntington Beach into a giant game board on this scavenger hunt tour played on your smart device. Enjoy solving clues and completing challenges during an interactive game that combines the fun of the Amazing Race with a sightseeing tour. With any smartphone as your tour and guide, gather your group, and get ready to make your way through both well-known and overlooked sites. For extra fun, break groups into teams and compete against each other. Starting at the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, then follow the route to discover hidden gems of the city including the International Surfing Museum, a famous pier, and historic buildings hidden in plain sight. As you decipher clues and explore, choose to stop for a bite to eat or a selfie at a popular spot. Enjoy the flexibility to start and stop when you want and play at your own pace. 

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Los Angeles: Aquarium of the Pacific Annual Membership

9. Los Angeles: Aquarium of the Pacific Annual Membership

Discover the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and enjoy the advantages of an Annual Membership Card. The cards are available in the following formats: Family Membership: all member benefits for up to two named cardholders, plus all children (17 years or younger) living in the same householdDual Membership: all member benefits for two named cardholders living in the same household The Annual Membership card will allow you to explore the 500 exhibits inside the aquarium exhibitions at your own pace and admire 12,000 animals representing the major regions of the Pacific Ocean. Marvel at the beauty and diversity of coral reefs and their animal residents, reefs in Pacific Visions through a new show in the Honda Pacific Visions Theater, and an interactive exhibit in the art gallery. Come face-to-face with the ocean’s ultimate predators in Shark Lagoon, hand-feed colorful lorikeet birds, and watch the Magellanic penguins. Discover Pacific Visions, where you explore underwater realms and future possibilities.

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Los Angeles Dinner Cruise from Newport Beach Weekend

10. Los Angeles Dinner Cruise from Newport Beach Weekend

Come aboard for a romantic evening away. Unforgettable views listen to music, and a duet entrée sit-down dinner all make this is a can’t-miss getaway for visitors and local residents alike. Newport Beach is classic California, filled with wide beaches and expansive oceanfront mansions. The community boasts a well-known small-boat harbor as well as popular destinations such as the Balboa Peninsula, Fashion Island and bustling Mariner's Mile. See the area while enjoying a luxurious evening out.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Orange County

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What people are saying about Orange County

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 620 reviews

You never know if you will see a whale or not, and we didn’t, but we came across a “mega pod” of over 1,000 dolphins, which was totally awesome. They were riding our bow wave, sometime as many as 8 or 10 at a time, as we stood literally four feet above them looking down over the bow. And they were jumping out of the water all around us. It was the coolest thing we saw while we were in California.

I took my mom to this event and we had a great time! Everything about this tour was wonderful and Ben, our driver, was amazing and took the time to speak to each of us. I can't wait to go back!

It is amazing. For those who book online, remember to check in at the store to get a paper ticket as that's required to get onboard.

Although cold and no whales great adventure with very knowledgeable crew. Many dolphins!!!!

Easy to use. A lot of options and no issues when using app.